Showing posts with label Roubaix. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Roubaix. Show all posts

Friday, December 8, 2017


There's a novelty to riding your bike in places far from home.  I've taken my bike with me on a trip  to the Jersey Shore, to St. Augustine, and on many trips to my home town of Bedford.  I'm still looking forward to the day that I take it on a trip to visit my brother in Mesa, Arizona.  Cycling is such a cool way to explore and experience other parts of the country.

Driving south through Virginia, Robin and I took a short detour on the Blue Ridge Parkway.  We were treated to a beautiful sunset along the way. -- November 25, 2017

Each year, Robin and I spend the week after Thanksgiving in West Palm Beach, Florida.  I know that  flying would be easier...but I like the thousand mile drive!  I get to spend time with my wife, see the Country, and easily take my bicycle!  I really look forward to riding my bike along the Florida coast.  It's so amazingly different from riding in south-central Pennsylvania.   You can forget about hills...there aren't any.  Don't even think about packing cold weather gear and  "wind chill"...the temps are comfortably in the 80s.  Pine trees are replaced with palm trees and the seemingly endless Atlantic Ocean takes the place of  Pennsylvania's corn fields.  

Pedaling near Juno Beach, Florida. -- November 27, 2017

Pausing to view the ocean from Juno Pier. -- November 28, 2017

Florida's State Parks sure look different than they do in Pennsylvania.  No pine trees and mountains...just palm trees as far as you can see at John D. MacArthur State Park -- November 29, 2017

The longest ride during my stay in Florida.  I rode from West Palm Beach to the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse. -- November 30, 2017

Near Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse I came across this old Spanish anchor.  It is nearly 300 years old and was pulled out of the ocean near Jupiter Inlet. -- November 30, 2017

Happy December!  An easy ride near John D. MacArthur State Park with Robin.  We paused near the water to watch the pelicans, kingfishers, and other birds on the water near the park.  -- December 1, 2017

This is a first...I stopped for a pelican.  This not-so-little guy decided to take a rest in the bike lane! -- December 1, 2017

I passed this mermaid on each of my rides during my week in Florida. -- December 2, 2017

A new ice cream shop...Sweet Treats and Ice Cream is located just about 500 feet from where Robin and I were staying. -- December 2, 2017
Robin and I had fantastic weather while we were in West Palm last week.  It rained just once...but not enough to put a damper on any of our plans.  I was excited to get out for a ride each of the six days we were there.  My rides weren't all that long....the longest was just over 27 miles, the shortest just over 10 miles, and the others somewhere in between.  But the length of the rides didn't matter.  I was somewhere new and different.  I found that the wind along the ocean can be just as much of a challenge as the toughest hill climb back home. Riding in Florida proved to be a lesson in patience every time I came to a draw bridge...and I found that I don't enjoy riding my Roubaix over the open metal grate surface that makes up the "draw" part of the draw bridges. Probably the biggest challenge riding along the coast was the wind!   Even though my daily rides were almost completely flat ( I climbed a total of 210 feet in 120 miles of riding) the ocean wind was intense.  It was amazing to pass three separate flag poles...all within 100 feet of each other...with the flags flapping in three different directions!  I seemed to be riding into a stiff head wind no matter which direction I pointed my bike.

The wind coming off of the Atlantic Ocean was super intense!  John D. MacArthur State Park. -- November 29, 2017

I'm not making those comparisons to complain about my rides...actually, just the opposite.  The flatness of the rides and challenges of the wind added to the novelty I previously mentioned.  There were other things too...first, and foremost, the ocean.  I'm always in awe of how beautiful it is.  Riding through, and past, John D. MacArthur State Park I couldn't help but notice the drastic differences between Pennsylvania's and Florida's State Parks...both beautiful in their own way.  In Pennsylvania, I've braked countless times for deer, snakes, fox, wild turkeys, and the occasional black bear...but for the first time in my life, while riding in West Palm, Florida,  I had to stop and yeild to a pelican!  I've come across many fire towers while biking in PA...but lighthouses are rare....on my longest ride of the week I rode out to Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse and took in some of the local history.  What was my favorite part about pedalin' the West Palm Beach area?  I guess I would have to say the countless miles of "bike friendly" bike lanes (which shouldn't be a novelty, but unfortunately they are)...which made all of my rides that much more enjoyable.

Robin and I headed to City Place in West Palm Beach for dinner and a movie.  A stop at Sloan's Ice Cream capped a nice evening out. -- November 30, 2017

Life is a journey...not a destination!

David A. Raymond -- December 8, 2017

Back home, back to reality, and back riding in the frigid 30 degree air!  Yesterday, I paused at a friend's house to take a pic of his 20 foot Santa Claus.  As far as Bob's concerned, either go big...or go home!  -- December 7, 2017

Here are the GARMIN maps and data from the rides featured in this post...

Interested in biking or hiking some of the trails featured in this post?  Check out the TRAIL MAPS and TRAIL HEADS tabs on the ALL TRAILS LEAD TO ICE CREAM website.   

All of my posts are available at ALL TRAILS LEAD TO ICE CREAM and, if you get the chance, be sure to visit HIGHPEAKSHIKING.COM and YOURTRUENATURE.COM!


Saturday, April 15, 2017


Late last week I got the news I'd been waiting (and hoping) for.  With the blessing of my surgeon and family doctor I was given permission to get back on my bicycle!  I'll admit that I've been just as nervous as I've been excited.  I was told that I could "ease back into it" by my surgeon, Dr. Salotto.  My wife, who is pretty convinced that I'm incapable of easing into anything, held her breath as I clipped in for the first time in six months.

A little pre-ride celebration!  My first ride since October...and I wouldn't have done it with anyone else!  Thanks for coming with me, Sweetheart! -- April 9, 2017

I think she was surprised when I suggested a short 3 mile ride home from the middle school where I teach after we dropped my truck off for my son.  As far as I'm concerned...that's "easing into it."  What a feeling it was getting back on my bike.  I really missed this...the sense of freedom...the wind in my face...the simple joy of riding my bike!  I made that trip from school twice this week...the second time coming when I commuted home from school on Wednesday.  

The best 5 miles of mountain biking ever!  Mark, Glenn, and I at the Lakes.  Thanks for waiting for us, Mark! -- April 11, 2017

The real test came on Tuesday when I met Mark and Glenn at the Lakes for the best 5 mile mountain bike ride I've ever taken.  Pulling into the lot near the Lake Redman dam I could feel the nervousness in my stomach.  An easy ride home from school is one thing...but a trail ride (even the easiest trail ride I could possibly imagine) is a whole different beast.  Mark, Glenn, and I took trails 4 and 2 around Lake Williams with no problem whatsoever.  

All smiles with Glenn at the Lakes...Glenn because he had a new bike and me because I'm back on my bike.  It's great to be out riding! -- April 14, 2017

2B (or not, 2B).  Yep...let's ride trail 2B at the Lakes.  Glenn Medice & Dave Raymond -- April 14, 2017

Glenn and I returned to the Lakes on Friday morning for another ride.  The pace was slow...but the ride was amazing.  We rode the same loop the we took with Mark on Tuesday and added a little more to the mix.  I was happy to be out and not in pain...and Glenn was happy to be out on his brand new carbon Epic 29er (which, he claims, will be the last bike he buys...this year!)  Ultimately, we added an extra 3 miles to the 5 mile loop we did earlier in the week.  It was a perfect morning to be out on the trails mountain biking...and, with each pedal stroke, I could feel my confidence growing and my nervousness dissipating.  

First ride on my Roubaix.  A quick 7 mile ride around Manchester, PA -- April 13, 2017

The view from my road ride up Starview Road.  Through the blossoms on the trees you can spot Three Mile Island (on the left) and PPL Power Plant (on the right). -- April 15, 2017 

My road bike managed to come down from the wall in the garage this week, too!  Again...not many miles...but who cares.  I forgot how amazing I feel, both mentally and physically, when I'm on my bike.  I made it out for two road rides.  On Thursday I managed to sneak in my first ride since October before my son's baseball game.  It was an easy 7 miles around the industrial parks near my house.  Today, I got out for an easy 10 miles...highlighted by the view of the blossoms in full bloom in the orchards overlooking Three Mile Island nuclear power plant and PPL Power Plant.
  Spring is definitely taking over south central Pennsylvania...bringing with it a sense of new beginnings.  I can't help but see the parallels.  This Spring season I can definitely feel a sense of renewal and rejuvenation.  A kind of rejuvenation that only comes from the simple joy of riding a bike.  It's great to be back!

I've been allowed to ride my bike now for a week.  I managed to turn my pedals 6 of those 7 days.  I couldn't think of a better way to end the week than to take a bike ride to the BOBCAT CREAMERY with my wife, Robin, and my son, Alex, for one of the Creamery's amazing root beer floats.  Yep...ALL TRAILS LEAD TO ICE CREAM! -- April 15, 2017

Life is a journey...not a destination.

David A. Raymond -- April 15, 2017's great to be back.  Just soaking it all in at the Lakes. -- April 14, 2017

Here's a list of GARMIN maps and stats from a few of the rides featured in this post.  I know they are short (mileage wise) but hey...I'm easing back into it!

April 11, 2017 -- Best 5 mile mountain bike ride...EVER!  With Mark & Glenn at the Lakes.

April 13, 2017 -- First post-surgery road ride on my Roubaix.

April 14, 2017 -- More mountain biking fun at the Lakes with Glenn.

April 15, 2017 -- Road ride up Starview Road to the orchards.

Friday, October 28, 2016


On those days that I ride my bike to school my students often notice that it doesn't have a kickstand.  That kind of boggles their mind.  Then they ask..."How come you just lean it against the wall?"  My corny response is that "my bike is tired....actually, it's two tired."  Before you roll your eyes, please understand that I work with 140 8th graders each day (and this is my 22nd year!)  Please cut me some slack...those corny jokes get me some street cred.

It's October and I'm no longer KEEPING AN EYE ON THE CORN.  The scenery; however, is just as amazing! -- October 28, 2016

The reality anyone who rides a bicycle can tell you...when I'm on my bike it becomes a living part of me.  No matter how tired I am after a day of teaching my butt off, once I get on my bike I feel like a new person.  It literally energizes me.  So, on a Friday afternoon, as I walked up the driveway and into my garage after a long week of teaching in hormone heaven...I passed my bike hanging on the wall.  After kissing my wife, prepping dinner, and pulling on the gear I headed out for a brisk ten miles.  My bike wasn't too tired this afternoon...and as soon as I started down the road...neither was I.

My 2012 Specialized Roubaix and my 2016 Stumpjumper provide me with so much energy and so much fun! -- October 28, 2016

Life is a journey...not a destination.

David A. Raymond -- October 28, 2016

I'm surely not too tired to make my wife dinner and celebrate her long deserved and long overdue promotion! -- October 28, 2016

Saturday, October 8, 2016

THE VOICE IN MY RIGHT EAR -- October 8, 2016

My emotions, yesterday afternoon, ran the gamut...ranging from anger, depression, and fear. When I got on my bike after school, for what I knew would be a very quick ride, I conscientiously began to try to keep track of how long it would take for those emotions and feelings to dissipate and fade into the background.  I wanted to see how long it took for the negative thoughts I was having to be replaced by something so much better.  Clipped in, and with Springsteen in my right ear, I began down the road.

A guy and his bike.  Just what I need after a rough day.

I never regret a ride...even when I feel horrible...and I was feeling pretty horrible.  So, as I watched the gray road pass beneath my front tires the white lines blur in my peripheral vision...I waited for the voices in my head to change.  My mind drifted to The Price You of my favorite Springsteen songs...and then, silence.  I assumed that it was the pharmacy calling me to tell me that a prescription was ready.  Normally, on a ride, I'd just let it go to voice mail...but for some reason I answered.  It was my wife.  She knew how I was feeling and what a rough day I had.  It was her voice in my right ear that began to change my emotions.  Before I knew it, I was halfway through my "quick ride," and she was still keeping me company. All those bad feelings were now somewhere far behind me.  Usually, my bike and the Boss are enough to do the trick...but yesterday, it wife's voice in my right ear that made me feel better.  It's a voice I'm always happy to hear.

