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Showing posts with label Bald Eagle State Forest. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bald Eagle State Forest. Show all posts

Saturday, February 25, 2017

THE LINKS OF A CHAIN

It's no secret that I love mountain biking.  It's also not a secret that like to ride in Michaux State Forest and that ultimately, no matter where I ride, all trails will lead me to ice cream.  Not just me though.  SOLO RIDES are few and far between...I love riding with friends. They are the ones that make every ride special...and over the years, their friendship, their personalities, their love of the outdoors, and their love for mountain biking have helped turned a hobby into a passion.  I'm so fortunate and privileged to have them in my life and out on the trails with me.

All the links of the chain:  Mark Lentz, Kristian Hains, Glenn Medice, Timmy  Sindlinger, Mikey Nardelli, Kevin Hardy, Bill Graves, Mike Alicea, Matt Linnane, Brent Shirk, & Chris Keller

Without my friends I'm not sure I would mountain bike nearly as much as I do...I'd be just one link of the chain. All of us, together, keep this thing moving.  I love Michaux, I love my Stumpjumpers, and I love going for ice cream afterwards...but I thought I'd get their input on a few questions and see what it is that they love.  Here are their responses in the order in which I received them.  Thanks for the assist on this one, guys!


BILL GRAVES

I've known Bill for over 15 years.  He and I started mountain biking together in 2006.  Top to Bottom//Left to Right:  Riding in Michaux State Forest (2009); Bill's "Frankenbike" at the M.A.S.S. Relay (April 3, 2010); Bill relaxing at the M.A.S.S. Relay (April 3, 2010); Riding Rocky Ridge County Park (August 10, 2011)

CURRENT BIKE:  Frankenbike built on a Sette frame. 29inch Cross Max wheels and a host of used/donated parts.

FAVORITE BIKE: The one I own.

FAVORITE PLACE TO MOUNTAIN BIKE or FAVORITE TRAIL: Crested Butte, CO. Hard, fast single track, beautiful mountain scenery, high altitude lung burn.

FAVORITE POST RIDE MEAL or TREAT: Ice cream, of course.


GLENN MEDICE

Glenn was introduced to our group by Mikey Nardelli.  Glenn, the eldest statesman of the group, was the first in the group to switch to 29 inch wheels loves to set mountain bike fashion trends!  Left to Right//Top to Bottom:  Glenn in Marysville, PA (April 4, 2009); Glenn on top of some God forsaken fire road in Rothrock State Forest (August 2007); Glenn in Michaux State Forest (June 2016); Glenn in French Creek State Park (March 14, 2009)

CURRENT BIKE:  Specialized Epic Hard Tail

FAVORITE BIKE:  Surly Karate Monkey 29er

FAVORITE PLACE TO MOUNTAIN BIKE or FAVORITE TRAIL: Rattling Creek, north of Harrisburg.  It's a challenging ride with a mix of rocks, rock gardens, and more.  An occasional fast, mossy single track provides a smile and some relief, but by the end of the ride I'm spent!  Great ride, though, and one of my favs.

FAVORITE POST RIDE MEAL or TREAT:  Ice cream, duh.


MATT LINNANE

Tim and I  met Matt while riding in Swatara State Park back in 2015.  He fits right in with the group!  Left to Right:  Matt in Michaux State Forest (August 4, 2015); Matt riding in Swatara State Park (September 5, 2015)

CURRENT BIKE:  Cannondale F29

FAVORITE BIKE:  Specialized Fuse plus size (don't tell my Cannondale)

FAVORITE PLACE TO MOUNTAIN BIKE or FAVORITE TRAIL:  Mt. Gretna/Governor Dick because it's an amalgam of adventure from rail trail to technical hard rock gardens.  I can take anything from an easy recovery ride with my daughter to a kick butt challenging technical ride that I feel the need to pad up for.

FAVORITE POST RIDE MEAL or TREAT:  Tie betwen sticky buns and BBQ.  Tough to choose because I really like to eat.


MIKE ALICEA

Mike is my next door neighbor and loves to ride when he can.  He and I have been riding together for about three years.  Top to Bottom: Mike in Michaux State Forest (January 2, 2016); Mike in Rocky Ridge County Park (September 18, 2014); Mike in Michaux State Forest (June 14, 2014)

CURRENT BIKE:  2014 Excaliber 6

FAVORITE BIKE:  My 1991 Gary Fisher Tassajara was my all-time favorite bike.  I had it for 18 years and it never let me down.  I put that bike through hell!  Haha!

FAVORITE PLACE TO MOUNTAIN BIKE or FAVORITE TRAIL:  I love riding at Rocky Ridge County Park due to the close proximity to my home and the vast number of trails that really test one's riding ability.

FAVORITE POST RIDE MEAL or TREAT:  I usually eat a banana topped with natural peanut butter.


MARK LENTZ

Mark has been one of my best friends for a long time.  He and I both teach in the same school district and he and I share a brain about a long list of topics.  Mark's also been quite the mentor to me...I've learned a lot about mountain biking and the outdoors from Mark.  Thanks, bud!  Top to Bottom//Left to Right:  Mark in Swatara State Park (January 16, 2012); Mark riding in Michaux State Forest (October 30, 2016); Mark and his "dirty" bike in Michaux State Forest (October 12, 2015); Mark on one of his all-time favorite trails: Ridgeline in Dupont State Forest, N.C. (August 2008)

CURRENT BIKE:  Niner Carbon Air 9 & Steel Sir 9

FAVORITE BIKE:  A dirty bike

FAVORITE PLACE TO MOUNTAIN BIKE or FAVORITE TRAIL:  Any gnarly single track. Rothrock State Forest or western North Carolina or Wharton State Forest, NJ.  My favorite trail is Ridgeline in Dupont State Forest, NC because if flows like no other trail.  It is sex on two wheels.

FAVORITE POST RIDE MEAL or TREAT:  Duh.  Ice cream.


BRENT SHIRK

Brent lives across the street from me.  He's an awesome guy and a great family man.  Brent get's out whenever he can and as long as it doesn't interfere his two boy's sports schedules.  Brent and I have been riding together for almost seven years now!  Left to Right:  Brent in Rocky Ridge County Park (September 23, 2016); Brent in Patapsco Valley State Park (December 30, 2013)

CURRENT BIKE:  Specialized Stumpjumper

FAVORITE BIKE:  My current one.

FAVORITE PLACE TO MOUNTAIN BIKE or FAVORITE TRAIL:  Rocky Ridge County Park.  With my busy schedule it is where I usually ride.

FAVORITE POST RIDE MEAL or TREAT:  Nothing in particular.


TIMMY SINDLINGER

Tim's my original riding partner and one of my very best friends.  He and I have been riding together since the year 2000!  Top to Bottom//Left to Right:  Tim riding Rocky Ridge County Park (November 26, 2011); Tim riding GRAVE RIDGE in Michaux State Forest (August 9, 2016); Tim in Michaux State Forest (August 9, 2016); Tim showing off in Michaux State Forest (June 21, 2016)

CURRENT BIKE:  Niner

FAVORITE BIKE:  Niner

FAVORITE PLACE TO MOUNTAIN BIKE or FAVORITE TRAIL:  Michaux--the terrain makes you feel like you are down South with the foliage and creek crossings to the Midwest with the sandy soil and pine trees...all within just a few miles!

FAVORITE POST RIDE MEAL or TREAT:   Ice cream never tasted so good! (pretty much the only time I eat it)


MIKEY NARDELLI

Both of my children had Mikey as their second grade teacher.  He's a great teacher, great mountain biker, and great friend!  Mikey began riding with me in 2005.  Top to Bottom//Left to Right:  Mikey at the M.A.S.S. relay (April 3, 2010); Mikey in West Virginia (June 2007); Mikey in Patapsco Valley State Park (August 9, 2011); Mikey with his new bike in Michaux State Forest (July 5, 2016)

CURRENT BIKE:  State Pulsar SS 29er

FAVORITE BIKE:  Misfit Dissent

FAVORITE PLACE TO MOUNTAIN BIKE or FAVORITE TRAIL:  American Standard in Jim Thorpe, PA.  A good day ride and a variety of trails.

