Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Trip to Tsali: September 2010

Ahhh, my favorite time of the year. The time when I start talking about making the yearly trip to the Tsali trail system in North Carolina for a long weekend of camping, riding some great trails and just trying to relax. It really sucks that this normally only happens once a year. I really need to get out of coastal Georgia! I'm a mountain person, not a beach person. I just feel at home in the mountains. Plus, where there are mountains, there is normally lots of singletrack! Anyway, my wife and I have made the trip to Tsali a yearly thing for a few years now. I love the days beforehand when I'm getting everything together and then finally loading the car. It's always a great feeling seeing the bikes on the rack on the back of the car.

This year we decided to go a little bit earlier than normal. Maybe its because I'm getting older, but I just don't enjoy camping when its in the 20's at night. We would normally head to the mountains in mid to late October so that we could have the changing leaf color to add to the trip. But the last couple of years it has been really cold and I always end up being sick after the trip. So this year we went on Labor Day weekend. The weather was perfect! I took an extra day off to get up there early, fearing that there would not be a camping spot since it was a holiday weekend. Well, I guess it worked. We got up there at around noon on a Thursday and there were literally only 3 people in the whole campground! So we picked a spot and setup camp.

Tsali is just the perfect place for us to go. The campground is right at the trailhead to the 4 loops that makeup the Tsali trail system. There can be some difficult parts on the trails, but for the most part, they are fast and smooth and a blast to ride. But before I get into that, we always have to make a little side trip while we are in the area. That trip is to Young Harris College, where I first went to college and Bell Mountain in Hiawassee, GA.

I spent a lot of time in this building!

Then onto Bell Mountain.
Now that we've done the hiking trip, its time to finally ride some trails! Do I look excited?
I even got in touch with fellow Flight Crew member Greg Heil and he came up for a day to tear up the trails on our Airborne Zeppelin Elite's!
Here's pic from out on the trail with Megan.
Ahhh, singletrack....
On a side note, we always have to hit up the Nantahala Outdoor Center to check out what they have and to get a good meal that we don't have to cook! I'm still mad that I didn't buy this shirt...
Now back to the trails!
Airborne sweetness....CHECK!
Some trail views!

I even found a couple spots to play with my Airborne Taka! (Sorry, no action shots!)

Then all good things must come to an end. I hate leaving this place! I got a lot of good footage with my GoPro camera. I am trying to work on getting all of that together! Also, I cannot Thank Airborne Bicycles enough for all that they have done. You guys made a dream come true for me! I'll get a post up soon about the trip to Sea Otter. I have a ton of pictures I have to go through for that post! My Airborne bikes handled great and never gave me a single problem. I would also like to point out that my Zeppelin Elite is not stock. The bike was great in stock form, but I shelled out all that money for the fancy parts I had on my previous bike, so why not use them? Right?

Again, I can't see enough to everyone with Airborne Bikes, Brunner, the Flight Crew and anyone else that I left out. I was starting to lose hope with keeping mountain biking in my life. The interest was there and will always be there, but I was starting to feel like I wasn't a mountain biker anymore. It sucked because mountain biking was my life for the past 16 years. That feeling has gone away now! I feel like a mountain biker again! I get all this support to go out and tell people about Airborne Bicycles and have fun with the greatest sport and people out there! Thanks again to everyone! Look for a post about the my Sea Otter experience soon!


1 comment:

  1. Very nice pictures and post, thanks for sharing.