Sunday, August 30, 2015


Sunday morning rides are often my favorite.  It sometimes seems as if I am the only person awake.  Because of this, I will often ride into, through, and around York City.

An amazing morning for a bike ride.  Church road looking back towards the Emigsville exit of Interstate 83 -- August 30, 2015

Today's ride took me out of Manchester and straight down the Susquehanna Trail towards York City. Like any other city, there are parts of York City that I normally avoid.  However, on Sunday morning, most of it is fair game.  Coming into the city I turned onto Beaver Street and passed Central Market.   On the corner of Beaver Street and Market Street is the spot where the headquarters  of Revolutionary War general "Mad" Anthony Wayne once stood.  General Wayne made his headquarters here in the spring of 1781.  The old iron lamp post attached to the M & T Bank building on the site today is original and was attached to General Wayne's headquarters.

The iron lamp post is original and was attached to the headquarters of Revolutionary War general, "Mad" Anthony Wayne -- August 30, 2015

Straight down Beaver Street is Penn Common.  There is so much history hidden all around...if you just take the time to look.  Penn Common was deeded to the city of York in 1741 by the descendants of the founder of Pennsylvania, William Penn.  It was used as a hospital for wounded soldiers during the American Civil War.  The hospital was established in 1862 and some of the first patients brought here were the wounded from the Battle of Antietam (September 1862).  The park also served as a camp during the American Revolution.  While in York the previously mentioned General Anthony Wayne oversaw the execution of soldiers in the Continental Army who were found guilty of mutiny.  General Wayne was controversial in both life and death.  Thirteen years after his death near Erie, PA in 1796, his son, Isaac, moved his remains from the northwestern part of  Pennsylvania, to the southeast corner of the state near Philadelphia, PA.  Many of his remains did not survive the journey across the state and were lost somewhere in the middle of the state.  It is said the General Wayne's ghost rides the roads between Philadelphia and Erie, PA looking for his lost bone.  Cool story...if you believe in ghosts!

Penn Common, York, Pennsylvania -- August 30, 2015

The remainder of my ride today just included zipping in and out of the empty Sunday morning streets of York, PA.   The city is really becoming more and more bicycle friendly.  There are bike lanes running west to east in multiple parts of the city.  Just recently a new bike lane was created on Princess Street east of the city.   

Bicycle land on Princess Street in York, PA -- August 30, 2015

All in all...I got in twenty miles of fun, history, and peaceful exercise.  Not a bad way to start a day.

Life is a journey, not a destination.

David A. Raymond -- August 30, 2015

Saturday, August 29, 2015


Often, when I ride out Codorus Furnace Road, I see a road off to my my right that wanders south over the hills near Starview.  I've always wondered what it was like...but I never rode it simply because I was on a mission to to go somewhere else.   Well, today my mission was to ride it.  Again, with limited time, my goal was to get at least a fifteen mile ride in.   
The Codorus Creek near Central York High School.  A great put in spot for rafting or kayaking--August 29, 2015

Most of the time, when I ride, I shuffle the music on my phone.  Not today.  For some reason I loaded up Springsteen's The River album.  The music just seemed perfect for my mood.  This morning I crossed the Codorus Creek near Central York High School. This section of the creek is one of York County's hidden secrets.  Often times you will find cars parked along the bridge.  It is a great put in for rafting and kayaking.  This particular part of the creek, after a big rainstorm, will boast class 4 and class 5 rapids!  You could hardly believe it on a day like today when the water levels are low.  In August of 2006, one of my best friends, Mark Lentz took me down the creek for the first time. What a blast!

