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Showing posts with label Mount Penn. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mount Penn. Show all posts

Friday, February 3, 2017

BEYOND THE TRAILS

The ride winds down...the bikes are loaded up...ice cream is on our minds...but the day's adventure isn't always over.  So many times we find ourselves mountain biking in locations that are full of history, beautiful scenery, and hidden surprises.  These post-ride field trips add to the mountain biking experience, form lasting memories, and strengthen bonds of friendship. They are proof that there is more to see beyond the trail and, just because the the ride has ended...the adventure doesn't have to.  Here are just a FEW of the excursions, sights, and "nerdiness" that have highlighted our mountain biking trips over the years.  Enjoy!

After riding some pretty swampy and humid trails (Plantation Trail comes to mind), Mikey, Glenn, Billy, Mark and I took in the sights of the waterfalls near our campsite at Blackwater Falls, West Virgina -- June 2008

Wrapping up a cold, January ride in Governor Dick park near Mount Gretna, Pennsylvania, Mark and I took time to climb up the fire tower on top of the ridge.  So super cool! -- January 21, 2013

After riding in Governor Dick, Mark Lentz and I stumbled upon this ultra cook Eagle Scout project.  This young man made fiber glass reproductions of how local lumber was converted to charcoal for the iron furnaces -- April 1, 2013

Thaddeus Stevens Blacksmith Shop is located in Caledonia State Park west of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.  Thaddeus Stevens was a "Radical" Republican and on of Pennsylvania's members of the House of Representatives during and after the American Civil War.  He was a vocal voice for the rights of African Americans.  Mark Lentz and I checked out this area after a day of mountain biking in the southern part of Michaux State Forest -- October 12, 2015

If you ride anywhere in central Pennsylvania, chances are you will ride near an old iron furnace.  Greenwood Furnace is located in Greenwood Furnace State Park near State College, PA.  The remains of the furnace represent what is left of a thriving village that surrounded the iron furnace from 1834-1904. -- June 28, 2014

After riding in Ohiopyle State Park you cannot help but take time to go explore the main falls in the center of Ohiopyle.  Just up the road you can hike down and explore Cucumber Falls.  Any trip to Ohiopyle isn't complete without a ride through the natural waters slide. Check out the video below.  -- April 2009



Just down the road from Ohiopyle State Park is Fort Necessity National Battlefield.  It was here, in 1754, that a young George Washington was forced to surrender (the first and only time in his career) to an overwhelming French force -- April 2009

Left:  Glenn Medice and Mark Lentz exploring the covered bridge at the top of Triple Falls in Dupont State Forest, NC.  Right:  Triple Falls in Dupont State Forest, NC -- August 2008

During our ride in the Lehigh Valley, Kevin Hardy and I came across the "Star of Bethlehem" that sits on top of the mountain overlooking Bethlehem, Pennsylvania -- August 2010

Riding at Mount Penn near Reading, PA, Mark Lentz and I stumbled upon Kuechler's Roost.  Jacob Kuechler lived on top of Mount Penn in the late 1800s and early 1900s.  He would serve food, drink, and conversation with people who visited the area.  So cool! -- July 2, 2014

Mark and I also visited the Pagoda and fire tower which while riding in Mount Penn.  Both structures overlook the town of Reading, Pennsylvania -- July 2, 2014

Riding near Raymond B. Winter State Park, Mark Lentz, Mikey Nardelli, and I came across an ultra cool amphitheater (top) and a spring house.  Both located deep in the forest --  July 13 & 14, 2011

I've written about it so many times...but I cannot leave out our constant exploration of Camp Michaux located near Pine Grove Furnace State Park in Michaux State Forest.  It served as a CCC camp, a WWII prisoner of war camp, and a church camp.  What an awesome place to explore! -- July 24, 2014

Mark Lentz and I spent some time exploring Penn-Roosevelt Lake in Penn-Roosevelt State Park near State College, Pennsylvania.  The lake was created by the Civilian Conservation Corps -- June 27, 2014

After mountain biking the Allegrippis Trails near Raystown Lake, Mark Lentz, Mikey Nardelli and I picnicked in, and explored, Trough Creek State Park.  We found this really cool (literally) ice cave -- October 14, 2013

After the ice cave, Mark, Mikey, and I hike to the top of ridge to check out the balancing rock hovering over Trough Creek State Park -- October 14, 2013

Yep...taking time out after a ride at Chickies Rock in  Lancaster County, Pennsylvania! --April 13, 2014

Life is a journey...not a destination.


David A. Raymond -- February 3, 2017


It's not nature...nor is it historical...but it's pretty cool!  Welcome to Dillsburg, PA.  After a tough ride at Camp Tuckahoe, Mark Lentz and I made it a point stop and take a pic with the Dillsburg Pickle -- July 3, 2013

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You can find all of our ride pics and trail maps on the ALL TRAILS LEAD TO ICE CREAM website and, as always,  here's a list of GARMIN maps and stats from a few of the rides featured in this post:

(January 21, 2013) Mountain biking at GOVERNOR DICK with Mark Lentz 

(October 14, 2013) Mountain biking the ALLEGRIPPIS TRAILS with Mark and Mikey

(July 2, 2014) Mountain biking at MOUNT PENN with Mark Lentz 

(June 27, 2014) Mountain biking in ROTHROCK STATE FOREST with Mark Lentz 

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

THE HIKE-A-BIKE

Sometimes the ride gets tough...and often virtually impossible.  Mark often says that it's not a ride unless there's at least one "hike-a-bike."  Yeah...that part of the trail that just can't be ridden (well...at least by me!)  That part of the trail that requires you to get out of the saddle and push.  Over the years, as my skill level has improved, the trails have to be more steep and more difficult to coax me off of my bike...but, sometimes it just can't be avoided.  

