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  1. #1
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    Best area to live in Tucson for a cyclist?

    We are moving there in a few months. I would like to be able to hit trailheads without having to drive, if this is possible. I will also be doing a lot of road rides, so I would like to be near some decent road riding. Any suggestions?

  2. #2
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    You might have better luck finding that info here

  3. #3
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    For sheer density of trails I would try to get over by Starr Pass area. With the addition of Robles and then behind the Tucson Mountain park (cougar trail, prospector trail area) you have a lot of trails available. It doesn't particularly put you near the best road riding areas (mt lemmon, old spanish trail, etc) but it puts you close to the Shootout start, and a lot of rides start from the University area so you will be closer to that.

    Alternately you could live in oracle and be near some good road biking and the Catalina state park and 50 year trail mountain bike trails but you severely limit yourself to the rest of Tucson with half hour to 1 hour drives to other trails and rides.

    If you choose the east side you will be near Fantasy Island, the Arizona trail and the Reddington pass area as well as easier access to Mt lemmon.

    If I had my choice I would go with west near starr pass. It is just the most convenient varied riding area.
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  4. #4
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    West side is the best but it also depends on what kind of housing your looking for. Little more expensive on that side and there are a limited amount of apartments but depending on your situation we could pinpoint you a ideal area. In general I would not go farther east then Craycroft South of 22nd north of Grant and west like I said depends. I am mid town Broadway + Swan and can hit Starr Pass in about an hours ride, can make it to Molino Basin (Mt. Lemmon) in about 30 minutes by car but getting to the 50yr trail sucks from here. Though I rather be farther away from the 50yr trail then be farther away from the Mt. Lemmon trails which give you a nice escape from the summer heat. So I personally would stick away from the north side because of that plus like RC said it also limits you for nightlife and stuff like that. If your in your 60's though go for it you'll love it on the north side. If you want PM more details and specifics of what you are looking for I can hopefully help you out.

  5. #5
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    Pirategirl on here would know!
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  6. #6
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    In addition to Star Pass and Robles, there's also Sweetwater. If you stick to the boundary's listed by BigWorm all those TH's will be within easy riding distance's and will offer a never ending variety of riding. Check out Tucsonmtb.com, it's the local Tucson forum, there's a couple real estate guys on the forum that would be able to point you in the right direction. Having lived in the NW side, there's great riding to be had at the 50yr trail area, there more there than what's listed. There's also the Tortolita's that is shaping up to be another great trail system. It's also a little cooler in the summer. I liked living up there, there's all the shops you need, but downtown is only a 20min drive away.

  7. #7
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    One of the great things about Tucson is that there will be some riding close by no matter where you end up. Are you retiring here or working? If you are working I would look to live closer to work and then see whats around for riding.

    The next ? would be what kind of riding do you want close by. If you want to do long XC rides then the West side for Star Pass and the Tucson Mountains has lots to offer. NW side has the 50 year upper 50 and a more All Mountain/Free Ride slick rock scene. Mount Lemon trails are great for All Mountain/Down Hill but plan on mandatory hike a bike up there.

    There are road bikers all over town but it seems that the two main hubs are the UofA and LeBuzz a coffee shop near the start of Mount Lemon the Shootout gets pretty big and has caused problems with traffic in the past.

    TucsonMTB is down temporarily but post up there when you get a chance.

    Good Luck with the move.
    Singin' I love hike a bike!!!

  8. #8
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    Thanks for all the recommendations. Sounds like Starr Pass is where I am going to start my search. I am about 3 mo. out on the move. We are condo folk in our early 30's, so I will poke around on Zillow and Trulia to see what is out there. We are coming in to visit later this month so I will probably find a hotel in that area and do some riding. If anyone knows any cycle-minded real estate agents please PM.

  9. #9
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    Gbell look on tarmls.com they have the most up to date list since every agent in town is required to put their listings on there. And for an agent http://www.zachsmyagent.com/ fellow rider and mtb advocate here in Tucson can't find a better guy.

  10. #10
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    After visiting and riding Tucson at least once a year for 10 years and riding all sides of
    town before moving to Tucson, we had a pretty good idea where to buy.

    We live right off of Camino de Oeste, ~halfway between Sweetwater and the Camino de
    Oeste trail head of Tucson Mountain Park (aka TMP).

    We did a LOT of research prior to buying. The objectives were to buy:

    1) in an area that had "loopable" trails that we could easily ride to after getting home from
    work. (Mt Lemmon Trails, while being the most awesome IMO, are not easily "loopable"
    after work.)

    2) within a 15 mile radius of work

    3) in a neighborhood with LARGE lots (3.5 acres)

    4) close to downtown


    My "2", "3", and "4" may not matter at all to you, but, as mentioned by another member,
    budget just has to be a part of everyone's equation.

    TMP can easily be connected to both Robles and Brown Mountain via nothing but dirt and
    there are probably close to 40 miles of trails with a wide variety ranging from easy XC to
    aggressive AM.

    Use Zillow and snoop around a bit.
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  11. #11
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    Boring town but lot's of fun riding there...
    ...and old folks.

    oh you can get a chick when the noobs come back too school, then they leave and you ride. Traffic sux there.

    But you're riding and there is plenty of that there to do....

    oh you got to do the cactus forest up there. Saguaro Natn'l Monument. The challenge is not to get flats.

    Chiva falls is good for a hoot...

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by AzMntBkr1 View Post
    Boring town but lot's of fun riding there...
    ...and old folks.

    oh you can get a chick when the noobs come back too school, then they leave and you ride. Traffic sux there.

    But you're riding and there is plenty of that there to do....

    oh you got to do the cactus forest up there. Saguaro Natn'l Monument. The challenge is not to get flats.

    Chiva falls is good for a hoot...
    Thanks for the laugh, assuming you were trying to be funny.
    Nobody gives a s#$t you singlespeed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by skinny-tire View Post
    Thanks for the laugh, assuming you were trying to be funny.
    yes I was for the most part...

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by AzMntBkr1 View Post
    yes I was for the most part...
    I chuckled but maybe because I'm almost old.

  15. #15
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    Having recently moving to Tucson from Iowa I figured I could chime in a bit. I'm living in a condo right now near Arizona National golf course and I work in the Rita Ranch area. Arizona National trail and Fantasy island are conveniently located on my drive home and I regularly ride after work. The rest of the trails are an hour or so drive across town for me though so I haven't made it over there yet, but I've only been in town now for about 3 months.

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    Tucsonmtb.com is back up.

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    I live on the far NE side (Catalina Hwy and Tanque Verde) and it is perfect.

    Traffic free road rides out Freeman/Old Spanish Trail/Vail and up Mt Lemmon. I think
    Mt Lemmon is the most important to me, I do endurance MTB racing (AZ & Colorado)
    and the only 4 hour ride around here in the summer is Mt Lemmon. Alarm goes off at
    0500 and I'm climbing up at 0545. Twice a week June-August.

    MTB is at Fantasy Island, Redington Road trail system, Mt Lemmon.

    AND, Udall pool is just down the street for lap swimming!

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Climbing Dog View Post
    I live on the far NE side (Catalina Hwy and Tanque Verde) and it is perfect.

    Traffic free road rides out Freeman/Old Spanish Trail/Vail and up Mt Lemmon. I think
    Mt Lemmon is the most important to me, I do endurance MTB racing (AZ & Colorado)
    and the only 4 hour ride around here in the summer is Mt Lemmon. Alarm goes off at
    0500 and I'm climbing up at 0545. Twice a week June-August.

    MTB is at Fantasy Island, Redington Road trail system, Mt Lemmon.

    AND, Udall pool is just down the street for lap swimming!
    What trails are you ridding at Redington? Are there any good loops to do? Been a road cyclist for a long time, quit racing a couple of years ago, just getting into MTB. Looking for rides I can do from my house (wilmot/speedway) so I don't have to drive anywhere. Prefer XC type rides.

  19. #19
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    twitter there are sections of the AZT out in that area that are amazing to ride. My fav is to ride up the road to the AZT Bellota section take that up westish to Milagrosa and ride that back down.

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    Mainly Chiva Falls area, Mon-Thurs to avoid the ATV's. In the winter when the heat isn't
    an issue I'll spend the day and leave from home, but in the warmer times, park at the
    staging area.

    Tucsonmtb.com or sdmb.org has all the maps and trail discussions

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigworm520 View Post
    twitter there are sections of the AZT out in that area that are amazing to ride. My fav is to ride up the road to the AZT Bellota section take that up westish to Milagrosa and ride that back down.

    Thanks. I looked into that a bit. That’s exactly the type of ride I am looking for. Not including any pavement riding do you have an estimate on ride time - starting from the base of reddington road?

    Sorry to hijack the OP. I'll check the other sites for more info.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by AzMntBkr1 View Post
    ...and old folks.
    ..
    Arizona is basically one big retirement community.

    Once you get to be my age you start noticing how hot some of those GMILF's are.
    Singin' I love hike a bike!!!

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by gbell614 View Post
    We are moving there in a few months. I would like to be able to hit trailheads without having to drive, if this is possible. I will also be doing a lot of road rides, so I would like to be near some decent road riding. Any suggestions?
    Hey gbell... check yer PM's.
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  24. #24
    DLd
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    I'll chime in with my two cents. Regarding having great riding right from your front door, both mountain and road, it's hard to beat Oro Valley. There are some neighborhoods, like Ram's Field Pass, where you can ride right into Catalina State Park and up the 50 year trail, or if you're a techie, follow a Techy Tuesday Taco regular ride that goes right behind the houses up Ram's Canyon. Feel like a road ride? You can knock out a 20 mile loop going up Oracle and through Rancho Vistoso, and only hit 4 traffic lights that you might get a red light from. Keep going up Oracle for an out and back to Biosphere, 37 miles with only 3 lights each way near the beginning, you get about 20 miles of riding in with no traffic lights at all and the whole ride except the two miles through Catalina you have a nice 10ft shoulder to ride on. You can make it about a 50 miler by continuing up to the town of Oracle, still not add any traffic lights, and grab a snack at the coffee shop for you're turnaround point. You can knock out a 24 mile mountain bike loop from the house just by going up through Catalina State Park on the 50 and doing two chutes and heading back. You could easily make it 30 or 40 by throwing in Upper, Deer Camp and Baby Jesus, the abundance of trails out there is amazing. Tortolitas are just a short drive away too. Not near so much traffic up on this side of town as compared to east side, but a lot of that will depend on where you need to go/work. Most parts of town have everything you need close by. Home Depot on every corner and all that.
    "Great things are not accomplished by those who yield to trends and fads and popular opinion."-Jack Kerouac

  25. #25
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    I agree with DLd...I live at the base of the Tortolita Mts in Oro Valley and have great access to 50yr and all of the Dove Mt trails. Several Nice condo areas near 1st/Oracle area also. I've been to all the areas mentioned earlier, and by far this is my favorite area in Tucson.

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