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Friday, December 14, 2018

RECYCLING

Hanging out at the bike shop is always fun.  A shared love a cycling gives any bike shop a unique sense of community....bringing all types of people, from all ages and backgrounds, together.  It's a place where you feel welcome and accepted.  I've always felt that sense of "community" and "belonging" at Gung Ho Bikes...which is one of the reasons why I was so excited to be welcomed as a part of the staff there this year.  Working at the shop feels as if I'm giving back the the community...whether it's in the form of building a new bike a child's birthday present, tuning up someone's bike for a summer of riding, or teaching a customer how to fix a flat tire.  I basically just feel good about sharing my love for cycling and the outdoors with people.  But, last week, this sense of giving back to the local communty was taken to a whole new level for me.  

The staff of Gung Ho Bikes:  Ryan, Penny, Jay, Jim, Clark, Ben, Dave, and Joel. -- December 5, 2018

Last Tuesday, when I showed up for my evening shift, I helped Jay and Clark pull over two hundred used bicycles out of storage and carry them down to the shop level.  These bikes (which had been donated to the shop over the course of the past twelve months) were about to get, some TLC from the staff at Gung Ho Bikes.  The plan, conceived by Penny and Jay Zech, the owners of Gung Ho Bikes, was to convert as many of these bikes as possible back to riding condition so that they could then be...for lack of a better word...recycled back into the community for people who were in need of them.  


A sea of donated bikes, waiting to be fixed up, occupied the sales floor at Gung Ho Bikes last Tuesday and Wednesday. -- Decmeber 5, 2018




Ben and Clark fixing a couple of the donated bikes. -- December 5, 2018


Jim Seevers putting the finishing touches on this BMX bike. -- December 5, 2018


Ryan and Jay working out on the floor. -- December 5, 2018

The donated bikes ready to be picked by local charities in the community.  Photo by Penny Zech. -- December 7, 2018

Everyone on the staff showed up on Wednesday evening and donated their time to fix up the sea of bicycles that covered the floor of the bike shop.  It was the first time, since I've been there, that all eight employees were there and working together...laughing, joking, and fueled by a lot pizza (thank you Penny & Jay.) I think what amazed me the most was how quickly and efficiently we were able to transform over 150 unwanted bicycles into what could end up being a child's first bike...or possibly transportation for an adult who needs a reliable way to work.  For some people...just having a reliable bicycle is a game changer.  I wasn't able to be there last Friday when all of the bikes that we worked on were lined up outside of the shop for local charities to pick up...but I didn't need to be to know that what the staff  of Gung Ho Bikes did last week truly made a difference in the lives of a lot of people...and this holiday season, I'm so proud that I was able to be part of it.




Life is a journey...not a destination.



David A. Raymond -- December 14, 2018


Jay, Ben, and  Clark taking a pizza break. -- December 5, 2018


All of my posts are available at ALL TRAILS LEAD TO ICE CREAM and, if you get the chance, be sure to visit the good folks at
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@mountnbiker73

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"WRITE SOMETHING WORTH READING OR DO SOMETHING WORTH WRITING..." Ben Franklin

Sunday, December 2, 2018

RECENT GROUP THERAPY

We all need "me time," but nothing pulls me out of a seasonal depression funk better than time with family and friends.  I think about this a lot this time of year when...as the sun sets earlier and the temps hover around the freezing point... the amount of time that I spend outdoors and the frequency that I am able to get together with friends to soak in some Vitamin N drastically decreases.  A little GROUP THERAPY can go a long way...it doesn't matter if it's a hike in the woods with my family or hitting the trails with the guys in my mountain biking circle...togetherness feels amazing.  So yeah...nothing seems better for my mind and body than doing things that I love, in places that I love, with people that I love (yes...that includes you too, Glenn).  So, here are (in no particular order) some pics of recent group therapy spanning the past two years.  Enjoy!

