It's no secret that I love mountain biking. It's also not a secret that like to ride in Michaux State Forest and that ultimately, no matter where I ride, all trails will lead me to ice cream. Not just me though. SOLO RIDES are few and far between...I love riding with friends. They are the ones that make every ride special...and over the years, their friendship, their personalities, their love of the outdoors, and their love for mountain biking have helped turned a hobby into a passion. I'm so fortunate and privileged to have them in my life and out on the trails with me.
|All the links of the chain: Mark Lentz, Kristian Hains, Glenn Medice, Timmy Sindlinger, Mikey Nardelli, Kevin Hardy, Bill Graves, Mike Alicea, Matt Linnane, Brent Shirk, & Chris Keller|
Without my friends I'm not sure I would mountain bike nearly as much as I do...I'd be just one link of the chain. All of us, together, keep this thing moving. I love Michaux, I love my Stumpjumpers, and I love going for ice cream afterwards...but I thought I'd get their input on a few questions and see what it is that they love. Here are their responses in the order in which I received them. Thanks for the assist on this one, guys!
CURRENT BIKE: Frankenbike built on a Sette frame. 29inch Cross Max wheels and a host of used/donated parts.
FAVORITE BIKE: The one I own.
FAVORITE PLACE TO MOUNTAIN BIKE or FAVORITE TRAIL: Crested Butte, CO. Hard, fast single track, beautiful mountain scenery, high altitude lung burn.
FAVORITE POST RIDE MEAL or TREAT: Ice cream, of course.
CURRENT BIKE: Specialized Epic Hard Tail
FAVORITE BIKE: Surly Karate Monkey 29er
FAVORITE PLACE TO MOUNTAIN BIKE or FAVORITE TRAIL: Rattling Creek, north of Harrisburg. It's a challenging ride with a mix of rocks, rock gardens, and more. An occasional fast, mossy single track provides a smile and some relief, but by the end of the ride I'm spent! Great ride, though, and one of my favs.
FAVORITE POST RIDE MEAL or TREAT: Ice cream, duh.
|Tim and I met Matt while riding in Swatara State Park back in 2015. He fits right in with the group! Left to Right: Matt in Michaux State Forest (August 4, 2015); Matt riding in Swatara State Park (September 5, 2015)|
CURRENT BIKE: Cannondale F29
FAVORITE BIKE: Specialized Fuse plus size (don't tell my Cannondale)
FAVORITE PLACE TO MOUNTAIN BIKE or FAVORITE TRAIL: Mt. Gretna/Governor Dick because it's an amalgam of adventure from rail trail to technical hard rock gardens. I can take anything from an easy recovery ride with my daughter to a kick butt challenging technical ride that I feel the need to pad up for.
FAVORITE POST RIDE MEAL or TREAT: Tie betwen sticky buns and BBQ. Tough to choose because I really like to eat.
CURRENT BIKE: 2014 Excaliber 6
FAVORITE BIKE: My 1991 Gary Fisher Tassajara was my all-time favorite bike. I had it for 18 years and it never let me down. I put that bike through hell! Haha!
FAVORITE PLACE TO MOUNTAIN BIKE or FAVORITE TRAIL: I love riding at Rocky Ridge County Park due to the close proximity to my home and the vast number of trails that really test one's riding ability.
FAVORITE POST RIDE MEAL or TREAT: I usually eat a banana topped with natural peanut butter.
|Mark has been one of my best friends for a long time. He and I both teach in the same school district and he and I share a brain about a long list of topics. Mark's also been quite the mentor to me...I've learned a lot about mountain biking and the outdoors from Mark. Thanks, bud! Top to Bottom//Left to Right: Mark in Swatara State Park (January 16, 2012); Mark riding in Michaux State Forest (October 30, 2016); Mark and his "dirty" bike in Michaux State Forest (October 12, 2015); Mark on one of his all-time favorite trails: Ridgeline in Dupont State Forest, N.C. (August 2008)|
CURRENT BIKE: Niner Carbon Air 9 & Steel Sir 9
FAVORITE BIKE: A dirty bike
FAVORITE PLACE TO MOUNTAIN BIKE or FAVORITE TRAIL: Any gnarly single track. Rothrock State Forest or western North Carolina or Wharton State Forest, NJ. My favorite trail is Ridgeline in Dupont State Forest, NC because if flows like no other trail. It is sex on two wheels.
