When and where did you first start riding? I do not remember my first bicycle, but I do remember family bike rides on the battlefield from the time I was very, very young. It was always a part of my parents’ lives, and my siblings and I adopted it. How often do you ride now? Currently, I ride about once or twice per week, including the Saturday morning group ride hosted by Gettysburg Bicycle. However, I have gone through years when I commuted to and from work by bicycle everyday.

Where do you like to ride? Adams County and the surrounding areas offer a tremendous diversity of areas to ride. The battlefield offers a scenic place for a leisurely ride, while down by the Maryland border you can find some flat, fast farm country. My heart lives in the hills and orchards in the north and west though, as I love the challenge and the beauty. And let’s not forget about the unbelievable mountain biking in Michaux. We truly are blessed. What bikes do you ride? I am a bit of a Trek snob. On the roads, I ride a 2008 Madone 5.5. It is full carbon fiber, super fast, and my favorite color — yellow. On the trails, I ride a Trek 69er single speed. It is goofy looking with a big, 29-inch wheel in the front and a smaller, 26-inch wheel in the back, but it sure is fun. My wife and I ride Trek 7000s, which are hybrids (and I have a few others lying around, too). How long have you been riding and how has your riding changed over time? As I mentioned, I don’t remember not riding a bike, and I am 30 now; but my first “good” bike was a red Trek Frontier mountain bike that I got for Christmas when I was 10 years old. I bought my first road bike in high school, a Specialized Allez, and my riding really took off after that. During my life, I have used cycling as cross training for running, as a mode of transportation, in race settings (including mountain biking, triathlon, and adventure racing), and as a means of adventure and exploration. What interesting bicycle adventures have you had? When I was 19, I rode solo from Los Angeles to Savannah pulling a B.O.B. trailer, an experience I still reminisce about frequently. I have also done the same type of trip on the Blue Ridge Parkway. My most memorable “adventure,” though, was when I was 12 and my mom decided to take my brother and some friends and me on a fun mountain bike ride in Michaux. She told us it would be a nice three-hour ride. It wasn’t. After nearly seven hours, plenty of complaining, and a long walk up Dead Woman’s Hollow, we finally returned to our car. We also reminisce about that trip frequently, much to my mother’s dismay. What tips do you have for other cyclists? First, find a friend to ride with. Not only is it safer, but it is also way more fun. Second, patronize your local bike shop. Their bicycles may be a little more expensive than the big box store, but they will work better, last longer (and, therefore, most likely end up saving you money in the long run), and ultimately be a lot more fun to ride. Plus, they offer a level of service, knowledge of local roads and trails, and willingness to teach bicycle maintenance that you won’t find anywhere else. What changes would you like to see to improve bicycling in Adams County? I would love to see a local bicycle club start that offers multiple weekly rides at different paces. Many of the surrounding areas have them (i.e. the Hanover Cyclers), and I really think it could encourage more people to ride and experience our beautiful area.

David Shaffer is a member of the HABPI Board of Directors has recently moved backed to Adams County. He is a certified personal trainer and running coach and an avid lover of all things outdoors.

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