Showing posts with label Patapsco Valley State. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Patapsco Valley State. Show all posts

Sunday, March 26, 2017


Glenn showed up to ride Michaux with Tim and I this past June with a button down short sleeve "hiking" shirt.  It was a new look for Glenn.  Gone were the bibs and super cool cycling jerseys.  He said he was going for comfort.  (Personally, I'm convinced his new mountain biking gear is doubling as his "teacher" gear!)  Let me be clear...I'm definitely not making fun of Glenn.  I have absolutely NO room to talk when it comes to mountain biking fashion (if you go back and read THOSE FIRST TRAILS you'll know exactly what I mean).  Glenn wasn't the only one who was sporting a new look last summer.  With the purchase of my "highlighter orange" Stumpjumper, I completely updated my mountain biking look and decided to move away from the red and black color scheme I'd been sporting the last few years. 

Showing off my green Brevard, NC t-shirt while riding Patapsco Valley State Park, Maryland -- October 15, 2016

Last summer marked the beginning of a new chapter for our I thought, like Glenn, I'd make a fashion overhaul.  Bag to baggies (super comfy gray and black shorts that could be worn with just about anything), a new florescent green helmet, and whatever t-shirt grabbed my fancy that day.  I don't worry about matching my bike anymore....but it's still ALL ABOUT THE COLOR.  As for the rest of the guys...Kristian loves sporting the camo shorts (and, for one ride in August, a new mohawk hair style)...Mark's sleeveless cycling shirts will be all the rage with the kool kids this summer...and Timmy wins the award for "MOST CONSISTENT FASHION" with his white tank tops.

Glenn riding the Allegrippis Trails in his button down dress...uh...mountain bike shirt -- August 2, 2016

I have always been jealous of Kristain's desert camo cargo shorts! -- October 15, 2016

Taking a break in Michaux State Forest.  The most consistent of us all...Timmy and his white tank tops -- June 28, 2016
Today is Timmy's 44th birthday!  Happy birthday, bud!

Mark's fashion is all about comfort.  Whatever works, my friend! -- July 26, 2016

Mikey is the "King of Kool Cycling Shirts"...but my favorite is his "I JUST WANT TO RIDE MY EFFIN BIKE" t-shirt!

So, with winter fading away...with Timmy's recovery from shoulder surgery winding down...with my back getting stronger and stronger after my last back surgery...with Glenn now in possession of his brand new mountain bike (we ALL saw that one coming)...and with more of Mark's cycling jersey sleeves left lying on his living room won't be long before we will be back out on the trails.  We might not be riding fast...but one thing's for sure:  we'll be riding in style.

Life is a journey...not a destination.

David A. Raymond -- March 26, 2017

Oh dear, God...this summer may be interesting.

GARMIN  MAPS and other DATA from the rides I featured:

-Michaux State Forest with Timmy and Glenn (June 28, 2016)

-Michaux State Forest with Mark, Glenn, Timmy, and Matt (July 26, 2016)

-Allegrippis Trails with Glenn and Kristian (August 2, 2016)

-Patapsco Valley State Park with Kristian (October 15, 2016)

Saturday, February 25, 2017


It's no secret that I love mountain biking.  It's also not a secret that like to ride in Michaux State Forest and that ultimately, no matter where I ride, all trails will lead me to ice cream.  Not just me though.  SOLO RIDES are few and far between...I love riding with friends. They are the ones that make every ride special...and over the years, their friendship, their personalities, their love of the outdoors, and their love for mountain biking have helped turned a hobby into a passion.  I'm so fortunate and privileged to have them in my life and out on the trails with me.

All the links of the chain:  Mark Lentz, Kristian Hains, Glenn Medice, Timmy  Sindlinger, Mikey Nardelli, Kevin Hardy, Bill Graves, Mike Alicea, Matt Linnane, Brent Shirk, & Chris Keller

Without my friends I'm not sure I would mountain bike nearly as much as I do...I'd be just one link of the chain. All of us, together, keep this thing moving.  I love Michaux, I love my Stumpjumpers, and I love going for ice cream afterwards...but I thought I'd get their input on a few questions and see what it is that they love.  Here are their responses in the order in which I received them.  Thanks for the assist on this one, guys!


