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  1. #1
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    Riding location advice - considering moving to AZ

    My gf and I are considering moving to either AZ or CO. If we choose AZ we need to be within commuting distance to a major AZ university (she needs to attend one of the big 3 universities).

    Can you guys help me out and tell me where the best locations are close to some great riding? Here in socal its perfect for me (well, except for the housing prices and superficial OC culture) because I'm within 30-40 minutes of a 5,500ft mountain on one end, 10 minutes away from 3 state parks with great singletrack to the west, and 20 minutes north of my workplace which has some so-so singletrack (enough to get a workout) I ride after work.

    I want to be in a similar situation out in AZ so I can continue to ride on the week days and do longer rides on the weekend and stay in shape, live a healthy lifestyle, come home bloody from time to time, etc.

    FWIW I'll be motoring around on a 29'er singlespeed

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by tribune
    My gf and I are considering moving to either AZ or CO. If we choose AZ we need to be within commuting distance to a major AZ university (she needs to attend one of the big 3 universities).

    Can you guys help me out and tell me where the best locations are close to some great riding? Here in socal its perfect for me (well, except for the housing prices and superficial OC culture) because I'm within 30-40 minutes of a 5,500ft mountain on one end, 10 minutes away from 3 state parks with great singletrack to the west, and 20 minutes north of my workplace which has some so-so singletrack (enough to get a workout) I ride after work.

    I want to be in a similar situation out in AZ so I can continue to ride on the week days and do longer rides on the weekend and stay in shape, live a healthy lifestyle, come home bloody from time to time, etc.

    FWIW I'll be motoring around on a 29'er singlespeed

    Thanks
    You'll miss SoCal given your current set up and all and the "hot time" here in Phoenix is a grind. However, AZ has a lot to offer. You can avoid the "hot time" by moving to Flagstaff, but you will have "cold time." I suggest Tucson over Phoenix, but if you need a big city, Phoenix may have to be the place.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dirdir
    You'll miss SoCal given your current set up and all and the "hot time" here in Phoenix is a grind. However, AZ has a lot to offer. You can avoid the "hot time" by moving to Flagstaff, but you will have "cold time." I suggest Tucson over Phoenix, but if you need a big city, Phoenix may have to be the place.
    I like to think I can take the heat. I go riding in the saddleback foothills on hot days where temps get in the high 90s and its mostly climbing. Its good conditioning for phx

    Can't live in flag, not enough tech to be able to support the bike habit.

  4. #4
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    Phx is a good software market. Tucson is ok, but Phx is a good market. Don't move to Flag - poverty w. a view, if you work in software

    Scottsdale Airpark, Tempe and near Tempe, Camelback corridor, Central corridor, with a few big companies around I-17\Deer Valley -- that's where the jobs are at mostly, in more-or-less that order imo. There are jobs all over, but that is where they are dense. Airpark & Tempe are 1 and 1A, imo.

    PM me what you do and I will see if I can offer more specific suggestions. Phx is a great city for riding w. job market, if you can deal with Phx.

  5. #5
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    one reason to consider phx over flag and tucson is that its gives you access to get to all 3 location. you've got a better job market in phx, and fine riding, plus you can be in either flag or tuscon is about 2 hours.....and can get to durango or moab in about 7 hours.....
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  6. #6
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    with all due respect, you're confused. Flag is the only real choice for total quality of life - plenty of tech too

  7. #7
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    Tucson or Flag are the best places to live... I'd love to live in Flag!

  8. #8
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    heat

    Tucson averages 7 degrees cooler daytime but close to 20 degrees cooler at night.
    100 at 10pm is not uncommon in Phoenix in the summer.
    If I had the choice, Boulder and Ft. Collins and it's surrounding lower cost cities are a much better summer life, but I am biased and have been looking for property there. Here in Arizona people stay inside ALL DAY. Summer just SUCKS, outside Flagstaff.
    Temps in the 90's does not prepare you for 110+.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by tribune
    I like to think I can take the heat. I go riding in the saddleback foothills on hot days where temps get in the high 90s and its mostly climbing. Its good conditioning for phx

    Can't live in flag, not enough tech to be able to support the bike habit.
    I was once Mr. SoCal. Phoenix is different. One huge difference is that it does not cool down in the evenings/mornings here. Riding in the heat in SoCal, even in the interior areas, was nothing like Phoenix in that you could ride in SoCal as long as you took precautions - water, take it easy, etc. Here in Phoenix, riding mid-day in 110 weather is not an option, with the exception of a few 19 year old tat'ed out hooligans that claim to ride mid-day without issue. Indeed, by 10:00 am it is too late.

