Backtracking is something that use to bother me...especially when mountain biking. I'm not sure if it was a sense of failure..."Crap...we went the wrong way...we need to head back"...or if I just simply liked looking at my Garmin and Strava maps and seeing a big loop tracing my route. Backtracking, however, can be helpful. By teaching me where NOT to ride, that sense of "failure" that I mentioned earlier can also serve as a learning tool...or, in some cases, it can even introduce a whole new path that can be taken on future rides and hikes. As of recently, backtracking has become increasingly part of my rides. Riding the same trail in opposite directions changes everything about it...the view is different, the ups and downs are reversed, and the twists and turns flow differently...completely altering the usual dynamic of the trail.
Taking a break during an incredibly peaceful solo ride at Rocky Ridge County Park. -- December 23, 2019
As 2019 slips into the past I can't help but backtrack and reflect on what and incredibly awesome year it has been. My theme for the year was Opt Outside. I had decided, no matter what the weather, that I would head out as much as possible...setting the goal of 2,019 all-purpose miles for the year. At the outset, I thought this might be a little ambitious seeing that I only managed 1,500 miles in 2018...but as it turned out those 2,019 miles in 2019 flew past pretty quickly. By November 23 of this year every mile I added was another mile past my goal...eventually adding up to 2,226 total miles for this year (with a few more to be added tomorrow). All purpose miles typically means mountain biking, road cycling, or hiking...but this year more than a few of those miles couldn't be put into one of those three categories. Some additional miles were added over the past twelve months in a variety of ways and activities...which just couldn't be classified as road cycling, mountain biking, or hiking. Alex, Devin, Mia, Jackie, and I took with our annual white water rafting trip on the Youghiogheny in Ohiopyle, Pennsylvania. Mike Graham guided me on my first ever kayaking adventure in Gifford Pinchot State Park. I rode my Roubaix a number of times to Central Market in York via the new Heritage Rail Trail extension. There were a couple snow day bike rides around the neighborhood streets. And... I participated with the guys from Gung Ho in my first mountain bike relay race since 2010.
Our annual white water rafting trip on the Youghiogheny River in Ohiopyle State Park (courtesy of the good folks at White Water Adventure) Left to right: Dave Raymond, Jackie Raymond, Mia Arnold-Scott, Devin Seiger, and Alex Raymond -- June 18, 2019
The roads haven't been plowed yet...but Mike, Alicea, and I made perfect use of our mountain bikes during one of our many snow days this year. -- February 11, 2019
1,494. That's how many road miles I put on my 2012 Roubaix this year. For sure, it was enough to warrant a new drive train and a new set of tires. My rides have typically gotten shorter (averaging about 15 miles a ride) but they have been more frequent...again "Opting Outside" as much as possible. This year I've ridden along the Savannah River in Augusta, Georgia, along the coast line in both North Carolina and Florida, through National Parks, and a million different routes in and around Manchester, Pennsylvania. Here are my five favorite road rides of the 2019...
#5. MARCH RIDE WITH CHRIS KELLER
Chris and I put on our cold gear to do a 20+ mile, early Spring ride on the back roads of York County. Our ride took us onto the hillsides north of York Haven overlooking the Susquehanna River and Three Mile Island nuclear power plant. Dave Raymond and Chris Keller -- March 23, 2019
#4. RIDING HOME
In 1995, I moved to York County. Since then, I've lived in five locations. So, naturally I thought it would be a cool idea to take a bike ride and visit each of my homes (former and current). This 42+ mile ride took me from my home in Manchester past my first apartment (from hell) in Emigsville. From there I rode over the ridge to Cool Creek Apartments in Wrightsville and then on to the first home I bought, 252 North Seward Street in West York. Three miles away I then found myself at 2340 Sunset Lane and then back home to Manchester. -- July 23, 2019
#3. JONATHAN DICKINSON STATE PARK
I'm counting this amazing 10 mile ride as a road ride even though half of it was a paved nature path. This ride through Jonathan Dickinson State Park in Florida was backtracking at it's best. Robin and I started at the visitor center, rode the nature path as far as we could and then continued on the road to the entrance of the park. Along the way we took in the vibrant Florida colors and saw some wildlife including a deer and an alligator (seriously). David and Robin Raymond -- December 5, 2019
#2. VALLEY FORGE NATIONAL MILITARY PARK
I unexpectedly had a Saturday all to myself, so I loaded my Roubaxi on top of the Cruze and drove an hour and a half to Valley Forge National Historical Park. I rode the park twice that day...the first time stopping to take my nerdy pictures and the second time I just rode. A fun (and nerdy) 20+ miles. Dave Raymond and Baron Von Steubon -- September 7, 2019
1. COROLLA TO KITTY HAWK (and back)
Again...a ride that completely backtracked. My favorite road ride of the year had it all...warm weather, a lot of sun, a random thunderstorm, nerdy history, and a tail wind on the way home. During my week in Corolla, North Carolina I had gotten used to riding down to the town of Duck and back. I noticed on the map that the Wright Brothers National Memorial was relatively close...28 miles away. Along for the ride that day was Julien Linne who...to his credit...pedaled the whole way on my wife's bike which was much too small for him. Out and back was just over 57 miles! Julien Linne and Dave Raymond -- June 10, 2019
"OptOutside" was a great goal for 2019...and the attitude and adventure (and hash tag) that comes along with it will once again be my mantra for 2020. I've been asked by so many people what my resolution will be in new year and my answer has been consistent..."ride my my bike more." The response usually elicits a weird look from people who don't think that I could possibly ride more than I already do. I should probably be more specific with my answer and say that I want to ride more, hike more, and just over-all opt outside more. A year from now 2020 will be hindsight. Here's to hoping that I have even more miles behind me in a year's time than I currently have right now. Happy New Year!
If you find a couch in the woods...sit on it, relax, and taking in the beauty that is around you. That's exactly what Brent and I did at Rocky Ridge. -- September 6, 2019
Life is a journey...not a destination.
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