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 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 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 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

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

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