According to studies Senoia ranks among the safest cities in Georgia; some even recognize it as the safest.
However, this information is null and void if you are a runner.
One of the reasons I moved from Peachtree City to the outskirts of Senoia was so I could enjoy running on the beautiful country roads. They were quiet, secluded, and most of all safe. That was then.
Senoia is growing rapidly. There are more and more businesses, homes and people virtually every day. This is now; that is to say, a whole lot different than before.
The quiet, secluded and safe country roads have become a thing of the past; a past that I can remember as if it were yesterday – most likely because it was.
The two-lane roads on which I like to run - Old Highway 85, Gordon and Luther Bailey - are no longer safe. I run on the shoulder of the road, and without fail I always ‘defer’ to an oncoming vehicle by stepping well off the road until the vehicle passes by.
Only now, once I step to the side I have to count to three-Mississippi before returning to the shoulder, because nine out of 10 times another vehicle is dangerously close to the rear bumper of that first car. This practice has become all too common, and as much time I spend on these roads every single day I have yet to see anyone pulled over by the men in blue for tailgating.
I’ve also witnessed vehicles barreling through stop signs, texting while driving and as I mentioned in a column a couple of years ago, speeding. It reminds me of the wild west when, out of necessity, cowboys compiled a code to live by. A code that included a phrase I now live by when I’m running: ‘look out for your own.’
The absence of flashing blue lights on the roads I choose to run demonstrate that the cowboys were on to something. Posted speed limits are only taken as suggestions, and tailgating is more or less expected.
I guess I have a couple of options if I decide to forego running on the country roads. I could drive four miles over to Haralson and run on Dead Oak Road before it too becomes a victim of population growth, but I find something inherently wrong about driving somewhere to go for a run.
I could also run on the neglected treadmill in the basement, but the truth is that although I’ve run almost enough miles to get me to the moon, I’ve barely covered enough distance on a treadmill to get me to the entrance to my subdivision and back.
Things could be worse. At least I don’t have to run through any roundabouts, so I never have to engage in any games of vehicular Russian roulette. So there’s that.
Other than that, I’ve considered taking a break from running. I’m guessing it would only be a matter of time – approximately how long it would take to finish off a case of Little Debbie’s – that I would give the treadmill another chance.
Except this time I wouldn’t use it for running, but for hanging up my XXXL shirts.
Scott Ludwig lives, runs and writes in Senoia. His latest book, “Southern Charm” is a collection of his first 101 columns for The Newnan Times-Herald. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org .