Jerusalem School Road--August 29, 2015

Up the hill from the Codorus Creek, I turned onto Jerusalem School Road.  I can't overstate how beautiful the scenery is out here.  The rolling hills, blue sky, and old stone houses.  It wasn't long until I reached my destination:  Hillview Drive.  It didn't disappoint. The road meandered down the hill and made some unexpected turns.  
Hilview Drive.  Of in the distance you can see TMI (on the left) & Brunner's Island (on the right)--August 29, 2015

At one point I had a great view of both Three Mile Island nuclear power plant and Brunner's Island coal plant.  On a clear day like today everything came perfectly into focus.  I think that is, ultimately, why I ride.
The fog lifts away and everything comes into focus.

David A. Raymond//August 29, 2015

Sunday, August 23, 2015


The big event of the day was the Van Halen concert tonight at Hershey Park Stadium.  Alex and I have had tickets for the show since the beginning of the summer.   My son has been pumped to see Van Halen with David Lee Roth as front man.   So....if I wanted to ride Michaux today with Tim and Chris we knew we would have to stick to a tight time frame.  

It was a nice surprise when I picked up Chris and he told me that a buddy of his, Chip, was going to ride with us.  Chip is just an all around great guy.  He is an assistant principal in Spring Grove school district.  He's fun to hang out with, he's fun to talk to, and, for someone who doesn't get to ride as much as he wants, is a heck of a mountain biker.   Chris and met Tim and Chip at our usual meeting place in East Berlin and headed out.  

As always, because I am a creature of habit, we parked at the Furnace Stack pavilion section of Pine Grove Furnace State Park.  Literally 30 seconds after we got onto Tom's Run trail I crossed paths with a good friend, Derrick Rorrer.  Derrick is a bike mechanic at Gung Ho Bikes.
Derrick Rorrer--Best bike mechanic around.  

Derrick Rorrer does things only I can dream of.  This picture was taken at Potapsco in 2013.

I started mountain biking in 1995 when I walked into Gung Ho and met Jay Zech.  I often tell Jay that was the first friend I made when I moved here.  Both he and the shop have been a mainstay in my life since.  I am 100% loyal to him and Gung Ho.   Not sure I could ever purchase a bike elsewhere.  A few years back, Jay and his wife Penny, gave me a summer job at the shop.   I learned so much there and I am so appreciative.
Chip and Tim nearing the top of Dynamite Shack trail.  8-23-15

Chip had no issue on the rocks today.  8-23-15

Chris Keller taking on the rocks.  8-23-15

Probably my favorite part of Michaux.  I call it "Big Rocks/Big Fun" 8-23-15

Tim's turn on the rocks.  8-23-15

Tim, Chris, Chip, and I did my standard ride at Michaux (minus a few loops because of time.)  To be honest....we could have completed more of the usual ride...but that would have meant no ice cream at Mountain Creek Campground.  Not that we are wussies...but no ice cream after Michaux is not an option.

We managed to get back within our time frame.  As for that Van Halen concert in Hershey tonight...

David A. Raymond//August 23, 2015

Saturday, August 22, 2015


The humidity is gone and the weather was perfect for a ride into Central Market  in York City today. From my house in Manchester it is only a six mile trip into Central Market so I took a round about route that adds some miles and some fun.  
The Colonial Courthouse on West Market Street in York, PA.  8-22-15

I came into the city today from West Market Street and passed the York Colonial Complex on the corner of West Market and Beaver Street.  The main building in the complex is the Colonial Courthouse.  The building that stands here today is a reproduction of the original courthouse that was destroyed by fire in the early 19th century.  During the Revolutionary War, the Second Continental Congress, in exile from Philadelphia, met in the courthouse in York, PA.  It was here that the Articles of Confederation, our countries first plan of government, was adopted.  York County's copy of the document resides in the Colonial Courthouse.
Beaver Street outside of Central Market.  8-22-15
Central Market is right around the corner from the Colonial Complex.   Typically, market is busy on a Saturday, but today's spectacular weather made it even more so.  Honestly, it is a pretty cool thing.  I moved to York in 1995 and the city just didn't have anything going on.   It's nice to see so many people enjoying what York has to offer.  
Usually when I go to market I head for Kramer at Market to pick up my tea.   Today my destination was slightly different.  
Penderbrooks at Central Market, York, PA.  8-22-15

Local honey at Penderbrooks.  I got the 5lb. jar which is second from the left at the top.
To help my allergies I get local honey at Penderbooks.  Today they had the five pound I should be set for a while!
My journey home took me past Santander Stadium...home of the York Revolution baseball team.

