Showing posts with label Hershey Medical Center Trail System. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Hershey Medical Center Trail System. Show all posts

Sunday, December 22, 2019


Once Daylight Saving Time comes...the race is officially on.  This isn't a race with another competitor...but with the sun which, as Autumn fades into Winter, sets earlier and earlier each day.  If I'm going to ride after school during this time of the year my afternoon calendar has to be free...I can't be scheduled to work at the bike shop...I can't have any appointments...and, heaven help me...there can't be a faculty meeting.  

I was scheduled to work on November on this particular day...but Jay ended up giving me the afternoon off.  I had just enough daylight to squeeze in a ride at Rocky Ridge.  -- November 12, 2019

Best case scenario this time of year...I get home, throw the Stumpjumper on top of the Cruze, and get a good hour of riding in at Rocky Ridge (the best option because of the park's proximity to where I live)...or, more conveniently, get on the Roubaix and tool around Manchester and Mount Wolf for as long as I can.   Based upon the short time line that is available to me, variety in what I can ride is definitely lacking. All the while, each ride, I race the sun as it sinks lower earlier each day and try to out ride the shadows as they grow longer more and more quickly.

My good friend, Brent, racing the sun and out riding the shadows at Rocky Ridge County Park. -- November 22, 2019

Arriving home from my tour of Manchester just as the sun is setting.  -- December 19, 2019

Ironically, there was no racing of the sun or feelings of being rushed yesterday on the shortest lit day of the year...the Winter Solstice.  The day, which can either be viewed as the first day of Winter or the beginning of a three month countdown to Spring...was celebrated with a good old Ugly Sweater ride in Hershey, Pennsylvania.  Ben, Tim, and Adam all braved the early morning 20 degree weather and helped me welcome Winter and celebrate the Christmas season.  The ride was like breathe of fresh air.  What we lacked in mileage we made up for with unadulterated fun...spending extra time riding (and re-riding) the ultra cool trails that make perfect use of the many old ore pits and other features (both natural and man-made) that make up the area behind Hershey Medical Center.

Taking a break during my Ugly Sweater/Winter Solstice Ride in Hershey -- December 21, 2019

Tim came completely ready to celebrate the first day of winter...with lights attached to his helmet and jingle bells on his bike!  Tim Sindlinger and Adam Zeigler -- December 21, 2019

Ben Kelly enjoying the first day of Winter 2019. -- December 21, 2019

Ben Kelly, Dave Raymond, and Tim Sindlinger on the Hershey Trail System. -- December 21, 2019

Dave Raymond in Hershey, Pa -- December 21, 2019

Ben Kelly and Dave Raymond celebrating the first day of Winter. -- December 21, 2019

The sun set yesterday at 4:45 in the afternoon...but now that Winter is officially here the days will just continue to get longer.  On January 21, just shy of a month from now, the sun will set at 5:25 PM...then on February 21, two months from yesterday, at 5:49 PM...making my race against the setting sun that much easier each day. In the mean time, I'll continue to race the sun and squeeze in as many rides and miles into the amount of daylight we have...and afterward enjoy the lights of the holiday season.

Have a safe and Merry Christmas.

Celebrating the first day of the Winter (and our ugly sweaters) in Hershey, PA. Adam Zeigler, Tim Sindlinger, Dave Raymond, and Ben Kelly -- December 21, 2019

Life is a journey...not a destination.

David A. Raymond -- December 22, 2019

All ready for the Christmas season!  My yearly batch of my peanut butter and Rice Crispies balls.  Just about everyone loves my balls! -- December 13, 2019

Feel free to FOLLOW me on TWITTER and INSTAGRAM 


Here are the GARMIN map and data from the rides featured in this post.  #OptOutside

All of my posts are available at ALL TRAILS LEAD TO ICE CREAM and, if you get the chance, be sure to visit the good folks at 


Tuesday, August 20, 2019


The first Tuesday of the new school year is one of the hardest days of the year for me.  Those who know me well know that I don't mind going back to school and I usually look forward to it.  I have a passion for what I teach and I look forward to the routine...but that first Tuesday back is rough.  You see, all summer long, Tuesday is my designated "mountain biking in Michaux" day dedicated to riding with my friends and soaking up as much Vitamin N as possible.