I've known Bill for over 15 years.  He and I started mountain biking together in 2006.  Top to Bottom//Left to Right:  Riding in Michaux State Forest (2009); Bill's "Frankenbike" at the M.A.S.S. Relay (April 3, 2010); Bill relaxing at the M.A.S.S. Relay (April 3, 2010); Riding Rocky Ridge County Park (August 10, 2011)

CURRENT BIKE:  Frankenbike built on a Sette frame. 29inch Cross Max wheels and a host of used/donated parts.

FAVORITE BIKE: The one I own.

FAVORITE PLACE TO MOUNTAIN BIKE or FAVORITE TRAIL: Crested Butte, CO. Hard, fast single track, beautiful mountain scenery, high altitude lung burn.

FAVORITE POST RIDE MEAL or TREAT: Ice cream, of course.


Glenn was introduced to our group by Mikey Nardelli.  Glenn, the eldest statesman of the group, was the first in the group to switch to 29 inch wheels loves to set mountain bike fashion trends!  Left to Right//Top to Bottom:  Glenn in Marysville, PA (April 4, 2009); Glenn on top of some God forsaken fire road in Rothrock State Forest (August 2007); Glenn in Michaux State Forest (June 2016); Glenn in French Creek State Park (March 14, 2009)

CURRENT BIKE:  Specialized Epic Hard Tail

FAVORITE BIKE:  Surly Karate Monkey 29er

FAVORITE PLACE TO MOUNTAIN BIKE or FAVORITE TRAIL: Rattling Creek, north of Harrisburg.  It's a challenging ride with a mix of rocks, rock gardens, and more.  An occasional fast, mossy single track provides a smile and some relief, but by the end of the ride I'm spent!  Great ride, though, and one of my favs.



Tim and I  met Matt while riding in Swatara State Park back in 2015.  He fits right in with the group!  Left to Right:  Matt in Michaux State Forest (August 4, 2015); Matt riding in Swatara State Park (September 5, 2015)

CURRENT BIKE:  Cannondale F29

FAVORITE BIKE:  Specialized Fuse plus size (don't tell my Cannondale)

FAVORITE PLACE TO MOUNTAIN BIKE or FAVORITE TRAIL:  Mt. Gretna/Governor Dick because it's an amalgam of adventure from rail trail to technical hard rock gardens.  I can take anything from an easy recovery ride with my daughter to a kick butt challenging technical ride that I feel the need to pad up for.

FAVORITE POST RIDE MEAL or TREAT:  Tie betwen sticky buns and BBQ.  Tough to choose because I really like to eat.


Mike is my next door neighbor and loves to ride when he can.  He and I have been riding together for about three years.  Top to Bottom: Mike in Michaux State Forest (January 2, 2016); Mike in Rocky Ridge County Park (September 18, 2014); Mike in Michaux State Forest (June 14, 2014)

CURRENT BIKE:  2014 Excaliber 6

FAVORITE BIKE:  My 1991 Gary Fisher Tassajara was my all-time favorite bike.  I had it for 18 years and it never let me down.  I put that bike through hell!  Haha!

FAVORITE PLACE TO MOUNTAIN BIKE or FAVORITE TRAIL:  I love riding at Rocky Ridge County Park due to the close proximity to my home and the vast number of trails that really test one's riding ability.

FAVORITE POST RIDE MEAL or TREAT:  I usually eat a banana topped with natural peanut butter.


Mark has been one of my best friends for a long time.  He and I both teach in the same school district and he and I share a brain about a long list of topics.  Mark's also been quite the mentor to me...I've learned a lot about mountain biking and the outdoors from Mark.  Thanks, bud!  Top to Bottom//Left to Right:  Mark in Swatara State Park (January 16, 2012); Mark riding in Michaux State Forest (October 30, 2016); Mark and his "dirty" bike in Michaux State Forest (October 12, 2015); Mark on one of his all-time favorite trails: Ridgeline in Dupont State Forest, N.C. (August 2008)

CURRENT BIKE:  Niner Carbon Air 9 & Steel Sir 9

FAVORITE BIKE:  A dirty bike

FAVORITE PLACE TO MOUNTAIN BIKE or FAVORITE TRAIL:  Any gnarly single track. Rothrock State Forest or western North Carolina or Wharton State Forest, NJ.  My favorite trail is Ridgeline in Dupont State Forest, NC because if flows like no other trail.  It is sex on two wheels.



