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Showing posts with label Glenn. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Glenn. 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, April 15, 2017

THE SIMPLE JOY OF RIDING A BIKE

Late last week I got the news I'd been waiting (and hoping) for.  With the blessing of my surgeon and family doctor I was given permission to get back on my bicycle!  I'll admit that I've been just as nervous as I've been excited.  I was told that I could "ease back into it" by my surgeon, Dr. Salotto.  My wife, who is pretty convinced that I'm incapable of easing into anything, held her breath as I clipped in for the first time in six months.

A little pre-ride celebration!  My first ride since October...and I wouldn't have done it with anyone else!  Thanks for coming with me, Sweetheart! -- April 9, 2017

I think she was surprised when I suggested a short 3 mile ride home from the middle school where I teach after we dropped my truck off for my son.  As far as I'm concerned...that's "easing into it."  What a feeling it was getting back on my bike.  I really missed this...the sense of freedom...the wind in my face...the simple joy of riding my bike!  I made that trip from school twice this week...the second time coming when I commuted home from school on Wednesday.  


The best 5 miles of mountain biking ever!  Mark, Glenn, and I at the Lakes.  Thanks for waiting for us, Mark! -- April 11, 2017

The real test came on Tuesday when I met Mark and Glenn at the Lakes for the best 5 mile mountain bike ride I've ever taken.  Pulling into the lot near the Lake Redman dam I could feel the nervousness in my stomach.  An easy ride home from school is one thing...but a trail ride (even the easiest trail ride I could possibly imagine) is a whole different beast.  Mark, Glenn, and I took trails 4 and 2 around Lake Williams with no problem whatsoever.  


All smiles with Glenn at the Lakes...Glenn because he had a new bike and me because I'm back on my bike.  It's great to be out riding! -- April 14, 2017

2B (or not, 2B).  Yep...let's ride trail 2B at the Lakes.  Glenn Medice & Dave Raymond -- April 14, 2017

Glenn and I returned to the Lakes on Friday morning for another ride.  The pace was slow...but the ride was amazing.  We rode the same loop the we took with Mark on Tuesday and added a little more to the mix.  I was happy to be out and not in pain...and Glenn was happy to be out on his brand new carbon Epic 29er (which, he claims, will be the last bike he buys...this year!)  Ultimately, we added an extra 3 miles to the 5 mile loop we did earlier in the week.  It was a perfect morning to be out on the trails mountain biking...and, with each pedal stroke, I could feel my confidence growing and my nervousness dissipating.  


First ride on my Roubaix.  A quick 7 mile ride around Manchester, PA -- April 13, 2017

The view from my road ride up Starview Road.  Through the blossoms on the trees you can spot Three Mile Island (on the left) and PPL Power Plant (on the right). -- April 15, 2017 

My road bike managed to come down from the wall in the garage this week, too!  Again...not many miles...but who cares.  I forgot how amazing I feel, both mentally and physically, when I'm on my bike.  I made it out for two road rides.  On Thursday I managed to sneak in my first ride since October before my son's baseball game.  It was an easy 7 miles around the industrial parks near my house.  Today, I got out for an easy 10 miles...highlighted by the view of the blossoms in full bloom in the orchards overlooking Three Mile Island nuclear power plant and PPL Power Plant.
  Spring is definitely taking over south central Pennsylvania...bringing with it a sense of new beginnings.  I can't help but see the parallels.  This Spring season I can definitely feel a sense of renewal and rejuvenation.  A kind of rejuvenation that only comes from the simple joy of riding a bike.  It's great to be back!

I've been allowed to ride my bike now for a week.  I managed to turn my pedals 6 of those 7 days.  I couldn't think of a better way to end the week than to take a bike ride to the BOBCAT CREAMERY with my wife, Robin, and my son, Alex, for one of the Creamery's amazing root beer floats.  Yep...ALL TRAILS LEAD TO ICE CREAM! -- April 15, 2017


Life is a journey...not a destination.



David A. Raymond -- April 15, 2017


Yep...it's great to be back.  Just soaking it all in at the Lakes. -- April 14, 2017


Here's a list of GARMIN maps and stats from a few of the rides featured in this post.  I know they are short (mileage wise) but hey...I'm easing back into it!

April 11, 2017 -- Best 5 mile mountain bike ride...EVER!  With Mark & Glenn at the Lakes.

April 13, 2017 -- First post-surgery road ride on my Roubaix.

April 14, 2017 -- More mountain biking fun at the Lakes with Glenn.