Taking a breather and just loving the moment. -- June 25, 2019

Our Tuesday rides in Michaux were especially fun and highlighted by a few things.  First...I was completely stoked to be asked by the bike shop to lead an intermediate ride for Gung Ho Bike's annual Michaux Fest.  Approximately 15 people signed up for what ended up being 14ish miles of nothing but super fun single track.  I loved having the opportunity to share my knowledge of the trails with the great group that was with me and I already have a plan for next year's event.  Secondly, the purchase of a Purple Lizard map of the forest payed dividends all summer long.  Each ride (with the exception of the Michaux Fest ride) included at least one "new to me" trail...eliminating that "same old ride" feeling and making each weekly excursion and brand new adventure...allowing us to find (intentionally and sometimes not so intentionally) new trails, new vistas, and new ways to link the forest together.  Another highlight was the weather...all summer long, nothing but sun and blue skies awaited us when when pulled into the parking lot at Pine Grove Furnace State Park.  And finally, it wouldn't be summer riding in Michaux if it wasn't for the guys who make the rides what they are.  Tim and Matt made it for most of the rides...but Ben Kelly was able to enjoy three of the rides, Brent Shirk was able to take time out of his busy schedule to ride with us, and two of the young men who work at the bike shop with Ben and I (Josh Coleman and Brandon Shirk) were introduced to Michaux State Forest for the very first time.

Finding "new" vistas with Ben Kelly in Michaux State Forest -- June 6, 2019

My neighbor and Gung Ho employee, Brandon Shirk, came to help me pre-ride the trails that I planned to lead a group ride for Gung Ho's annual Michaux Fest --  June 25, 2019

Leading the Michaux Fest intermediate group on a 14ish mile ride through Michaux State Forest -- June 30, 2019

Michaux Fest Intermediate group. -- June 30, 2019

Special thanks to my neighbor, and good friend, Brent Shirk, who served as my "sweeper" during our Michaux Fest ride  -- June 30, 2019

For our first ride of July, Matt, Tim, and I decided to do a patriotic, July 4th theme.  -- July 2, 2019

Tim, Matt, and I sporting our red, white, and blue for our pre-July 4th ride. -- July 2, 2019

Matt, Tim, and I exploring the area near the Chambersburg Reservoir -- July 9, 2019

Matt descending down the rocky trail that makes up the southern end of Abigail Trail in Michaux State Forest  -- July 9, 2019

I love riding the trails that snake underneath power lines!  -- July 9, 2019

Riding along Community Service Trail with Tim.  -- July 16, 2019

Ridgeline Trail took us through this incredibly beautiful section of the forest that  seemed to be an endless sea of ferns. -- July 30, 2019

Matt riding the single track that parallels Ridge Road in Michaux State Forest -- July 30, 2019

Dave Raymond, Ben Kelly, Tim Sindlinger, and Matt Linnane in Michaux State Forest -- August 6, 2019

Ben Kelly riding Grave Ridge Trail in Michaux State Forest -- August 6, 2019

Dave Raymond riding Grave Ridge Trail in Michaux State Forest -- August 6, 2019

For our final Tuesday Ride of the summer, we tried to piece together as much of the "new to us" trails that we had explored over the previous weeks.  Left to right:  Ben Kelly, Josh Coleman, Brent Shirk, Tim Sindlinger, and Dave Raymond -- August 13, 2019

Josh of the most super cool kids that I know...had a blast riding the rocky sections above Vista Trail in MIchaux State Forest. -- July 13, 2019

 Ben Kelly riding in Michaux State Forest -- August 13, 2019

Twice...on my first and last rides of the summer...I was thrown over the handlebars by the same freaking stump!  At least the landing spot was soft.  -- August 13, 2019

Our helmet tree at the Vista in Michaux State Forest -- August 13, 2019

I'd be lying if I said that I wasn't a tad bit bummed out sitting in staff development this morning...the first Tuesday of the school year...wishing that I was on my bike with my friends.  But, back to the classroom I go... getting back to a routine and looking forward to what I'm sure will be another great and rewarding year with my 8th graders.  Obviously, I will keep on riding throughout the school year...and I'm sure that a few more trips to Michaux are in the cards before the end of the year...but our summer Tuesday rides are now on hiatus until next which time...hopefully we will once again continue our tradition of riding each Tuesday...all summer long.

I began my summer with a ride with Ben Kelly...and I ended it the same way.  When it was over we took a well deserved rest on the lounge chairs near the trail head at the Hershey Medical Center  Trail System.  -- August 16, 2019

Life is a journey...not a destination.

David A. Raymond --  August 20, 2019

Yeah...there was plenty of ice cream after each ride...but the post-ride picnic provided by Jay and Penny Zech as part of this year's Michaux Fest was super amazing!  -- June 30, 2019

Feel free to FOLLOW me on TWITTER and INSTAGRAM 


Here are the GARMIN maps and data from our Tuesday Michaux rides featured in this post.  #OptOutside

All of my posts are available at ALL TRAILS LEAD TO ICE CREAM and, if you get the chance, be sure to visit the good folks at 


Monday, December 31, 2018


There wasn't anything normal about 2018. It's been a year of extreme humidity, single digit temperatures, and more rainy days than I can remember in my lifetime.  Even on the "dry" days riding conditions were challenging,  at best.   Mud and water and more mud seemed to be the recurring theme of the the past year.  With the exception of a ride I took in Mesa, Arizona, I don't recall a single time this year when the trails were dry and dusty.   Regardless, the conditions didn't stop me (or my riding partners) opting outside to turn some pedals.  As a matter of fact, I rode (and cleaned my drive train) quite regularly and quite often.

My Stumpjumper nestled in low hanging clouds and resting on the sign in Michaux State Forest marking the border of Cumberland and Adams Counties. -- July 31, 2018

Throughout the course of 2018, I rode my mountain bike in, at least, sixteen different places...making my normal trips to places like Michaux State Forest, Swatara State Park, and Rocky Ridge County Park and returning to Patapsco Valley State Park and Camp Tuckahoe for the first time in a few years.  I also rode, for the first time, on the trails behind the Bedford Springs Hotel, the Bedford Heritage Trail, the Milton Hershey Medical Center Trail System, and in Shawnee State Park.  This year is the first year that I began to explore other riding options...using my mountain bike for road cycling when winter conditions just weren't cooperating.  Joining me this year were Mark Lentz, Chris Keller, Tim Sindlinger, Matt Linnane, Adam Zeigler, Ben Kelly, Brent Shirk, Mike Alicea, and my son, Alex.  No ride is a bad ride and all rides are fun in their own unique way...but the following ten rides stand out to me as the best of 2018.  I didn't list them in any particular order except that the ride I have in the #1 spot really was my favorite ride of the past year.  I wish a safe and happy New Year to all...and I hope to see all of my riding friends out on the trails again in 2019.  Enjoy!

#10. DESERT BIKE RIDE -- JUNE 10, 2018

On a brief visit to Arizona to see my brother and my nieces and nephew, I slipped out for morning ride (on my brother's 1990s Cannondale) in the Arizona desert.  The early morning temperatures had already reached 95 degrees and, about five miles out, I realized that my water bottle had fallen off of the bike.  Not willing to risk anything, I turned back for my brother's house.  This was, by far, the driest ride of 2018!

Taking a break during my morning ride in Mesa, Arizona. -- June 10, 2018

My brother's old-school Cannondale.  Superstition Mountain is visible in the distance. -- June 10, 2018



Alex and I didn't ride far...but any ride with my son is special.  The fact that it was also the last day of the school year made it even more memorable.  This is the only ride on my Roubaix that made my top 10 list this year.

Celebrating the last day of the 2017-18 school year with a road ride with my son, Alex. -- June 7, 2018



This late July ride in Michaux State Forest came the morning after a torrential rain (as did most of the rides this year).  The humidity was thick and the clouds were hanging extra low...completely surrounding the forest.  This ride included the best rock garden in Michaux, fun descents, twisty single track, and multiple stream crossings.

Taking a break after Tim, Matt, and I finished riding one of my favorite rock gardens in Michaux State Forest. -- July 31, 2018

The wet weather turned minor streams in treacherous crossings. -- July 31, 2018



So much of my childhood was spent at Shawnee State Park in Bedford County...but up until this past March, I had never ridden the trails there...making this "homecoming" ride super special.  I'm looking forward to going back and riding the trails in drier conditions.

I began, and ended, my first-ever ride in Shawnee State Park on Field Trail. -- March 30, 2018

This section of "trail" near Route 30 in Shawnee State Park was a massive mud pit. -- March 30, 2018

Field Trail overlooking Shawnee Lake. -- March 30, 2018


Mark showed me that not all "road" rides need a road bike.  Helping me channel my inner nerd, Mark took me on a super cool tour of York City to check out all of the old painted signs on the brick structures in the city.  Some were easy to read, like the Pullman's sign below, and some where not...but the ride ranks as one of the best of 2018.

Super cool graffiti and painted sign ruled the day. -- March 31, 2018

In the top right you can see the sign for York's Pullman's Automobiles. -- March 31, 2018



This year, the Winter Solstice happened to fall on the last day of school prior to Christmas break.  Because of my early dismissal from school, I was able to meet Ben Kelly at my house at 1:30 to drive twenty miles up to Harrisburg for a ride on the Parkway Trails.  Even though it was extremely muddy, this ride was my favorite ever on this trail system.  Ben and I rode as much as we could in the 2 hours we had before the sun set on the first day of winter.

Ben and I racing the sunset and enjoying a muddy ride in Harrisburg City. -- December 21, 2018

My Stumpjumper leaning on Harrisburg City graffiti. -- December 21, 2018

#4. BEDFORD SPRINGS -- JANUARY 13 and 14, 2018

My first two rides of 2018 were also the coldest of the year.  While visiting my father in Bedford, Pennsylvania,  I geared up for the single digit temperatures and headed over to the trails behind the Bedford Springs Hotel.  I had hiked these trails as a child...and as an adult...but this was the first time I had ever been there with my mountain bike.  The cold temps kept each ride down to about an hour in length, but the frozen landscape...and the coolness of riding someplace where I hiked in my youth...made these two rides some of the best of the year.

Pausing for a picture next to the frozen limestone spring near the Bedford Springs Hotel. -- January 13, 2018

Posing near Davey Lewis' Cave. -- January 14, 2018

Taking in the frozen landscape while riding the trails near the Bedford Springs Hotel. -- January 14, 2018



Matt came up with the idea of getting together for an "Ugly Sweater" ride...and hopefully it is a tradition we keep going.  Tim, Adam, Matt, and I got into the holiday spirit for what turned out to be the absolute muddiest ride of 2018.  The unrelenting rainfall turned the normally sturdy trails of the Hershey Medical Trail System into a peanut butter-like mess.  Very memorable!

First ever Ugly Sweater Ride.  Left to Right:  Matt, Dave, Tim, & Adam. -- December 2, 2018

Riding the Hershey Medical Trail System with my ugly sweater. -- December 2, 2018

This ride was, hands down, the muddiest ride of 2018. -- December 2, 2018


Brent and I have a tradition of heading out for a ride during the week between Christmas and New Years Day.  This year we made our way down to Patapsco Valley State Park.  I thought I had this place completely mapped out...but in the 2+ years since I was last trails have been built!  Valley View Trail is one of the coolest trails I've ridden in a long time!  I can't wait to get back there and ride it again.

Brent and I riding Valley View Trail in Patapsco Valley State Park. -- December 27, 2018

Taking a break near abandoned houses now located in the heart of Patapsco Valley State Park. -- December 27, 2018


My surreal solo ride in Ohiopyle State Park ranks as my favorite ride of 2018.  Alex dropped me off at the Sugarloaf trail head for the start of a crazy ride that took me around the Sugarloaf Area and then to McCune Trail.  The forest was completely engulfed by low hanging clouds and streams of water from the down pour that soaked the area the night before.  McCune trail, lined with enormous boulders, will be a must ride for me from now on.  I took Baughman Trail (which was, at that point, a flowing river) down the mountain to the town of Ohiopyle.  After pausing for some ice cream, I rode the Great Allegheny Passage to the the trail that acts as a connector between the GAP and Kentuck Knob Campgrounds.  The whole ride was so perfect...making it my favorite of 2018!

Riding McCune Trail in Ohiopyle State Park. -- June 21, 2018

The shear size of the boulders which lined McCune Trail in Ohiopyle State Park is amazing! -- June 21, 2018

My Stumpjumper at the base of the two-mile-long Baughman Trail in Ohiopyle.  The trail was literally turned into a small river from the rain that fell the previous night! -- June 21, 2018

Celebrating my ride in Ohiopyle State Park with an ice cream cone from the Ohiopyle General Store. Photo by Alex Raymond. -- June 21, 2018

Hanging my soaked and muddy gear from our cabin's railing to dry in the June humidity. -- June 21, 2018

Life is a journey...not a destination.

David A. Raymond -- December 31, 2018

The best ice cream stop of the year was after my final mountain bike ride of 2018.  Brent and I stopped at the Ice Cream Cottage in Arbutus, Maryland after riding Patapsco Valley State Park. Not only do they have some of the best ice cream...but the nice lady behind the counter makes amazing roast beef sandwiches! -- December 27, 2018

Feel free to FOLLOW me on TWITTER and INSTAGRAM 


Here are the GARMIN maps and data from my favorite rides of 2018.  #OptOutside

All of my posts are available at ALL TRAILS LEAD TO ICE CREAM and, if you get the chance, be sure to visit the good folks at