FAVORITE POST RIDE MEAL or TREAT: Duh. Ice cream.
|Brent lives across the street from me. He's an awesome guy and a great family man. Brent get's out whenever he can and as long as it doesn't interfere his two boy's sports schedules. Brent and I have been riding together for almost seven years now! Left to Right: Brent in Rocky Ridge County Park (September 23, 2016); Brent in Patapsco Valley State Park (December 30, 2013)|
CURRENT BIKE: Specialized Stumpjumper
FAVORITE BIKE: My current one.
FAVORITE PLACE TO MOUNTAIN BIKE or FAVORITE TRAIL: Rocky Ridge County Park. With my busy schedule it is where I usually ride.
FAVORITE POST RIDE MEAL or TREAT: Nothing in particular.
|Tim's my original riding partner and one of my very best friends. He and I have been riding together since the year 2000! Top to Bottom//Left to Right: Tim riding Rocky Ridge County Park (November 26, 2011); Tim riding GRAVE RIDGE in Michaux State Forest (August 9, 2016); Tim in Michaux State Forest (August 9, 2016); Tim showing off in Michaux State Forest (June 21, 2016)|
CURRENT BIKE: Niner
FAVORITE BIKE: Niner
FAVORITE PLACE TO MOUNTAIN BIKE or FAVORITE TRAIL: Michaux--the terrain makes you feel like you are down South with the foliage and creek crossings to the Midwest with the sandy soil and pine trees...all within just a few miles!
FAVORITE POST RIDE MEAL or TREAT: Ice cream never tasted so good! (pretty much the only time I eat it)
CURRENT BIKE: State Pulsar SS 29er
FAVORITE BIKE: Misfit Dissent
FAVORITE PLACE TO MOUNTAIN BIKE or FAVORITE TRAIL: American Standard in Jim Thorpe, PA. A good day ride and a variety of trails.
FAVORITE POST RIDE MEAL or TREAT: Roburrito's
|Kevin and I have known each other since 2003. Kevin's a super good guy. Left to Right: Kevin riding at the Lakes in York County (November 7, 2009); Kevin taking on a see-saw in the Lehigh Valley (August 7, 2010)|
CURRENT BIKE: Trek Fuel EX6
FAVORITE BIKE: Trek Fuel EX6 (only my second bike--but it's been heavily modified over the years)
FAVORITE PLACE TO MOUNTAIN BIKE or FAVORITE TRAIL: Lehigh Mountain south of Bethlehem, incredible amount of climbing rewarded with a lot of gnarly downhill.
FAVORITE POST RIDE MEAL or TREAT: Roadside pulled pork and potatoes.
|Chris and I have been riding together since 2010. He's also been a great partner and a vital member of team WHITE SQUIRREL! Top to Bottom//Left to Right: Chris in Rocky Ridge County Park (August 9, 2015); Chris in Rocky Ridge (August 10, 2011); Chris riding the Lakes (November 26, 2011); Chris riding through one of the tunnels that travels under interstate 83 at the Lakes (June 4, 2011)|
CURRENT BIKE: Old.
FAVORITE BIKE: One newer than mine.
FAVORITE PLACE TO MOUNTAIN BIKE or FAVORITE TRAIL: I will take any dirt trail at this point. My ride time is so minimal. I'll take what I can get.
FAVORITE POST RIDE MEAL or TREAT: As much as I enjoy eating ice cream with you...my preference, by far, is a craft brew beer.
Life is a journey...not a destination.
David A. Raymond -- February 25, 2017
|I cannot leave out Kristian! Arguably the best rider of the group and a super good friend! Left: Kristian riding Ridgeline Trail in Dupont State Forest, NC (August 2008). Right: Kristian likes ice cream...but he LOVES Roburrito's (September 23, 2016)|
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Here's a list of GARMIN maps and stats from a few of the rides featured in this post:
August 9, 2016 -- Mountain biking in Michaux and Grave Ridge Trail with Timmy.
October 12, 2015 -- Columbus Day exploring in Michaux with Mark.
September 5, 2015 -- Mountain biking Swatara State Park