April 15, 2017 -- Road ride up Starview Road to the orchards.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

I LOVE MY BIKE

"Bike Envy" isn't something that I get.  Sure...I might do a double take at the latest bikes on the floor of Gung Ho Bikes...but it's not like I ever get that "I need to have that and I need to have it now" feeling.  If you are that person (Glenn, I'm speaking to you) then March and April, when all the new bikes are on the floor of the shop, have the potential to be better than Christmas.  Last March (2016), for the first time in five years, I purchased a new mountain bike...and I love it: 29 inch wheels, hard tail, carbon fiber, and orange.  No sir...I don't think I'll be experiencing any bike envy this year. 

My 2016 Stumpjumper on it's maiden ride in Swatara State Park -- March 5, 2016

That's not to say that I haven't had my fair share of mountain bikes over the past 22+ years.  They haven't all been Specialized...but they ALL have been purchased at GUNG HO BIKES...the BEST BIKE SHOP AROUND.  Over the years, my bikes and biking gear have run the gamut from no suspension to full suspension to some suspension...bright colors to flat black and then back to bright colors...biking gear straight out of a Seattle grunge scene to spandex to baggies & t-shirts.  I've had some really great bikes, a couple that I absolutely loved, and two that I couldn't wait to rid myself of...but each has a story to tell.  Here are, in the order I owned them, the mountain bikes that have taken me on more journeys than I can count.  Enjoy...

1995 GT TIMBERLINE

My first mountain bike was a 1995 GT Timberline.  No suspension...but after a massive crash in the summer of 1996 I added the front suspension (visible in the pic on the right).  I owned the bike until I donated it to charity in 2006 -- Left: Riding now "Forbidden Four" at Rocky Ridge County Park --1995.  Right:  Riding Rocky Ridge County Park -- 1998.

2001 GT AGGRESSOR 2.0 

 2003 GARY FISHER TASSAJA

Two of my least favorite bikes.  Top:  My second mountain bike was a 2001 GT Aggressor 2.0.  It was too big and cumbersome for me (for some reason I purchased an XL frame).  I have no pics of me actually riding the bike.  I sold it to some college kid back in 2003.  Bottom: My third mountain bike was a 2003 Gary Fisher Tassaja.  I didn't hate it...but I had no love for it.  For some reasons (and my friends will have a hard time believing this) I have zero pics of this bike.  I sold it on EBAY in 2006.

2006 SPECIALIZED STUMPJUMPER COMP

One of my all time favorite bikes...and I parted with it too soon.  I bought my first Stumpjumper in July of 2006.  It was the first bike I raced with and it helped me navigate the swamps of West Virginia in June of 2007.  It had a SIMPLICITY about it that I loved and that I missed when we parted.  Pic:  Sugar Loaf Trail in Ohiopyle State Park -- 2007


2006 SPECIALIZED EPIC COMP

The only time I was talked into a bike was in the summer of 2007 (not that it was anyone's fault but mine).  I purchased a 2006 green Specialized Epic that the bike shop used as a demo bike.  It was a step up from Stumpjumper and it was the first full suspension bike I owned.  I raced that bike hard and it served me well. Left: my new 2006 Epic in the back yard.  Right: racing in the 2007 M.A.S.S. Relay Race in Marysville, Pennsylvania -- April 2007

2009 SPECIALIZED EPIC EXPERT CARBON

My 2009 carbon Epic was the first carbon bike I owned, up until that time the nicest bike I had owned, and by far the most expensive bike I have ever owned.  I can trace my love for red and black color schemes back to this bike.  I had the bike for a little more than a year....for that was the year that a s**t load of personal problems took center stage.  I parted with it in September of 2010 for far less than it was worth. Left:  Bringing home my new carbon Epic -- April 2009.  Right:  Riding the rocks in Michaux State Forest -- May 2010.

2010 SPECIALIZED STUMPJUMPER FSR

I hated this bike from the moment I brought it home.  It was a shadow of the red carbon Epic it was meant to replace, it constantly had mechanicals, and it was the last full suspension bike I would own.  I parted with my black 2010 Stumpjumper FSR in June of 2011...brighter and better days were ahead! --  Left: resting on the Cumberland/Adams County line on the "Easy Button" in Michaux State Forest.  Right:  Coming through a waterlogged tunnel at the Lakes -- May 2011.