FAVORITE POST RIDE MEAL or TREAT:  Roburrito's


KEVIN HARDY

Kevin and I have known each other since 2003.  Kevin's a super good guy.  Left to Right: Kevin riding at the Lakes in York County (November 7, 2009); Kevin taking on a see-saw in the Lehigh Valley (August 7, 2010)

CURRENT BIKE:  Trek Fuel EX6

FAVORITE BIKE:  Trek Fuel EX6 (only my second bike--but it's been heavily modified over the years)

FAVORITE PLACE TO MOUNTAIN BIKE or FAVORITE TRAIL:  Lehigh Mountain south of Bethlehem, incredible amount of climbing rewarded with a lot of gnarly downhill.

FAVORITE POST RIDE MEAL or TREAT:  Roadside pulled pork and potatoes.


CHRIS KELLER

Chris and I have been riding together since 2010.  He's also been a great partner and  a vital member of team WHITE SQUIRREL!  Top to Bottom//Left to Right:  Chris in Rocky Ridge County Park (August 9, 2015); Chris in Rocky Ridge (August 10, 2011); Chris riding the Lakes (November 26, 2011); Chris riding through one of the tunnels that travels under interstate 83 at the Lakes (June 4, 2011)

CURRENT BIKE:  Old.

FAVORITE BIKE:  One newer than mine.

FAVORITE PLACE TO MOUNTAIN BIKE or FAVORITE TRAIL:  I will take any dirt trail at this point.  My ride time is so minimal.  I'll take what I can get.

FAVORITE POST RIDE MEAL or TREAT:  As much as I enjoy eating ice cream with you...my preference, by far, is a craft brew beer.


Life is a journey...not a destination.



David A. Raymond -- February 25, 2017


I cannot leave out Kristian!  Arguably the best rider of the group and a super good friend!  Left:  Kristian riding Ridgeline Trail in Dupont State Forest, NC (August 2008).  Right:  Kristian likes ice cream...but he LOVES Roburrito's (September 23, 2016)

If you enjoyed reading this...by all means, please feel free to tweet it!  

Here's a list of GARMIN maps and stats from a few of the rides featured in this post:

August 9, 2016 -- Mountain biking in Michaux and Grave Ridge Trail with Timmy.

October 12, 2015 -- Columbus Day exploring in Michaux with Mark.

September 5, 2015 -- Mountain biking Swatara State Park

Friday, February 3, 2017

BEYOND THE TRAILS

The ride winds down...the bikes are loaded up...ice cream is on our minds...but the day's adventure isn't always over.  So many times we find ourselves mountain biking in locations that are full of history, beautiful scenery, and hidden surprises.  These post-ride field trips add to the mountain biking experience, form lasting memories, and strengthen bonds of friendship. They are proof that there is more to see beyond the trail and, just because the the ride has ended...the adventure doesn't have to.  Here are just a FEW of the excursions, sights, and "nerdiness" that have highlighted our mountain biking trips over the years.  Enjoy!

After riding some pretty swampy and humid trails (Plantation Trail comes to mind), Mikey, Glenn, Billy, Mark and I took in the sights of the waterfalls near our campsite at Blackwater Falls, West Virgina -- June 2008

Wrapping up a cold, January ride in Governor Dick park near Mount Gretna, Pennsylvania, Mark and I took time to climb up the fire tower on top of the ridge.  So super cool! -- January 21, 2013

After riding in Governor Dick, Mark Lentz and I stumbled upon this ultra cook Eagle Scout project.  This young man made fiber glass reproductions of how local lumber was converted to charcoal for the iron furnaces -- April 1, 2013

