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Friday, August 30, 2019

WHEN I WASN'T ON MY BIKE...

One of my college professors once said that the three best perks about being a teacher are June, July, and August.  I'm not sure if that is true...there are so many aspects of my job that are incredibly rewarding...but I have to admit that I do love my summers.  My boss likes tells us to use our summers for rest, relaxation, and rejuvenation.  The amount of actual "rest and relaxation" I gave myself the past few months is up for debate...but I can definitely check off the rejuvenate box.  And so, with August rapidly coming to a close, Labor Day just around the corner, and the 2019/2020 school year already in full swing...I'm beginning to take stock of just how many ways I've had to rejuvenate mind and body over the past three months.
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Enjoying an amazing hike to Black Rock Summit near Skyline Drive in Virginia. -- July 20, 2019

It's a poorly kept secret that I ride my bike as much as I can during the summer months...but there are so many other things that I love to do with my June, July, and August.  I'm not one that is very good at sitting still.  For me...being at rest is not necessarily being at ease.  Conversely...being at ease doesn't always equate to being at rest. So...when I'm not on my bike...what does rest and relaxation look like?  It means a lot traveling with my wife (one of my absolute favorite things to do) and spending time with family and friends.  It includes camping trips, white water rafting, and hiking.  It might take the form of nerdy "8th grade field trips" to historical sites...a trip to Pittsburgh to watch the Pirates play ball at PNC Park...musicals at the Hippodrome in Baltimore...and taking in the beauty of Longwood Gardens.  Basically, all of the things I love to do that DON'T require my bicycle.

David and Robin Raymond at the top of Currituck Beach Lighthouse in Corolla, North Carolina. -- June 14, 2019


A wonderful Father's Day gathering in Bedford, Pennsylvania.  Left to Right:  Jennifer Gull, Jacob Raymond, Jackie Raymond, Dave Raymond (father), Jane Black, Mary Jane Raymond, Galen Black, Sophie Raymond, Alex Raymond, David Raymond, Isaac Raymond, Blythe Arnold-Scott, and Robin Raymond. -- July 16, 2019


Alex, David, and Jackie Raymond exploring (and apparently guarding the gate at) Fort Ligonier. -- June 17, 2019


David and Alex Raymond relaxing around the campfire at Ohiopyle State Park. -- June 19, 2019


Braving the rapids of the Youghiogheny River in Ohiopyle State Park.  Left to Right:  David Raymond, Jackie Raymond, Mia Arnold-Scott, Devin Seiger, and Alex Raymond. -- June 18, 2019


Yes!  My new Chevy Silverado.  And...I purchased it from a former student of mine at Thornton Chevrolet...William Greenfield.  Thanks, bud! -- June 29, 2019


An amazing evening with my gorgeous wife at the Hippodrome in Baltimore, Maryland to see HAMILTON. -- June 29, 2019


Nothing like spending the Fourth of July with family!  Left to Right/Top to Bottom:  Robin Raymond, Alex Raymond, Mary Jane Raymond, Galen Black, and my dad, Dave Raymond. -- July 4, 2019


Hiking excursion with Robin through and around Cucumber Falls in Ohiopyle State Park. -- July 5, 2019


Hiking behind Cucumber falls with Emma Sadowski, Alex, and Robin. -- July 5, 2019


Hiking to Jonathan Run Falls in Ohiopyle State Park with Robin, Alex, and Emma Sadowski. -- July 6, 2019


Touring Frank Lloyd Wright's masterpiece, Fallingwater with Robin, Emma Sadowski, and Alex. -- July 7, 2019


Out to dinner in Carlisle, PA with some of my compadres from NMS.  Left to Right:  Charlie Lenhart, Kirby Brubaker, Jeff Plummer, Russ Blake, Eric Gimbi, and David Raymond. -- July 10, 2019


My nerdy self toured the homes of four U.S. Presidents with my wonderful wife, Robin.  Left to Right/Top to Bottom:  Woodrow Wilson's Birthplace (July 22, 2019), Thomas Jefferson's Monticello (July 21, 2019), James Madison's Montpelier (July 20, 2019), and James Monroe's Highland (July 21, 2019)


Hiking to Black Rock Summit in the Shenandoah National Park with Robin. -- July 20, 2019


Touring Luray Caverns with Robin. -- July 22, 2019


A day at Delgrosso's Park in Tipton, PA.  Left to Right:  Julien Linne, Blythe Arnold-Scott, Jackie Raymond, Shalice Gull, Mia Arnold-Scott, Robin Raymond, Isaac Raymond, David Raymond, Sophie Raymond, Mary Jane Raymond, Dave Raymond, and Jacob Raymond. -- July 25, 2019


Hanging out with Jackie and Shalice at Delgrosso's! -- July 25, 2019


Hiking through Round Top and Devil's Den at the Gettysburg National Military Park with Shalice, Isaac, Sophie, and Jackie. -- July 26, 2019

Exploring the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. with Jackie, Shalice, Alex, Sophie, Isaac, and Robin. -- July 27, 2019


Hiking at Rocky Ridge County Park with Robin, Isaac, Sophie, Shalice, and Jackie. -- July 28, 2019


Jackie, Shalice and I visiting my Aunt Deb Morosky to work on the family tree. 


Touring Independence Hall in Philadelphia, PA with Jackie, Shalice and Mia. -- August 8, 2019


Eric Gimbi and Dave Raymond...two nerdy history teachers checking out the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia, PA.  -- August 8, 2019


Enjoying the beauty of Longwood Gardens, near Kennet Square, PA, with Kevin, Mia, and Robin. -- August 10, 2019


Longwood Gardens with Robin. -- August 10, 2019


Hiking the Appalachian Trail with Mike Graham and Alex. -- August 14, 2019


Tailgating outside of PNC Park before the Pirates/Cubs game.  Alex, Sophie, Robin, and David Raymond. -- August 17, 2019


Enjoying the Pirates/Cubs game at PNC Park in Pittsburgh. Alex, Sophie, Robin, and David Raymond -- August 17, 2019

I'm not sure how much traditional "rest" I got this summer...but I sure was energized and rejuvenated by spending as much time as I could with the people I love the most, stimulating my mind with as much nerdiness as possible,  and exposing myself to a ton of  Vitamin N.  It was a great summer...possibly one of the best ever...thanks, in no small part, to all of the amazing people I was able to hang out with and the awesome places I was able to experience when I wasn't on my bike.


In between all of my summer activities and bike rides I worked at Gung Ho Bikes with some of the best and most friendly people that I know!  Left to Right:  Ben Kelly, Joe Hydrick, and Dave Raymond. -- August 15, 2019


Life is a journey...not a destination.



David A. Raymond -- August 30, 2019



Enjoying an evening dessert at Vacarro's with my beautiful wife, Robin. -- August 2, 2019



Feel free to FOLLOW me on TWITTER and INSTAGRAM 

@mountnbiker73

Here are the GARMIN maps and data from some of the adventures 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 
 and 


"WRITE SOMETHING WORTH READING OR DO SOMETHING WORTH WRITING..." Ben Franklin

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

ALL SUMMER LONG

The first Tuesday of the new school year is one of the hardest days of the year for me.  Those who know me well know that I don't mind going back to school and I usually look forward to it.  I have a passion for what I teach and I look forward to the routine...but that first Tuesday back is rough.  You see, all summer long, Tuesday is my designated "mountain biking in Michaux" day...my day dedicated to riding with my friends and soaking up as much Vitamin N as possible.

Taking a breather and just loving the moment. -- June 25, 2019

Our Tuesday rides in Michaux were especially fun and highlighted by a few things.  First...I was completely stoked to be asked by the bike shop to lead an intermediate ride for Gung Ho Bike's annual Michaux Fest.  Approximately 15 people signed up for what ended up being 14ish miles of nothing but super fun single track.  I loved having the opportunity to share my knowledge of the trails with the great group that was with me and I already have a plan for next year's event.  Secondly, the purchase of a Purple Lizard map of the forest payed dividends all summer long.  Each ride (with the exception of the Michaux Fest ride) included at least one "new to me" trail...eliminating that "same old ride" feeling and making each weekly excursion and brand new adventure...allowing us to find (intentionally and sometimes not so intentionally) new trails, new vistas, and new ways to link the forest together.  Another highlight was the weather...all summer long, nothing but sun and blue skies awaited us when when pulled into the parking lot at Pine Grove Furnace State Park.  And finally, it wouldn't be summer riding in Michaux if it wasn't for the guys who make the rides what they are.  Tim and Matt made it for most of the rides...but Ben Kelly was able to enjoy three of the rides, Brent Shirk was able to take time out of his busy schedule to ride with us, and two of the young men who work at the bike shop with Ben and I (Josh Coleman and Brandon Shirk) were introduced to Michaux State Forest for the very first time.