    Pluses and minuses of Phoenix over OC as follows:

    Much easier access to trails in Phoenix. There are three major trail systems in the city itself and several others just outside the city. Very little traffic compared to SoCal.

    Housing is more affordable in Phoenix.

    Life is more simple/easier in Phoenix. Parking is not an issue. Less complications, less traffic, etc.

    Although the mtbiking community in Phoenix is not really an advocacy type community, the people here are very friendly and if you want to, you can make a ton of friends in almost no time and have a ton of group rides available to you all the time. SoCal if very different. You can meet friends and such, but it is much less global. For example, in SoCal it was extremely rare that I ran into a friendly face or someone I knew out on a ride. It happens here all the time. I met more mountain biking pals here in one year than I did in 20 years in SoCal.

    But, if you prefer to stay unknown in the shadows, Phoenix is big enough to allow it.
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  10. #10
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    I vote for Tucson

    Looking at PHX, Flag, or Tucson, I'd choose Tucson.

    Flag would be great except for that whole winter thing, and it seems to be very expensive with a mediocre job market.

    You couldn't pay me enough money to live in Phoenix. Wilderness is way too far away (although there is good in-town riding), it's way too hot, there are too many people, and I just don't like the lifestyle there. I spent most of last summer there, and I wanted to shoot myself on a daily basis (no offense to those of you who live there, it's just not for me).

    I moved to Tucson about a year ago from Prescott (smallish mtn town) and so far I love it. It seems to have a good balance between big city and small city. There's good food and music, lots of stuff to do, it's pretty easy to get around, it's a very bike friendly city, and there's loads of mtn biking. From my house (1/2 mile from U of A) it's a 20 minute drive to 2 great XC areas (Fantasy Island and Tucson Mtn Park), and 40 minutes to a variety of other areas. I thought summer was going to suck here, and while the heat was a challenge I still manage to ride 3 days a week. I just do night rides or get up super early. The MTB community here is great too, very welcoming. The local club is Sonoran Desert Mtn Bicyclists (www.sdmb.org). They have a good mix of advocacy/trail building and social/group rides and events.

    Good luck- Evan

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by sonoranbiker
    Looking at PHX, Flag, or Tucson, I'd choose Tucson.

    Flag would be great except for that whole winter thing, and it seems to be very expensive with a mediocre job market.

    You couldn't pay me enough money to live in Phoenix. Wilderness is way too far away (although there is good in-town riding), it's way too hot, there are too many people, and I just don't like the lifestyle there. I spent most of last summer there, and I wanted to shoot myself on a daily basis (no offense to those of you who live there, it's just not for me).

    I moved to Tucson about a year ago from Prescott (smallish mtn town) and so far I love it. It seems to have a good balance between big city and small city. There's good food and music, lots of stuff to do, it's pretty easy to get around, it's a very bike friendly city, and there's loads of mtn biking. From my house (1/2 mile from U of A) it's a 20 minute drive to 2 great XC areas (Fantasy Island and Tucson Mtn Park), and 40 minutes to a variety of other areas. I thought summer was going to suck here, and while the heat was a challenge I still manage to ride 3 days a week. I just do night rides or get up super early. The MTB community here is great too, very welcoming. The local club is Sonoran Desert Mtn Bicyclists (www.sdmb.org). They have a good mix of advocacy/trail building and social/group rides and events.

    Good luck- Evan
    Yes, but Phoenix has big city opportunities that Tucson does not. It all depends on one's needs. With my career, I would not want to start out in Tucson. Plus, if you find the right place, you can ride to the trails of either SoMo, NoMo or Lost Dog area and basically be living in the heart of the city.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dirdir
    Yes, but Phoenix has big city opportunities that Tucson does not. It all depends on one's needs. With my career, I would not want to start out in Tucson. Plus, if you find the right place, you can ride to the trails of either SoMo, NoMo or Lost Dog area and basically be living in the heart of the city.
    Exactly!
    None of us who live here think Phx is without its warts, but you won't find the job market, corporate headquarters, start ups, and ASU's CS programs in a small city. Check out the Dice and Monster listings for all of Arizona, you'll find more options in Phx. I worked in Tucson for 4 years - there were jobs, but not as many, so the field is tilted in favor of the employer. Its a big lifestyle thing to know you don't have to worry about finding a good job or hanging onto a crappy one.

    The riding options of Phx stack up very well against a lot of other cities - large and small.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by sonoranbiker
    ... from Prescott (smallish mtn town) and so far I love it.
    Prescott is neither small nor in the mountains.

    It all depends on your preferances. I'd love to live in Flag, cuz you can ride to ride. No way I'd live in Phx, too hot and too big.

  14. #14
    sonoranbiker
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    Quote Originally Posted by ionsmuse
    Prescott is neither small nor in the mountains.

    It all depends on your preferances. I'd love to live in Flag, cuz you can ride to ride. No way I'd live in Phx, too hot and too big.

    What do you call those tall things around Prescott named the Bradshaws and the Sierra Prietas? I've heard them called mountains..... And while Prescott is growing at an alarming rate, in comparison to PHX, Tucson, or Flag, I would definitely call it small.

  15. #15
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    I was born and raised in Flag... lived there until I was 21 and then moved to Tucson. Honestly, if I could make a living in Flagstaff I would live there, but cost of living is high and jobs are hard to find.

    Nothing against our Phoenician friends here, but I just dislike the place. Too big, too many freeways, too many people, just too big (for me.) I love Tucson. It's big enough there is plenty to do, but small enough to still have a "small town" feel to it and the riding here is stellar.

    It all just depends on what you want. I would guess that jobs in Phoenix would be easier to find and probably better paid. But I prefer the style of living in Tucson over the big job and big house.

    Good luck in whichever you chose.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by sonoranbiker
    What do you call those tall things around Prescott named the Bradshaws and the Sierra Prietas? I've heard them called mountains..... And while Prescott is growing at an alarming rate, in comparison to PHX, Tucson, or Flag, I would definitely call it small.
    Well, PV and Chino Valley are not in the mountains, and only parts of Prescott are, so it's not like it's on the side of a mountain like Jerome or anything.

    I just got back from mtn biking in the clear up up here in Prescott. Gotta love year round riding.
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem
    so it's not like it's on the side of a mountain like Jerome or anything.
    Nothing is quite like Jerome, the people that choose to live there are high.
    07 GF Rig

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by sonoranbiker
    What do you call those tall things around Prescott named the Bradshaws and the Sierra Prietas? I've heard them called mountains..... And while Prescott is growing at an alarming rate, in comparison to PHX, Tucson, or Flag, I would definitely call it small.
    Anything, including some celestial bodies and terrestrial governments, are small compared to Phoenix. Truly an absurd statement.

    I only count things as mountains if they go above treeline.

    In all seriousness, I'm moving. This is the last AZ summer I care to live through. You southern people are mad.

  19. #19
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    New question here.

    Quote Originally Posted by tribune
    (well, except for the housing prices and superficial OC culture)
    Where is OC are you at? That's my old hood. Whiting, STT, Harding, Aliso, San Juan, etc.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by cycljunkie
    Where is OC are you at? That's my old hood. Whiting, STT, Harding, Aliso, San Juan, etc.
    I'm in Irvine. I just did Whiting->Flag pole->Luge last weekend. I used to live in San Juan Capistrano a couple years ago and that was my local trail--only about 10 minutes from it

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by tribune
    I'm in Irvine. I just did Whiting->Flag pole->Luge last weekend. I used to live in San Juan Capistrano a couple years ago and that was my local trail--only about 10 minutes from it
    Funny too that I just talked to a big time socal biker and he said the riding south of tempe blows socal away.

    What are the best places in phoenix to live in compromise of nearby riding and quality of life? How about tuscon? I know both are huge beyond huge so I'd like to get some idea of the pockets to start researching. I want to get a feel for home prices, nearby stuff (jobs, shopping), how safe the area is, cleanliness, etc. That way before I cruise out--I'll probably be visiting both phoenix and tuscon in the next 2 months--I know where to look at specifically.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by tribune
    Funny too that I just talked to a big time socal biker and he said the riding south of tempe blows socal away.

    What are the best places in phoenix to live in compromise of nearby riding and quality of life? How about tuscon? I know both are huge beyond huge so I'd like to get some idea of the pockets to start researching. I want to get a feel for home prices, nearby stuff (jobs, shopping), how safe the area is, cleanliness, etc. That way before I cruise out--I'll probably be visiting both phoenix and tuscon in the next 2 months--I know where to look at specifically.
    Riding in Phoenix is definitely more technical than the Cleveland National Forest (at least up by OC). There aren't any really long or steep climbs though. Fun stuff overall, just different than what you're riding now. Lots of good trails for 29'er SS!

    Ahwatukee is a great area for South Mountain access but would suck if you end up working in Phoenix.

    Scottsdale has some really great riding in the McDowell Sonoran Preserve but homes are more $$$ than other parts of the valley.

    If you end up working in Phoenix you might want to consider living in Phoenix too. Driving into Phx from the E. Valley kind of blows. Plus you have T100 in close proximity to Phoenix.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by cycljunkie
    Riding in Phoenix is definitely more technical than the Cleveland National Forest (at least up by OC). There aren't any really long or steep climbs though. Fun stuff overall, just different than what you're riding now. Lots of good trails for 29'er SS!

    Ahwatukee is a great area for South Mountain access but would suck if you end up working in Phoenix.

    Scottsdale has some really great riding in the McDowell Sonoran Preserve but homes are more $$$ than other parts of the valley.

    If you end up working in Phoenix you might want to consider living in Phoenix too. Driving into Phx from the E. Valley kind of blows. Plus you have T100 in close proximity to Phoenix.
    I like central Phoenix. Very close to T100. Close to Cave Creek, Pima & Dynamite, South Mountain and McDowell. Not bad to Hawes, White Tanks or Estrella.

    My commute from Shea and 32nd into downtown is no more than 30 minutes at the height of traffic/rush hour. It is usually less.
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by tribune
    What are the best places in phoenix to live in compromise of nearby riding and quality of life? How about tuscon? I know both are huge beyond huge so I'd like to get some idea of the pockets to start researching. I want to get a feel for home prices, nearby stuff (jobs, shopping), how safe the area is, cleanliness, etc. That way before I cruise out--I'll probably be visiting both phoenix and tuscon in the next 2 months--I know where to look at specifically.
    For Phoenix/ASU, sounds like you should look in south Tempe; around Rural Rd. and Guadalupe Rd, maybe McClintock and Guadalupe. That'd put you a little over 2 miles to the Pima trailhead at S.Mtn and about 4 miles to ASU. Nice part of town, albeit very bedroom community style.

    People like to rag on the Valley, but I've lived in Salt Lake City and Redondo Beach, and I prefer the Valley.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by kAZ
    but I've lived in Salt Lake City and Redondo Beach, and I prefer the Valley.
    I lived on Esplanade & Avenue G in Redondo. Used to watch dolphins swim from my balcony. Lots 'o fun back in the partying daze...

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by cycljunkie
    I lived on Esplanade & Avenue G in Redondo. Used to watch dolphins swim from my balcony. Lots 'o fun back in the partying daze...
    Funny ... my sister-in-law used to live in that same area of Redondo as well. And her parents lived in El Segundo right near the beach. My wife and I used to visit them all the time, like every 3 months. They've all long since moved away from SoCal and we haven't been back there in years.

    Oddly enough, what I miss most are the early morning breakfasts at Good Stuff. That was pure heaven.

    Thx...Doug

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by dgangi
    Oddly enough, what I miss most are the early morning breakfasts at Good Stuff. That was pure heaven.

    Thx...Doug
    Ah yes... Good Stuff was... well... good stuff!

  28. #28
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    haven't read the other posts, but Im sure people have mentioned south mountain, really fun trails there. Bootleg Canyon isn't too far either, nuts trails there, also sedona is about 2 hours away (depending on location) and sedona is awesome, also sunrise and flagstaff, as far as local the mcdowells have some decent, mostly xc trails, chandler skate park, papago, NRA Pit, Ikea pit, and of course the pima pit are all good freeride spots, at first glance, it seems like there isn't much good riding, once you do some digging (literally) you find some good stuff

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by dgangi
    Funny ... my sister-in-law used to live in that same area of Redondo as well. And her parents lived in El Segundo right near the beach. My wife and I used to visit them all the time, like every 3 months. They've all long since moved away from SoCal and we haven't been back there in years.

    Oddly enough, what I miss most are the early morning breakfasts at Good Stuff. That was pure heaven.

    Thx...Doug
    I lived just east of the PCH on Beryl. I don't recall Good Stuff. There was some Sunday brunch spot we frequented up the hill in PV. The Strand was my favorite part of living there. I used to ride my beach cruiser up and down it. Saw a lot of good shows at the Comedy and Magic Club too.

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    Reno

    If Reno would work, in my opinion it crushes AZ and CO. I have lived in Boulder, Tucson, Flagstaff, Prescott, and Reno. Reno is easily the best. Great climate.
    Great mtn biking in Reno, ridiculous in Tahoe just up the road. Nice and cool mornings and evenings in the summer, no monsoons. You'll never be rained out. Winters are milder than Flag and CO. You can easily ride year round, with a few off weeks waiting for snow to
    melt. There is a great race scene. Tons of climbing. You can climb single track 6000 vert ft all the way to the Tahoe Rim Trail from Reno, very uncrowded trails.

  31. #31
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    Also looking at a move...

    I too am considering a relo to the Phx area.

    I can't say this thread makes me feel good about it. How about some links to pics and/or websites showing off the juicy single track in the area around Phx?

    Any of those exist?
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  32. #32
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    Tribune, check out zip code 85044. It's Phoenix proper, but is an area called Ahwatukee. I moved here 8 years ago from the Monterey, CA area. Ahwatukee has the attributes you are looking for: 1) Great riding (I ride greenbelts from my house to the trails) 2) Great shopping/restaurants 3) Clean 4) Safe 5) Convenient location, etc...This area is close to South Mountain which has every kind of riding you'd ever want i.e. fast and rolly or technical climbing/descending and everything in between....I've lived in central/northern Ca., Alberta, Canada and have ridden Colorado many times. Arizona beats them all in terms of trail diversity, length of riding season (all year) and friendliness of people you meet out on the trail. I wouldn't live anywhere else. Ahwatukee is located on the south side of South Mountain, just west of I10 if you want to know the general location. Traffic is bad getting out of the area in the mornings if you leave between 7:00-9:00am, but other than that, it's not too bad (especially compared to California). I work close to down town and it takes me 15 minutes to get to work or the airport (12 miles). Best of luck on your choice.

    Homes have gone up allot since I moved here, but have come down a bit within the last year - compared to So Cal I think it's still a bargain (it would be helpful to know your price range - that may determine what part of the city you should be looking at).

  33. #33
    Just another half mile...
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    Lots of pics here:
    http://www.singletrack.us/gallery/index.php?cat=2

    Lots of trail info here:
    VISITORS READ HERE FIRST: Local riding advice

    A few maps of Phoenix local trails here. Tons of singletrack to ride!
    http://www.singletrack.us/gallery/th...s.php?album=54

    Quote Originally Posted by Cadillac
    I too am considering a relo to the Phx area.

    I can't say this thread makes me feel good about it. How about some links to pics and/or websites showing off the juicy single track in the area around Phx?

    Any of those exist?

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cadillac
    I too am considering a relo to the Phx area.

    I can't say this thread makes me feel good about it.

    Moving to AZ was the best move Iíve made. Great weather even in the short summer you can early morning or night ride, tons of trail systems inside the city limits, tons more trail out of the city limits. Lotís of good fellow riders to ride with! I could think of a million worse places to live, this place is great!

  35. #35
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    Now we're talkin'. Thanks gents!

    I grew up in the deep South so hot-n-humid is not a stranger to me. I fully understand there will be periods of time where I will be indoors all the time but for 8 months of the year where it's a biker's paradise, I might make the leap.

    You'll be hearing from me if it happens. New job would be in/around Mesa.
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  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cadillac
    I too am considering a relo to the Phx area.