Taken after we had just finished riding Grave Ridge Trail in Michaux State Forest...this photo ranks as one of my all-time favorite group pics.
 Back:  Tim Sindlinger, Glenn Medice, and  Matt Linnane.  Front:  Dave Raymond -- August 15, 2017


A rafting trip on the Youghiogheny River has become an annual tradition...it's four-ish hours of of wild and fun group therapy!
 Left to right:  Devin Seiger, Alex Raymond, Chris Lowe, Dave Raymond, & Cliff the Guide. -- June 19, 2018


Local hikes at Rocky Ridge County Park provide easy access to Vitamin N and group therapy.
 Left to Right:  Alex Raymond, Emma Sadowski, Dave Raymond, & Robin Raymond. -- November 4, 2018


Taking a break along Gargamel's Trail in Michaux State Forest to listen to one of Glenn's stories.
 Left to Right:  Dave Raymond, Glenn Medice, and Matt Linnane -- July 25, 2017


Pausing during an extremely hot and humid hike on Beech Trail in Ohiopyle State Park.
 Left to Right:  Mike Graham, Alex Raymond, Dave Raymond, and Devin Seiger. -- June 20, 2018


Time for some extreme cold group therapy with my neighbors.  Mike Alicea, Brent Shirk, and I braved single digit temps to ride a few miles on the Parkway Trails in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.  Our faces were frozen...but we were smiling on the inside! -- December 28, 2017


My kids are all grown...so I jump at the chance to share my love for the outdoors with my neices and nephew.  This past summer, Robin and I took them to Ohiopyle State Park for a weekend camping trip...which included a super cool hike down and around Cucumber Falls.
 Left to Right:  Sophie, Jackie, Isaac, Robin, and Dave Raymond.  -- June 30, 2018


Group Therapy comes in all forms...even in the form of fixing one of Tim's flat tires while riding in Michaux State Forest.
 Left to Right:  Ben Kelly, Tim Sindlinger, and Dave Raymond. -- July 10, 2018


Hiking to the top of Tumbling Run in Michaux State Forest is always a treat.  It was especially fun with this group.
 Left to right:  Alex Raymond, Emma Sadowski, Blythe Arnold-Scott, Dave Raymond, & Mike Graham. -- August 1, 2018


Dave Raymond, Tim Sindlinger, and Matt Linnane pausing for a pic in Swatara State Park at the exact spot in which Tim and I met Matt a few years prior.  -- June 6, 2017

Matt Linnane, Tim Sindliner, Adam Zeigler, and I were all smiles as we donned our best holiday attire for our first ever UGLY SWEATER RIDE.  Thanks to the never-ending rain, this ride on the HERSHEY MEDICAL CENTER TRAIL SYSTEM was one of the muddiest recent memory!  -- December 2, 2018

Some post-adventure food and group therapy at our campsite in Ohiopyle State Park.  Good food and great friends!
  Left to Right:  Chris Lowe, Mike Graham, Alex Raymond, Dave Raymond, Devin Seiger, and Cliff the Guide. -- June 19, 2018



Life is a journey...not a destination.



David A. Raymond -- December 2, 2018


Some of the best group therapy happens at the GUNG HO BIKES.  Nothing beats fixing and selling bikes with the group of guys that I have the privilege to work with.  Left to right:  Jim Seevers, Dave Raymond, and Ben Kelly. -- November 29, 2018


Feel free to FOLLOW me on TWITTER and INSTAGRAM 

@mountnbiker73


Here are the GARMIN maps and data from rides and hikes featured in this post.  #OptOutside






















All of my posts are available at ALL TRAILS LEAD TO ICE CREAM and, if you get the chance, be sure to visit the good folks at YOUR TRUE NATUREGUNG HO BIKESPENNSYLVANIA DCNR, WHITE WATER ADVENTURES, and PA PARKS and FORESTS FOUNDATION.

"WRITE SOMETHING WORTH READING OR DO SOMETHING WORTH WRITING..." Ben Franklin

Thursday, November 15, 2018

SWEET TRAILS


People love Hershey, Pennsylvania.  It is, after all, designated as the "Sweetest Place on Earth."  Twice, within the past two weeks, I've made the thirty-ish mile trip from York to Hershey, to ride the area's sweetest new attraction...a brand new, super cool mountain bike trail system located directly behind the Penn State Hershey Medical Center.

