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

Thursday, December 31, 2020

BACKTRACKING 2020, Part Three -- THE YEAR BEHIND BARS

The last day of 2020 is, currently, cold and dreary...but that didn't stop Matt an I from wrapping up the year on a high note with a super fun New Year's Eve ride in Michaux.  I've spent a lot of time on my bikes this past year.  Three hundred forty eight hours...to be exact...were dedicated to riding my bike in 2020.  Translated to mileage...I pedaled over 3,500 miles in the last 365 days.  Although I got to ride a lot with my friends...the Pandemic forced me to ride more solo miles than I had for quite some time. 2020 also saw a new bike added to my fleet...a 2021 Specialized Diverge.  Yeah...now I own a gravel bike, too.  As crappy as 2020 has been for so many people, I have been blessed with the time and ability to safely get out and enjoy nature on my bike.  Looking back over the past year it was hard to pick my favorite rides.  I was able to narrow it down to the following twelve rides.  I want to thank my wife, Robin (who is part of this list) for encouraging my love of cycling.  Also, these rides wouldn't be nearly as fun if it wasn't for my friends who joined me on my adventures....thank you, Matt, Tim, Todd, Chris, Brent, and Adam!  So, here is my look back on my past year behind bars...handle bars, to be specific.  Enjoy!


ATV TRAIL FUN IN MICHAUX -- AUGUST 11, 2020

Any ride in Michaux State Forest is tougher than average...but this particular ride was a challenge.  Matt, Tim, and I set out to ride the ATV trails just southeast of Pine Grove Furnace State Park.  These particular trials are rutted from ATV tracks and made up of loose rocks.  For sure, this 17 mile ride isn't something that I would want to do all the time...but on this particular day the three of us were up for the challenge and it was really fun. 

Riding the rocky ATV trails in Michaux State Forest. -- August 11, 2020


I'll be your Huckleberry!  -- August 11, 2020

Dave Raymond, Matt Linnane, and Tim Sindlinger-- August 11, 2020

INDUSTRIAL PARK EXPLORATION -- NOVEMBER 21, 2020

Living in York County and in close proximity to Interstate 83, as I do, means industrial parks...everywhere!  Looking for something unique to ride I decided to head out on a November, Sunday morning, to ride all of the empty industrial park parking lots that were within five miles from my house.  I ended up with an awesome 22 mile ride that, when I pull it up on Garmin and Strava, looks unlike any other ride I've ever done!

Posing next to the Bob Hoffman statue in front of the National Weightlifting Hall of Fame. -- November 21, 2020

Pumped up riding past York Barbell. -- November 21, 2020

Nothing like the smell of  the Starbucks plant near my house when they are roasting their dark roast. -- November 21, 2020


CODORUS STATE PARK -- SEPTEMBER 12, 2020

This ride was just a blast.  I had the honor of giving Chris and Todd a tour of the eight miles of twisty, turny, built-up single track that makes up the mountain biking section of Codorus State Park.  What a great way to spend a Saturday morning.

Dave Raymond, Chris Keller, Todd Fisher. -- September 12, 2020

Todd Fissher shredding the trails in Codorus State Park. -- September 12, 2020

Chris Keller, with no fear, taking off from one of the many build ups in Codorus State Park. -- September 12, 2020

Gung Ho shop guys in Codorus State Park.  Todd Fisher and Dave Raymond. -- September 12, 2020


SWEET RIDE IN HERSHEY -- MAY 15

In March, April, and May I had been laying low and riding solo...a lot...as this whole global pandemic was unraveling.  By May, I had come out of my shell and had begun riding (safely) with other people again.  Brent Shirk and I made our way up Interstate 83 to ride the Hershey Trail System.  This ride will forever be remembered as the ride where I wiped out riding through this really cool "cauldron" formation in the landscaped because there was a snake directly in my line of sight.  Turns out the little effer was already dead!  Good times!

Taking a selfie with a random gnome along the Hershey trail system.  -- May 15, 2020


Dave Raymond and Brent Shirk. -- May 15, 2020

Fun stuff on the Hershey trail system. -- May 15, 2020

Bailing out...or possibly just freaking out...at the sight of a snake in my direct line of sight while riding the Hershey trail system.  -- May 15, 2020

Turns out the damn thing was already dead! -- May 15, 2020

HALLOWEEN URBAN RIDING -- OCTOBER 31, 2020

Harrisburg's Parkway Trail System contains about sixteen miles of single track hidden in the green area throughout Pennsylvania's Capital City.  On Halloween, Tim, Adam, Matt, and I rode it all...plus a little extra extension using Harrisburg's Green Belt for a quick loop up and around the Capitol Complex.