    I can't say this thread makes me feel good about it. How about some links to pics and/or websites showing off the juicy single track in the area around Phx?

    Any of those exist?
    These are, and shall always be, the only two pics anyone will ever need for anything ever. Finished. Over. Done. Period!

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  37. #37
    wrecking crew
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    ...and modest too.
    ~~~

  38. #38
    I am Walt
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dirdir
    These are, and shall always be, the only two pics anyone will ever need for anything ever. Finished. Over. Done. Period!

    Man I look Hot.
    That Waterfall pic is so Photoshopped, it's ridiculous...

    That said, I live in North Scottsdale and ride from my house to miles and miles and hours and hours of desert XC singletrack, with thousands of feet of climbing, in the McDowell Sonoran Preserve. Not techy, but challenging, fun, beautiful and a super workout. McDowell Mountain Park (and it's Comp Tracks), SoMo, T100, Hawes, Black Canyon are all within 30 minutes. The riding is truly year-round, you just have to ride early or at night in the summer.

    Yes, North Scottsdale is pricey, but the quality of life is great. I love it. We moved from Colorado Springs, which remains the best place we've ever lived, but we do love Scottsdale. Schools, shopping, restaurants, nightlife, resale values, etc. are all first-rate.

    One point I will make is that I think it is very, very key to be able to ride to good trails from your house. The reason being is that during the summer, it does get to be a grind getting up early to ride, or arriving home late after a night ride, and it adds that much more to the process to have to get up earlier to load up the vehicle, etc. Being able to just roll out of your garage and quickly access trails greatly simplifies the process and makes it that much easier to get out riding during the dog days of summer. Seriously don't underestimate that.
    Ride more; post less...

  39. #39
    shred my gnar
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    what tech field are you in?

    the job market in flagstaff can be tough if you dont have something lined-up prior to coming here... but it isnt nearly as bad as most outsiders think (which is great!)... although, showing up and finding a job can likely mean working outside your field for a bit...

    that said... you should check out gore's (as in gore-tex) website for available positions. they hire lots of different types of folks and if you have any biotech, various types of engineering or marketing background you stand to make very good $$$. they develop and fabricate a bunch of medical products here in flagstaff amongst other things.

    here is a listing of current open positions mostly in flagstaff...

    https://sjobs.brassring.com/EN/ASP/T...f=829200719022

    here is an IT job for instance...

    https://sjobs.brassring.com/EN/ASP/T...0638_51&GQId=0

    and the riding is year round here as well if you can 1)handle some cold while riding and/or 2) handle the 25 mile drive to sedona.

    i have had a sick powder day during a weekday at snowbowl in february and then bail down to sedona the following weekend (a couple days later) when snowbowl gets blown out by the phoenecians and have a sick ride on the bike... cant beat it (other than the house prices... glad i bought before the boom!!!)

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by vmb
    Tribune, check out zip code 85044. It's Phoenix proper, but is an area called Ahwatukee. I moved here 8 years ago from the Monterey, CA area. Ahwatukee has the attributes you are looking for: 1) Great riding (I ride greenbelts from my house to the trails) 2) Great shopping/restaurants 3) Clean 4) Safe 5) Convenient location, etc...This area is close to South Mountain which has every kind of riding you'd ever want i.e. fast and rolly or technical climbing/descending and everything in between....I've lived in central/northern Ca., Alberta, Canada and have ridden Colorado many times. Arizona beats them all in terms of trail diversity, length of riding season (all year) and friendliness of people you meet out on the trail. I wouldn't live anywhere else. Ahwatukee is located on the south side of South Mountain, just west of I10 if you want to know the general location. Traffic is bad getting out of the area in the mornings if you leave between 7:00-9:00am, but other than that, it's not too bad (especially compared to California). I work close to down town and it takes me 15 minutes to get to work or the airport (12 miles). Best of luck on your choice.

    Homes have gone up allot since I moved here, but have come down a bit within the last year - compared to So Cal I think it's still a bargain (it would be helpful to know your price range - that may determine what part of the city you should be looking at).
    Thanks for the great info. Sounds like a cozy PHX spot. Being able to ride out your door is such a huge benefit. I can't ride to the trails from here in Irvine on my mtb, but I can jump on the road bike and start mashing on the numerous paved paths from Irvine to the coast via the Newport estuary preserve and back.

  41. #41
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    Several thoughts. The majority of this forum is populated by people living in Southern Arizona. Keep that in mind when weighing opinions. Flagstaff averages about three days a year over 90 degrees. The summer monsoons rarely cause you to skip a ride. Rather, they do a great job of keeping the dust down and the trails tacky. If being "only" two hours from Flagstaff is acceptable to you, and you don't mind riding in triple digit temps, you might make it in Phoenix. You've likely been through similar traffic.

    We are lucky. We live less than spitting distance from the trails in Flagstaff. From our property line, it is less than 5 meters to the first trail. The furthest distance I drive in a day is to get to Home Depot. That is 7-8 miles cross town. Most winters up here we have been able to ride right up until Christmas. January and February bring the most snow (Flagstaff once averaged 100" each winter and there is a ski resort). You can ride some of the new Campbell Mesa loops or other lower elevation trails a couple days after a winter storm if it warms up a bit, or you can make the 30 mile drive to Sedona, which is 3000 feet lower in elevation and the trails are great to ride all winter.

    Then there is the cost of living and the job market. Up until a year ago we wanted to live cheaply so we could travel a lot. We were paying $210 a month for space rent in a centrally located trailer park, three minutes walk to a grocery store and a five minute ride to either downtown or the nearest trail. We are now paying $1250 a month for a 1400 sq. foot home which backs to Mt. Elden and Forest Service land. If you leave So-Cal with a lot of money burning a hole in your pocket, you can find many upscale neighborhoods built mostly for people from Phoenix wanting a second home in the mountains. NAU may be acceptable to your wife and you may find work here before long.

    My suggestion is to spend a week or so visiting Tucson, Phoenix, Prescott, and Flagstaff. Go on some rides and drive around to look at home prices.

    One last thing to consider is that in the coming years, we could start experiencing gas rationing or at a minimum, gas prices well over $5 a gallon. I drive maybe 25 miles a week in Flagstaff. If I was living and working in Phoenix, I might be driving 150 miles or more a week.


    Visions Of Johanna by Bob Dylan
    Orange by Jon Spencer Blues Explosion
    The Golden Eel by Ween

  42. #42
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    I moved to PHX from Costa Mesa in Jan. The best move I have ever made, T100 is 2 miles from my home and I ride 3 to 5 times a week. Back in the OC I rode off road 1 days a week and on the road 2 days, same trails you mentioned.. Here is my input.

    Trails here are much more technical than OC riding, but climbing is much less. For technical think of the rock garden on Rock-it Trail (Alliso Woods). That is 50% of T100 and the easiest parts of South Mountain. For climbing you can find pure climbing trails, but most 30% climbing and the rest rolling.

    Temperature - As most said above you are not prepared for 110+ temps. At 7% humidity the water is sucked out of you. You can ride in the heat, but you will go through 100oz of water in less than 1 hour. (I did live in Minnesota for years and know what 100F and 100% humidity is like. This is much worse!!)

    Property Prices - Coming from Irvine, rent and home prices will amaze you. Think some where between cheap and free. Pick any area and you will like what you get for the price.

    Where to live -
    Collage life style - Tempe
    Newport Beach/Huntington feel- Scottsdale water front area, Paradise Valley
    Feel of Irvine and other Southern OC cities - North Scottsdale, North Glendale, Verado, Chandler, Gilbert, East Mesa
    Long beach and LA feel- Phoenix Central corridor,

    SS and 29 scene - Large and vocal. Just read the other posts here on MTBR

    Road bikes - I live in the central phoenix corridor, and I haven't found many good road rides without getting in the car. Most roads in central phx are not good for road bikes, it's rough.

