Showing posts with label Mikey. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mikey. Show all posts

Saturday, January 21, 2017


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 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'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 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


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 is some advice I accidentally learned from a squirrel.  


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


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


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 left, Glenn Medice; top right, Mark Lentz; center, Kristian Hains; bottom right, Dave Raymond; bottom left, Tim Sindlinger -- All pics taken in 2016


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


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


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


Mountain biking affords me the opportunity to do what 99% of the human race (more than likely) would never 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...


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 this particular 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:

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

Friday, December 30, 2016


It's been exactly two months since I've been on either of my bicycles.  That's quite the cycling hiatus for me.  I'll always remember 2016 as the year of my two back surgeries...the first in March and the second in November. I am, however; pretty amazed at all I've been able to do and see and experience in 2016 considering the amount of time I've been relegated to my couch the last nine months.  In between two significant recovery periods I purchased a new mountain bike, made almost a dozen trips to Michaux State Forest, hiked (and biked) some pretty amazing stuff in Arizona, made a couple trips to Patapsco Valley State Park, returned to Rattling Creek for the first time in five years, toured the Gettysburg National Military Park, hiked in the mountains of North Carolina and western Maryland with my wife, made numerous trips to Rocky Ridge County Park, and played on the Allegrippis Trail System at Raystown Lake.

One of my favorite pics of the past year...Tim and and descending into The Gut at Rocky Ridge County Park -- October 14, 2016

2016 started off on the right foot with a hike at Rocky Ridge County Park with my wife, Robin -- January 1, 2016

I borrowed my brother's old Cannondale for this desert ride in Mesa, Arizona -- June 7, 2016

What a difference a week makes!  Top:  Hiking in the Superstition Wilderness in Arizona (June 8, 2016). Bottom: Riding to the top of the Vista in Michaux State Forest with Mark Lentz (June 13, 2016)

Touring the Gettysburg National Military Park with Mike Alessandroni.  In my opinion, the best way to tour the park is on a bicycle -- August 3, 2016

Hiking Tumbling Run with my son, Alex -- June 22, 2016

Probably my favorite road ride of 2016...just pedaling around my hometown of Bedford, Pennsylvania -- July 6, 2016

Hiking High Falls & Triple Falls  in Dupont State Forest, North Carolina with Robin  -- July 21, 2016

In a year that forced me to rest and recover so much I still managed to get out an ride and enjoy the things I love...and I honestly can't remember the last time that I had so many people to enjoy these things with:  Mark Lentz, Tim Sindlinger, Kristian Hains, Glenn Medice, Mikey Nardelli, Billy Graves, Brent Shirk, Matt Linnane, and  Mike Alicea all hit the trails on their mountain bikes...Mike Alessandroni came out to  ride on the road with me...and I went on hikes with my son, Alex and my wife, Robin.  So yeah...let's look back on 2016 as the glass that was half full.  Sure, there was A LOT of recovery...but there was also a lot of fun, laughter, friendship, adventure, and love.  Here are my five favorite moments on the trails during the past year.  Enjoy!

#5:  AWESOME SAUCE! (Riding Patapsco Valley State Park with Kristian Hains) -- October 15, 2016

"FRIENDZ"  this pic says it all.  Dave Raymond & Kristian Hains -- October 15, 2016

Kristain Hains & Dave Raymond pedaling Patapsco Valley State Park -- October 15, 2016

Kristian Hains & Dave Raymond -- October 15, 2016

Dave Raymond riding in Patapsco Valley State Park -- October 15, 2016

#4:  SOMETHING NEW (Riding Swatara State Park with Mark Lentz) -- March 5, 2016

My first ride on my new 2016 Stumpjumper -- March 5, 2016

Dave Raymond & Mark Lentz in Swatara State Park -- March 5, 2016

#3:  TRAIL TALK (Riding Michaux State Forest with Mark Lentz, Tim Sindlinger, Glenn Medice, & Matt Linnane) -- July 26, 2016

Dave Raymond,  Tim Sindlinger, Matt Linnane, Glenn Medice, & Mark Lentz in Michaux State Forest -- July 26, 2016

Love this pic...Matt Linnane's introduction to Glenn Medice -- July 26, 2016

#2:  TURNING INTO SOMETHING AWESOME (Riding Rocky Ridge County Park with Tim Sindlinger, Kristian Hains, and Brent Shirk) -- September 23, 2016

An ordinary ride at Rocky Ridge turned into one of my favorite of was the first time that this combination of guys (Tim Sindlinger, Kristian Hains, Dave Raymond, and Brent Shirk) ever rode together.  It brought up the rear of this ride and was totally mesmerized by watching the different riding styles of the three guys ahead of me.  It was super kool.  The ride was topped off with dinner at Rob Burrito's with Kristian -- September 23, 2016.

#1: GET A GRIP (Riding the Allegrippis Trails at Raystown Lake with Kristain Hains & Glenn Medice) -- August 2, 2016

Kristian Hains, Glenn Medice, & Dave Raymond on the Allegrippis Trails overlooking Raystown Lake -- August 2, 2016

Glenn coveting his friend's mountain bike -- August 2, 2016

Dave Raymond riding the Allegrippis Trails -- August 2, 2016

Top:  Kristian Hains in 2008...Bottom:  Kristian Hains in 2016.  The bottom pic was taken on the Allegrippis Trails on August 2, 2016.  Amazing.

Life is a journey...not a destination.

David A. Raymond -- December 30, 2016

Walking Back Springs Road on the ridge behind my father's house in Bedford, Pennsylvania.  This walked got me past the 1,500 total miles goal I had set for myself after my first back surgery in March.  Not bad.  As for New Year Resolution is to have no more back surgeries and to continue to LIVE//LAUGH//LEARN//LOVE//BIKE!   Happy New Year! -- December 26, 2016

GARMIN MAPS and other DATA from the rides I featured: