There's a fire road over in Michaux State Forest named Dead Woman's Hollow Road. It's tough. I'll never forget the first time I rode up it with Mark. It seemed impossible...but I just put my head down and pedalled. To this day...I always approach Dead Woman's Hollow with the mindset that "this hill will NEVER end." As long as I do that...I don't get disappointed with each false horizon. I don't hate the hill...actually, I love riding up it. An incredible sense of accomplishment engulfs me each time I conquer that road.
|Taking a breather at the top of Dead Woman's Hollow Trail -- June 23, 2012|
I've accomplished a number of goals and passed a lot of milestones while biking and hiking. Most of them personal and relatively small...but each had their own special meaning to me. Sometimes those goals are things I set out to do at the beginning of the calendar year...such as distances I want to ride or hike. Sometimes I simply set a goal to ride or hike a certain hill or trail or obstacle. A good example was when I made it a point to climb Ohiopyle Road between the main falls in the state park and my campground last summer. It is the absolute most obnoxious hill I know...ascending 700 feet in less than two miles! I managed to do it...on my mountain bike. I'm still pretty stoked about that.
|Taking it all in after climbing Ohiopyle Road in Ohiopyle State Park. -- June 15, 2017|
Deep down we all have personal goals and achievements that we are proud of.
With that in mind I sought out the help of my friends and asked them these questions: "What was the coolest, or most personally significant, goal or milestone that you have achieved while biking or hiking? It could be a distance ridden, hill climbed, etc. How did acheiving it make you feel?"
A big shout out to Tim, Chris, Randy, Mike, Brent, Derrick, Glenn, and Alex for helping me out with this one....Thanks guys!
|My favorite pic of Tim. Riding Rusty Chair Trail at Rocky Ridge County Park. -- November 12, 2011|
"For me it was 'The Wall' on trail 9 at Rocky Ridge County Park. I felt I could climb anything after conquering that!" -- Tim Sindlinger
|Chris Keller and I trudging through the 2011 Wildlands Adventure Race -- September 25, 2011|
"What comes to mind is the Wildlands race that we participated in right after a major flood. The ride, even on the flat land, was grueling...like riding all day in quick sand. And we kept a fast pace...I believe I was the 'old fart' of the team...but I dug in super deep to keep the pace. We did a great job and I was super proud of that." -- Chris Keller
|Randy Bennett near Washington Four, MD. -- October 26, 2017|
"Every hike has a unique moment that adds to the breadth of experience I'm gaining as a section hiker on the Appalachian Trail. Recently, I completed a section hike from the Pennsylvania border south through Maryland and into West Virginia. Each State on the Trail has its unique challenges. What was most challenging about Maryland was that it feels like you are hiking in a dry creek bed for 40 miles! My most memorable day on this trip was my last. I had initially planned to do the 43-mile hike over five days, as only 6 months ago I had ankle reconstruction surgery (and my 65-year-old dad was hiking with me). The surgery corrected a service-connected disability from my service in the Marine Corps over 20 years ago. My ankle often buckled whenever I made sudden movements, and was often re-injured. I was concerned about how I might perform on a longer hike (as most of my hikes in the recent past were never longer than two days). My reconstructed ankle held up great on this hike, and when combined with a weight loss of 90 lbs., allowed me to accomplish my first 16-mile day...finishing this hike a day early. The last four miles of the hike I had to finish without my dad. His back was in bad shape when we came off of the mountain. We called an Uber, and once my dad was in the car I told him to order a pizza and I would be at the hotel in 2 hours. The last four miles were beautiful as I hiked along the Potomac towards the sunset and crossing the footbridge into Harpers Ferry and finishing in front of the Appalachian Trail Headquarters. The time I had alone was an opportunity to worship God and give thanks to Him for how He brought healing to my body and soul...and for the awesome time I had playing with my dad in the woods." -- Randy Bennett
|Mark Lentz, Mike Alessandroni, and David Raymond. A well deserved break after climbing Sky Top in York County. -- June 24, 2011|
"One year to the date after having my left hip replaced, I successfully climbed Sky Top on my bike. It was a beautiful day and I took a picture from the top and posted it on Facebook to share this milestone with family and friends. It was an awesome experience." -- Mike Alessandroni
|Brent Shirk riding Rusty Chair Trail at Rocky Ridge County Park. -- September 2, 2013|
"Being able to conquer an obstacle like dropping off of the big rock at Rocky Ridge County Park for the first time. I remember the fear I had of falling but afterward realized that you just need to have confidence, maintain your speed, and let the bike do the work." -- Brent Shirk
|Derrick Rorrer riding (flying) at Patapsco Valley State Park, MD -- July 2, 2013|
"I have a slight twist for you. There isn't a particular goal or milestone that comes to mind. For me, it's yearly...and how much better I get each year. It's looking back at some of the longest rides, the hardest lines, or biggest jumps I did that year. My goal is simply to improve and become a better rider." -- Derrick Rorrer
|Glenn Medice riding at the Lakes. -- April 19, 2017|
"It's never been about distance. I rode the Maximus series at Michaux twice (50 miles each), but never thought that was a big deal. To me, getting better technically over time has been important to me. I remember carrying my bike over logs in my early years. So nothing real specific, just riding over many years, along with the new technology that's come my way, has made me a better rider. Switching from a 26 inch bike to a 29er was HUGE for me. I'm able to ride over, and through, obstacles I never thought possible in my 30s." -- Glenn Medice
|Alex and David Raymond -- April 16, 2017|
"The day we went on the 30+ mile bike ride. I had never ridden that kind of distance before...and I was getting tired toward the end. I remember you telling me that I needed to eat during the ride...before I got hungry...and if I did get hungry during the ride I would stay that way. I'm pretty sure that we went down a big hill during that ride and I reached 41mph! That was the fastest I had ever ridden." -- Alex Raymond
|2,640 miles. It's the distance (along the 39th Parallel...which runs through York County, Pennsylvania) from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean. That's my goal for 2018. Time to start riding.|
Life is a journey...not a destination.
David A. Raymond -- January 28, 2018
|15,000+ total miles on my road bike! I accomplished that on November 14, 2017. Super cool.|
Here are the GARMIN maps and data from the rides featured in this post...
Interested in biking or hiking some of the trails featured in this post? Check out the TRAIL MAPS and TRAIL HEADS tabs on the ALL TRAILS LEAD TO ICE CREAM website.
All of my posts are available at ALL TRAILS LEAD TO ICE CREAM and, if you get the chance, be sure to visit HIGHPEAKSHIKING.COM and