What to do with your spare tube this summer
My favorite thing to do after a good ride is enjoy a cold beer; my second favorite is to jump in a body of water.
Shortly after our return from Spain, we snuck up to the Tsali wilderness for a quick couple of days of riding and commeraderie with friends. For those unfamiliar, Tsali is kind of the classic North Carolina mountain bike trail destination. It has now been slightly overshadowed by greats such as Dupont, Pisgah, and Warrior Creek, but it still has its charms. The trails are fairly easy, flowy, and fast tracks that swoop through rhododendron forests and drift around the beautiful and remote Fontana Lake. Tsali is nestled within the Nantahala National Forest and has an adjacent campground with easy access to the lake.
My favorite thing to do after a good ride is enjoy a cold beer; my second favorite is to jump in a body of water. So as we were finishing the 23 mile IMBA Epic (Right Loop and Left Loop), it dawned on me that both could be done simultaneously… with a little help from a commodity in my hydration pack, which rarely gets any use. There was one member of our party who doubted a bicycle tube would be sufficient to comfortably float a human. It turned out that a 29er tube provides the perfect amount of floatation for absolute relaxation. There was just enough buoyancy to keep you semi-submersed with your head resting on the top of the tube and allowing a beer to be gently held above the water’s surface.
So if you are near a lake after a ride, try it out. You’ll thank me later.