    If you choose AZ, see you on the trails. Good luck.
    Dan

  43. #43
    Elitest thrill junkie
    Reputation: Jayem's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AKA Monkeybutt
    Moving to AZ was the best move Iíve made. Great weather even in the short summer you can early morning or night ride
    I thought the summer got longer and hotter the closer you were to the equator?
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  44. #44
    Elitest thrill junkie
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    And then there's the phoenix air quality, very bad in the winter with the inversion layer (they recommend against exercising due to injestion), not good in the summer unless all the crap is blown out. Once again, this isn't to start a fight, it's simply reality, and something you might want to consider.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  45. #45
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    One thing is that you are talking to the Phoenix crowd at the end of summer when, pardon the pun, most people are completley burnt out. Alot of us tend to think that it will last like this forever. But give it a couple months and it is completley and utterly awesome riding weather

  46. #46
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    Pick the area that will provide your gf with the best education for her needs and you with the best career opportunities. The reason I say this is because you will always be able to find great riding near any of the three major colleges. None of the places may be perfect but the good news is all locations in this state are not a far drive away for a day trip or a nice weekend getaway.

    I am an owner/broker of a real estate company here in the Phoenix area and have lived here since 79. I take alot of pride in helping people meet there real estate goals regardless if they are renting or buying. I am also very familiar with the area and can match areas based on desired lifestyle. Please do not hesitate to PM me if you have any specific real estate questions about any of the areas you are thinking about.

    While I may not be able to personally help you in Tucson or Flagstaff my franchise, Long Realty Alliance, has affiliations with Long Companies in Tucson (largest real estate company in tucson) and we are part of Homeservices of America (2nd largest in the country and a Berkshire Hathaway Affilate) so I can help find a quality Realtor that can give you some info about areas outside of the Phoenix metro area. Please don't hesitate to call or email.

    I am in the process of helping a few people from out of state that I met here in the forums and I must say it is a great pleasure to work with like minded people that enjoy riding as much if not more than me.

    Thanks,
    Ross Cobb
    Long Realty Alliance
    Designated Broker/Owner
    480*768*3222 (office)
    480*980*0729 (cell)

  47. #47
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    I live in Flagstaff, Mt. Elden has amazing downhilling with alot of trails built by locals. Friendly community, you can ride ANYWHERE you need to go (normally faster than a car). Cheaper to live in than phx and tucson and no gay heat. Besides having way more local rides: fisher point, mt. elden and that area, buffalo (sp?) park to name a few. We have easier access to sedona once flag gets too cold or wet/snowy to ride. Also we have better dirt than alot of places. The soil up here is very volcanic and deals well with water and what not. I love it up here =p I can go for long serious rides 2-5 days a week with a full class/work schedule.

  48. #48
    Ouch, I am hot!
    Reputation: Dirdir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by happy_ending
    what tech field are you in?

    the job market in flagstaff can be tough if you dont have something lined-up prior to coming here... but it isnt nearly as bad as most outsiders think (which is great!)... although, showing up and finding a job can likely mean working outside your field for a bit...

    that said... you should check out gore's (as in gore-tex) website for available positions. they hire lots of different types of folks and if you have any biotech, various types of engineering or marketing background you stand to make very good $$$. they develop and fabricate a bunch of medical products here in flagstaff amongst other things.

    here is a listing of current open positions mostly in flagstaff...

    https://sjobs.brassring.com/EN/ASP/T...f=829200719022

    here is an IT job for instance...

    https://sjobs.brassring.com/EN/ASP/T...0638_51&GQId=0

    and the riding is year round here as well if you can 1)handle some cold while riding and/or 2) handle the 25 mile drive to sedona.

    i have had a sick powder day during a weekday at snowbowl in february and then bail down to sedona the following weekend (a couple days later) when snowbowl gets blown out by the phoenecians and have a sick ride on the bike... cant beat it (other than the house prices... glad i bought before the boom!!!)
    Do you work at Gore? Two of my college roomates/cycling teamates are engineers there. They love Flagstaff.
    I AM JUST A JERK

  49. #49
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    Smile

    Quote Originally Posted by ruzz
    I am in the process of helping a few people from out of state that I met here in the forums and I must say it is a great pleasure to work with like minded people that enjoy riding as much if not more than me.

    Thanks,
    Ross Cobb
    Long Realty Alliance
    Designated Broker/Owner
    480*768*3222 (office)
    480*980*0729 (cell)
    If my situation works out, I'll be calling you.

    ~Cadillac
    Iconic, Fat and Slow. - Not in that order.
    Bikes:
    ***'03 Marin Quad (Fully Squishy)
    ***Giant CFR (Road)

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