Tuesday, February 12, 2019


 January and February tend to provide a lot of sleet, rain, snow, ice, and bone chilling weather here in York County, Pennsylvania. For sure, not ideal conditions for biking...but, I made a commitment to opt outside as much as possible in 2019...and I'm sticking with it. Conditions and time have kept me from heading to the local county parks to mountain bike.  Likewise, gravel and rock salt have kept me (for the most part) off of my road bike.  Still, as I came to realize last winter, I have plenty of OPTIONS to get out and do what I love to do.

I took advantage of  the extra couple hours of daylight and rode my mountain bike along and around the train tracks in Manchester, PA after school let out early in anticipation of a pending snow storm. -- January 19, 2019

An Arctic blast hit the northeast late last month.  The first "snow day" I had this school year wasn't for was for the downright frigid temperatures.  Temps so cold that I had to balance my desire to be outside and ride my bike with the fact that being outside too long was just plain dangerous.  My go-to ride for a day like this is the northern section of the York County Heritage Rail Trail... providing a combination of proximity, scenery, and the the option to turn around and end the ride at any point.  Three miles into the ride I decided to head back. Even with all my cold weather gear...I began to feel the extreme cold on my skin.  A six mile ride on that particular day was perfectly fine by me.

Riding (in below zero wind chills) the Heritage Rail Trail along the Codorus Creek in York County. -- January 21, 2019

Completely covered in cold weather gear for my short, but exhilarating, ride on the Heritage Rail Trail. -- January 21, 2019

My Stumpjumper resting on a cascade of ice. -- January 21, 2019

Riding snow covered roads in Manchester, Pennsylvania. -- February 2, 2019

Making first tracks in a field below Orndorff Elementary School in Manchester, Pennsylvania. -- February 2, 2019

I took advantage of my second snow day of this school year with a ride around and above the town of Manchester, PA with my next door neighbor, Mike Alicea. -- February 11, 2019

I've also discovered that...when conditions aren't optimal for traditional road or mountain biking...I can create little adventures in my own my neighborhood.  By zipping in and out of the parks, fields, and alley ways near my house, I can piece together a 10ish mile snow ride.  In years past, these would have been the days that I just didn't ride.  Perhaps I would have gone running (those days are behind me now)...but I more than likely wouldn't have been riding.  So far this year, I unfortunately haven't yet made it up to Rocky Ridge, over to Michaux, or to any of the other places I typically mountain bike...but I am out there doing my thing.  I have been riding...a little here...a little there.  As much as I possibly can.

The snow and cold haven't kept me completely off of my road bike.  Last Saturday, I took an amazing ride into York City to pick up some things at York's Central Market.  I took the round-about-way home (riding through a tunnel under Interstate 83)...making for a super fun ride. -- February 9, 2019

Life is a journey...not a destination.

David A. Raymond -- February 12, 2019

I guess you could say that my wife and I have also been hiking here...hiking there...  We've gotten out for at least one hike every weekend this year.  It's becoming a nice habit.  David and Robin Raymond in Michaux State Forest. -- February 10, 2019

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Here are the GARMIN maps and data from rides and hikes featured in this post.  #OptOutside

All of my posts are available at ALL TRAILS LEAD TO ICE CREAM and, if you get the chance, be sure to visit the good folks at 


Sunday, January 13, 2019


I first heard of REI's #OptOutside initiative back in November.  GUNG HO BIKES, the bike shop at which I work, followed REI's lead and decided to close its doors on Black Friday to host a series of rides.  What a great idea...encouraging more and more people to take a break from the stress of everyday life, disconnect from screen time, and enjoy time outdoors...reconnecting with nature and spending time with family and friends!  

The three inches of snow that fell overnight might keep me off my road bike...but it won't stop me from opting to be outside! -- January 13, 2019

The new year is a time for new resolutions.  Typically, I don't make them...but this year, at the suggestion of my wonderful wife, Robin, the two of us have one.  We are going to try to commit to doing 52 hikes in 2019.  That's at least one a week for the next year...and, as of right now, we are three for three:  three weeks in and three hikes in the book!  I don't want to stop there, though.  This year, I've decided to embrace "Opt Outside" as my theme and spend as much time as possible outdoors doing the things that I love with the people that I love!  So basically, my resolution for the new year isn't necessarily to do something drastically different with my's just to commit to doing the things I love, in the places that I love, with the people I love more often!  For me...that means making it a priority...regardless of whether or not I have to dodge rain drops or face wind opt outside as much as my schedule will allow.

Opting to start the year off with a hike at Gifford Pinchot State Park.  David Raymond, Robin Raymond, Alex Raymond, and Emma Sadowski. -- January 1, 2019

Despite the rain that fell all morning, Matt and I opted for some mountain biking at Swatara State Park. -- January 5, 2019

Matt riding in Swatara State Park. He shared with me, while riding last Saturday, that this year he plans to be on the bike as much as possible! -- January 5, 2019

Post ride pic of my bike at Swatara State Park.  -- January 5, 2019

Hiking Rocky Ridge County Park.  Alex, Robin, and David Raymond -- January 6, 2019

Alex, Robin, and bundled up and enjoy the sub-freezing temps for a fun hike at Chickies Rock County Park. -- January 12, 2019

David and Alex Raymond at Chickies Rock County Park. -- January 12, 2019

Love this pic of me at Chickies Rock County Park.  You can see the bend in the Susquehanna River as is snakes south between York and Lancaster Counties. -- January 12, 2019

The super cool thing is that I'm not the only person I know who is embracing this mantra.  Just yesterday, I got caught up in a text thread with Matt, Tim, and Glenn...sending each other pics of how we were spending this cold winter day.  Despite the sub-freezing temps we were all outside enjoying nature in our own ways.  My son, Alex, has joined my wife and I on our first three hikes of the year.  My neighbor, Mike Alicea, has set a goal of just getting out as much as possible to ride and enjoy natures best therapy!  Mike Graham, one of my best friends (and partner in crime at NMS) has committed to hitting the ski slopes at least seven times this winter.  He also has expressed interest in doing more and more hiking and exploring with me.  Ben Kelly (a former student and now a co-worker of mine) told me he would love to mountain bike as many different places as he can this year.  Randy Bennett, an old friend (who I haven't seen in a long time) mentioned to me that he has multiple hikes planned for the upcoming year....maybe one of these days we will run into each other in Michaux State Forest.  As long as we all opt outside as much as possible it is bound to happen sooner or later!  So...I'm proud to say that this year...I have a New Year Resolution that I hope will not only benefit me, but inspire others around me to put down their devices, turn off the screens, and make their own stories by simply opting to be outside.

With snow in the forecast, I opted for a quick road ride. -- January 12,  2019

Life is a journey...not a destination.

David A. Raymond -- January 13, 2019
To learn more about REI's #OptOutside initiative click HERE...feel free to share, in the comments, how you plan to Opt Outside this year.  

Yep...a happy boy.  Nothing beats the milkshakes at the Pennsylvania Farm Show in Harrisburg, PA.  -- January 11, 2018

Feel free to FOLLOW me on TWITTER and INSTAGRAM 


Here are the GARMIN maps and data from rides and hikes featured in this post.  #OptOutside

All of my posts are available at ALL TRAILS LEAD TO ICE CREAM and, if you get the chance, be sure to visit the good folks at