Finding "new" vistas with Ben Kelly in Michaux State Forest -- June 6, 2019

My neighbor and Gung Ho employee, Brandon Shirk, came to help me pre-ride the trails that I planned to lead a group ride for Gung Ho's annual Michaux Fest --  June 25, 2019

Leading the Michaux Fest intermediate group on a 14ish mile ride through Michaux State Forest -- June 30, 2019

Michaux Fest Intermediate group. -- June 30, 2019

Special thanks to my neighbor, and good friend, Brent Shirk, who served as my "sweeper" during our Michaux Fest ride  -- June 30, 2019

For our first ride of July, Matt, Tim, and I decided to do a patriotic, July 4th theme.  -- July 2, 2019

Tim, Matt, and I sporting our red, white, and blue for our pre-July 4th ride. -- July 2, 2019

Matt, Tim, and I exploring the area near the Chambersburg Reservoir -- July 9, 2019

Matt descending down the rocky trail that makes up the southern end of Abigail Trail in Michaux State Forest  -- July 9, 2019

I love riding the trails that snake underneath power lines!  -- July 9, 2019

Riding along Community Service Trail with Tim.  -- July 16, 2019

Ridgeline Trail took us through this incredibly beautiful section of the forest that  seemed to be an endless sea of ferns. -- July 30, 2019

Matt riding the single track that parallels Ridge Road in Michaux State Forest -- July 30, 2019

Dave Raymond, Ben Kelly, Tim Sindlinger, and Matt Linnane in Michaux State Forest -- August 6, 2019

Ben Kelly riding Grave Ridge Trail in Michaux State Forest -- August 6, 2019

Dave Raymond riding Grave Ridge Trail in Michaux State Forest -- August 6, 2019

For our final Tuesday Ride of the summer, we tried to piece together as much of the "new to us" trails that we had explored over the previous weeks.  Left to right:  Ben Kelly, Josh Coleman, Brent Shirk, Tim Sindlinger, and Dave Raymond -- August 13, 2019

Josh Coleman...one of the most super cool kids that I know...had a blast riding the rocky sections above Vista Trail in MIchaux State Forest. -- July 13, 2019

 Ben Kelly riding in Michaux State Forest -- August 13, 2019

Twice...on my first and last rides of the summer...I was thrown over the handlebars by the same freaking stump!  At least the landing spot was soft.  -- August 13, 2019

Our helmet tree at the Vista in Michaux State Forest -- August 13, 2019

I'd be lying if I said that I wasn't a tad bit bummed out sitting in staff development this morning...the first Tuesday of the school year...wishing that I was on my bike with my friends.  But, back to the classroom I go... getting back to a routine and looking forward to what I'm sure will be another great and rewarding year with my 8th graders.  Obviously, I will keep on riding throughout the school year...and I'm sure that a few more trips to Michaux are in the cards before the end of the year...but our summer Tuesday rides are now on hiatus until next June...at which time...hopefully we will once again continue our tradition of riding each Tuesday...all summer long.

I began my summer with a ride with Ben Kelly...and I ended it the same way.  When it was over we took a well deserved rest on the lounge chairs near the trail head at the Hershey Medical Center  Trail System.  -- August 16, 2019


Life is a journey...not a destination.



David A. Raymond --  August 20, 2019



Yeah...there was plenty of ice cream after each ride...but the post-ride picnic provided by Jay and Penny Zech as part of this year's Michaux Fest was super amazing!  -- June 30, 2019


Feel free to FOLLOW me on TWITTER and INSTAGRAM 

@mountnbiker73

Here are the GARMIN maps and data from our Tuesday Michaux rides 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 
 and 


"WRITE SOMETHING WORTH READING OR DO SOMETHING WORTH WRITING..." Ben Franklin