2011 STUMPJUMPER 29er COMP

Back to the basics!  My 2011 Stumpjumper 29er brought me back to the days of hard tail simplicity.  My first 29er...and yes...I was forced to admit how much better it was than all my 26 inch wheel bikes.  I rode this mountain bike more miles, through more mud, up more fire road, and over more rocks than any other bike, to date.  I loved how it rolled, how it moved, and how it looked.  This bike gave me 5 years of mountain bike bliss...it was a bitter-sweet moment when I parted with it in April of 2016.  After five years, it was time for something new... Left:  My 2011 Stumpjumper resting on the Deadwoman's Hollow Trail sign in Michaux State Forest -- May 5, 2012.  Right:  Riding rocks in Michaux State Forest -- April 12, 2012

2016 STUMPJUMPER CARBON COMP

...and now, the new.  Well...new last year.  My 2016 Stumpjumper Carbon Comp is hanging in the garage and has patiently been waiting for my back to heal.  I was pretty nervous about parting from my 2011 Stumpy...but one ride on this bike cured me of that!  I'm completely blown away at how smooth this bike is on the trails.  No regrets and absolutely no bike envy lurking on the horizon.  Left:  My final ride on my 2016 Stumpjumper (in Michaux State Forest) prior to my second back surgery -- October 30, 2016.  Right:  Riding down through THE GUT in Rocky Ridge County Park -- October 14, 2016.

With high hopes of of getting back on my bicycle within the next month (it's been a long road) I can't help but feel grateful, hopeful, and a little humbled.  Sitting on my butt for the better part of the past year has really made me take stock of all that is good surrounding me.  I'm a pretty fortunate guy with a lot of good things all around me and a new appreciation of it all.  I love my wife...I love my family...I love my friends...and yeah, I love my bike.  I'm really looking forward to that next first ride.

Love my road bike, too!  My 2012 carbon Specialized Roubaix...super sweet ride!


Life is a journey...not a destination.



David A. Raymond -- April 2, 2017

Thou shalt not covet thy best friend's mountain bike...unless that friend leaves it in your garage overnight! Thank, Mark! -- November 2016

Do you have a favorite bike (past or present)?  I'd love to hear about it in the comments!

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

MARCH 5, 2016 -- Riding Swatara State Park with Mark.

OCTOBER 14, 2016 -- Riding Rocky Ridge County Park with Timmy.

OCTOBER 30, 2016 -- Riding Michaux State Forest with Mark and Kristian.

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, January 15, 2017

ADVICE FROM A SQUIRREL (or...THE MOUNTAIN BIKER MANTRA)

With new cycling socks in hand, and heading for the checkout at Hunters & Gatherers, I spotted a brown sign on the wall.  "ADVICE FROM A SQUIRREL." It wasn't the only sign of the kind...apparently you can get advice from just about any from any furry, four-legged creature...but, seeing that I was in Brevard, North Carolina, a mecca of mountain biking (and the home of the White Squirrel), this sign, in particular, grabbed my attention.


These seven simple sentence, provided by a squirrel, could be called "The Mountain Biker's Mantra." They reminded me of why I love mountain biking and it instantly became obvious to me how each of them are relevant to my passion.  Seven pieces of wisdom that I believe...if adhered to...could have the ability elevate an ordinary ride into something extra special.   So...without any further delay...here is some advice I accidentally learned from a squirrel.  

LOOK BOTH WAYS BEFORE CROSSING THE STREET

Not something you would think of when mountain biking...but trails often intersect with main roads.  This simple advice, which we all learn in kindergarten, will keep even the best mountain biker from ending up as what squirrels fear becoming most...road kill.

Taking a break to look both ways before crossing the main road at the Lakes.  Mark Lentz, Kristian Hains, Mike Nardelli, Brent Shirt, & Tim Sindlinger -- November 26, 2011

There's no way for Tim to avoid a highway crossing while riding the 30 mile look around Blue Marsh Lake -- September 2009

PLAN AHEAD

Even Mark believes in maps...especially in unfamiliar territory.  Planning ahead also means having what you need to keep your bike MOVING FORWARD.  No one wants their ride to turn into an all day HIKE-A-BIKE.

After a long day a riding near State College, PA, Mark gets out the trail book to prepare for tomorrow's ride -- June 28, 2014

Mark taking time to make sure we are still on the correct path on a "new to us" section of trail in Michaux State Forest -- July 16, 2014

Planning ahead also means bringing what is needed to keep your bike moving forward -- August 2, 2016

I always carry plenty of CO2, extra tubes, and just anything else needed to keep my ride from turning into a hike-a-bike -- August 9, 2016


STAY ACTIVE

Tim and I once wondered if we would still be doing this when we hit the age of 30.  Over 15 years later we all are going strong.  In my mind, staying active is the key to life.  Every day you just have to keep on moving.
It doesn't take a rocket scientist to know that exercise increases brain activity and is beneficial in so many ways.  Mountain biking is just one of the ways that I combat my massive case of adult ADD.

