There's a small section of trail located at the base of trail #7 at Rocky Ridge County Park that I have NEVER successfully ridden. As a matter of fact, the only person that I've ever seen pedal over that rock garden is Mikey Nardelli...and he made it look like child's play. There are some trails and obstacles just aren't worth it. I think the older I get the more I appreciate my health, my body, my family, and well...my life! A good sense of fear can sometimes be a good thing and I find no shame in sometimes saying, "I'll hike this one."
|Riding a log build up at Patapsco Valley State Park, Maryland -- July 19, 2011|
Through the years, all of our skill levels have increased exponentially. I can remember, years ago, watching Mark and Tim descend down hills that I never in my life would think were possible to ride. I've seen Kristian hop his mountain bike from obstacle to obstacle with incredible grace. I've witnessed Mikey ride, as smooth as butter, some crazy cool rock gardens. Me? I tend, along with Mark, to lead the way...willing to let others in the group prove to me that something is rideable. Logs. Hills. Rocks. If you can think of it...it's a pretty good bet that we've tried to ride it.
|Mark, Mikey, and I came across this wooden bridge while riding in Bald Eagle State Forest near Raymond B. Winter State Park. Mikey was the first to brave it. -- July 13, 2011|
|I was in awe of Kevin Hardy as he played effortlessly on this teeter-totter in the Lehigh Valley -- August 7, 2010|
|This steep hillside in Dupont State Forest, NC was scarier looking than it was scary. I just put my chest on my seat and held on tight! -- August 2008|
|Kristian makes EVERYTHING look easy...especially these logs in Patapsco Valley State Park -- October 15, 2016|
|Near Cascade Falls Trail in Patapsco Valley State Park this steep cliff is now closed off...but before they rerouted the trail with these "mountain bike friendly" steps I would often ride down it...and then turn around and come back up! -- All pics taken in 2012|
|Nothing beats a well placed rock to make the ride a little easier. Michaux State Forest -- April 7, 2012|
|This washed out mess next to an exclusion fence in Michaux State Forest made for some pretty tricky mountain biking -- May 8, 2010|
|Riding this dry creek bed (turned rock garden) in Michaux State Forest is a piece of cake for Kristian -- August 28, 2016|
|Well placed logs smooth out this section of the ride at Rocky Ridge County Park -- September 18, 2014|
|These table rocks at Rattling Creek are a natural part of the trail. Clockwise starting top left: Dave Raymond, Mark Lentz, Tim Sindlinger, Kristian Hains -- March 7, 2009|
|Tim has no problems whatsoever with this pine tree build-up in Michaux State Forest -- June 28, 2016|
Riding the rocks in Rocky Ridge County Park -- September 23, 2016
|Look at Glenn go! Not bad for a man who can use his AARP card to get us discounts on ice cream! Michaux State Forest -- June 28, 2016|
|Often, it's best to stand back and watch how the guy in front of you gets through the rock garden. Left: Chris Keller in Michaux State Forest (August 25, 2015). Right: Kevin Hardy in on Indian Trail in Bald Eagle State Forest (November 2008)|
Common sense has long since replaced peer pressure. It's an unwritten rule within the group that no one has to "drink the Pabst" and feel pressured ride what they aren't comfortable with. We've all become pretty good at spotting "easy buttons" to get around the trickiest of trails. Shortly after he began riding with us, Matt Linnane told Tim and I that he loved that our rides never turned into races or pissing contests. It's one of my favorite things about the guys I ride with and it helps to make all of our rides rideable...for everyone involved.
Life is a journey...not a destination.
David A. Raymond -- January 21, 2017
|Not everything is rideable....just ask Timmy! -- July 12, 2016|
If you enjoyed reading this...by all mean, please tweet it! As always, here's a list of GARMIN maps and stats from a few of the rides featured in this post:
Riding Michaux State Forest with Glenn and Timmy (June 28, 2016)
Riding Micahux State Forest with Kristian (August 28, 2016)
Riding Patapsco Valley State Park with Kristian (October 15, 2016)