The Chief ladiga Silver Comet Skate Challenge is a 3 day, 188 mile stage race on the Silver Comet Trail between Georgia and Alabama. The course is 94 miles, longboard skateboarders compete for fastest finishing time over a 3-day period. On the final day of Ladiga, the skaters push the entire 94 miles back to the finish – a true testament to the dedication of these athletes. Bustin is an urban push company, naturally we are obsessed with this type of event. Huge respect to the field of skaters who will participate in the Ladiga event this year.
Bustin Riders Ehren Mohammadi, Joe Mazzone and Andrei Hippix will be at Ladiga this weekend. Ehren is owner of Insanity Boardshop in San Antionio, Texas with a lot of push race experience. Joe is Chicago’s fastest urban pusher with a bright future in distance push. Andrei the gentle Giant is one of the original New York Push crew with a slew of Distance Skateboarding events under his belt. Andrei even skated across the USA for kicks. Its rad to see these guys involved in all sorts of push events – urban and cross country.
Last time I pushed with Ehren was at Push in the Woods – Banks, Oregon. Last time I pushed with Joe was Madness in the Mitten -Lansing, Michigan. I’m hoping to put in some miles this year with my daughter Brooklyn trailing me on her bike. She is 4 now and learning the skateboard & bike – slowly but surely. Very soon Mike D will be a force to be reckoned with on the push circuit once again! Might be in the Old Man Division but I still got it.
The Chief Ladiga Trail extends 32.5 miles from the Georgia state line to Weaver, Alabama. It is a paved recreational trail on the bed of the former Seaboard/CSX Railroad and extends into Georgia an additional 63 miles, making it the longest continuous paved rail trail in the United States. But it was a trail that took 17 years to complete.
In 1990, both the Calhoun County Commission and the City of Piedmont, Alabama received an Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA) enhancement grant to fund the construction of the first 9-mile section through Calhoun County. Additional ISTEA grant funds were awarded in 1994 to the City of Piedmont, the City of Jacksonville and the Cleburne County Commission. The National Recreational Trails Fund (NRTF) awarded funds to the City of Jacksonville, the City of Weaver and the City of Anniston in 1997 to construct trail connections or access facilities. The City of Weaver also received an ISTEA grant in 1997 allowing it to construct 2.5 miles of the trail through Weaver. The cities of Weaver and Jacksonville opened the trail through their cities in 1998. The last section to be completed, 9 miles through Cleburne County, was completed in 2007.