My Stumpjumper resting near trail W3 on the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center Trail System. -- November 3, 2018

Thanks to SAMBA (Susquehanna Area Mountain Bike Association)...the same group that put together the Parkway Trails in Harrisburg, PA...I now have another place to add to my list of local spots to mountain bike.  Tim and I made our first visit to the HMC Trail System two weeks ago.  Neither one of us knew exactly what to expect...but we  knew that this would be something special from the moment we left the parking lot.  The first thing we came across was an outdoor "lounge" equipped with chairs, recliners, a table, and trail maps.  The place brought a smile to our faces before we even got onto the single track!


Just a few feet out of the parking lot, you come across this super cool "lounge" just prior to jumping onto the single track. -- November 3, 2018

This ten mile trail system is compact, twisty, and just...fun.  Speaking for myself, the most surprising aspect of the trails was the condition that they were in.  I visited the HMC Trail System the past two Saturday mornings...each of those mornings came after days of torrential rain.  I (and I assume Tim, too) expected an absolute mud-fest.  That's not what we experienced though.  Any water that may have been there the day before had drained off leaving the trails in great condition...another testament to the trail building skills of SAMBA.  The trail system is split into the East and West side...with the trails on each side numbered 1-5.  We came across a few rock gardens...but, for the most part, Tim and I experienced nothing but fun, fast, twisty single track that was nicely marked, labeled, and expertly built into the surrounding landscape.  

A map of the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center Trail System.  You can view and download the map HERE


The twisty trail system in incredibly well marked.  The trails are categorized as BEGINNER (green), ADVANCED (blue), and EXPERT (black).  --  November 3, 2018


The build-ups along the trail system are consistently perfect. -- November 3, 2018


Tim Sindlinger and I pedaling down the single track that is expertly carved into the landscape. -- November 3, 2018



Tim took this pic of me on the HMC Trail System. -- November 3, 2018


Tim Sindlinger navigating the leaf covered trails. -- November 3, 2018


Tim Sindlinger and Dave Raymond enjoying the HMC Trail System.  -- November 3, 218


My Stumpjumper blending into the surrounding landscape. -- November 10, 2018

Two weeks ago, our time schedule didn't allow for Tim and I to ride more than half of the HMC Trail System...so I headed back last week on my own to ride the rest of the trails.  What appeals to me the most about this new set of trails is that they are directional, well maintained, and meant for mountain biking.  I also noticed that the entire area was posted as NO HUNTING.  Please don't hate...(I'm not against hunting in any way, shape, or form)...but I am pretty excited to know that I  now have a local place for me to do my "thing" when the hunters are out doing their "thing."  And...if I have to drive to Hershey to do it...that's ok with me.  Those trails are pretty sweet.

Heading home after a sweet ride on the HMC Trail System. -- November 10, 2018


Life is a journey...not a destination.



David A. Raymond -- November 15, 2018


One of my favorite Hershey memories...back in 2013, my brother, sister-in-law, and my nieces & nephew were visiting from Arizona.  One of the must stops for the kids was Hershey's Chocolate World.  Left to right:  Jacob, Kristi, Isaac, David, Robin, Alex, Jackie, and Sophie Raymond.  -- July 5, 2013


Feel free to FOLLOW me on TWITTER and INSTAGRAM 

@mountnbiker73


Here's the GARMIN maps and data from my first two rides on the HMC TRAIL SYSTEM.  Happy biking!








All of my posts are available at ALL TRAILS LEAD TO ICE CREAM and, if you get the chance, be sure to visit the good folks at YOUR TRUE NATUREGUNG HO BIKESPENNSYLVANIA DCNR, and PA PARKS and FORESTS FOUNDATION.