My wife, Robin, and I on the steps of the National Archives in Washington, D.C.  It was just a small part of my birthday trip last weekend.  We completely got our "nerd" on -- October 2, 2016

Life is a journey...not a destination.

David A. Raymond -- October 8, 2016

No matter how bad I felt earlier, my bike ride and the conversation with Robin, really improved my mood.  It helped me get pumped for a night out in York City with our friends Kim & Mark Lentz.  What started out as rough day ended up as a fabulous evening -- October 7, 2016

Friday, September 16, 2016

JUST RIDE (or...The Best Bike Shop Around) -- September 16, 2016

I've been pushing my luck on my road rides the past week.  After a string of flat tires I found myself completely out of spare tubes.  I figured that, until I could get to the bike shop, I would just ride and, if I  got a flat, I would either walk home or call my wife or son to come pick me up (which is kind of unfair to them).  So today, after school, my bike ride took me down the Susquehanna Trail to Gung Ho Bikes.  I figured that if I was going to ride...I'd ride there to get what I needed.  

Gung Ho Bikes in York, PA.  I took this pick the day I purchased my 2016 Specialized Stumpjumper. -- March 2016

I've first walked into Gung Ho in 1995 and I've never considered going to another bike shop.  Since then, I've bought 10 mountain bikes, 3 road bikes, a bike for my wife, and a BMX bike for my son. (After writing that last sentence I'm kind of amazed.  That's a lot of bikes!) The owner, Jay, is my longest continuous friend since I moved to York.  He's a great guy...and a "history nerd" like me.    When I walked in today he helped me with some mechanical stuff that was bothering me on some recent rides...and then let me test ride a new 2016 Roubaix that was sitting in the shop.  It was sweet.  I'm currently fighting off some "bike-envy." Damn....I don't need "bike-envy" right now.

A few years ago, Jay allowed to enter a couple adventure races under the name Team Gung Ho.  Both times I think I, and my racing partners, made the shop proud.   Heck...a few years ago he was kind enough to hire me part time to work in the shop.  I learned (and laughed) a lot!  

Jay may be my longest continuous friend since I've lived in York but this is, I believe, the only pic I have of Jay and I together.  This picture was taken at the conclusion of the 2009 Cradle of Liberty Adventure Race.  From left to right,  Team Gung Ho consisted of Dave Raymond, Kristian Hains, & Jay Zech -- June 2009

I handled the mountain biking duties for Team Gung Ho in the 2 man 2013 Rustic Rage Off Road Duathalon -- June 2013

Anthony Wallick and I won first place as Team Gung Ho in the 2013 Rustic Rage Off Road Duathalon -- June 2013

Chris Keller and I made the shop proud as Team Gung Ho in the 2013 Cushion Peak Adventure Race -- April 20, 2013

In the summer of 2013, one of my best bud's, Mikey Nardelli, and I were hired to work at the shop.  Sometimes we had too much fun!  -- July 2013

Gung Ho's motto is "JUST RIDE."  They're all about getting people on bikes....and all about taking care of those people once they have a bike.  Their service is second only to the friendly and welcoming atmosphere that is created by the staff.  That's what makes, in my opinion, Gung Ho the best bike shop around.  It's been a while since I've been to the shop.  A few months, I think.  So yeah...I thought today, instead of driving to get the stuff I needed...I'd JUST RIDE.

Life is a journey...not a destination.

