Growing up in Birdsboro, Pa I was a pretty energetic kid and got involved in all the traditional sports. It wasn’t until I was 15 when my best friend in high school introduced me to cycling.

We took his parent’s Trek 8500’s out to French Creek State Park, a place I struggle to clean even to this day.

Something about the challenge, the camaraderie, or just being outside and doing something new kept us coming back. We gradually got better, which inevitably lead to me asking my mom to help me out and buy my first bike. It was a Specialized Rock Hopper, 3×9 XTR drivetrain, rim brakes, tubes in my tires, and a Sid Air fork. It was awesome!

‘Bout 2 months after getting into the sport my friend convinced me to get into my first race, an MTB race at Blue Marsh Lake. After that I was hooked!

Almost 15 years later, when I go home I get really excited to explore the area I spent the first 18+ years of my life in. It seems I am always finding new ways to experience my old stomping grounds and I owe a lot of that to the innovation of the bike technology.

In this video, I take a look back on my cycling career and bring it full circle by merging “Old Haunts” with “New Jaunts”. I hop on the Schykill River Rail Trail, 1 mile from my front door, and make the 16-mile commute to Blue Marsh Lake, the venue of my first bike race. I do this all on a gravel bike that is likely more capable than my first mountain bike.

It’s wild to think that 15 years from now I could do this same ride but have a completely different experience because of where bike technology, and my perspective, is going.