Brent lives across the street from me.  He's an awesome guy and a great family man.  Brent get's out whenever he can and as long as it doesn't interfere his two boy's sports schedules.  Brent and I have been riding together for almost seven years now!  Left to Right:  Brent in Rocky Ridge County Park (September 23, 2016); Brent in Patapsco Valley State Park (December 30, 2013)

CURRENT BIKE:  Specialized Stumpjumper

FAVORITE BIKE:  My current one.

FAVORITE PLACE TO MOUNTAIN BIKE or FAVORITE TRAIL:  Rocky Ridge County Park.  With my busy schedule it is where I usually ride.

FAVORITE POST RIDE MEAL or TREAT:  Nothing in particular.


Tim's my original riding partner and one of my very best friends.  He and I have been riding together since the year 2000!  Top to Bottom//Left to Right:  Tim riding Rocky Ridge County Park (November 26, 2011); Tim riding GRAVE RIDGE in Michaux State Forest (August 9, 2016); Tim in Michaux State Forest (August 9, 2016); Tim showing off in Michaux State Forest (June 21, 2016)



FAVORITE PLACE TO MOUNTAIN BIKE or FAVORITE TRAIL:  Michaux--the terrain makes you feel like you are down South with the foliage and creek crossings to the Midwest with the sandy soil and pine trees...all within just a few miles!

FAVORITE POST RIDE MEAL or TREAT:   Ice cream never tasted so good! (pretty much the only time I eat it)


Both of my children had Mikey as their second grade teacher.  He's a great teacher, great mountain biker, and great friend!  Mikey began riding with me in 2005.  Top to Bottom//Left to Right:  Mikey at the M.A.S.S. relay (April 3, 2010); Mikey in West Virginia (June 2007); Mikey in Patapsco Valley State Park (August 9, 2011); Mikey with his new bike in Michaux State Forest (July 5, 2016)

CURRENT BIKE:  State Pulsar SS 29er

FAVORITE BIKE:  Misfit Dissent

FAVORITE PLACE TO MOUNTAIN BIKE or FAVORITE TRAIL:  American Standard in Jim Thorpe, PA.  A good day ride and a variety of trails.



Kevin and I have known each other since 2003.  Kevin's a super good guy.  Left to Right: Kevin riding at the Lakes in York County (November 7, 2009); Kevin taking on a see-saw in the Lehigh Valley (August 7, 2010)


FAVORITE BIKE:  Trek Fuel EX6 (only my second bike--but it's been heavily modified over the years)

FAVORITE PLACE TO MOUNTAIN BIKE or FAVORITE TRAIL:  Lehigh Mountain south of Bethlehem, incredible amount of climbing rewarded with a lot of gnarly downhill.

FAVORITE POST RIDE MEAL or TREAT:  Roadside pulled pork and potatoes.


Chris and I have been riding together since 2010.  He's also been a great partner and  a vital member of team WHITE SQUIRREL!  Top to Bottom//Left to Right:  Chris in Rocky Ridge County Park (August 9, 2015); Chris in Rocky Ridge (August 10, 2011); Chris riding the Lakes (November 26, 2011); Chris riding through one of the tunnels that travels under interstate 83 at the Lakes (June 4, 2011)


FAVORITE BIKE:  One newer than mine.

FAVORITE PLACE TO MOUNTAIN BIKE or FAVORITE TRAIL:  I will take any dirt trail at this point.  My ride time is so minimal.  I'll take what I can get.

FAVORITE POST RIDE MEAL or TREAT:  As much as I enjoy eating ice cream with preference, by far, is a craft brew beer.

Life is a journey...not a destination.

David A. Raymond -- February 25, 2017

I cannot leave out Kristian!  Arguably the best rider of the group and a super good friend!  Left:  Kristian riding Ridgeline Trail in Dupont State Forest, NC (August 2008).  Right:  Kristian likes ice cream...but he LOVES Roburrito's (September 23, 2016)

If you enjoyed reading all means, please feel free to tweet it!  

Here's a list of GARMIN maps and stats from a few of the rides featured in this post:

August 9, 2016 -- Mountain biking in Michaux and Grave Ridge Trail with Timmy.

October 12, 2015 -- Columbus Day exploring in Michaux with Mark.

September 5, 2015 -- Mountain biking Swatara State Park

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
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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, 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: