|Leading Matt and Tim on a crisscross ridge adventure in Michaux State Forest -- June 21, 2022|
Mountain biking with your friends is great group therapy. There is nothing like hitting the trails and heading off into the woods to lose your mind and find your soul. There are conversations to be had, stories to be told, laugher to be shared, and trails to be shred. There's not a care in the world...unless you are the ride leader. You know, the guy who ultimately knows where you are, where you've been, where you are going, how you are going to get there, how long it will take you to get there, and (at any given moment) can point and say "our vehicles are parked over there." It's a lot of added responsibility.
|Leading the way in Patapsco Valley State Park. -- December 28, 2021|
|Taking the lead for our annual ugly sweater ride in Hershey. Left to right: Matt L, Dave R, Ben K, Matt W -- December 11, 2021|
I've been that guy for the past few years and I kind of enjoy it. I learned how to do it effectively from a guy I use to ride with years ago. He taught me a lot and for that, I'm appreciative. The ultimate goal is for everyone in the group to have a good time and I'm constantly asking, sometimes without even realizing it, "Is everyone still having fun?" As a ride leader, I'm constantly trying to maximize the fun in a number of ways. For every ride I plan, I try to make sure that we do some minor exploration of "new to us" trails...or at least revisit trails that we've not been on in a long time. There also have to be those moments in the ride where there are options for the group. "Okay, guys...if we take this trail it will be approximately this long and this many miles...or...we can go this way and..." You get the point.
|Matt leading the way in Mount Carmel, Pennsylvania -- June 23, 2022|
|Matt checking the trail map and planning our next move in Mount Carmel. -- June 24, 2022|
|A group ride that Matt led last October....showing us a super cool trail named "Glory Hole" in Michaux State Forest. Matt L, Brent S, Tim S, Dave R, and Matt W -- October 23, 2021|
Recently, my good friend, Matt, has become a really good the ride leader. He's quite the charismatic guy...organizing group rides, introducing more people to mountain biking, and making sure that all involved are having fun. During the past year, or so, he and I have taken turns showing each other new places and trails to ride. Just last week, Matt planned an amazing fun ride for the two of us in Mount Carmel, Pennsylvania...a place that neither of us have ever been to. That's a sure sign of a good ride leader...and one that I don't mind following.
Life is a journey...not a destination.
Matt's message (and my response) the day before our first ride ever in Mount Carmel...a ride that Matt organized and led. It was epic! -- June 23, 2022
David A. Raymond -- June 26, 2022
|Hands down, the largest group I've led in a while...a total of 13 mountain bikers (of all ages and skill levels) turned out for our annual Ugly Sweater ride in Hershey! -- December 11, 2021|
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