The earliest picture I have of me on a bicycle was taken when I was one year old. It's of my father holding me steady on a ten speed bike. I think it's safe to say that neither my mom, nor my dad, would have ever thought I would one day grow up to be an adult who would derive so much joy and inspiration from riding a bike.
|As always...thank you to YOUR TRUE NATURE for the super cool bookmarks and magnets. Your gifts and work continue to inspire me.|
Hanging on the refrigerator in my kitchen is a magnet that the good people at Your True Nature sent me a few months ago. It reads: ADVICE FROM A BICYCLE. Just one of a few gifts that they sent me after reading my post, OBSERVATIONS FROM OHIOPYLE. The folks at YOUR TRUE NATURE also inspired me to write ADVICE FROM A SQUIRREL and, one of my favorite posts, ADVICE FROM A MOUNTAIN. Decades of bike riding have taught me a lot of lessons. Some of those lessons were taught to me (thank you, Mark)...and some I had to figure out on my own. Interestingly, many of them can be summed up in the seven phrases printed on the magnet hanging in my kitchen. Again, many thanks to YOUR TRUE NATURE for inspiring me with these your pieces of advice from a bicycle. I hope you don't mind...but I added one more (and in my opinion...the best) piece of advice to the end of the list. Enjoy!
STAY ON TRACK
To me, the key to biking...and to life...is staying on track. Figure out what you want to do, where you want to go, who you want to be...and go there. The trails won't always be marked, paths will often diverge, and sometimes you'll have to make your own way. Just keep your eyes on the trail ahead of you.
|Just like mountain biking, in life there are often plenty of signs to help keep you on track. Taken while mountain biking near the Bedford Springs Hotel -- January 13, 2018|
|Those signs can be easily missed if you aren't paying attention....sort of like the sign that diverted Baughman Trail (in Ohiopyle State Park) off to the right and away from the mud and muck that I ended up riding in. -- June 15, 2017|
|No matter how hard you try to stay on track...ultimately, you'll come to a fork in the road. Thankfully, All Trails Go Somewhere! Mark Lentz in Michaux State Forest. -- July 21, 2017|
|To Glenn's chagrin...staying on track sometimes means inventing a new way forward....like enduring a cold stream crossing and an unauthorized trek through a construction site. Glenn Medice riding at the Lakes. -- May 2, 2017|
LEAN INTO LIFE'S CURVES
Trails, like life, don't always lead you where you want to go...but they always go somewhere...and that somewhere is often really beautiful!
|I love this trail in Michaux State Forest. It winds and curves through a freshly logged area of the mountain. -- October 30, 2016|
|This curve descends down a particularly beautiful area in Michaux State Forest that...for some reason...I've always called Bear Knob. I think I saw the name on an old ATV map. -- August 1, 2017|
My boss calls it, "Keeping Your Triangle Balanced." Family, Work, Leisure. We all can be guilty of focusing too much on one of those three things and neglecting the others. Life, like riding a bicycle, is a balancing act. Leaning too far in any one direction will knock you too the ground.
|Making my way down Trail 7 at Rocky Ridge County Park. In my opinion, one of the most fun and probably the most difficult trail in the park. There is a rock garden about 2/3 of the way down the trail that I've never been able to make it through. Way to go, Mikey Nardelli! You're the only person I've ever seen ride it! -- November 3, 2017|
|This stupid log in Swatara State Park throws me off all the time. The single log is damp enough for me to constantly slip off of it and the two perpendicular logs are annoyingly spaced just right to stop my momentum. Tim, for some reason, has no issue with it. Tim Sindlinger and Matt Linnane. -- June 6, 2017|
|The best rock at Rocky Ridge County Park! Staying balanced on it is much easier than you would first expect. -- September 15, 2017|
|Matt Linnane dodging downed trees and staying balanced as he rides above Mountain Creek in Michaux State Forest. -- August 15, 2017|
KNOW WHEN TO PUT THE BRAKES ON
There are times in life, just as on a bike, that we need to put the brakes on and slow down. Maybe we need to get our bearings...maybe we need to watch out for danger...or maybe we just need to stop and take in the moment. It's okay to put the brakes on every once in a while. Don't worry about your STRAVA.