Thaddeus Stevens Blacksmith Shop is located in Caledonia State Park west of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.  Thaddeus Stevens was a "Radical" Republican and on of Pennsylvania's members of the House of Representatives during and after the American Civil War.  He was a vocal voice for the rights of African Americans.  Mark Lentz and I checked out this area after a day of mountain biking in the southern part of Michaux State Forest -- October 12, 2015

If you ride anywhere in central Pennsylvania, chances are you will ride near an old iron furnace.  Greenwood Furnace is located in Greenwood Furnace State Park near State College, PA.  The remains of the furnace represent what is left of a thriving village that surrounded the iron furnace from 1834-1904. -- June 28, 2014

After riding in Ohiopyle State Park you cannot help but take time to go explore the main falls in the center of Ohiopyle.  Just up the road you can hike down and explore Cucumber Falls.  Any trip to Ohiopyle isn't complete without a ride through the natural waters slide. Check out the video below.  -- April 2009



Just down the road from Ohiopyle State Park is Fort Necessity National Battlefield.  It was here, in 1754, that a young George Washington was forced to surrender (the first and only time in his career) to an overwhelming French force -- April 2009

Left:  Glenn Medice and Mark Lentz exploring the covered bridge at the top of Triple Falls in Dupont State Forest, NC.  Right:  Triple Falls in Dupont State Forest, NC -- August 2008

During our ride in the Lehigh Valley, Kevin Hardy and I came across the "Star of Bethlehem" that sits on top of the mountain overlooking Bethlehem, Pennsylvania -- August 2010

Riding at Mount Penn near Reading, PA, Mark Lentz and I stumbled upon Kuechler's Roost.  Jacob Kuechler lived on top of Mount Penn in the late 1800s and early 1900s.  He would serve food, drink, and conversation with people who visited the area.  So cool! -- July 2, 2014

Mark and I also visited the Pagoda and fire tower which while riding in Mount Penn.  Both structures overlook the town of Reading, Pennsylvania -- July 2, 2014

Riding near Raymond B. Winter State Park, Mark Lentz, Mikey Nardelli, and I came across an ultra cool amphitheater (top) and a spring house.  Both located deep in the forest --  July 13 & 14, 2011

I've written about it so many times...but I cannot leave out our constant exploration of Camp Michaux located near Pine Grove Furnace State Park in Michaux State Forest.  It served as a CCC camp, a WWII prisoner of war camp, and a church camp.  What an awesome place to explore! -- July 24, 2014

Mark Lentz and I spent some time exploring Penn-Roosevelt Lake in Penn-Roosevelt State Park near State College, Pennsylvania.  The lake was created by the Civilian Conservation Corps -- June 27, 2014

After mountain biking the Allegrippis Trails near Raystown Lake, Mark Lentz, Mikey Nardelli and I picnicked in, and explored, Trough Creek State Park.  We found this really cool (literally) ice cave -- October 14, 2013

After the ice cave, Mark, Mikey, and I hike to the top of ridge to check out the balancing rock hovering over Trough Creek State Park -- October 14, 2013

Yep...taking time out after a ride at Chickies Rock in  Lancaster County, Pennsylvania! --April 13, 2014

Life is a journey...not a destination.


David A. Raymond -- February 3, 2017


It's not nature...nor is it historical...but it's pretty cool!  Welcome to Dillsburg, PA.  After a tough ride at Camp Tuckahoe, Mark Lentz and I made it a point stop and take a pic with the Dillsburg Pickle -- July 3, 2013

If you enjoyed reading this...by all mean, please  tweet it!  

You can find all of our ride pics and trail maps on the ALL TRAILS LEAD TO ICE CREAM website and, as always,  here's a list of GARMIN maps and stats from a few of the rides featured in this post:

(January 21, 2013) Mountain biking at GOVERNOR DICK with Mark Lentz 

(October 14, 2013) Mountain biking the ALLEGRIPPIS TRAILS with Mark and Mikey

(July 2, 2014) Mountain biking at MOUNT PENN with Mark Lentz 

(June 27, 2014) Mountain biking in ROTHROCK STATE FOREST with Mark Lentz 

Saturday, January 21, 2017

THAT'S RIDEABLE

There's a small section of trail located at the base of trail #7 at Rocky Ridge County Park that I have NEVER successfully ridden.  As a matter of fact, the only person that I've ever seen pedal over that rock garden is Mikey Nardelli...and he made it look like child's play.  There are some trails and obstacles just aren't worth it.  I think the older I get the more I appreciate my health, my body, my family, and well...my life!  A good sense of fear can sometimes be a good thing and I find no shame in sometimes saying, "I'll hike this one."  

Riding a log build up at Patapsco Valley State Park, Maryland -- July 19, 2011

Through the years, all of our skill levels have increased exponentially.  I can remember, years ago, watching Mark and Tim descend down hills that I never in my life would think were possible to ride. I've seen Kristian hop his mountain bike from obstacle to obstacle with incredible grace.  I've witnessed Mikey ride, as smooth as butter, some crazy cool rock gardens.  Me?  I tend, along with Mark, to lead the way...willing to let others in the group prove to me that something is rideable.  Logs.  Hills.  Rocks.  If you can think of it...it's a pretty good bet that we've tried to ride it.

Mark, Mikey, and I came across this wooden bridge while riding in Bald Eagle State Forest near Raymond B. Winter State Park.  Mikey was the first to brave it. -- July 13, 2011



I was in awe of Kevin Hardy as he played effortlessly on this teeter-totter in the Lehigh Valley -- August 7, 2010

This steep hillside in Dupont State Forest, NC was scarier looking than it was scary.  I just put my chest on my seat and held on tight! -- August 2008

Kristian makes EVERYTHING look easy...especially these logs in Patapsco Valley State Park -- October 15, 2016

Near Cascade Falls Trail in Patapsco Valley State Park this steep cliff is now closed off...but before they rerouted the trail with these "mountain bike friendly" steps I would often ride down it...and then turn around and come back up! -- All pics taken in 2012

Nothing beats a well placed rock to make the ride a little easier.  Michaux State Forest -- April 7, 2012

This washed out mess next to an exclusion fence in Michaux State Forest made for some pretty tricky mountain biking -- May 8, 2010

Riding this dry creek bed (turned rock garden) in Michaux State Forest is a piece of cake for Kristian -- August 28, 2016

Well placed logs smooth out this section of the ride at Rocky Ridge County Park -- September 18, 2014

These table rocks at Rattling Creek are a natural part of the trail.  Clockwise starting top left: Dave Raymond, Mark Lentz, Tim Sindlinger, Kristian Hains -- March 7, 2009

Tim has no problems whatsoever with this pine tree build-up in Michaux State Forest -- June 28, 2016



Riding the rocks in Rocky Ridge County Park -- September 23, 2016

Look at Glenn go!  Not bad for a man who can use his AARP card to get us discounts on ice cream!  Michaux State Forest -- June 28, 2016



Often, it's best to stand back and watch how the guy in front of you gets through the rock garden.  Left:  Chris Keller in Michaux State Forest (August 25, 2015).  Right: Kevin Hardy in on Indian Trail in Bald Eagle State Forest (November 2008)

Common sense has long since replaced peer pressure.  It's an unwritten rule within the group that no one has to "drink the Pabst" and feel pressured ride what they aren't comfortable with.  We've all become pretty good at spotting "easy buttons" to get around the trickiest of trails.  Shortly after he began riding with us, Matt Linnane told Tim and I that he loved that our rides never turned into races or pissing contests.  It's one of my favorite things about the guys I ride with and it helps to make all of our rides rideable...for everyone involved.


Life is a journey...not a destination.



David A. Raymond -- January 21, 2017


Not everything is rideable....just ask Timmy! -- July 12, 2016

If you enjoyed reading this...by all mean, please tweet it!  As always,  here's a list of GARMIN maps and stats from a few of the rides featured in this post:

Riding Michaux State Forest with Glenn and Timmy (June 28, 2016)
Riding Micahux State Forest with Kristian (August 28, 2016)
Riding Patapsco Valley State Park with Kristian (October 15, 2016)

Sunday, April 3, 2016

GROUP THERAPY

Sometimes it is planned out far in advance and sometimes it is accidental...but when it happens it usually results in something memorable.  The group ride.  A bunch of friends...each with different backgrounds, different professions, and at different stations in life...brought together by the love of mountain biking.  A group of guys spending time talking, laughing, riding, creating memories, and simply enjoying life.  Recently, I've had the opportunity to look back through all of my pictures.  I discovered a treasure trove of great pics and I chose 10 of my favorite group shots.  Here they are in no particular order (however, the last shot posted is my all time favorite mountain biking picture).  Some of my friends still ride and some do not.  Regardless, no matter where each of us are in life now, the memories are there...and no one can go back and wipe those smiles off of our faces.  Sometimes, there is nothing better than some "group therapy."  Enjoy!

BLACK WATER FALLS, WEST VIRGINIA (June 2007)

  Glenn Medice, Dave Raymond, Bill Graves, Mike Nardelli, & Mark Lentz (posing) 
Four wet and muddy days camping and riding the trails near Black Water Falls, West Virginia.  
Black Water Falls State Park

RAYMOND B. WINTER STATE PARK (July 2011)

Mark Lentz, Mike Nardelli, & Dave Raymond
We hooked Mikey's pop up to my Silverado and headed out for three day's of mountain biking in northern Pennsylvania.
Raymond B. Winter State Park

RATTLING CREEK, LYKEN'S, PA (March 2008)

Tim Sindlinger, Dave Raymond, Mark Lentz, Kristian Hains
Taking a break on the rock gardens that litter the trails at Rattling Creek.  Everyone loved to make fun of my primer color helmet.
Rattling Creek Trail System



MID-ATLANTIC SUPER SERIES RELAY--MARYSVILLE, PA (April 2008)

Mike Nardelli, Glenn Medice, Dave Raymond, & Mark Lentz (front)
Okay...not just necessarily a group ride...but a great post race pic.  Gotta love our bumble bee jerseys.
Mid-Atlantic Super Series


SWATARA GAP STATE PARK (August 2015)

Dave Raymond, Tim Sindlinger, Matt Linnane, & Brent Shirk
Pausing to chat and document our ride near some freshly cut timber piled along side of trail A.
Swatara Gap State Park

AMERICAN STANDARD TRAIL--JIM THORPE, PA (2008)

Dave Raymond, Glenn Medice, Mike Nardelli, Mark Lentz, Bill Graves, Kevin Hardy
A three hour road trip to ride one of the most famous trails in Pennsylvania...American Standard.  Fifteen miles of single track and rock gardens just to pose with a urinal that is nailed to a tree deep in the forests of Pennsylvania.
American Standard Trail


ROCKY RIDGE COUNTY PARK (April 2014)

Chip Fissel, Tim Sindlinger, Dave Raymond, Chris Keller
Getting geared up to climb to the top of the ridge on trail 8.
Rocky Ridge County Park


THE ALLEGRIPPIS TRAILS--RAYSTOWN, PA (October 2013)

Mark Lentz, Mike Nardelli, Dave Raymond
A quick road trip on Columbus Day 2013 to Lake Raystown.  Nothing gives Mark and I a bigger grin on our faces than making Mikey feel uncomfortable!
The Allegrippis Trails


ROTHROCK STATE FOREST (November 2008)

Mike Nardelli, Glenn Medice, Gary Johnson, Kevin Hardy, Mark Lentz, Tim Sindlinger, Dave Raymond
Nobody would criticize us for pausing to catch our breath after a three mile fire road climb to the top of the ridge in Rothrock State Forest.
Rothrock State Forest--DCNR


DUPONT STATE FOREST, NORTH CAROLINA (August 2008)

Mark Lentz, Kristian Hains, Glenn Medice, Dave Raymond
My all time favorite group photo.  The four of us spent an amazing week mountain biking and camping in Pisgah National Forest, North Carolina.
Dupont State Forest


Life is a journey, not a destination.


David A. Raymond -- April 3, 2016