Showing posts with label Grave Ridge. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Grave Ridge. Show all posts

Saturday, February 25, 2017


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!


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 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.



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 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 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.



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.


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)



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)


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.



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)


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 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)


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 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 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

Thursday, August 18, 2016

TUESDAY'S GONE -- August 18, 2016

Ten years ago, when I first started riding in Michaux State Forest, Mark, Glenn, Tim, and the rest of the group were kind enough to accommodate me by riding extremely early in the morning so I wouldn't take too much time away from my son who, at the time, was only seven years old.  I'm beyond that stage in life now...but now it's Timmy's turn.  With his hectic work and family schedule he's only able to get about one ride in a week.  Now it's my turn accommodate him.  So...for the past few years during the summer months...we have a standing Tuesday mountain bike date each week.  Sometimes it's just Tim and I...but this summer was special.  The summer of 2016 saw the return of Glenn, Kristian, Mikey, & Bill...Mark was able to make most of the rides...and Matt was able to get time away and join us a couple of times.  Regardless of who is in the group, our Tuesday rides have become one of the things I look forward to each and every week...and I'm happy that I can help Tim get out and ride with us.

This week Mark, Glenn, Mikey, Bill, and I head back to our classrooms....thus ending our weekly Tuesday rides for another summer. quote Dr. Seuss..."Don't cry because it's over...Smile because it happened!"  Here's a look back on our Tuesday fun.  Enjoy!

Tim Sindlinger and I in Michaux State Forest -- August 9, 2016

Tuesday,  June 21, 2016 -- Michaux State Forest

Tuesday June 21 was also National Selfie Day.  Great ride with Matt Linnane and Tim Sindlinger. -- June 21, 2016

Tuesday,  June 28, 2016 -- Michaux State Forest

Glenn Medice came out of retirement to join Tim and I for a super fun ride in Michaux.  Glad to see Glenn's all smiles and thumbs up! -- June 28, 2016

Dave Raymond, Glenn Medice, & Tim Sindlinger -- June 28, 2016

Glenn was on top of his game for his first Michaux ride in almost 7 years! -- June 28, 2016

Tuesday,  July 5, 2016 -- Michaux State Forest

Billy Graves & Mikey Nardelli made it out with Glenn and I for a hot and humid early July ride in Michaux State Forest. -- July 5, 2016

Mikey sporting a very appropriate shirt for today's ride! -- July 5, 2016

Tuesday,  July 12, 2016 -- Michaux State Forest

Trust me...I did ask him if he was okay before I pulled out the camera to take this pic.  Glad Tim survived to ride another Tuesday! -- July 12, 2016

Tuesday,  July 26, 2016 -- Michaux State Forest

This ride saw the biggest group of the summer:  David Raymond, Tim Sindlinger, Matt Linnane, Glenn Medice, & Mark Lentz.  Mark guided us all up Vista Trail for an amazing view of the forest below. -- July 26, 2016

Matt meets Glenn.   No one is ever the same after they meet Glenn! -- July 26, 2016

Probably my favorite pic of the summer.  This is why I love summer.  This is why I love Michaux.  This is why I love mountain biking. -- July 26,  2016

Tuesday,  August 2, 2016 -- Allegrippis Trails at Raystown Lake

He's back!  Kristian Hains joined Glenn and I for a Tuesday trip to Raystown Lake to ride the nationally known Allegrippis Trails -- August 2, 2016

David Raymond, Kristian Hains, & Glenn Medice at Raystown Lake -- August 2, 2016

Tuesday,  August 9, 2016 -- Michaux State Forest

Tim Sindlinger and I tackled Grave Ridge in Michaux State Forest for the first time in six years -- August 9, 2016

Taking a break on Grave Ridge -- August 9, 2016

Tuesday,  August 16, 2016  --  Michaux State Forest

Wrapping up the last Tuesday ride for the summer of 2016:  Mark Lentz, Dave Raymond, Tim Sindlinger, & Nate Hake -- August 16, 2016

The last ride of the year gave me (hopefully) the last flat tire I'll have for a while -- August 16, 2016

Mark made a post-ride friend in the parking lot of Pine Grove Furnace State Park -- August 16, 2016

For 2016, Tuesday's gone.  Taking our time packing up after our last ride of the summer -- August 16, 2016

Life is a journey...not a destination.

David A. Raymond -- August 18, 2016

Wrapping up my final Tuesday ride with a triple scoop of Hershey's ice cream with Mark and Tim at Mountain Creek Campground! -- August 16, 2016


Tuesday, August 9, 2016

GRAVE RIDGE -- August 9, 2016

Just the name of the trail makes anyone who loves mountain biking want to ride it.  Grave Ridge.  Rocks emerging from the top of the ridge resemble tombstones of all shapes and sizes.  Labeled for ATV riders as "Most Difficult"...the trail is a mile of technical mayhem!  Mark Lentz first took me there in 2006 but I haven't been back since 2010.  Grave Ridge, which is located in the heart of Michaux State Forest, straddles the boundary of a recent timber sale.  Logging, which closed the trail for public use, began in December of 2010.  Today, Tim and I found our way back for the first time since the trail reopened last year.  

Navigating Grave Ridge in Michaux State Forest -- August 9, 2016

Taking a breather with Tim halfway through our ride today -- August 9, 2016

Tim snaking his way through the ferns in Michaux State Forest -- August 9, 2016

I had a couple of routes mapped out in my head for how to get there today.  I really did have to think about it.  It's been over five years since I've ridden that part of the forest.  Tim and I opted to start our ride on Tom's Run, make our way across the ridge, ride the fun rocks on the west side of Woodrow Road, which then would dump us off near the base of today's ultimate destination:  Grave Ridge. 

Yep...Grave Ridge is labeled with a Black Diamond.  That's for ATV riders, though!  As Mark Lentz says:  "If it's too tough for everyone's just right for us!" -- August 9, 2016

Don't let this pic fool you!  A brief reprieve from the technicality of Grave Ridge.  The unusually cool breeze felt amazing!   -- August 9, 2016

This rock looks huge...but it's actually about a thin as my bike!  It's sticking out of the ground like a huge grave marker.  So cool!  Got to love Michaux!  -- August 9, 2016

Even the best of bikes will take a beating in Michaux.  At least I had what I needed to keep things moving forward! -- August 9, 2016

Descending from the top of Grave Ridge down towards highway 233 -- August 9, 2016

I was pleasantly surprised that the mile long trail had once again regained the appearance it had before the area was logged.  It was also reassuring that, even after all the logging, Grave Ridge was just as technical, rocky, difficult, and fun as I remember.  Honestly, after not riding it for so long, I couldn't remember which direction it flows the best.  Today, Tim and I rode it from north to south and then doubled back on the snake like trail that meanders between Grave Ridge and highway 233.  From there we found familiar single track that  would quickly take us back to Pine Grove Furnace.    
For me, the best part of today's ride was connecting the old and the new...riding trails that we rode ten years ago in combination with trails we've more recently found.   I think it's safe to say that it won't be too long before the two of us are back in that neck of the woods taking on Grave Ridge again.

Life is a journey...not a destination.

David A. Raymond -- August 9, 2016

After a ride at Michaux the Stumpjumper's going to have a sleep over at the shop.  Thanks to Jay and Clark for keeping things moving!  -- August 9, 2016