GET A GRIP -- August 3, 2016

"I love this place!"  The exact words muttered over and over again by my good friend, Kristian Hains, as we navigated the Allegrippis Trails near Raystown Lake in Huntington County, Pennsylvania on Tuesday.   Ranked as Pennsylvania's #1 mountain bike destination by Allegrippis Trail system was created by the Army Corps of Engineers in tandem with the International Mountain Biking Association.  All this is possible because the land around Raystown Lake (which was created in 1973 for the purpose of controlling floods, providing electricity, and supporting recreational activities) is owned by the Army Corps of Engineers and has never been privately developed.  Literally, it's 30+ miles of trails that are a series of stacked loops (which can provide for seemingly endless trail combinations ) created BY mountain bikers FOR mountain bikers!  

Kristian Hains riding Ray's Revenge -- August 2, 2016
"I'm sure I've had more fun in my life...but right now I can't think of when!" -- Kristian Hains//August 2, 2016

Raystown Lake is unique in that the land around the lake is owned by the Army Corps of Engineers.  There is very little built along side of the lake allowing for the treeline to come right down to the water.  Covering 8,300 acres, it is the largest lake fully contained in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania -- August 2, 2016

Map of the Alligrippis Trail System (thank you Rothrock Outfitters)

A screen shot of our ride as recorded by my Garmin.  You can compare it to the map of the trail system above -- August 2, 2016

"CAUTION DIPS" can be found posted in a number of places on the trails.  If your going to ride the trails at Allegrippis you definitely need to get a grip and hold on tight.  It's almost like being on a roller coaster.  The trails just flow in a way unlike any other trail system in Pennsylvania...allowing you to reach speeds that can be completely unexpected.  If you're not careful, the trails have the ability to launch you right off your bike....or worse yet down the embankment towards the lake.  From the trail head off of Bakers Hollow Road we began riding clockwise starting on Buck trail and included Allegrippis Trail, Ridge Trail, Ray's Revenge, Sidewinder, Osprey, Hydro Loop, Eagle Trail, Sleek Dog, and Fawn Trail...constantly making left turns at each intersection in order to ride as much of the perimeter of the system as possible.  

CAUTION DIPS can be founded posted along the trails -- August 2,  2016

Kristian captured this pic of me on Eagle Trail -- August 2, 2016

Glenn getting into the action on Ray's Revenge -- August 2, 2016

Dave Raymond, Kristain Hains, Glenn Medice at the base of Hydro Loop -- August 2, 2016

At first, Kristian was nervous about coming out with Glenn and I.  I got a text from him a few nights before the ride.  He was concerned that he would "hold us back."  My response to him was that "Glenn orders his meals from the 55+ menu at Denny's and I just had back surgery....who are you holding back?"  With that, the tone for the day was set.  

Glenn & Kristain at the intersection of Allegrippis and Ridge Trail -- August 2, 2016

Kristian and Glenn taking a moment to admire each other's bikes -- August 2, 2016

After riding Kristain's bike for a while  Glenn broke one of the most sacred mountain biking commandments:  THOU SHALL NOT COVET THEY BUDDY'S MOUNTAIN BIKE.  The smile on his face says it all! -- August 2, 2016

Kristian Hains on Eagle Trail -- August 2, 2016

Dave Raymond wrapping up Hydro Loop -- August 2, 2016

Along the way Kristain and I fixed Glenn's front derailleur -- August 2, 2016

Kristian, Glenn, Dave on Allegrippis Trail -- August 2, 2016

Post ride pic (Glenn, Dave, Kristian) -- August 2, 2016

Glenn found the ice cream a few miles away at Eats 'N Treats near Raystown Lake -- August 2, 2016

When all was said and done, we covered about 17 miles of trail in just a few short hours of ride time.  This was the first time that the three of us had ridden together since 2009.  It's great to have Kristian back in the fold.  So far...within the past few months, the original group has gotten back on the trails....Mark, Timmy, Mikey, Glenn, Billy, and now Kristian.   Now we just all need to get together for a some "group therapy."  The summer of 2016 has shaped up to be one of the best...but get a grip and hold on tight...looks like the best rides are still ahead of us.

Life is a journey, not a destination.

David A.  Raymond -- August 3, 2016

You can capture lightning in a bottle twice!  -- Kristian Hains 2008 (Ridgeline Trail) 2016 (Ray's Revenge)

Here are my GARMIN stats from my ride on the Allegrippis Trails with Glenn and Kristian...