|Kristian and I putting the brakes on to admire the beauty of the Patapsco River in Patapsco Valley State Park, MD. -- October 15, 2016|
|Yeah...I'm that guy. If the sign says "Walk Your Bike Across The Bridge" that's what I do. Patapsco Valley State Park. -- July 1, 2016|
|This is one of Glenn's favorite pictures. Glenn, Matt, and I took a break on a well placed bench in Michaux State Forest. -- July 25, 2017|
|Yes....I will put the brakes on for snakes. I hate snakes. Thanks, Mark, for pointing it out. Michaux State Forest. -- October 30, 2016|
|I will definitely put the brakes on for a black bear! Michaux State Forest. -- July 31, 2017|
COAST WHEN YOU NEED TO
Someone once mentioned to me how surprised they were when they realized that I didn't just mountain bike "downhill." Life is full of uphill climbs. Actually, you'll spend exponentially more time and energy climbing up than you will riding down. When you do get to ride down...go ahead and coast.
You deserve it.
|Mark Lentz and I coasting down a super slick single track that winds underneath the power lines in Michaux State Forest. -- October 10, 2016|
|Glenn Medice and I coasting down a trail in Michaux State Forest. -- August 15, 2017|
|Mark and Kristian coasting and chatting on a fire road in Michaux State Forest. -- October 30, 2016|
DON'T LET THE TOUGH SPOTS DERAIL YOU
Inevitably, things get tough. Be the person who looks for solutions...not the person who just sees problems. S**t happens...don't let it derail you. There's always a way around, through, or over anything in your way.
|Tim navigates this tree build-up in Michaux State Forest with greatest of easy. -- June 28, 2016|
|This tough spot at on the Parkway Trails in Harrisburg, PA didn't derail Chris and I...it just made us backtrack a little bit. -- March 3, 2018|
|Love, love, love this picture of Glenn navigating Grave Ridge in Michaux State Forest. -- July 25, 2017|
GET IN GEAR
The saying goes..."We all have gears we don't use." Use them. They'll help you get out of the valleys.
|I took this amazing pic of Mark as he started his climb up Trail 8 at Rocky Ridge County Park. Climbs like this are the reason bikes have so many gears. -- January 26, 2018|
RIDING IS ALWAYS MORE FUN WITH FRIENDS
My contribution to the list. I don't think I would enjoy mountain biking even a fraction of the amount that I do if it wasn't for the friends that I share these experiences with. Just over the past two years, I've had the honor of spending time (doing the things I love) with these people. They are ALL so special to me and mean the world to me. Thank you, all!
|Mark Lentz and Dave Raymond on an epic ride in Tuscarora State Forest. -- July 6, 2017|
|Dave Raymond and Chris Keller on one of our many afternoon rides at Rocky Ridge County Park. -- July 13, 2017|
|Back row: Tim Sindlinger, Glenn Medice, and Matt Linnane. We took this pic at the end of Grave Ridge Trail in Michaux State Forest. -- August 15, 2017|
|Mike Alicea, Brent Shirk, and Dave Raymond on the Park Way Trails in Harrisburg, PA. -- December 28, 2017|
|Dave Raymond and Mike Alessandroni riding near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. -- August 3, 2016|
|Taking an Easter Sunday ride with my son, Alex. -- April 16, 2017|
|Riding with my very best friend of all...Robin! -- April 9, 2017|
Life is a journey...not a destination.
David A. Raymond -- March 21, 2018
|I was one year old when this picture of my father and I was taken outside of my parent's apartment in Fishertown, Pennsylvania. -- 1974|
Here are the GARMIN maps and data from a few of the rides featured in this post. Happy riding!
Interested in biking or hiking some of the trails featured in this post? Check out the TRAIL MAPS and TRAIL HEADS tabs on the ALL TRAILS LEAD TO ICE CREAM website.
All of my posts are available at ALL TRAILS LEAD TO ICE CREAM and, if you get the chance, be sure to visit YOURTRUENATURE.COM!