More than a decade of riding together and no signs of slowing down...top left, Glenn Medice; top right, Mark Lentz; center, Kristian Hains; bottom right, Dave Raymond; bottom left, Tim Sindlinger -- All pics taken in 2016

EAT PLENTY OF FIBER

I love food.  I try to eat it at least three times a day.  That includes while riding.  Whether it's FINDING SUSTENANCE on the trail, packing plenty of beef jerky, or taking time for a picnic afterwards...meals bring people together.  Even while mountain biking.

Mikey and Mark taking time to eat the wild strawberries in Raymond B. Winter State Park -- July 2011

There is something super kool about picnicking after a ride.  Our usual parking area near the furnace stack in Pine Grove Furnace State Park offers an awesome place to hang out and relax -- July 24, 2014

Count on Kristian to carry bacon jerky with him.  Yes...bacon jerky!  So freakin' amazing! -- October 30, 2016


SPEND TIME IN THE WOODS

Spending time in the woods and mountain biking go hand in hand...but the best trips are the ones span multiple days.  There's nothing like a good  meal and relaxing around a campfire with friends after a day of hard riding.

Relaxing by a campfire in State College, PA with Mark after an amazing day of riding -- June 28, 2014

Bill Graves and I managed to snag one of my favorite tent sites (Hickory Loop site 180) in Ohiopyle State Park -- April 2009

A week of camping and mountain biking in Pisgah National Forest,  NC with Mark, Glenn, & Kristian -- August 2-5, 2008

Our first mountain biking/camping trip as a group.  Mark, Mikey, Glenn, Billy, and I spent 4 adventurous days mountain biking around Blackwater Falls, West Virginia -- June 2007


GO OUT ON A LIMB

Literally...climb a tree.  What was fun when we were ten still is fun as an adult.

Bill Graves in Ohiopyle State Park -- April 2009

Go out on a limb...even if you look ridiculous.  Dave Raymond, Kristian Hains, Glenn Medice, and Mark Lentz in Dupont State Forest, NC -- August 2008


IT'S OK TO BE A LITTLE NUTS

Mountain biking affords me the opportunity to do what 99% of the human race (more than likely) would never attempt...so let loose, hang on tight, and enjoy the ride!

Going nuts!  Clockwise starting top left: Dave Raymond (2016), Mark Lentz (2006), Kristain Hains (2016), Glenn Medice (2008)

A below freezing December ride in Patapsco Valley State Park, MD ended with a ride down Cascade Falls Trail.  With only half a mile to go I did my own "polar plunge".  Brent Shirk thought I was a little nuts! -- December 28, 2015




Glenn Medice "Going A Little Nuts" trying a stream crossing above Triple Falls in Dupont State Forest, NC -- August 2008


Mikey didn't just GO nuts trying to ride this log in Patapsco Valley State Park, MD...he ended up CRUSHING his nuts.  Love you, Mikey! -- August 9, 2011


The only things in my bag when I walked out of Hunters & Gatherers that day were multiple pair of white squirrel socks.  I had decided against purchasing the sign (I did; however, take a pic of it).  The advice, though, wasn't left in the store.  Those seven sentences...

LOOK BOTH WAYS BEFORE YOU CROSS THE ROAD
PLAN AHEAD
STAY ACTIVE
EAT PLENTY OF FIBER
SPEND TIME IN THE WOODS
GO OUT ON A LIMB
IT'S OK TO BE A LITTLE NUTS...

provide a mantra not just for mountain bikers and mountain biking...but for just about anyone regardless of their passions.  Sometimes the best advice can come from the least expected source...in this particular case...it came from a squirrel.

Life is a journey...not a destination.



David A. Raymond -- January 15, 2017
If you've enjoyed reading this...please feel free to TWEET IT


 Left: the ADVICE FROM A SQUIRREL sign hanging in Hunters & Gatherers in Brevard, NC which provided me with so much inspiration.  Right: One of the three pair of white squirrel socks I purchased.  You can never have too many pair of white squirrel socks! -- July 22, 2016
ADVICE FROM A SQUIRREL is credited to Your True Nature.  Check out their website:  yourtruenature.com


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

Riding Rothrock State Forest with Mark -- June 28, 2014
Riding Michaux State Forest with Mark -- July 16, 2014
Riding Patapsco Valley State Park with Brent -- December 28, 2015