David A. Raymond -- September 16, 2016

Gung Ho's service is awesome.  Derrick Rorrer is a fixture at the shop.  Derrik's got me out of more binds than I can count  -- September 16, 2016

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

A DRY SPELL -- September 14, 2016

We're in the middle of a dry spell here in central Pennsylvania.  I haven't cut my grass in over three weeks (to be more son hasn't cut the grass in more than three weeks)...the local farm fields are turning brown...and the Susquehanna River is pretty darn low.  I've been in a dry spell too.  It's been over two weeks since I've been out on the trails on my mountain bike and, yesterday, I finally managed to break a ten day hiatus from my road bike.  

This has been my luck recently...road closures and flat tires.  No worries...every bike ride is a great ride! -- September 14, 2016

It's not that I like to leave my bikes hanging in the garage as wall decoration...and it's not that I don't want to ride...but it's been nearly impossible for me to get out and ride the past few weeks.  After school appointments, quality family time, and the fact that I've been just plain tired have played a role.  Other things, like the Springsteen concert at Citizens Bank Park in Philly last Friday, pushed my bike riding to the back burner.  It's just been hard to get out and turn those pedals.

"Baby We Were Born To Run!"  The Boss played for over four hours in Philly on Friday night!  Robin and I had a great time with Mark & Kim Lentz -- September 9, 2016

Yesterday I promised matter what...that I was going to get out on my bike.  My after school rides are never far...usually 10-15 miles...but they really energize me after a tiring day at school (I'm not one of those teachers that sits down a whole lot!)  Once I got home I took off my teacher costume and got ready for a ride.  I was really close to bagging it when I went into the garage and found a flat front tire on my Specialized Roubaix.  My 9th flat in the past two months.  After a little grumbling I pulled myself together, fixed my flat, and headed out on my last good tube. 

This is the lowest I've seen the Susquehanna River -- September 13, 2016

I took this pic from the middle of the Susquehanna River near Saginaw, PA -- September 13, 2016

The corn in the fields in Manchester is pretty much dried up -- September 14, 2016

The Conewago Creek looks more like a dry river bed -- September 14, 2016

 Yesterday's ride took me down to the Susquehanna River near Saginaw, PA.  Today's ride followed the Conewago Creek near Manchester.  Both rides showed just how dry things are around here.  Mark mentioned to me that he's NEVER seen the trails at Rocky Ridge as dry as they are.  Yesterday, I was literally able to walk, on dry ground, to the middle of the Susquehanna River!   Back in the spring, when we replaced the month of May with the month of "Gray," I thought that the sun would never come, things around here could use a little precipitation.  Thankfully, the weather guys say that there's a cold front pushing through tonight that's suppose to bring a little relief...and an end to this dry spell.  That's good news all around.

The clouds gathering on the horizon west of Manchester are the beginning of a cold front that's about to push through the area -- September 14, 2016

Life is a journey...not a destination.

David A. Raymond -- September 14, 2016

Some boroughs have weird rules....NO PEDDLING.  Damn. -- September 14, 2016

Monday, September 5, 2016


In final days of June 1863, four Confederate brigades...under the command of General Jubal Early...occupied the city of York, Pennsylvania demanding $100,000, shirts, hats, meat, & more.  Leaders in the city were able to come up with all of General Early's requests except for the money.  Approximately $28,000 was eventually handed over.  Far short of what the confederate general wanted...but enough to satisfy him and prevent the city from be torched.  The fact that York, Pennsylvania is the northernmost city in the United States to surrender to the Confederate army is overshadowed by the events of the next few days...the largest battle to happen in the history of the Western Hemisphere...the Battle of Gettysburg.'s a cool story...and one I like telling to the students in my history classes.