The Codorus Creek and Santander Stadium in York, PA.  8-22-15

Riding north out of York my ride back to Manchester usually has a lot of traffic.  To avoid this I take a side trip by old Central York HS to a tunnel that goes under Interstate 83.  I love this because it opens up my ride to so many more possibilities...but you do need to watch 
Tunnel near the stadium near old Central York HS.  8-22-15

out for broken glass in the tunnel.  Once on the east side of I-83 I rode up past the incinerator and headed home.   Let's's ride included nerdy history, good food, a baseball stadium, and a tunnel.  Not bad.

David A. Raymond//August 22, 2015

Wednesday, August 19, 2015


The mountain biking gods got together today and arranged it so that I could squeeze in a ride with Chris Keller this afternoon at Rocky Ridge.  I really was on a time crunch so we tried to get in as much as we could.   Today we decided to stay up on top of the park and not do a lot of climbing.  With the temperature in the 90s again I was just fine with that.
Chris and I estimated that this black snake was about 4 feet long!  It was so big that I honestly thought it was a branch laying across the trail.

Our ride today was only six and a half miles.  The view from the top of the park was amazing.  The highlight was the four foot black snake I ran over on my Stumpjumper.  I honestly thought it was a branch lying across the trail until I saw it move in my peripheral vision as I rode across it.  Let it be known that I HATE SNAKES.  I must be getting better because I was willing to get off of my and go back to take a picture of it.  
A nice ride with a great friend.

David A. Raymond//August 19, 2015

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

AFTER SCHOOL RIDE//August 18, 2015

The 90+ degree weather couldn't keep me off of my bike after school today.  After meetings all day at school it was just what I needed.   I must have been in a hurry because, for the first time in my life, I took off without my helmet!  I noticed it about a quarter of a mile from the house when my shadow looked odd.  
One of the most prominent features of the Manchester, Mount Wolf, York Haven area is the huge stack that lets out steam from the coal generated power plant at Brunner's Island.  I use it for every road ride.  It is a good way to gauge which way the wind is blowing...and how hard.  
Steam from Brunner's Island can be seen from almost anywhere in York County!  It is a great way to gauge the direction and speed of the wind.

I knew for the start of today's ride that it would be tough coming home with a head wind coming strongly from the southeast.    Despite the heat and the wind the views today were fabulous.  Riding

The Conewago Creek at the intersection of Conewago Creek Road and Bower's Bridge Road.  8-18-15
View climbing up Bower's Bridge Road.  8-18-15

along Conewago Creek road offered a great view of the creek.  I spotted a few blue herons along my route today.   Today's ride finished the same as yesterday...with a ride up through the industrial park behind my house.   It is a great climb that is usually not that difficult.  Today's wind was right in my face...that's the nature of it though.   

David A. Raymond // August 18, 2015

Monday, August 17, 2015


The best part of living two minutes away from Northeastern Middle School is that I am home from work by 3PM each day.   That means after school rides are easily fit into my daily routine.   
My ride today also was an errand to Zirkle's Garage to pick up the keys to my son's car.  If the most direct route is taken, Zirkle's Garage is only a six mile round trip.  I was able to turn it into an eleven mile ride.  With the temps today hovering around 98 degrees that was plenty long enough.

David A. Raymond//August 17, 2015

Sunday, August 16, 2015


The first time I rode Potapsco Valley State Park in Maryland I was not a a good frame of mind.  It was a turning point in my life.   It was also the last ride I had with one of my very best friends, Mark Lentz, for a long time.  That was the year 2009.  

It's going to be a great day for a ride. 8-13-15.

After a rough patch, I finally got my life and my back together, Mark and I are much better friends than before, and Potapsco is still a fun place to ride.  At least I think so.  I felt a little bad on the way down when Mark mentioned that he would have rather gone to Michaux.  I think that we were both pleasantly surprised today.   After a few "hike-a-bikes" we ended up riding a lot of hilly and twisty single track.  Some of which we have never ridden before.  Even though the trails are color coded it is easy to get lost because, until recently, the Maryland Park Service made you purchase trail maps through the mail.  Looks like they got their shit together  because now you can download trail maps of the park for free from their website.  
Trail head near  the Suspension Bridge at Potapsco. 8-13-15

Usually I park near the Orange Grove Area near the rope suspension bridge that leads to the old mill on the other side of the Potapsco River.   If you know where to look, and what to look for, you can see remains of a busy mill and work area all over the park.

Remains of dwellings near Ridge Trail at Potapsco 8-13-15.

The trails are a combination of any type of riding you could possibly want.  Fast single track, hills, rock gardens, and stream crossings.  In just under 17 miles of riding we climbed 1,800 feet!   Not an easy day....but a fun one.   At one point Mark and I came across what he referred to as 
Dave, Mark, and open floor plan fixer upper. 8-13-15

an "open floor plan fixer upper."  Just one of many abandoned houses in the middle of the park.  We were both interested in the old mechanical gas pump next to the house.  
Antique pump next to the Connector Trail in Potapsco. 8-13-15

Me, because I use to work for Sunoco refurbishing old pumps....Mark, because he wanted it for his garage!  On Buzzard's Rock trail there is a beautiful overlook of the Potapsco River and the valley below.  

Ultimately, one of our favorite reasons for going to Potapsco is the Ice Cream Cottage in Arbutus, Maryland.    Just about 3 miles outside of the park.
Ice Cream Cottage in Arbutus, MD 8-13-15

It is, in my opinion, the only ice cream shop that is better than Mountain Creek Campground near Michaux State Forest.  The service is friendly, the made to order food (especially the roast beef sandwiches) are absolutely amazing, and the Hershey's ice cream is delicious.  I'm almost ashamed to say that this is a case of looking forward to the post ride stop more than looking forward to the actual ride.   

David A. Raymond//August 16, 2015

Wednesday, August 12, 2015


With two separate doctor appointments today I knew that this mornings ride wouldn't be a long one.  That doesn't mean that is wasn't fun.
Orchards on top of Starview Road.  In the distance you see Three Mile Island on the left and Brunner's Island on the right.

Even though Starview Road is a category 4 climb I enjoy starting a ride with it.  The view of the Susquehanna Valley at the top of Starview Road is one of my favorites.  Looking through the orchards in northeastern York County you can see Three Mile Island nuclear plant and the Brunner Island power plant.   

Rolling though the farm fields of the area I headed towards the Codorus Creek at a spot 
The Codorus Creek just feet before it merges with the Susquehanna River.

right before it merges with the Susquehanna River.  The road makes a sharp left at the creek and turns into River View Drive.   A nice stretch of flat bicycling that parallels the railroad tracks and heads
River View Drive and the railroad tracks heading towards Saginaw, PA.

towards the little town of Saginaw, PA.   My short ride today wrapped up with a quick trip through the town of Mt. Wolf, PA....the home of Pennsylvania's current governor, Tom Wolf.  Mount Wolf is also the home of Northeastern Middle School, my home away from home.

Northeastern Middle School sits on the hill above the town of Mt. Wolf.

Short on time does not mean short on fun!

David A. Raymond//August 12, 2015

Tuesday, August 11, 2015


I actually had no intention of riding my bike today.  The weather man had been predicting a washout.  I had planned to sit a home and work on an on-line course.  I also planned to take a break in the middle of the day to go to Central Market in downtown York, PA.  

Central Market building in York, PA.  Picture taken from Philadelphia Street.

Central Market in York, PA.  Picture taken from Beaver Street.

Well...the weather man got it wrong and the skies cleared up nicely by 9 AM.   So....naturally, instead of driving my truck into the market I decided to ride my bike there.  
My main reason for going to the Central Market in York was to visit Kramer at Market.  You see, Kramer's has become a vital part of my life.  
Quite the selection to choose from at Kramer at Market.

Central Market in York, PA

Parking my bike at Kramer at Market

Fifteen years ago I was diagnosed with hereditary high blood pressure
 and I needed to find something healthy to put into my body.  I found just the thing with the tea from Kramer at Market.  Besides...going to market is fun.  You can find just about anything there and the people are incredibly friendly.

To get home today I decided to take a longer route in order to get a few extra miles in.   I passed the statue of the Marquis de Lafayette in downtown York which stands in front of the Horatio Gates House.  

Statue of the Marquis de Lafayette raising a toast to his "good friend, General Washington."  I couldn't help but let him wear my helmet for a while.

Both the Marquis de Lafayette and Horatio Gates played a vital role in the American Revolutionary War.   Many historical events from the American Revolution happened in the city of York, PA.  On multiple occasions I have brought my students to the Colonial Complex in York to hear stories about Horatio Gates, the Marquis de Lafayette, the Second Continental Congress, and the Conway Cabal.  

Even on a supposedly rainy day....I still got a ride in.  Cool.

Life is a journey, not a destination.

David A. Raymond//August 11, 2015

Monday, August 10, 2015


Today my Specialized Roubaix road bike took me on a scenic ride through northeastern York County and along the Susquehanna River.  When I left the house this morning I had in mind that I wanted to do one thing....whatever else I did determined on where my bike took me.  The one thing I wanted to do was ride River Drive.  River Drive is as short road along the Susquehanna River between 
Cannas blooming on the York County banks of the Susquehanna River. 8-10-15
the Accomac Inn and the top of Furnace Road.  I always enjoy riding through Mt. Wolf and Saginaw, PA.  Both are quaint little towns in the school district in which I teach.  Once through Saginaw you will cross the Codorus Creek and the Codorus Furnace.  The furnace was built in 1765 by William Bennet on a 150-acre tract of land that was purchased from the Penn family.  In 1771, it was purchased by James Smith, a signer of the Declaration of Independence.  
Codorus Furance // June 2014

Alex and David Raymond next to Codorus Furnace // June 2014.
Much of the ammunition used by the Continental Army in the American Revolutionary War and then again in the War of 1812 was forged at the furnace.  

Immediately after the furnace you will have the joy of experiencing a category 4 climb up Furnace Road.   I know that sounds intimidating but it is, in fact, not a bad climb.   Once you are near the top turn left onto River Drive....a very nice (and fast) descend back towards the Susquehanna River. 

River Road rolling next to the Susquehanna River.  

Wildlife on the Susquehanna River 8-10-15

Susquehanna River looking north.   York County is on the left and Lancaster County is on the right.

Susquehanna River looking south towards Wrightsville, PA

If you look at my Garmin stats for this ride you will notice that my average speed isn't that high.   Being a history nerd, and a teacher of American History, I often stop to take pictures of things that I can use in my class.   Probably the neatest thing on 

Grave of C.S.A. UNKNOWN.  The marker was dedicated in 2013.  

David Raymond next to C.S.A. UNKNOWN // April 2014

River Drive a is a grave stone for an unknown Confederate Soldier who was killed prior the the Battle of Gettysburg in 1863.  
A little further down River Drive you will see the Accomac Inn.  A fantastic place to have lunch or dinner (and even get ice cream).  The setting along the river couldn't be any more perfect.  The Accomac's history dates back to 1722.  It is truly a unique experience.

This ride proves one don't have to travel very far from your back yard to experience amazing and beautiful things.

David A. Raymond//August 10, 2015

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