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  1. #1
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    Moving to SoCal, LA vs. San Diego

    Hello Everyone,

    I have a job offer in San Diego and one in Palos Verdes. I'm trying to figure out which location has better mountain biking close by. Los Angeles or San Diego?

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    There is a little bit of riding in PV, but after that it is a bit of a drive/ride to get to any riding areas. And traffic getting into and out of PV can be gruesome. BUT, many parts of PV are quite nice as far as living conditions as long as you can afford it and wish to live close to work. Definitely check it out in person before committing. Depending on what part of San Diego you're looking at, it might not be much different with respect to being close to riding.

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    It all depends on where you plan on living. Both counties are fairly big.

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    San Diego. Without a doubt.

    There's plenty of good riding, and so much less traffic. Do yourself a favor and stay away from LA.
    Last edited by mbell; 05-06-2013 at 06:57 AM.

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    If I had the choice, I'd pick the San Diego area for living, first and foremost. Both have tons of mtn biking to do. San Diego has a better climate and is less crowded. BTW, I live in Los Angeles.

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    You should definitely move to LA, SD sucks. We have no riding, the weather is horrible, mexican food blows and the people are rude.

    Sent by concerned SD citizen.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Salespunk View Post
    You should definitely move to LA, SD sucks. We have no riding, the weather is horrible, mexican food blows and the people are rude.

    Sent by concerned SD citizen.
    I like the way we are both trying to pawn him off to the other location!

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    You might want to check out El Centro. I hear its beautiful.


    (Joking)

  9. #9
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    As a mountain biker and a shameless real estate broker (from L.A. 30+ years ago), San Diego has the advantage here. Depending on the price range of housing (rental OR purchase) trail access is almost guaranteed form all point in the county.

  10. #10
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    SD over LA any day. Better weather, less people, more riding.
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    ^^ Yep, I endured 12 years living in OC, commuting to LA (think hell with more pollution and meaner people). We moved to the Bay area, but San Diego is definitely a step in the right direction!
    Last edited by dirtvert; 05-06-2013 at 12:07 PM.
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    One more vote for San Diego.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Klurejr View Post
    SD over LA any day. Better weather, less people, more riding.
    Seems to me like you're forgetting something important!

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    I hear LA is nice.... =)
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    Quote Originally Posted by evdog View Post
    Seems to me like you're forgetting something important!
    Better beer?
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    Our beer here in SD is horrible. So strong and a lot of hops. There is a Miller Brewing facility in Irwindale near LA. Another reason to move to LA!

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    San Diego has fewer people, less traffic, somewhat less pollution, and lots of open space, which would make it seem like a shoe-in for a mtb'er to choose.
    The fly in the ointment is that we have some of the most regressive municipalities and city/county officials when it comes to trails, and more so when it comes to trail access for bicycles.

    A lot of the guys voting for San Diego, are riding on and thinking about trails that are actually illegal to ride on. I have to do the same thing too, in order to get a decent ride in in many areas. Compared to the trails that existed here 20 years ago, this place basically sucks.

  18. #18
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    What about Orange County? There's more easily accessible, great MTB riding here than in San Diego.

    San Diego and LA are both great though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ray Raton View Post
    San Diego has fewer people, less traffic, somewhat less pollution, and lots of open space, which would make it seem like a shoe-in for a mtb'er to choose.
    The fly in the ointment is that we have some of the most regressive municipalities and city/county officials when it comes to trails, and more so when it comes to trail access for bicycles.

    A lot of the guys voting for San Diego, are riding on and thinking about trails that are actually illegal to ride on. I have to do the same thing too, in order to get a decent ride in in many areas. Compared to the trails that existed here 20 years ago, this place basically sucks.
    Are you in North County? Not too many illegal trails around here, but there are a few in Del Mar Mesa etc. I agree that things have changed pretty radically in the last 25 years.

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    Sd > la

    Quote Originally Posted by cMc View Post
    What about Orange County? There's more easily accessible, great MTB riding here than in San Diego.

    San Diego and LA are both great though.
    I lived in SD for 17 years and just spent the last year living in OC and commuting to LA. I can say without a doubt that San Diego is your better bet.

    The riding in Orange County is the best out of SD, LA, or OC, but SD has a fair amount of riding.

    Riding aside, the livability of SD is unparalleled. I really miss living there (I lived in Ocean Beach and North Park). People are nice in OC, but kind of vanilla. LA is just a shit-show. Avoid it at all costs. It is miserable.

    All that being said, I'm moving to Oregon in a few weeks. See ya!

  21. #21
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    The real question is who the hell moves TO California.
    Unless of course you like over priced homes, highest gas prices in the nation with no public transportation, highest taxes in the nation, high unemployment, higher medical costs due to "free loaders" using the system. Ever go to a emergency room at night.

    Oh, and lets not forget Governor "moon beam" Brown.

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    51-year S.D. native here. I don't know enough about L.A.-area riding to make a comparison, but you could never get me to live there. I can barely stand the "traffic" down here; living up there would drive me to insanity.

    One nice thing about living in S.D. is, once you get bored with the trails we have to offer here, you can access the great trails in Orange and Riverside Counties without the traffic penalty of living in L.A.

    Quote Originally Posted by ShiverMeTimbers View Post
    All that being said, I'm moving to Oregon in a few weeks. See ya!
    When my obligations in CA are done I'll look ya up when I move there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ShiverMeTimbers View Post
    All that being said, I'm moving to Oregon in a few weeks. See ya!
    Congrats on moving to Oregon. I'm sure you're looking forward to it.

    On a side note.... Why does your profile only say that you've posted 9 times? You've been here forever.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mbell View Post
    Congrats on moving to Oregon. I'm sure you're looking forward to it.

    On a side note.... Why does your profile only say that you've posted 9 times? You've been here forever.
    I think there may be another Shivermetimbers... I carried this name over from the surfermag forum.


    Definitely looking forward to the change. I know I'll miss SoCal between December and March, but that's what road trips are for.

  25. #25
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    LA has the better trails, it is the journey to them that will suck.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Salespunk View Post
    Are you in North County? Not too many illegal trails around here, but there are a few in Del Mar Mesa etc. I agree that things have changed pretty radically in the last 25 years.
    No, I'm down in central San Diego, and I was riding the trails on DMM 20 years ago, when all the mesas were undeveloped, and all had trails around their perimeters. We could ride for 30 miles and never be that far from the ocean.

    And then there's all that fine trail in Sycamore and Mission Trails that the USMC has laid claim to. Between the Equestrian Gentry, and the Marines, and the Sierra Club, we just don't get no respect at all in San Diego.
    Are you old enough to remember Flightline in Carlsbad? Another example of the municipal regressiveness that is normal in these parts.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ray Raton View Post
    Are you old enough to remember Flightline in Carlsbad? Another example of the municipal regressiveness that is normal in these parts.
    Old enough? I rode that trail 6 years ago right before it was destroyed. I would think everyone on this forum is old enough.

    But yes the clamp down on open trails is a bummer, however we still have more trails than LA.
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  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ray Raton View Post
    No, I'm down in central San Diego, and I was riding the trails on DMM 20 years ago, when all the mesas were undeveloped, and all had trails around their perimeters. We could ride for 30 miles and never be that far from the ocean.

    And then there's all that fine trail in Sycamore and Mission Trails that the USMC has laid claim to. Between the Equestrian Gentry, and the Marines, and the Sierra Club, we just don't get no respect at all in San Diego.
    Are you old enough to remember Flightline in Carlsbad? Another example of the municipal regressiveness that is normal in these parts.
    Definitely old enough to remember FL, there were some amazing trails out there especially out of the skate park lot. It has been sad to watch DMM get overrun with houses. A lot of fun trails disappeared out there. I used to run Cantina back in the day and rode up there all the time. Now I understand where you are coming from.

  29. #29
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    If you ever want to see your bike again, live north of the 8 freeway. Otherwise it WILL be stolen! Plus all of the good riding is north of the 8 freeway anyway. I highly recommend east county San Diego(Santee, lakeside, San Carlos, allied gardens). If you live north of the 8, you will most likely be within riding distance of a great trail system to get your kicks during the week until you have time on the weekend to drive out to the awesome cleveland national forest.