This WELCOME TO YORK monument, located on George Street south of the city, greets visitors as they come off of Interstate 83.  It's a safe bet that Jubal Early and his soldiers weren't welcomed with the same enthusiasm! -- September 5, 2016
This Pennsylvania historical marker is located on George Street in front of the York Hospital.  "Laid out in 1741,  by order of the Proprietors: the first Pennsylvania town west of the Susquehanna River.  Seat of the Continental Congress, 1777-1778: Birthplace of the Articles of  Confederation." -- September 5, 2016

Welcome to York, Pennsylvania.  With a population of approximately 44,000 people, the city doesn't even make the top 10 biggest cities in Pennsylvania...(we rank 12th behind Altoona)...but there's so much history to explore here.  So, with the day off for Labor Day...and the weather near perfect...I set off on my bike to check some of it out.  My true destination today was Reservoir Park just south of York City.  Anyone who bikes in York knows about Grantley Road.  From bottom to top you'll enjoy a 400 foot climb in less than a mile.  Halfway up the hill...on the left...I turned into the entrance for Reservoir Park which is part of the York Water Company.  The park itself was created in 1903 and opened to the public as a "public breathing spot" and a place to get away from the "strain of modern life."  I do believe that Reservoir Park offers the best view of the city that lays below...and it's a nice break from climbing Grantley Road.  

View of York City from Reservoir Park looking north towards my home in Manchester.  -- September 5, 2016

Reservoir Park -- September 5, 2016

Reservoir Park -- September 5, 2016

This gazebo, a gift from the Chinese government to the 1876 Philadelphia Centennial Exposition, was eventually obtained by the York Water Company and placed at Reservoir Park.  The 1876 exposition also displayed the torch of the unfinished Statue of Liberty and was visited by many notable figures including future U.S. president James Garfield, an aspiring inventor named Alexander Graham Bell, and Joseph Lister a British surgeon & pioneer of antiseptic surgery.  Dang, I'm a nerd!  -- September 5, 2016

Taking a breather at Reservoir Park and soaking in the view of the City of York -- September 5, 2016

From Reservoir Hill I meandered my way a little further south before turning back towards the city and home.  Passing Apple Hill Medical Center I paused to check out another historical sign...which now explains why the medical center is named Apple Hill.  Way back in the 1820 a local Quaker nurseryman, Jonathan Jessop, developed a variety of apple on land in this area.  The York Imperial Apple was truly an "all purpose" apple because of it's excellence for both cider making and cooking.  Besides that, "it kept well."  The York Imperial Apple is now designated as an "antique apple" because it has been grown for over 180 years!   

This Pennsylvania historical marker is located near Apple Hill Medical Center on South George Street.  "Here, at a nursery located on Springwood Farms, a new variety of apple was propagated by Jonathan Jessop in 1820.  In 1855 it was named the "York Imperial."  It became a leading variety which was widely grown in the U.S." -- September 5, 2016

I began pedaling back toward the city on Starcross Road passing both a Hebrew and then a Catholic cemetery along the way.  I was headed home now...but not sure of  which way.  I ended up zig-zaging through a few neighborhoods in the city and then eventually rode upon what is probably the most recognizable area of the city...the York Colonial Complex.  Here you will find the Colonial Courthouse...a replica of the York Courthouse which was used for nine months by the Second Continental Congress in 1777 & 1778.  York became the home of notables such as John Hancock & John Adams.  It was here that the the Articles of Confederation (our nations first constitution) was adopted.  You will also find the Golden Plow Tavern, the Gates House, and who could miss the life sized statue of the "Soldier's friend" the Marquis de Lafayette.  

The York Colonial Courthouse located on the corner of West Market Street and Beaver Street in York City. -- September 5, 2016

The Marquis de Lafayette raising a glass to his "good friend, General Washington" -- September 5, 2016

Coming home, to avoid traffic, I turned down toward old Central York High  School and ducked through a tunnel that goes underneath Interstate 83.  To avoid my 8th flat tire this summer I carried my bike through the narrow tunnel avoiding the broken glass that litters the ground.  From there I was easily able to cross Route 30 and ride the hill up and past the incinerator, through Emigsville, and back home.  Yep...Bedford will always be my hometown...but York is now where I make my home.  After all...home is where you hang your helmet.

Life is a journey...not a destination.

David A. Raymond -- September 5, 2016

I so wanted to go to the Bobcat Creamery for a post ride milk shake...but they were closed today (as they should be.) I sit here in my writing this I celebrated with a cherry Italian ice.  Not quite the same...but like the $28,000 that Jubal Early will suffice.  -- September 5, 2016