"WRITE SOMETHING WORTH READING OR DO SOMETHING WORTH WRITING..." Ben Franklin

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

THE MOST BEAUTIFUL WEEKEND OF THE YEAR (So Far)

As far back as I can remember, Fall has always been my favorite season of the year.  The summer time humidity has faded, the cool, crisp, Autumn air has taken a firm hold, and the leaves on the trees have begun to show their true colors.  We've had an abnormally wet and warm year around here...and, up until a week ago, most of the leaves on the trees were still green.  Finally, this past weekend, York County,  Pennsylvania landed in the sweet spot of the season...the convergence of beautiful weather and peak Fall foliage.  It was the perfect weekend to be outside and I was able to enjoy the amazing weather and soak in that all important Vitamin N with family, friends, and both of bikes.

This graphic has been posted each week for the past month by Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.  Finally, York County is in the orange!  -- November 2, 2018


  Tim and I expected, after the deluge of rain that fell on Friday, a mud fest when we hit the trails on Saturday morning...but instead we found nothing but perfect conditions on our first-ever visit to the MILTON S. HERSHEY MEDICAL CENTER TRAIL SYSTEM in Hershey, Pennsylvania.  Other than briefly losing the trail (freshly covered by falling leaves) a couple of times...we enjoyed a super cool ride,  exploring a brand new trail system, and sharing the orange and yellow forest with local wild life.  It was the nicest Saturday we've had around here in a long while...and the perfect morning for mountain biking with a good friend.


My Stumpjumper on the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center Trial System. -- November 3, 2018

Tim Sindlinger and I enjoying a beautiful day on the trails. -- November 3, 2018


Tim and I yielded the trail to this small herd of deer.  Only two are in the pic...but I counted seven.  So cool. -- November 3, 2018

Riding in the sun and through the leaves on the new trail system behind the Hershey Medical Center. -- November 3, 2018

 Sunday was a carbon copy of Saturday...the sun was out, the sky was blue, and the foliage was just about perfect.  After breakfast I got out for a hike at Rocky Ridge County Park with Robin, Alex, and Alex's girlfriend, Emma.  The park was far from empty when we arrived.  I find it encouraging to see just how many people were at the park the same time we were...some hiking and some mountain biking...all enjoying the beauty of the outdoors.  I'm always excited when I notice different things in the forest when hiking the trails that I normally mountain bike.  Just a couple of feet down the trail, the four of us came across a lean to that someone had build just next to a trail I frequently ride.  As we made our way down the ridge, the morning sun highlighted the colors of the forest, making this hike one of the more beautiful ones I've taken in a while.  Sharing the experience with my family made it all the more special...and beautiful.


Enjoying the weather and the Fall colors with Robin, Alex, and Emma Sadowski. -- November 4, 2018


Just a few feet off of the trail that I normally mountain bike, Robin, Alex, Emma, and I came across this lean to at Rocky Ridge County Park.  It's amazing what you can find when you slow things down a little bit. -- November 4, 2018

The morning sun shining through the Fall foliage at Rocky Ridge County Park. -- November 4, 2018


Robin and Emma S. making their way down the trail at Rocky Ridge County Park. -- November 4, 2018


So happy to be outside on a hike with this lady! -- November 4, 2018


Robin and David Raymond in Rocky Ridge County Park. -- November 4, 2018

Rocky Ridge County Park was amazingly beautiful this weekend. -- November 4, 2018

Saturday night Day Light Saving Time ended and our days are now shorter...but, before the sun set on Sunday, I managed to sneak out on my Roubaix for a quick road ride.  I didn't ride long or far...but I just wanted to get out one last time before the rains came on Monday.  The scenery on the back roads around the neighborhood and down by the river was absolutely spectacular...making this, hands down, the most beautiful weekend of 2018...so far.


The scenery was just as amazing on my road bike this week.  The Conewago Creek, near York Haven, Pennsylvania, lined by the beautiful Pennsylvania Fall foliage. -- November 4, 2018


Life is a journey...not a destination.



David A. Raymond -- November 6, 2018



Glad to have Donny Arnold (the world's best brother-in-law) up for a visit!  After my ride in Hershey, he and I chilled out at Smokin' Hogs in Manchester, PA...the best barbeque and corn bread I've ever had! -- November 3, 2018

Feel free to FOLLOW me on TWITTER and INSTAGRAM @mountnbiker73


Here's the GARMIN maps and data from our ride on the MILTON S. HERSHEY MEDICAL CENTER TRAIL SYSTEM, our hike at ROCKY RIDGE COUNTY PARK, and my end of the weekend road ride...Happy biking and hiking!








All of my posts are available at ALL TRAILS LEAD TO ICE CREAM and, if you get the chance, be sure to visit the good folks at YOUR TRUE NATUREGUNG HO BIKESPENNSYLVANIA DCNR, and PA PARKS and FORESTS FOUNDATION.

"WRITE SOMETHING WORTH READING OR DO SOMETHING WORTH WRITING..." Ben Franklin

Sunday, October 28, 2018

REBOUNDING

Last Friday's ride weighed heavily on me all week long.  Physically, it took me more than a couple of days to bounce back from bouncing off of the unforgiving ground that makes up Rocky Ridge County Park.  Mentally, I fell into that "mountain biking funk" where I knew that all I had to do was get out on my bike and have a good ride...but my body, my schedule and the weather weren't being cooperative.  Truth be told, I wasn't even planning on riding on Friday until some already established plans fell part early in the afternoon...allowing me a small window of time to get out on my bike and rebound from last week.

My Stumpjumer on the ridge above Lake Williams. -- October 26, 2018

I opted for a ride around  Lake Williams over, what would have been, my fifth consecutive mountain bike ride at Rocky Ridge.  Besides, after last week, I figured a change of scenery (and terrain) would be a good thing.  Fall has finally arrived in south central Pennsylvania turning the leaves around, what use to be, Lake Williams brilliant oranges and reds.  As for the lake, it's gone...at least for now.  The water company recently drained it to fix the Lake Williams dam...turning the area that was the lake into a barren landscape.  The only visible water is the East Branch of the Codorus Creek snaking through the dry lake bed, which...when dammed up, creates Lake Williams.


The East  Branch of the Codorus Creek carves a path through Lake William's dry lake bed. -- October 26, 2018


I took this pic of the now dry Lake Williams from the trails near Water Street.  I find it fascinating to see the man made structures that are below the normal water level.  Off the left of this pic you can see an old spring house.  On the right, you can make out the foundations of  structures that once stood there.  Super cool. -- October 26, 2018


Arriving back at the trail head on South George Street you can clearly see the East Branch of  Codorus as it spills out of Lake Redman in into the area that is Lake Williams. -- October 26, 2018

 I wish I could have let some of my riding partners know my plans...but it really was an unexpected development.  With the weather forcast for the weekend looking downright miserable I was stoked to be able to get out for even a short ride. I felt great to pedaling the six-ish miles of trail that runs the perimeter of Lake Williams.  It's the perfect loop for a solo ride...flowing single track with climbs, descents, and plenty of options to add extra adventure to the ride.  It was the perfect way for me to rebound,  get back into my groove, and remind me of why I love mountain biking so much.


Signs around the Lake warn visitors not to walk out on the dry lake bed.  Lake Williams will be empty for the next few months as the Water Company fixes the lake's 106 year old dam.  -- October 26, 2018


Life is a journey...not a destination.



David A. Raymond -- October 28, 2018



Just as advertised...the weather sucked today which led to a lazy day at home with capped off with an Italian dinner (and dessert) at the Moonlight Cafe with my beautiful wife, Robin. -- October 27, 2018

Feel free to give me a FOLLOW on TWITTER and INSTAGRAM  @mountnbiker73


Here's the Garmin map and data from my rebound ride at Lake Williams...Happy riding!





All of my posts are available at ALL TRAILS LEAD TO ICE CREAM and, if you get the chance, be sure to visit the good folks at YOUR TRUE NATUREGUNG HO BIKESPENNSYLVANIA DCNR, and PA PARKS and FORESTS FOUNDATION.

"WRITE SOMETHING WORTH READING OR DO SOMETHING WORTH WRITING..." Ben Franklin