    If you live south of the 8, you will be within riding distance of parolee's, 88(ochenta y ocho) cent stores, 30 city blocks of businesses in a foreign language, great food (look for that grade A rating before eating there), and one of the largest homeless populations in the nation(opportunists). Just wait till you see a tweaker who hasn't slept in 4 days riding someone's coveted Santa Cruz Nomad down University Avenue with a shopping cart full of cans attached with a rope at 4 AM.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by ihaveagibsonsg View Post
    If you ever want to see your bike again, live north of the 8 freeway. Otherwise it WILL be stolen! Plus all of the good riding is north of the 8 freeway anyway. I highly recommend east county San Diego(Santee, lakeside, San Carlos, allied gardens). If you live north of the 8, you will most likely be within riding distance of a great trail system to get your kicks during the week until you have time on the weekend to drive out to the awesome cleveland national forest.

    If you live south of the 8, you will be within riding distance of parolee's, 88(ochenta y ocho) cent stores, 30 city blocks of businesses in a foreign language, great food (look for that grade A rating before eating there), and one of the largest homeless populations in the nation(opportunists). Just wait till you see a tweaker who hasn't slept in 4 days riding someone's coveted Santa Cruz Nomad down University Avenue with a shopping cart full of cans attached with a rope at 4 AM.
    I can agree to not live south of the 8, but I would personally never live in East County, Santee(clantee)/Lakeside/El Cajon, unless you go all the way out to Alpine or beyond. East County is full of Brodozers and white trash, you are sure to get your stuff stolen just as quickly out there.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ihaveagibsonsg View Post
    If you ever want to see your bike again, live north of the 8 freeway. Otherwise it WILL be stolen! Plus all of the good riding is north of the 8 freeway anyway. I highly recommend east county San Diego(Santee, lakeside, San Carlos, allied gardens). If you live north of the 8, you will most likely be within riding distance of a great trail system to get your kicks during the week until you have time on the weekend to drive out to the awesome cleveland national forest.

    If you live south of the 8, you will be within riding distance of parolee's, 88(ochenta y ocho) cent stores, 30 city blocks of businesses in a foreign language, great food (look for that grade A rating before eating there), and one of the largest homeless populations in the nation(opportunists). Just wait till you see a tweaker who hasn't slept in 4 days riding someone's coveted Santa Cruz Nomad down University Avenue with a shopping cart full of cans attached with a rope at 4 AM.
    Technically I lived south of the 8 in North Park/Hillcrest. I could ride Florida Canyon and Balboa Park jump area to get a quick ride during the week, was 10 minutes from the beach, and had tons of great bars & restaurants within walking/biking distance, and could ride my bike downtown in 15 minutes. Mission Trails was a 15 minute drive away, and I could jump on the 8, 5, or 15 easily. This guy sounds like he really enjoys living in the 'burbs.

  32. #32
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    I have lived "south of the 8" for 15 years and the only bike stolen was at Tour de Fat when it was left unlocked at the SDMBA booth. My fault.

    That said, SD may not have the best trails but in my opinion it is a much better place to live. I get heartburn when I have to drive through LA. Traffic at midnight? Seriously?

    Come to SD. All the "closed" trails are more or less open you just have to use common sense when riding them.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Klurejr View Post
    I can agree to not live south of the 8, but I would personally never live in East County, Santee(clantee)/Lakeside/El Cajon, unless you go all the way out to Alpine or beyond. East County is full of Brodozers and white trash, you are sure to get your stuff stolen just as quickly out there.
    Good point. The stealing business seems to be closely connected to the areas where larger numbers of crystal meth users dwell.
    On the other hand, I live on the outer perimeter of OB, a well-known tweaker haven, and in 30 years here, I've never lost a bike. I also tend to keep my bikes out of SIGHT, so maybe that helps too. What the average tweeker can't see, it can't steal...

    As far as no trails, it's true that I'd have to pedal 10 miles of pavement to get to the trails near me, but they are a short drive, and days when I work near the LPQ Preserve I'd much rather go for an after-work ride than fight the traffic. Weekdays in LPQ are actually pretty nice.

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    ^^^^ Yes, Santee, El Cajon, etc are not my first choices either. Though the riding at Crestridge is pretty fun. And ya, LPQ can be pretty awesome during the week when it's mostly empty.
    Last edited by sjordan72; 05-09-2013 at 12:03 PM.
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    Point Loma FTW!

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShiverMeTimbers View Post
    Technically I lived south of the 8 in North Park/Hillcrest. I could ride Florida Canyon and Balboa Park jump area to get a quick ride during the week, was 10 minutes from the beach, and had tons of great bars & restaurants within walking/biking distance, and could ride my bike downtown in 15 minutes. Mission Trails was a 15 minute drive away, and I could jump on the 8, 5, or 15 easily. This guy sounds like he really enjoys living in the 'burbs.
    I would live in North or South Park, I love those old neighborhoods. Kensington is awesome too.

    Ditto to the comment about keeping your stuff out of sight. I keep my bikes in my garage, locked to my shelving unit that is bolted to the wall. I am sure if someone really really really wanted my 2002 Enduro, they could find a way into my garage and cut the lock, but it would be easier to grab a bike from someone down the street who just keeps it on the side yard or something....


    To the OP, if you decide on SD instead of LA, Try and find a place where you can get a short lease or a month to month contract so you can check out all the area's and neighborhoods before you pick a more permanent location. The different communities of San Diego are extremely varied.

    If you want to get a nice guide on SD trails, MountainBikeBill's Mountain biking Trail Reviews, Videos and Pictures has some great reviews and maps, and you could pick your local based on how close it is to your place of work AND how close it is to your favorite trail system. I am fortunate that both places I have lived in San Diego were within a quick pedal to the dirt, both where I was at in Clairemont, and now in Oceanside. And all the other good trails are anywhere from 10 min to an hour away.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Klurejr View Post
    I can agree to not live south of the 8, but I would personally never live in East County, Santee(clantee)/Lakeside/El Cajon, unless you go all the way out to Alpine or beyond. East County is full of Brodozers and white trash, you are sure to get your stuff stolen just as quickly out there.
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  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smudge13 View Post
    Point Loma FTW!
    That's where I am, South of Shelter Island Dr. Sometimes it's a nightmare getting out of there during rush hour, particularly past Liberty Station. Gotta take back roads.

    Quote Originally Posted by Klurejr View Post
    I would live in North or South Park, I love those old neighborhoods. Kensington is awesome too.
    ...
    To the OP, if you decide on SD instead of LA, Try and find a place where you can get a short lease or a month to month contract so you can check out all the area's and neighborhoods before you pick a more permanent location. The different communities of San Diego are extremely varied.
    If I had it to do over again I'd have loved to live in Kensington or South Park.

    Adding to your other point, depending on where the OP's job is located, the choice of where to live can be greatly influenced by the commute. Some freeways (cough 805 cough) should be avoided at all costs during rush hour.

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    Quote Originally Posted by random walk View Post
    If I had it to do over again I'd have loved to live in Kensington or South Park.

    Adding to your other point, depending on where the OP's job is located, the choice of where to live can be greatly influenced by the commute. Some freeways (cough 805 cough) should be avoided at all costs during rush hour.
    Totally agree, the 5 corridor from the split up to Oceanside is not much better than the 805 from Mission valley do to south bay. That is why I ride a motorcycle to and from work and detest rainy days when I have to drive my car...... Living in Oceanside and working in San Diego is much more tolerable when I can lane share and not sit in the bumper to bumper traffic.

    That said, it is much more expensive to purchase anything in central san diego. The same size place in Clairemont as in Oceanside hold nearly a 250-300k price difference.
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    Random Walk and Smudge, it sounds like we all live within a mile of each other. Wouldn' it be a blast if that land off Nimitz near Catalina was acquired and approved for a bike park? I could see a pump track, jumps, (which the kids build all the time anyway), etc. In fact there's PLENTY of room for a really NICE mtb-friendly pump track!

  41. #41
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    I'm not familiar with the trails in LA. But my vote would be for San Diego. There is riding all over this place. I live about 1/4 mile from Mission Trails and usually hit that twice a week. There are also places on the other side of Mission, Sycamore Canyon, Spring... Also a short drive is PQ, Lake Hodges, and many more. And shuttling Noble Canyon is a must.

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    Haha, I'm not gonna take up that much space guys. No need to pawn me off to the other.

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    LA area has some great riding... Santa Monica mtns, San Gabes, lots of stuff in between plus reasonable access to Big Bear etc, and 3-5 hrs to a lot of other great stuff. But even for the stuff near LA you can have quite a drive to get to it, especially in rush hour. Had to look up where Palos Verdes is, and unfortunately you seem to be as far away in "LA" as you can be from any of the good riding in LA or OC.

    San Diego has a lot of good riding right in town. Its a 20min drive to pretty much everything here, but you can get to a lot of good stuff in 20-30min from pretty much wherever you live. From the beach to Noble canyon is under an hour. Further if you live in north county, but then the Santa Ana's in OC are closer, which is some more good riding. In 2 hrs we can also be at the best LA riding as well.

    I think you will find there is good riding either place. From what I've seen I wouldn't want to live in LA for the traffic and the endless city and people. And you would have a ways to go depending where you choose to live. SD is a much smaller city by comparison. If you are into road trips, the one good thing about LA is its 2 hrs closer to Norcal, Vegas and UT. But the drive from SD to these places is really not that bad, and from where you would be in Long Beach is still not great (an hour + still to get thru LA on I-5 or 15).

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ray Raton View Post
    Are you old enough to remember Flightline in Carlsbad? Another example of the municipal regressiveness that is normal in these parts.
    not to reopen old arguments, but the flighline reference is particularly useless to support municipal regressiveness. flightline was built on private property. it's a fact that is indisputable. the fact that trails were built on this property and ridden without much hassle for years doesn't change the fact that the landowners sold the land to a developer and the developer, well, developed! to say that the city allowed the destruction of trails that they didn't own is false.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yeti_Rider View Post
    not to reopen old arguments, but the flighline reference is particularly useless to support municipal regressiveness. flightline was built on private property. it's a fact that is indisputable. the fact that trails were built on this property and ridden without much hassle for years doesn't change the fact that the landowners sold the land to a developer and the developer, well, developed! to say that the city allowed the destruction of trails that they didn't own is false.
    Maybe so, but it doesn't FEEL false.

    Out in Tucson the locals built a bunch of illegal trails on BLM land, and the local city government saw how popular the trails were, and they ligitimized them. Now, people come to town just to ride at Fantasy Island. I don't see that kind of foresight here, not at all. This town seems to be hostile to the idea of bicycles on trails.

    So, while technically you might be right, Flightline still stands as an example of how much-needed open space in this area is exploited for profit instead of being used for the public good.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ihaveagibsonsg View Post
    If you ever want to see your bike again, live north of the 8 freeway. Otherwise it WILL be stolen! Plus all of the good riding is north of the 8 freeway anyway. I highly recommend east county San Diego(Santee, lakeside, San Carlos, allied gardens). If you live north of the 8, you will most likely be within riding distance of a great trail system to get your kicks during the week until you have time on the weekend to drive out to the awesome cleveland national forest.

    If you live south of the 8, you will be within riding distance of parolee's, 88(ochenta y ocho) cent stores, 30 city blocks of businesses in a foreign language, great food (look for that grade A rating before eating there), and one of the largest homeless populations in the nation(opportunists). Just wait till you see a tweaker who hasn't slept in 4 days riding someone's coveted Santa Cruz Nomad down University Avenue with a shopping cart full of cans attached with a rope at 4 AM.
    That might be some of the dumbest shit I've read. I've lived south of the 8 for several years and have yet to have a bike stolen. To recommend Santee over a Mission Hills, Bankers Hill, Pt Loma, Sunset Cliffs, or Downtown is insane to me.

    In any case, I've lived my entire life in LA before living here in SD for the past 6 years. I will agree that there are better trails in LA however, getting to them will be miserable.

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ray Raton View Post
    Maybe so, but it doesn't FEEL false.
    Well don't go letting facts get in your way.......
    Ride Bikes, Drink Craft Beer, Repeat.

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  48. #48
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    Decided on San Diego! Thanks everyone for your feedback! See you on the trails

  49. #49
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    You made the right choice. I lived the first 30 years of my life in L.A.
    Got a job as a chiropractor 12 years ago here in SD, and I have never looked back. EVeryday I wake up, thinking I am blessed to live in this beautiful place. fortunately I live across the street from Mission Trails. My only regret is because I live here, I neve ride anywhere else.

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yeti_Rider View Post
    not to reopen old arguments, but the flighline reference is particularly useless to support municipal regressiveness. flightline was built on private property. it's a fact that is indisputable. the fact that trails were built on this property and ridden without much hassle for years doesn't change the fact that the landowners sold the land to a developer and the developer, well, developed! to say that the city allowed the destruction of trails that they didn't own is false.
    It was built on both private and public land. The trails out of the skate park lot were definitely public land and torn down by the City before the development. Much of FL was on dedicated watershed property. The southern edge is private land and has been developed. What really spelled the end of this area was a few LifeFlight landings next to the police station. This brought the trails to the attention of the city.

    Most importantly congrats on making the right choice of where to live!

  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Klurejr View Post
    Well don't go letting facts get in your way.......
    I did say MAYBE SO, and since you mentioned "facts", the "S. of 8" thing has a lot of "truthiness" to it, but as far as "facts", I dunno about that.

    I mean, I've lived "South of 8" for over 50 years now, (fact), and the only bike I ever lost was a beater that I never locked up. (Fact).

    And as Salespunk points out, the FL land situation was not completely black&white. I'd hate to think that ANY mountain biker would look at the destruction of Flightline as a positive, and I doubt either you or Yetirider would see it like that.

    In my opinion, the way the municipality of Carlsbad handled it was a perfect example of what "regressive" means. Especially compared to the city of Tucson and how they responded to the 'discovery' of Fantasy Island.

    On a brighter note, it was the same regressive land manager who recently worked WITH the main creative genius that built up Flightline, and acquired and allowed Copper Canyon trail to be integrated into the La Costa Preserve trails. I still haven't made it up that way to check it out, but Rich Julien has my total respect for hanging in there all of these years, even after having the sh*t kicked out of him by the destruction of FL. Rich has been behind many of the positive trail developments in San Diego. He was even a major hand in the redesign of the "Sh*tz" trail in LPQ, which btw, our city "Trail Czar" Zirkle has imperiously decided is a "redundant" trail, and wants to shut it down. After all of those hundreds of man-hours of volunteer trail work to make those switchbacks, just, poof, his Excellency says, "Let them eat cake!"

    How's that look. Progressive, or Regressive? I bet you can guess what I think.

  52. #52
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    Lemme chime in here as a downhiller.

    If your looking for trails that have big obstacles and less climbing with shutling than San Diego is better. LA county has nicer trails for scenery and SoCal ambiance to include waterfalls.

  53. #53
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    Laguna Beach anyone?

    X-Fusion and Brian Lopes Part 2 Video - Pinkbike

    Trails look sick- or maybe Brian just makes them look sick.

  54. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by michaelscott View Post
    Laguna Beach anyone?

    X-Fusion and Brian Lopes Part 2 Video - Pinkbike

    Trails look sick- or maybe Brian just makes them look sick.
    Laguna Beach looks pretty awesome.

  55. #55
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    Coming from Nor-Cal (Sonoma/Mendocino Counties) I would have moved back up North years ago without Laguna Beach. I probably would move back north if I could make the same money as I do in So-Cal.

  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by mbell View Post
    San Diego. Without a doubt.

    There's plenty of good riding, and so much less traffic. Do yourself a favor and stay away from LA.
    agree
    the trick is ENJOYING YOUR LIFE EACH DAY, don't waste them away wishing for better days

  57. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by balldoc54 View Post
    Decided on San Diego! Thanks everyone for your feedback! See you on the trails
    wow thats great! I wish i could decide my future living arrangements based on the input of people on a mtb forum...I hope you at least visited both places to make sure of your decision. Depending on where you live, you could have riding very near you even in LA, but if you're working in PV thats kind of a haul to any big trail systems. San Diego is def nice, and the traffic will probably be less then in LA. good luck with the move

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