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  1. #1
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    Question for Phoenix XC riders who are also runners

    If you've been living in Phoenix for a few years and you both ride XC and run on mountain trails and canal trails, where do you believe is the best location in town to live so you can easily access riding and running trails?

    Would it be near South Mountain? Phoenix Mountain Park? Where can you go out your door and get onto a running trail within a mile and maybe get onto mountain trails to ride within a couple miles? I was looking at a Phoenix map and south of PMP had access to canal trails and the mountain trails, as did the area just north of South Mountain Park. Are these areas where some forum members live and enjoy, or are these areas with higher crime rates that keep riders/runners from purchasing homes and chosing to live further away in better neighborhoods?

    Also, how often to you run for a workout vs. ride?

  2. #2
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    You need to live right next door to Gangi, perfect location. near Shaw Butte, PMP.
    ONE SHOX, ONE GEAR, LOTS of FUN! www.TrailFu.com My Rides

  3. #3
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    I live near 40th and Indian school. PMP is only a 15-20 minute ride along with great road riding all around.

    For running the canal is less than a mile away and the 32nd street trail head for PMP is a 5 minute drive.

    Living near somo would be great too. A friend of mine is moving to DC ranch and will only be 100 yards from the nearest MSP trailhead. Now that would be sweet!
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  4. #4
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    I live near 40th St/Cactus - just two miles from a PMP trailhead. I think it's really convenient. I also used to live about a mile from the Pima Canyon trailhead. That was pretty rad, too.

    I think the Arcadia area (as mtbkracr stated) is good as well. Good access to PMP and the canal path (which is especially great for long, mostly uninterrupted runs).

  5. #5
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    Suppose you had to factor in the cost of a home, a second home. We love Flagstaff but hate winters and keep wishing we were able to ride and run all winter like you all do.

    When you get on Zillow and look for homes/condo's near South Mountain, you have over a 100 that are under $70k, some move-in ready. I'm guessing that if you live near the 24th street trailhead, you can ride over to get on almost any of the trails in South Mountain. Oddly, when I zoom out, the two canls seem to peter out as you go west and I'm not certain if they allow you to run/ride under I-10 and continue eastward. It's nice to be able to run ten miles in either direction.

    Also, I was thinking of doing a ride-a-long with Phoenix PD and seeing what they had to say about specific neighborhoods. I turned on the news last week and they were showing the man they call the Baseline Killer. Would that mean (to steal from The World According To Garp) that the Baseline area is now free of serial killers and safe to settle into?

  6. #6
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    Are you looking for a condo or house? Lots of condo's along the green belt, Shea & 101 area. Good running and you can ride to the MSP. McDowell Mtn Ranch has some condo's too that are less than a mile from the MSP entrance.

  7. #7
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    I'm literally stretching on the floor right now, laptop in front of me, preparing to go out for my trail run. Fortuitous timing. :-)

    I live in Las Sendas, and the canal trail that leads to a back entrance of Hawes, is literally less than 1/3rd mile away. It's NE Mesa, at the top of Power, and although kind of up in the corner of the valley here, the 202 onramp is all of 1 mile away, and quickly gets me anywhere I need and want to be in the valley. It's quiet up here, yet has everything you could need.

    Hawes itself, well, it has it's haters, for those who don't care for riding on loose sand, but I think it's fantastic. You can get your xc on, work on your tech skills, and it's a really great place to run, with lots of interval training because of the hills. It isn't epic like the McDowells, I mean, coast to coast it's only 8 miles, but it works for me.

    As to how often I run, I hit the trails about 3x a week, depending on what's up. Good luck choosing. I'll always give this area a thumbs up.
    "People do not lack strength; they lack will" (Victor Hugo)

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by jdp1977
    Are you looking for a condo or house? Lots of condo's along the green belt, Shea & 101 area. Good running and you can ride to the MSP. McDowell Mtn Ranch has some condo's too that are less than a mile from the MSP entrance.

    We started off willing to look at condos and townhomes becuase of some added security and a few amenities like a pool. We are now looking mostly at single family homes. We may want to bring the fifth wheel along and park it in the driveway to use on trips further south, and we'd need a fairly large parking spot. We were thinking of selling our place in Flagstaff and moving up to Bend, after rweading Bend gets an average 30" of anual snow to our 100". You can almost ride year round up there if you head out east of town. But for now, we want to stay in Arizona.

    We can't help but wonder how people maintain a second home. My neighbor in Flagstaff is here just a couple months a year. His primary home is in Tucson. He sent me a list of expenses they have maintaining their Flagstaff property. I suppose we provide them most of their security. I wonder how to protect a home in Phoenix that will be vacant from around Easter to Thanksgiving. I'm hearing crazy suggestions like recorded barking dogs to playback when someone trips motion sensors outside, leaving an old vehicle in the driveway, the usual bars on windows, and an alarm system or company.

    Obviously, the area just north of South Mountain has some sketchy neighborhoods. We like PMP onthe southern side near the canals. I haven't looked near Anthem. My wife is staying there this weekend with friends. We also need to take a closer look in the east valley and the Sonoran Preserve area.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by CoyoteKis
    I'm literally stretching on the floor right now, laptop in front of me, preparing to go out for my trail run. Fortuitous timing. :-)

    I live in Las Sendas, and the canal trail that leads to a back entrance of Hawes, is literally less than 1/3rd mile away. It's NE Mesa, at the top of Power, and although kind of up in the corner of the valley here, the 202 onramp is all of 1 mile away, and quickly gets me anywhere I need and want to be in the valley. It's quiet up here, yet has everything you could need.

    Hawes itself, well, it has it's haters, for those who don't care for riding on loose sand, but I think it's fantastic. You can get your xc on, work on your tech skills, and it's a really great place to run, with lots of interval training because of the hills. It isn't epic like the McDowells, I mean, coast to coast it's only 8 miles, but it works for me.

    As to how often I run, I hit the trails about 3x a week, depending on what's up. Good luck choosing. I'll always give this area a thumbs up.

    Outstanding suggestion. We have ridden Hawes and like the area. We had a real estate agent send us out that way, a little further east of you so it might of required a longer run or ride to access the trails.

    I've been a runner for a long time. We do only trail running up here because our place backs to Mount Elden and all it's many trails. I would enjoy miles of running on canals as well as the trails in Phoenix. The wife likes riding but will be playing and teaching tennis and playing volleyball and running. She'll need to find a club or courts.

    I don't mind being somewhat secluded in a corner of the valley. If we find the right place near Hawes, we would be very happy. I would like to dine on Vietnamese food occasionally, and some good bbq, which might require some driving. We might bring the camper along so we can head to Tucson of further away on a weekend of riding. We need a driveway that is 30' long, which leaves out looking at condos and townhomes, for the most part. We want to avoid HOA's, mostly because they might increase unpredictably and we will leave the property vacant almost 7 months a year.

    We were thinking that living near South Mountain would offer the best access to running canals/trails, riding trails, restaurants, lower priced homes, and shorter drives to other riding trails. Real estate agents say they are not allowed to discuss crime rates or warn people about bad areas. A ride-a-long with the Phoenix PD might be in order.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by CoyoteKis
    I mean, coast to coast it's only 8 miles.
    If 8 miles is all you're getting, I don't think you're doing it right.....

  11. #11
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    most real estate sites will also have a tab that shows crime and other statistics for each area. you can also type in any address into http://www.homefacts.com to find out ALL statistics and proximities, including sex offender addresses and former methlabs.

    you say the area north of somo is bad,, does that include as far south as dobbins rd or is it pretty safe that far down?

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Prodigal Son
    We started off willing to look at condos and townhomes becuase of some added security and a few amenities like a pool. We are now looking mostly at single family homes. We may want to bring the fifth wheel along and park it in the driveway to use on trips further south, and we'd need a fairly large parking spot. We were thinking of selling our place in Flagstaff and moving up to Bend, after rweading Bend gets an average 30" of anual snow to our 100". You can almost ride year round up there if you head out east of town. But for now, we want to stay in Arizona.

    We can't help but wonder how people maintain a second home. My neighbor in Flagstaff is here just a couple months a year. His primary home is in Tucson. He sent me a list of expenses they have maintaining their Flagstaff property. I suppose we provide them most of their security. I wonder how to protect a home in Phoenix that will be vacant from around Easter to Thanksgiving. I'm hearing crazy suggestions like recorded barking dogs to playback when someone trips motion sensors outside, leaving an old vehicle in the driveway, the usual bars on windows, and an alarm system or company.

    Obviously, the area just north of South Mountain has some sketchy neighborhoods. We like PMP onthe southern side near the canals. I haven't looked near Anthem. My wife is staying there this weekend with friends. We also need to take a closer look in the east valley and the Sonoran Preserve area.
    Take a look at Ahwatukee. We live close to Elliott and 48th st. Have 2 min ride to the trails or 4-5 minute run. Plenty of home options around here. Area is safer than the north side. We are also close to Western Star Park, with tennis courts (2) and a barely used v-ball court.

    House prices get higher the further west you go, especially around Equestrian and some foothills areas. But prices pretty reasonable in my area.

    My wife is a runner and splits time up with road runs and trail run. I trail run once a week and love the trail options from this side.

    Brit.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by longhairmike
    most real estate sites will also have a tab that shows crime and other statistics for each area. you can also type in any address into http://www.homefacts.com to find out ALL statistics and proximities, including sex offender addresses and former methlabs.

    you say the area north of somo is bad,, does that include as far south as dobbins rd or is it pretty safe that far down?
    I don't know. I only hear that South Phoenix is questionable. That may not include areas south of Baseline. I was looking at a number of properties around Dobbins Road. Figured I could access South Mountain at the 24th st. trailhead. $40k for fixers and $75k for move-in ready. Wow! That leaves a lot of leftover cabbage to buy a few rolls of razor wire and a mean junkyard dog. Maybe dig a tiger pit and install several claymore mines. Maybe Apple has an Ap that allows you to monitor your home and discharge CN gas at entryways when burglars or Mormons come knocking.

  14. #14
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    Shucks, for that little amount of time in Phoenix why not do a seasonal rental every year?

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    I used to live in Tempe, and now live near PMP at 40th st and Cactus. Baseline north of Somo is sketchy, I would avoid it. I would rather look east of Priest in Tempe, or south along 48th St in Ahwatukee.

    There are some affordable single family homes north of PMP in my area too. The homes were built in the early 60's and you can scoop up something that needs a remodel. I would say look between the SR-51 and Tatum, and Shea to Thunderbird. North of Thunderbird gets sketchy too, and it's a few miles from PMP.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by BritMtnBiker
    Take a look at Ahwatukee. We live close to Elliott and 48th st. Have 2 min ride to the trails or 4-5 minute run. Plenty of home options around here. Area is safer than the north side. We are also close to Western Star Park, with tennis courts (2) and a barely used v-ball court.

    House prices get higher the further west you go, especially around Equestrian and some foothills areas. But prices pretty reasonable in my area.

    My wife is a runner and splits time up with road runs and trail run. I trail run once a week and love the trail options from this side.

    Brit.
    If you're a Paul Weller fan, you must know more than the average guy. We are looking in Ahwatukee. If we eliminate the need for a 30' driveway to accomodate our camper, we may be able to find something suitable.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by campisi
    Shucks, for that little amount of time in Phoenix why not do a seasonal rental every year?
    Good call. I don't anticipate leaving Flagstaff until Thanksgiving, or later. We would return when the trails dry out. Probably in April. We have flexible employers up here and fill find winter jobs in Phoenix. Paying for utilities and $1000 a month of property taxes for 12 months when you only need housing for 4-5 months, seems financially unwise. Then there is the cost of insuring and securing a vacant property.

    I've enjoyed spending time camped out at McDowell State Park and have a comfy fifth wheel camper with full solar to allow boondocking in locations with no hook-ups. It may be slightly cramped but it has high-def satellite, surround sound, lcd tv, and a cozy latex mattress. The solution could be as simple as finding an RV park close to the action that has a vacancy.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maadjurguer
    If 8 miles is all you're getting, I don't think you're doing it right.....
    'Yurg-

    Who said anything about 8 miles being ALL I am getting? You can for sure blow-up your legs out there whether on the bike or on foot, if you're determined. But yeah, the only downfall to Hawes, is that when you compare it to someplace more epic like the McDowell's, you're going to have to tie together a number if loops to get your mileage in. Personally, I don't mind the loops, because I'm never taken TOO far from help or home.
    "People do not lack strength; they lack will" (Victor Hugo)

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by NTAPHSE
    I used to live in Tempe, and now live near PMP at 40th st and Cactus. Baseline north of Somo is sketchy, I would avoid it. I would rather look east of Priest in Tempe, or south along 48th St in Ahwatukee.

    There are some affordable single family homes north of PMP in my area too. The homes were built in the early 60's and you can scoop up something that needs a remodel. I would say look between the SR-51 and Tatum, and Shea to Thunderbird. North of Thunderbird gets sketchy too, and it's a few miles from PMP.
    Thank you for specific ideas and locations. I spoke to a friend who lives in a 55+ community along Cave Creek, a mile or so north of Dunlap, who loves his place. He swings open a gate and is immediately riding in PMP. Shea to Thunderbird places us a bit too far from the canals we would enjoiy running on. We don't mind warming up on the roads when heading out on a ride but we would like to get off the roads and on canal trails or mountain trails more quickly during runs.

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    It might be more trouble than it's worth, but you could use the property you aren't living in as a vacation rental to recoup some of the cost. Granted it would be off season. Check out vrbo.com

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Prodigal Son
    ... wife will be playing and teaching tennis and playing volleyball and running. She'll need to find a club or courts.
    Well perfect! Las Sendas has lots of tennis courts, it so happens my daughter and are looking for lessons, AND, there are fantastic volleyball courts here as well!

    You're out of luck on Vietnamese, because this area is unfortunately devoid of culinary diversity, but the 202 being so close really does keep the valley easy enough to access.

    The camper and HOA dq's Las Sendas for you, but if South Mountain doesn't work out for you, there are indeed a lot of properties adjacent to LS, that allow campers/boats, and with real estate what it is right now, you can nab one HELL of a custom home at a steal.

    Best of luck in your search, sounds like you've got a great adventure ahead!
    "People do not lack strength; they lack will" (Victor Hugo)

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Prodigal Son
    If you're a Paul Weller fan, you must know more than the average guy. We are looking in Ahwatukee. If we eliminate the need for a 30' driveway to accomodate our camper, we may be able to find something suitable.
    Yes, Paul rocks!

    Sorry not paying attention to the 30' driveway need. You might find something with a side gate big enough to get the camper in. My neighbor added a huge concrete pad to his house and keeps, boat, camper and trailer in his.

    Plus a guy who lives right off the park keeps his semi parked across the street from his house. His neighbors must love him!

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