They meet every weekday morning at Rutter's for coffee. But it's not the caffeine that brings a group of six retired men together. It's the mode by which they get there.
The men have been dubbed the Early Morning Riders. They travel the York County Rail Trail daily on bicycles and have created a pedaling fraternity of sorts.
In October, the group received the Trail Champion Award from the York County Rail Trail Authority for their dedication to using the trail and for volunteering with the organization.
The rail trail is a converted railroad bed now used for walking, running, biking and horseback riding. The men have been using the trail for daily bike rides since 1999, when the Heritage Rail Trail first opened, said Gwen Loose, executive director of the authority.
Loose said the group will stop several times a year at her office, located beside the
trail at Seven Valleys, and assemble all of the bulk mailings for the organization. Loose said the group often completes 5,000 pieces at a time, which helps the organization get the word out about events and fundraising efforts.
Loose described Sam Reimold as the group's leader, though Reimold was quick to say he's not really the organizer.
"The group just sort of fell together," Reimold said.
The group: Reimold used to ride on bike trails in Maryland, but he switched to the York County trail when it opened.
Reimold, 75, starts his route in Glen Rock and picks up fellow riders along the way: Two join at Hanover Junction, and a few others start closer to the York area.
They ride to the Rutter's at the intersection of Indian Rock Dam Road and Richland Avenue, grab a coffee and talk for 30 minutes or so before riding back.
Reimold said his entire trek is about 27.5 miles a day -- and he rides daily -- except for the rainy or slick mornings. Reimold said the group always claims they'll stop riding in the bitter cold, but he's been on the trail when the mercury sits at 15 degrees.
"We end up going anyway," Reimold said.
The group will discuss every topic they can think of on their travels, except for politics: One of the riders doesn't share the same views as the others, so politics are ignored to keep the peace.
"Other than that, it's a general complaint about taxes and all," Reimold said.
Still riding: Using the trail is a hard habit to break. Reimold said a fellow rider named Don Moul, now 96, still takes a daily spin on the trail during the milder months.
Moul said he's backed off the distance: He now only goes for about six miles, and can't keep up with the others.
"I'll ride as much as I can, but I can't ride with a group anymore," Moul said.
Moul said he rode his bike in colder temperatures even up to last year, and has been on several excursions even late into October this year. But the colder temperatures bother the arthritis in his knees, and he thinks he'll have to put the bike away soon, if only for the winter.
Reimold said he thought the trail would be a wasted effort when it first opened and never thought it would become as well-used as it is.
"But I guess nobody uses it more than I do now," he said.
--Reach Nikelle Snader at nsnader@york dispatch.com.