By April of 2007 my 2006 Stumpjumper was only a few months old...and there was absolutely nothing wrong with it. Yet, there I was test riding a demo bike from Gung Ho that the shop was willing to sell to me. A fluorescent green 2006 full suspension Specialized Epic. I had no need for it...that 2006 Stumpjumper still ranks as one of my favorite bikes...but, for some reason, I found myself in my back yard, showing the bike to my buddy, Glenn. To this day, I still remember his words, "It's all about the color, Davy!" Shortly thereafter, the bike was hanging in my garage permanently (well, as you're about to find out, not quite so permanently.)
|Dave Raymond & Glenn Medice in Rothrock State Forest. Notice my green Epic and Glenn's red Santa Cruz. He's smiling in the pic...but believe me, he had some buyer's remorse! (well, did he? He used Mikey's credit card!) -- 2007|
|Yeah...I raced that green Epic hard! This pic was taken at the Marysville Team Relay -- April 2008|
Now, I can't leave out the fact that Glenn's the guy who, when we took our first big trip together, went to West Virginia with a blue Cannondale Rush ( I think) and came home with a red Santa Cruz! This wasn't an even swap...Glenn downgraded...and he used Mikey's credit card to make up the difference! And to the best of my recollection...he bought an inferior bike that had some serious shifting issues simply because it was red! It's all about the color...isn't that right, Glenn?
I owned, rode, and raced the heck out of that green Epic for just about two years before I replaced it with a brand new 2009 carbon fiber, full-suspension Epic. Besides the fact that the bike was fast...I had found a color scheme that I loved...red and black. My 2012 Roubaix road bike is red and black...my 2011 Stumpjumper (yeah...I didn't have the Epic long) had a really cool red, black, and silver color scheme, my helmet was red, my gloves were red, my Camelbak is red, (as long as it was clean) I would sport a red and black Gung Ho cycling jersey, and hell....even the tattoo on my right arm is red & black!
|Bringing home my 2009 full suspension, carbon fiber Specialized Epic. It had a white seat. Who the hell puts a white seat on a mountain bike? -- April 2009|
|When my 2012 Specialized Roubaix came into the shop, Jay Zech told me I could come in and build it myself. Pretty cool! -- February 2012|
|Proudly displaying my brand new 2011 Stumpjumper while on a trip to Raymond B. Winter State Park -- July 11, 2011|
This past Spring, after 5 years of riding my 2011 Stumpjumper, I broke with tradition and bought my bright orange 2016 carbon fiber Stumpjumper. I'll admit...I had doubts at first. It wasn't red, my helmet wouldn't match, my gloves didn't match, and being a person with some serious ADD it was hard to break from tradition and routine. But the more I looked at it, the more I loved it. It's all about the color...and instead of trying to match the orange on the bike I embraced a green "White Squirrel" t-shirt that I purchased in Brevard, North Carolina and bought a much needed new helmet...fluorescent green! Bright orange and bright green...now I proudly display my latest color scheme.
|My first ride ever on my new 2016 Stumpjumper. Pedaling Swatara State Park with Mark -- March 5, 2016|
|Sporting my new orange bike and green helmet in Michaux State Forest on my final mountain bike ride prior to my back surgery last week -- October 30, 2016|
Often, the SQUIRRELS WITH CAMERAS who so diligently help me document our rides take a few shots that really stand out to me....again, because of the color. A few of the pics took advantage of some pretty cool filters built into my smart phone, some pics are of our bikes, some are of us riding, and some are just of us just hanging out...but all are unique because they capture the beauty and color all around us. Here are a few examples.
|I took this "dead of winter" pic while on a ride in Michaux with my next door neighbor, Mike. My 2011 Stumpjumper is leaning against a boulder in Michaux State Forest & is highlighted by some of the green moss and mountain laurel that still grows, even in the winter, near mountain creek -- January 2, 2016|
|I love this Spring time pic of Tim and I riding at the Lakes. There are no leaves on the trees yet, but the pink and purple blossoms are clearly visible and are the highlight of the photo -- April 28, 2013|
|Mark and I found found this flaming red foliage on the trees while on a Columbus Day exploration ride in Michaux State Forest -- October 12, 2015|
|Dave Raymond and Mike Alicea riding at Rocky Ridge. At the time my Galaxy S3 had this super cool "red" filter on the camera. I used it a lot just because I liked the effect -- September 18, 2014|
|I think the koolest part of this pic of Kristian and I taking a a break from riding in Patapsco Valley State Park is the reflection in the Patapsco River -- October 15, 2016|
|This pic of Tim and I was taken at the Lakes. I love how the sun pokes through the grey clouds and highlights the leaves on the left behind us -- October 17, 2015|
|Probably the coolest Autumn mountain biking pic in my collection. I love this pic of Tim and I riding through the red foliage at Rocky Ridge County Park. The autumn colors really stand out in this pic -- October 18, 2014|
|I have no clue what filter I used for this picture of Tim riding down the power lines at Rocky Ridge...but it's pretty darn cool! -- October 18, 2014|
|Some random squirrel caught this pic of me riding at the Lakes. With all the leaves off of the trees, my red helmet really stands out against the rest of the picture -- November 18, 2012|
|I love blues and greens...and this pic of me riding at the Lakes has both. Pretty awesome! -- June 1, 2014|
|Mark snagged this pic of me taking a break while riding the mountain trails near State College, PA. I must have left the "red only' filter on (the only color you see is red on my helmet)...the result is a really kool pic! -- June 28, 2014|
|Tim captured this pic of me coming up a hill at the Lakes. The colors all around me are beautiful -- October 24, 2015|
It's all about the color...but I'll go on the record here and admit that my most impressive and beautiful pics are purely accidental. I could never reproduce them. It's this accidental color, in my opinion, that highlights the beauty of the nature I get to experience while riding and shows exactly why I, and my friends, love mountain biking. Whether it's a pic of the Lakes here in York County, a view of the Susquehanna River, a sunflower field a few miles from my house, a desert cactus 3,000 miles away in Arizona, or an autumn view of Michaux State Forest from our favorite vista...I have to say, Glenn...you were correct, my friend. It IS all about the color.
|My wife says this is the most beautiful picture I've ever taken. Up until last week it was the pic on the top of my blog. I took this pick while riding at the Lakes with Tim -- October 17, 2015|
|This, in my opinion, is just a really awesome picture. I took it while on a road ride near Mount Wolf, Pennsylvania -- September 2, 2016|
|These red flowers really stick out against the overcast sky and the Susquehanna River while on a road ride near Wrightsville, Pennsylvania -- August 10, 2015|
|Laurel Lake in Michaux State Forest -- October 30, 2016|
|I took this pic of a cactus while hiking South Mountain near Phoenix, Arizona -- June 10, 2016|
|The Fall colors were all around Tim and I as we rode the trails around Lake Redman -- October 24, 2015|
|The vista at Michaux State Forest. My favorite spot. I was completely stoked to be able to go there with Mark & Kristian once more before my back surgery last week. The foliage in Michaux State Forest was at it's peak. Beautiful! -- October 30, 2016|
Life is a journey...not a destination.
David A. Raymond -- November 11, 2016
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|Yep...when there aren't any squirrels to be found my new green helmet makes a perfect camera stand! -- October 30, 2016|