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Showing posts with label Chris. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Chris. Show all posts

Saturday, May 6, 2017

MOUNTAIN BIKING IN YOUR OWN BACK YARD

If we didn't live in York County my friends and I would probably would drive for hours on a summer day to mountain bike at Rocky Ridge County Park or the Lakes.  Actually, another riding buddy, Matt, who lives in the Harrisburg area, thinks nothing of the sometimes nearly hour long drive down Interstate 83 (depending on traffic) to ride the trails at Rocky Ridge.  Having places like the Lakes and Rocky Ridge County Park in my own back yard makes mountain biking an every day possibility.

Chris Keller, Glenn Medice, and Dave Raymond taking a break after riding up THE GUT at Rocky Ridge County Park -- April 27, 2017
The option to ride locally makes it easy for us to meet up after work, in between our kid's baseball games, and family responsibilities.  It gives us the chance to unwind, decompress, catch up with each other, ride our bikes and be home in time to maintain domestic tranquility.  Glenn and I managed to squeeze in three local rides after school within the last two weeks...two at the Lakes and one at Rocky Ridge (it feels great to be back on my bike again).  As an extra-kool bonus...Chris Keller (who is now his own boss and works a mile from my house) was able to join us.  

Chris Keller, Dave Raymond, and Glenn Medice at the Lakes -- May 2, 2017

I've never seen Lake Redman like this.  It is completely empty and drained do to the construction of a new pumping station.  Visible, in the top right, is the East Branch Codorus Creek...which, when dammed, is the main water source creating Lake Redman -- May 2, 2017

Dave Raymond riding the Lakes -- April 19, 2017

Chris Keller at the Lakes -- May 2, 2017

Glenn coming out of the south tunnel which passes under Interstate 83 -- April 19, 2017

Glenn is all smiles for this "steam crossing."  He claimed I was channeling my "inner Mark" when I made him navigate this. Mark would have been so proud -- May 2, 2017

Glenn Medice and Dave Raymond at the Lakes -- May 2, 2017
Summer's almost here and I'll once again be blessed with the gift of time. Before you know it, I'll be back in Michaux with Mark, Timmy, Kristian, Glenn, and rest of the guys...but until then I'll just keep on squeezing in local rides when I can...exploring and enjoying the miles and miles of trails right here in York County.  It's great to have the option to mountain bike in your own back yard.  After all, you never know what you might find.  Just ask Glenn...


Glenn pointing out the "elk" tracks at the Lakes.  Yes..he educates America's future. -- May 2, 2017


Life is a journey...not a destination.



David A. Raymond -- May 6, 2017

No ice cream...but the weather has been great the past two weeks.  Perfect for back yard fire pits, mountain pies, and smores with my son, Alex, and his bud Devin, as they wind down their senior year of high school -- April 28, 2017

Here are the GARMIN maps and stats from the rides featured in this post:




Do you have a favorite place to ride locally?  Love to hear about it in the comments below.

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)

Thursday, December 22, 2016

A DECADE OF MOUNTAIN BIKING MICHAUX, Pt. 5: MIRRORING LIFE 2015-2016

Something incredible happened in Michaux State Forest during 2015 and 2016.  It wasn't the amazing new trails that we found and explored...and it wasn't the revisiting of trails that we haven't ridden for many years.  These two things alone would have made the last couple of years of mountain biking in Michaux some of the best.  However, 2015 & 2016 stand out because they saw the  return of so many friends (as well as one new friend) to our riding group...and we all know that mountain biking just isn't mountain biking without friends.
Dave Raymond (and Tim Sindlinger) riding in Michaux State Forest -- May 30, 2015
Glenn, Mikey, Bill, and Kristian all returned over the past months ride with Mark, Tim, and I.  Matt Linnane began riding with us in 2015 after Tim and I made easy friends with him while crossing paths in Swatara State Park.  Together we laughed, talked, joked, and just rode.  It's greatest feeling in the world to have everyone back in the loop.  Over the past two years Mike Alicea, Chris Keller, Nate Hake, and Chip have also made their way over to Michaux.  Never have I been so blessed with so many friends to ride with.  Like I said...it's been incredible!

Mark Lentz, Kristian Hains, & Dave Raymond in Michaux State Forest -- October 30, 2016

The return of Glenn Medice!  The man has moves! -- June 28, 2016

Mikey Nardelli and Bill Grave in Michaux State Forest -- July 5, 2016

Mark Lentz, Dave Raymond, Tim Sindlinger, & Nate Hake -- August 16, 2016

Mark Lentz (and me in the back on the left) in Michaux State Forest -- October 30, 2016

Mark and Kristian chatting while riding some fire road in Michaux -- October 30, 2016

The original White Squirrel, Kristian Hains, in Michaux State Forest -- October 30, 2016

A cold first ride of the year in Michaux State Forest with Mike Alicea -- January 2, 2016

Chris Keller, Dave Raymond, Tim Sindlinger, & Chip at the end of Dynamite Shack trail -- August 23, 2016

Matt Linnane in Michaux State Forest -- August 4, 2015

The last two years of riding in Michaux have been a mixture of both the old and the new.  Tim and I spent time revisiting old favorites such as GRAVE RIDGE trail.  On our first trip back to the Big Flat area of the forest in many years, Mark and I were greeted with what seemed to be newly created trails that descended towards the Chambersburg Reservoir.  Combined with all the "new" trails that Mark and I "found" (more Mark than me) our rides have taken on a whole new life and energy that, I for one, have not experienced for quite some time.  It's been so much fun.


Tim Sindlinger & Dave Raymond after riding GRAVE RIDGE -- August 9, 2016

Tim Sindlinger taking on Grave Ridge -- August 9, 2016

Dave Raymond & Mark Lentz on our first Columbus Day exploration ride in Michaux State Forest -- October 12, 2015


 Dave Raymond & Mark Lentz on our 2nd annual Columbus Day exploration ride in Michaux State Forest -- October 10, 2016

Mark Lentz showing me the view from our new favorite vista in Michaux State Forest -- June 13, 2016

Possibly my favorite place in the world -- July 26, 2016

This newly logged area of the forest has become one of my favorite sections to ride -- June 13, 2016

Dave Raymond in Michaux State Forest -- October 30, 2016

What began back in 2006 as a Memorial Day ride with Mark and Tim has turned into something so much more to me.  Long lasting friendships have been forged here in Michaux.  Over the years, I've shared what I have learned about the forest and the trails there with my son and his friends.  I proposed to my wife in Michaux, too.  Both Robin and Alex love coming with me to hike and experience the beauty in the forest.  I cannot think of a single bad memory or experience in Michaux. That, in and of itself, is amazing.  After a decade of mountain biking in Michaux I can't help but think the forest, and my experiences there, mirror life. There's been a lot of peaks, some valleys, and a few rocky trails along the way...but the friends have been true and the ride has always been fun.  Let's keep pedalin' on.


Hiking Dead Woman's Hollow Trail with Robin -- May 12, 2013

Alex and David Raymond hiking Tumbling Run -- June 22, 2016

Life is a journey...not a destination



David A. Raymond -- December 22, 2016

A decade of mountain biking in Michaux State Forest then & now.  From top to bottom: Dave Raymond, Mark Lentz, Glenn Medice, Kristian Hains, Tim Sindlinger, Mikey Nardelli, & Bill Graves
GARMIN maps from a few of the rides featured:


Tuesday, December 13, 2016

A DECADE OF MOUNTAIN BIKING MICHAUX, Pt. 4: UNCOVERING MAGIC 2013-2014

Ever since we began mountain biking Michaux State Forest in 2006 every single ride began the same way.  From the parking lot near the furnace at Pine Grove Furnace State Park we would take Benderville Road up the mountain and turn onto the ATV trails that began at the yellow gate just past the campgrounds.  The double wide trail that took us to the top of Piney Ridge forever became known to us as "the easy button"...a 500 foot climb, spread out over 3.3 miles, to the top of the ridge.  The perfect warm up for any ride.  From there we would assess our riding options.  All that changed in 2013 when Mark Lentz and I returned to the forest to do what we do best when it's just the two of us...explore.

Our mission...to explore parts of the forest that need exploring.  Dave Raymond & Mark Lentz on Woodrow Road -- June 1, 2013

Mark Lentz and Dave Raymond exploring Michaux State Forest -- June 1, 2013

The trails that Mark and I have mapped out for ourselves in Michaux are the result of three things.  One, purposeful exploring with the mindset that sometimes our rides will result in a lot of backtracking.  This was most evident on one particular ride in August of 2013 which Mark and I refer to as our "POSTED!" ride.  Every trail we tried...every turn we took..eventually took us to posted property.  On that day we rode, and then continuously had to backtrack, 18+ miles of the forest.  Rides like these can be a fact of life in Michaux...and ultimately they provide you with the knowledge of where NOT to ride.  Secondly, we began using STRAVA's segment finder to locate trails that had been ridden by others.  It's proven to be a great tool.  Finally...sometimes we just get freakin' lucky.

Yep...it's a dynamite shack on Dynamite Shack Trail.  Dave Raymond & Mark Lentz -- August 21, 2013

Glenn would be proud...Mark using a trail map on an especially kool rock section near Ridge Road -- July 16, 2014

Riding the big rocks just south of Woodrow Road -- August 16, 20154

Dave Raymond and Mark Lentz exploring trails off of Ridge Road -- July 16, 2014

Our exploration during those two summers began to peel back more and more layers of the forest and unlock the magic that lies in Michaux.  Our rides now consisted of trails with names like TOM'S RUN & DYNAMITE SHACK.  I completely "got my nerd on" when Mark and I ventured into the remains of Camp Michaux.  We began to explore different offshoots of Ridge Road northeast from where we had always ridden...finding a lot of the super kool trails that have since become some of our favorites.  This spirit of exploration, which began in 2013, is ongoing.  The best part has been sharing it with others.  By the June of 2014, Mark and I had incorporated the best of what we had found into a "standard" ride...which we gladly rode many times that summer with Timmy, Kristain, Chris Keller, Mike Alicea, Kevin Hardy, and the Hake brothers...allowing them to experience same magic Mark and I had uncovered.  That special mountain biking magic you can only find in Michaux. 

To be continued...


The remains of Camp Michaux.  It was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps during the Great Depression, served as a Japanese prisoner of war camp during World War II, and the was a church camp -- August 12, 2013

Left to Right//Top to Bottom: Tim Sindlinger & Dave Raymond; Mark Lentz, Kristain Hains, & Dave Raymond; Chris Keller; Dave Raymond & Mike Alicea; Mark Lentz, Nate Hake, Noah Hake, & Dave Raymond; Kevin Hardy -- All pics taken in 2014


Life is a journey...not a destination.



David A. Raymond -- December 13, 2016

Mark found more than ice cream at Mountain Creek Campground.  He found these super kool "old folks" sunglasses...which I guess we are just about old enough for -- July 16, 2014

GARMIN maps from a few of the rides featured: