Showing posts with label Rattling Creek. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Rattling Creek. 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)

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

THE BEST MEDICE(ine) -- June 28, 2016

I'm going to openly admit that I've done too much the past few weeks and it's taken a slight toll on my "recently operated on" back.  I arrived home from hiking in Arizona and camping in Ohiopyle feeling great and anxious to get on my bike.  Thing is...I have a problem with moderation...I always have.  I guess, fortunately for me, my drug of choice is the outdoors...or, more specifically, my mountain bike.  Unfortunately, like any drug that you take too much of...especially when you shouldn't...the outcome isn't always positive.  

Celebrating the first day of summer and "National Selfie Day" with Matt Linnane & Tim Sindlinger  with a ride in Michaux -- June 21, 2016

Taking a break in Michaux (Tim Sindlinger, Dave Raymond, Matt Linnane) -- June 21, 2016

Timmy gliding over a newly created ramp on one of our favorite trails in Michaux State Forest -- June 21, 2016

Matt taking a post ride shower from the back of his truck -- June 21, 2016

To our horror, there was no ice cream at Mountain Creek Campground until 1 PM today -- June 21, 2016

The first official day of summer (also National Selfie Day) fell on a Tuesday this year.  As in previous summers, Tim and I have again designated Tuesday mornings as our "ride in Michaux" time.  Each week I invite as many people as I can...but at least Tim and I know that we will have some time to ride together.  Matt joined us for our first "Tuesday ride" of the summer.  We rode all of our standard trails and mixed things up a little by riding a few of them in the opposite direction before wrapping things up and heading to Mountain Creek Campground for our post ride ice cream.  My heart almost stopped when I saw the sign on the door of the camp store:  NO ICE CREAM.  Thank goodness it was just for one day as the freezer was being defrosted.  On this particular day, all trails led to coffee instead.

Hiking Tumbling Run with Alex -- June 22, 2016

This guy slithered out of our way as we made our way up Tumbling Run -- June 22, 2016

Alex took this super cool photo of me at the top of Tumbling Run.  Check out this photo sphere to see my view -- June 22, 2016

I had promised my son, Alex, that the next day, Wednesday, I would take him hiking in Michaux.  I think I realized that morning, after I completed a road ride through Manchester, Mount Wolf, and York Haven, that I wasn't in any shape to go hiking.  Honestly, I shouldn't have even done the road ride.  I woke up sore from mountain biking with Tim & Matt the day before and should have planned to spend the day on the couch with an ice pack...not on my road bike...and definitely not on a hike up a mountain in Michaux!  Moderation...I'm not good at it.  Even when I know better...even when  I know that I probably shouldn't be doing it...I push myself to keep going.  I'm just not good at turning that switch off in my head.  Halfway up Tumbling Run (which is one of the most beautiful hikes that you can do in Michaux) I began to feel some of the pain I felt prior to my surgery.   It felt great to get to the top, rest a little, and take in the view.  A day off of the bike...and off of the what I had in mind for Thursday.

Mark and I paused to take a break at the intersection of Rattling and Dry Run Trails -- June 24, 2016

Thursday came and went without as much rest as I had intended...or needed.  On Friday morning Mark picked me up for a ride that we had scheduled earlier in the week.  We planned explore some trails north of Swatara State Park.  Because of circumstances beyond our control we ended up in Rattling Creek later that morning.  I had not been to Rattling Creek since 2010 and the thought of riding there got me pretty excited.  We spend the remainder of the morning navigating fourteen miles of unforgiving, rocky, technical trail.  I had a a blast...I had a great time...and I was spent.  For the first time since my back surgery I really knew that I had pushed myself too hard.  My "drug" had ceased being good medicine.  

Three straight days of rest made for a fun and enjoyable ride in Michaux with Glenn & Tim -- June 28, 2016

Glenn's back...and he hasn't missed a beat -- June 28, 2016

Thumbs up for Glenn on his first Michaux ride in over five years -- June 28, 2016

Twice a week.  That's the bargain I struck with myself.  Tuesdays with Tim (and whoever else can join us) and then a ride on Thursday or Friday.  That's what I need to hold myself to for the time being.  After my ride at Rattling Creek with Mark on Friday I spent three complete days resting  my back.  I had extra motivation for today's Tuesday ride.  Today, Glenn Medice joined Timmy and I!  This is one of the coolest (and most unexpected) consequences this blog.  Glenn, and a few of the other guys that rode with us years ago, are back in the game.  The band is slowly coming back together....and the feeling is beyond description.  At one point today, I was leading the three of us down the trail and I could hear Tim and Glenn just talking away in the background.  The smile on my face went from ear to ear.  This is the best medicine...being with friends and enjoying our time together.  I can't do that with a sore back.  If this means cutting back and riding just a little bit less (at least for the time being)...then so be it.  

Life is a journey...not a destination.

David A. Raymond -- June 28, 2016

The best Medice(ine)...some post ride ice cream at Mountain Creek Campground.  Thanks for buying, Glenn!  --  June 28, 2016

Sunday, April 3, 2016


Sometimes it is planned out far in advance and sometimes it is accidental...but when it happens it usually results in something memorable.  The group ride.  A bunch of friends...each with different backgrounds, different professions, and at different stations in life...brought together by the love of mountain biking.  A group of guys spending time talking, laughing, riding, creating memories, and simply enjoying life.  Recently, I've had the opportunity to look back through all of my pictures.  I discovered a treasure trove of great pics and I chose 10 of my favorite group shots.  Here they are in no particular order (however, the last shot posted is my all time favorite mountain biking picture).  Some of my friends still ride and some do not.  Regardless, no matter where each of us are in life now, the memories are there...and no one can go back and wipe those smiles off of our faces.  Sometimes, there is nothing better than some "group therapy."  Enjoy!


  Glenn Medice, Dave Raymond, Bill Graves, Mike Nardelli, & Mark Lentz (posing) 
Four wet and muddy days camping and riding the trails near Black Water Falls, West Virginia.  
Black Water Falls State Park


Mark Lentz, Mike Nardelli, & Dave Raymond
We hooked Mikey's pop up to my Silverado and headed out for three day's of mountain biking in northern Pennsylvania.
Raymond B. Winter State Park


Tim Sindlinger, Dave Raymond, Mark Lentz, Kristian Hains
Taking a break on the rock gardens that litter the trails at Rattling Creek.  Everyone loved to make fun of my primer color helmet.
Rattling Creek Trail System


Mike Nardelli, Glenn Medice, Dave Raymond, & Mark Lentz (front)
Okay...not just necessarily a group ride...but a great post race pic.  Gotta love our bumble bee jerseys.
Mid-Atlantic Super Series


Dave Raymond, Tim Sindlinger, Matt Linnane, & Brent Shirk
Pausing to chat and document our ride near some freshly cut timber piled along side of trail A.
Swatara Gap State Park


Dave Raymond, Glenn Medice, Mike Nardelli, Mark Lentz, Bill Graves, Kevin Hardy
A three hour road trip to ride one of the most famous trails in Pennsylvania...American Standard.  Fifteen miles of single track and rock gardens just to pose with a urinal that is nailed to a tree deep in the forests of Pennsylvania.
American Standard Trail


Chip Fissel, Tim Sindlinger, Dave Raymond, Chris Keller
Getting geared up to climb to the top of the ridge on trail 8.
Rocky Ridge County Park


Mark Lentz, Mike Nardelli, Dave Raymond
A quick road trip on Columbus Day 2013 to Lake Raystown.  Nothing gives Mark and I a bigger grin on our faces than making Mikey feel uncomfortable!
The Allegrippis Trails


Mike Nardelli, Glenn Medice, Gary Johnson, Kevin Hardy, Mark Lentz, Tim Sindlinger, Dave Raymond
Nobody would criticize us for pausing to catch our breath after a three mile fire road climb to the top of the ridge in Rothrock State Forest.
Rothrock State Forest--DCNR


Mark Lentz, Kristian Hains, Glenn Medice, Dave Raymond
My all time favorite group photo.  The four of us spent an amazing week mountain biking and camping in Pisgah National Forest, North Carolina.
Dupont State Forest

Life is a journey, not a destination.

David A. Raymond -- April 3, 2016