On our annual Columbus Day "exploration ride," Mark and I rode some pretty awesome stuff.  We also hiked quite a few hills...like the one behind me! -- October 10, 2016

Often, the hike-a-bike isn't caused by some obnoxious hill...but instead, it's the result of the unexpected obstacles thrown into our path.  It could be debris from a storm, a rock garden that just CANNOT be navigated, or mud pits that sink your bike "bottom bracket deep."  It's obstacles like these which, after looking unsuccessfully for some sort of SIGNS OF MAINTENANCE around them, cause us to throw our bikes over our shoulders and do our best to hike through.


A storm the night before caused this mess in Patapsco Valley State Park.  As Tim and Mikey found out...the only way around this mess was to hike through it! -- July 3, 2012

While riding at Mount Penn, Mark and I found no way around this mess.  Grab your bike and start your hike! -- July 2, 2014 

Yeah...Bill Graves and Chris Keller had only one option, "hike-a-bike," in this section of Butch's 2010 Wildlands Adventure Race at Blue Marsh Lake.  Hey!  We finished as the 1st place Male Team.  Nice job, guys! -- September 26, 2010

Ironically, sometimes...not often..but sometimes, you may actually CHOOSE the "hike-a-bike" over another trail.  Maybe it's a ride when you're body is saying "No Más" or possibly it's a ride in which your watch is telling you that you need to get home.  It's those times that the "hike-a bike" actually is your best option and becomes the shortest distance between you and the ice cream at the end of the ride!  


"No Más!" says Mark in Michaux State Forest -- April 19, 2014

"Hike-a-Bike" by choice.  After a fantastic ride in Michaux, Mike Alicea and I were ready for the ice cream at Mountain Creek Campground -- June 14, 2014

On this particularly hot day in Michaux State Forest, and what was for me the best mountain bike ride of 2013, Mark and I decided to take a trail we'd never been on.  We pass that trail often now...and just keep going!  It's not a ride without a "hike-a-bike!" -- August 21, 2013

We did enjoy our rest on top of that hill...until I realized I was sitting on  a colony of red ants!  See...even the toughest "hike-a-bikes" end with a great story! -- August 21, 2013


If you haven't figured out by now...mountain biking is, for me, a metaphor for life.  Often, in life, like on the trails...unexpected sh*t is thrown in front of you with no way around it...except to go through it.  Or, maybe, life might seem like you're pushing your way up a hill that seemingly has no end.  Life's journey, like the contour of the trails I ride, will, at some point, force you to take a deep breath and slow down.  Which is really difficult  for me.  I've written here often that I'm at my worst when I'm inactive...and, as I'm now only two weeks into a long recovery from back surgery, I'm feeling pretty damn inactive.  Right now, for me, life's become one long hike-a-bike.  With an amazing wife (and my great boss) correctly claiming that I have "one serious case of ADD"...I'm very aware that inactivity isn't the best thing for my brain.  Oh...I've got plenty to occupy my mind....like writing this blog, a little advance lesson planning for my classes, and plenty of nerdy books to read...but physically, for someone who loves the ride, I've been forced to get out of the saddle for a while. The thing to remember is...no matter how long or difficult the "hike-a-bike" is...as long as you keep moving (one foot in front of the other) it's only one small part of the ride. And, when it's over, the "hike-a-bike" provides important lessons learned ("I'll never go that way again!"), a sense of accomplishment, a fun story to tell (usually in hindsight), and...at the top of the hill...a pretty damn good view.

Life is a journey...not a destination.


David A. Raymond -- November 16, 2016

Be sure to check out ALL TRAILS LEAD TO ICE CREAM website for trail maps, directions to trail heads, our favorite ice cream shops, and ALL of our ride pics!
HIGHPEAKSHIKING.COM is also worth your while!

The first time Mark took me to my favorite view in Michaux State Forest, the only way he knew to get there included a pretty significant "hike-a-bike."  But, it was worth it.  Once at the top, the view was spectacular! -- June 13, 2016

Sunday, May 1, 2016

SIGNS OF MAINTENANCE -- May 1, 2016

I'm  not sure if he heard the phrase somewhere or if he made it up...but when Mark Lentz first uttered the words "signs of maintenance" he expanded our mountain biking vocabulary.  These three words forever changed our idea of what a trail could be.  Let's use them in a sentence:  "Looks like there are signs of maintenance."  Meaning...at some time during the history of the planet earth...some person has walked, hiked, or ridden a bike (or horse) in this a general place.  When spoken, these three words can stir up a multitude of emotions.  When we're tired, and we've already spend a day of muddling through the muck and mud, the words can bring a string of curse words to our lips.  The few times we've been lost (as lost as we've ever been) hearing the words can bring a sense of relief.  The thing is...no matter what emotions we feel when we hear them...they've always provided a way to the ice cream at the end of the ride.  Who doesn't like that?

Tim and Mikey found signs of maintenance in Patapsco Valley State Park -- July 2, 2012

Life is a journey, not a destination.


David A. Raymond -- May 1, 2016

Mark found signs of maintenance at Mount Penn -- July 2, 2014