Showing posts with label Gung Ho. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Gung Ho. Show all posts

Sunday, April 2, 2017


"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...


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 


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.


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


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


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.


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.


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 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


...and now, the 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.

Friday, February 17, 2017


The moment you get on your bicycle it becomes an extension of your body.  It becomes a natural part of you...and you a part of it.  A connection and a bond is formed.  Your bike personifies your personality and becomes part of your identity.  Heck, most of us even  name our bikes.  Which is why it feels so incredibly weird, awkward, and foreign when you, for one reason or another, ride someone else's bike.  I accidentally rode Mark's bike once.  We had matching 2006 Stumpjumpers.  His was a small frame and mine a large.  We didn't make it more than ten feet down the trail before realizing the switch...and sharing a laugh.

Dave Raymond, Mark Lentz, and our matching Stumpjumpers after the Terror At Teaberry Race -- September 2006

There have been times when I've been "between bikes" and needed to borrow someone else's bike for an event (thank you, Billy & Kevin!).  Once I even rode my son's bike in an adventure race because a teammate needed to ride mine.  Working at GUNG HO BIKES I rode a myriad of bikes...some were significantly "nicer" than mine...but none of them ever felt quite right to me.  Riding someone else's bike could ultimately have financial implications...just ask Glenn!  Kristian allowed Glenn to ride his bike on a section of the Allegrippis Trails.  Glenn ended up with a significant case of "bike envy."  Glenn's currently in between bikes!

Thank you, Kevin, for allowing me to muddy up your bike during the 2009 Wildlands Adventure Race! -- September 27, 2009

Thank you, Billy, for loaning me your bike for the 2009 French Creek Fling Adventure Race....and thank you, Butch Ulrich, for making me carry it half of the race! It was my first ever taste of a 29er! -- October 11, 2009

I needed to borrow my son's Rockhopper for a five mile section of the 2012 Wildlands Adventure Race.  Thanks, Alex! -- September 30, 2012

The look on Glenn's face is one of "bike envy" after he rode Kristian's bike for a short stint on the Allegrippis Trails -- August 2, 2016

There are some things that I DO like about getting the chance to ride someone else's bike...Tim and I rode our first recumbent cycle while fixing a mechanical in Patapsco Valley State Park...we met a nice gentleman, struck up a conversation, and he allowed us to test out his bike.  I rode my first tandem bike with Mikey after the two of us tuned it up on an evening that we were both working at the shop.  I was the last in my group to make the switch from a 26 inch bike to a 29er...borrowing Billy's bike for an adventure race played a big part of that.  
So yeah...I guess I could say riding someone else's bike ultimately put me on the bike that I'm on now...the very bike that's become an extension of me.

While Mikey and I fixed the brakes on my bike...Timmy and Mark took turns riding a kind stranger's recumbent bike.  Super cool! -- August 16, 2011

Life is a journey...not a destination.

David A. Raymond -- February 17, 2017

Mikey and I had a great test riding a tandem bike we fixed while we were working at Gung Ho Bikes -- August 2013
If you enjoyed all means tweet it!

Here's the GARMIN stats and map from a ride featured in this post:

August 2, 2016 -- Mountain biking the Allegrippis Trails with Kristian and Glenn

Friday, November 11, 2016


By April of 2007 my 2006 Stumpjumper was only a few months old...and there was absolutely nothing wrong  with it.  Yet, there I was test riding a demo bike from Gung Ho that the shop was willing to sell to me.  A fluorescent green 2006 full suspension Specialized Epic.  I had no need for it...that 2006 Stumpjumper still ranks as one of my favorite bikes...but, for some reason, I found myself in my back yard, showing the bike to my buddy, Glenn.  To this day, I still remember his words, "It's all about the color, Davy!" Shortly thereafter, the bike was hanging in my garage permanently (well, as you're about to find out, not quite so permanently.)  

Dave Raymond & Glenn Medice in Rothrock State Forest.  Notice my green Epic and Glenn's red Santa Cruz.  He's smiling in the pic...but believe me, he had some buyer's remorse! (well, did he?  He used Mikey's credit card!) -- 2007

Yeah...I raced that green Epic hard!  This pic was taken at the Marysville Team Relay -- April 2008

Now, I can't leave out the fact that Glenn's the guy who, when we took our first big trip together, went to West Virginia with a blue Cannondale Rush ( I think) and came home with a red Santa Cruz!  This wasn't an even swap...Glenn downgraded...and he used Mikey's credit card to make up the difference!  And to the best of my recollection...he bought an inferior bike that had some serious shifting issues simply because it was red!  It's all about the color...isn't that right, Glenn? 

 I owned, rode, and raced the heck out of that green Epic for just about two years before I replaced it with a brand new 2009 carbon fiber, full-suspension Epic.  Besides the fact that the bike was fast...I had found a color scheme that I and black.  My 2012 Roubaix road bike is red and 2011 Stumpjumper (yeah...I didn't have the Epic long) had a really cool red, black, and silver color scheme, my helmet was red, my gloves were red, my Camelbak is red, (as long as it was clean) I would sport a red and black Gung Ho cycling jersey, and hell....even the tattoo on my right arm is red & black!

Bringing home my 2009 full suspension, carbon fiber Specialized Epic. It had a white seat.  Who the hell puts a white seat on a mountain bike? -- April 2009

When my 2012 Specialized Roubaix came into the shop, Jay Zech told me I could come in and build it myself.  Pretty cool! -- February 2012

Proudly displaying my brand new 2011 Stumpjumper while on a trip to Raymond B. Winter State Park -- July 11, 2011

This past Spring, after 5 years of riding my 2011 Stumpjumper, I broke with tradition and bought my bright orange 2016 carbon fiber Stumpjumper.  I'll admit...I had doubts at first.  It wasn't red, my helmet wouldn't match, my gloves didn't match, and being a person with some serious ADD it was hard to break from tradition and routine.   But the more I looked at it, the more I loved it.  It's all about the color...and instead of trying to match the orange on the bike I embraced a green "White Squirrel" t-shirt that I purchased in Brevard, North Carolina and bought a much needed new helmet...fluorescent green!  Bright orange and bright I proudly display my latest color scheme. 

My first ride ever on my new 2016 Stumpjumper.  Pedaling Swatara State Park with Mark -- March 5, 2016

Sporting my new orange bike and green helmet in Michaux State Forest on my final mountain bike ride prior to my back surgery last week -- October 30, 2016

Often, the SQUIRRELS WITH CAMERAS who so diligently help me document our rides take a few shots that really stand out to me....again, because of the color.  A few of the pics took advantage of some pretty cool filters built into my smart phone, some pics are of our bikes, some are of us riding, and some are just of us just hanging out...but all are unique because they capture the beauty and color all around us.  Here are a few examples.

I took this "dead of winter" pic while on a ride in Michaux with my next door neighbor, Mike.  My 2011 Stumpjumper is leaning against a boulder in Michaux State Forest & is highlighted by some of the green moss and mountain laurel that still grows, even in the winter, near mountain creek -- January 2, 2016

I love this Spring time pic of Tim and I riding at the Lakes.  There are no leaves on the trees yet, but the pink and purple blossoms are clearly visible and are the highlight of the photo -- April 28, 2013

Mark and I found found this flaming red foliage on the trees while on a Columbus Day exploration ride in Michaux State Forest -- October 12, 2015

Dave Raymond and Mike Alicea riding at Rocky Ridge.  At the time my Galaxy S3 had this super cool "red" filter on the camera.  I used it a lot just because I liked the effect -- September 18, 2014

I think the koolest part of this pic of Kristian and I taking a a break from riding in Patapsco Valley State Park is the reflection in the Patapsco River -- October 15, 2016

This pic of Tim and I was taken at the Lakes.  I love how the sun pokes through the grey clouds and highlights the leaves on the left behind us -- October 17, 2015

Probably the coolest Autumn mountain biking pic in my collection.  I love this pic of Tim and I riding through the red foliage at Rocky Ridge County Park.  The autumn colors really stand out in this pic -- October 18, 2014

I have no clue what filter I used for this picture of Tim riding down the power lines at Rocky Ridge...but it's pretty darn cool! -- October 18, 2014

Some random squirrel caught this pic of me riding at the Lakes.  With all the leaves off of the trees, my red helmet really stands out against the rest of the picture -- November 18, 2012

I love blues and greens...and this pic of me riding at the Lakes has both.  Pretty awesome! -- June 1, 2014

Mark snagged this pic of me taking a break while riding the mountain trails near State College, PA.  I must  have left the "red only' filter on (the only color you see is red on my helmet)...the result is a really kool pic! -- June 28, 2014

Tim captured this pic of me coming up a hill at the Lakes.  The colors all around me are beautiful -- October 24, 2015

It's all about the color...but I'll go on the record here and admit that my most impressive and beautiful pics are purely accidental.  I could never reproduce them.  It's this accidental color, in my opinion, that highlights the beauty of the nature I get to experience while riding and shows exactly why I, and my friends, love mountain biking.  Whether it's a pic of the Lakes here in York County, a view of the Susquehanna River, a sunflower field a few miles from my house, a desert cactus 3,000 miles away in Arizona, or an autumn view of Michaux State Forest from our favorite vista...I have to say, were correct, my friend.  It IS all about the color.

My wife says this is the most beautiful picture I've ever taken.  Up until last week it was the pic on the top of my blog.  I took this pick while riding at the Lakes with Tim -- October 17, 2015

This, in my opinion, is just a really awesome picture.  I took it while on a road ride near Mount Wolf, Pennsylvania -- September 2, 2016

These red flowers really stick out against the overcast sky and the Susquehanna River while on a road ride near Wrightsville, Pennsylvania -- August 10, 2015

Laurel Lake in Michaux State Forest -- October 30, 2016

I took this pic of a cactus while hiking South Mountain near Phoenix, Arizona -- June 10, 2016

The Fall colors were all around Tim and I as we rode the trails around Lake Redman -- October 24, 2015

The vista at Michaux State Forest.  My favorite spot.  I was completely stoked to be able to go there with Mark & Kristian once more before my back surgery last week.  The foliage in Michaux State Forest was at it's peak.  Beautiful! -- October 30, 2016

Life is a journey...not a destination.

David A. Raymond -- November 11, 2016

Yep...when there aren't any squirrels to be found my new green helmet makes a perfect camera stand! -- October 30, 2016