Adam Zeigler, Matt Linnane, Dave Raymond, and Tim Sindlinger on the Parkway Trail System in Harrisburg. -- October 31, 2020

Taking a slight detour from the single track on to Harrisburg's River Walk. -- October 31, 2020

Matt Linnane and Dave Raymond enjoying a little urban mountain biking.  -- October 31, 2020

OHIOPYLE STATE PARK -- JUNE 18, 2020

I camp in Ohiopyle State Park every June...ergo, I mountain bike in Ohiopyle every June.  It is one of the few places where I have someone (my son, Alex) drive me to the top of a mountain so that I can play around on it and then descend.  On this particular ride I thoroughly enjoyed Canyon Edge trail (in both direction) before descending the final 800 feet in less than 2 miles on Baughman Trail.  So intense...and so much fun!

Canyon Edge Trail in Ohiopyle State Park -- June 18, 2020

Post-ride relaxation in the Youghiogheny River. -- June 18, 2020

Wrapping things up in Ohiopyle with an ice cream cone. -- June 18, 2020

NORTHWEST LANCASTER RIVER TRAIL -- NOVEMBER 25/26, 2020

The Northwest Lancaster County River Trail traces the Susquehanna River from Columbia to Falmouth.  Round trip, the ride is just about 30 miles in length.  The River Trail has beautiful views of the Susquehanna River and is lined with the remnants of 18th, 19th, and early 20th century industrial sites that thrived along the rail tracks near the river.  I has so much fun the first day that I rode that I needed to go back the next day to explore even more. 

Looking westward at the Veteran's Memorial Bridge which spans the Susquehanna River connecting Columbia and Wrightsville, Pennsylvania. -- November 25, 2020

A small detour off of the River Trail allowed me to explore the interior of an 18th century iron furnace. -- November 25, 2020

The White Cliffs of Conoy...an ultra cool limestone formation rising above the Susquehanna River...are accessible from the River Trail. -- November 25, 2020

Pausing on my ride along the River Trail to admire my brand new Specialized Diverge. -- November 25, 2020

C & O TOWPATH & GREAT ALLEGHENY PASSAGE -- JULY 19//21, 2020

Robin and I scaled back our annual anniversary trip and decided to keep things a little more low key by spending five days camping in Rocky Gap State Park in western Maryland.  Cumberland, Maryland...just 10 miles from Rocky Gap...is where the Great Allegheny Passage meets the C & O Towpath.  Robin and I made two separate trips into Cumberland to ride on the trails and explore the surrounding areas.

David and Robin Raymond enjoying the C & O Towpath just south of Cumberland, Maryland. -- July 19, 2020

Checking out George Washington's French and Indian War headquarters in Cumberland, Maryland. -- July 19, 2020

An anniversary ride on the C & O Towpath with my beautiful wife, Robin. -- July 21, 2020

A tunnel to West Virginia?  So cool!  -- July 21, 2020

ROCKY GAP STATE PARK -- JULY 20, 2020

This solo mountain bike ride...sandwiched between the two rides on the Great Allegheny Passage and C & O Towpath with Robin...was, no doubt, the my most difficult ride of the summer.  With the July sun blazing and the temps rising over 95 degrees I pedaled out of my campsite for a 9 mile ride that would climb more than 1,300 feet to the top of Evitts Summit, past the Mason/Dixon Line, and into Bedford County, Pennsylvania.  The climb to the top of Evitts Summit was difficult...but the view from the top was equally rewarding.  And yes....the ride down was a blast!

Happy to finally be to the top of Evitts Summit. -- July 20, 2020

Mason / Dixon marker on the top of Evitts Summit. -- July 20, 2020

Crossing out of Rocky Gap State Park and into my home county of Bedford, Pennsylvania. -- July 20, 2020

Appreciating the view from the top of Evitts Summit...probably the most spectacular view I had all summer. -- July 20, 2020

CAPITAL AREA GREENBELT -- OCTOBER 24 and NOVEMBER 14, 2020

In 2020 I discovered how extremely cool Harrisburg's Capital Area Greenbelt is.  The trail does a super fun loop around Pennsylvania's Capital City.  Robin and I explored half of it together in October....and then a few weeks later, I went back to complete the entire loop.  Harrisburg's River Front, City Island, the Capitol Building, Governor's Mansion, Farm Show Complex, and Wildwood Park are all featured along the Greenbelt.

Welcome to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania! -- October 24, 2020

David and Robin Raymond enjoying a Saturday afternoon on the Capital Area Greenbelt. -- October 24, 2020

My Diverge and the Pennsylvania State Capitol Building. -- October 24, 2020

Late October Fall foliage and an old iron train bridge.  -- October 24, 2020

Riding through Harrisburg's Phoenix Park. -- October 24, 2020

My evolution. -- October 24, 2020

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania -- November 14, 2020

EPIC MICHAUX RIDE -- JUNE 13, 2020

I told Chris that I had a fun ride planned...and that it would probably be about 18 miles long.  Well, the ride was fun...but when we finished we had pedaled over 25 miles of Michaux single track.  This epic ride included fire road, rock gardens, super cool build ups, beautiful vistas, and mountain laurel that was in full bloom.  This ride was the real deal!

My Stumpjumper with the mountain laurel that lines the trails in Michaux State Forest. -- June 13, 2020

Chris Keller taking off! -- June 13, 2020

I actually landed this one. Not bad for forty-seven year old me.  -- June 13, 2020

Chis Keller and Dave Raymond in Michaux State Forest. -- June 13, 2020

SOLO AND UNSUPPORTED CENTURY RIDE -- SEPTEMBER 27, 2020

I talked about doing if for a long time...but in 2020, I made it happen.  I left my house in Manchester, Pennsylvania at 10 AM on a dreary and damp Sunday morning with a determination to ride 100 miles...my first "century ride"...on my own and completely unsupported.  Here is what I learned on my nearly 7 hour, 102 mile journey on my Roubaix.  First of all...the York County Heritage Rail Trail and the Northern Central Maryland Railroad Trail are NOT flat.  As a matter of fact I ended up climbing well over 2,000 feet on this ride.  I also discovered that parts of the Maryland side of the trail were actually pretty narrow and rocky (as far as rail trails go.)  Around mile sixty five, I made the mistake of beginning to think about the pizza I was going to order when I got home making the ride, for the first time that day, seem a little daunting. Fortunately I was wise enough to bring a little cash...which was well spent on some Italian Ice  in New Freedom, Pennsylvania.  That little sugar rush was just what I needed to make it the final thirty miles.  Finally, I think I realized that the next time I do a century ride (and there will be a next time) I would like to have one of my riding buds with me.  Anyone interested?

Heading South and passing through Howard Tunnel on the York County Heritage Rail Trail. -- September 27, 2020

Crossing the Mason/Dixon line into Maryland. -- September 27, 2020

The halfway point of my century ride. -- September 27, 2020

Stopped for some amazing Italian Ice at Gill Ice in New Freedom, PA. -- September 27, 2020

I did it.  My first century ride! -- September 27, 2020



Life is a journey...not a destination.



David A. Raymond -- December 31, 2020



I've had some pretty awesome treats this year too!  Clockwise...my mammoth post-ride, birthday sundae at the Bobcat Creamery,  Butter Pecan at the Tiger Eye in Harrisburg following a ride on the Capital Area Greenbelt, and a waffle cone in Cumberland, Maryland following a ride on the C & O Towpath.


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Here are the GARMIN maps and data from some of the adventures featured in this post.
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ATV TRAIL FUN IN MICHAUX -- AUGUST 11, 2020

INDUSTRIAL PARK EXPLORATION -- NOVEMBER 21, 2020

CODORUS STATE PARK -- SEPTEMBER 12, 2020

HALLOWEEN URBAN RIDING -- OCTOBER 31, 2020

OHIOPYLE STATE PARK -- JUNE 18, 2020

NORTHWEST LANCASTER RIVER TRAIL -- NOVEMBER 25, 2020

NORTHWEST LANCASTER RIVER TRAIL -- NOVEMBER 26, 2020

ROCKY GAP STATE PARK -- JULY 20, 2020

EARNING MY GREENBELT -- NOVEMBER 14, 2020

EPIC MICHAUX RIDE -- JUNE 13, 2020

SOLO AND UNSUPPORTED CENTURY RIDE -- SEPTEMBER 27, 2020


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