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  1. #1
    mtbr member
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    Moving from Texas

    I'm planning to move out to So. Cal. in July from Dallas, and I'm trying to decide between Simi Valley, Woodland Hills and Pasadena. Calabasas is my first choice, but I don't have that kind of money. Which one is going to get me closest to the best trails? I'm an intermediate rider. Decent at technical stuff (though chicken at times) but, after four years in very flat North Texas, my climbing skills need work.

    I'll be working from home mostly so a commute really isn't a factor. I do, however, need to be in north L.A. so when I do have to drive in it won't kill me.

    Thoughts?

  2. #2
    Over the Hill
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    Coming from Dallas I would think that any of those would be an improvement.

    I am not fond of the planned communities concept and prefer having a downtown area…so my vote is Pasadena. There are some great old neighbors in Pasadena and you have Mt. Wilson in your back yard. Best riding in the LA area are the San Gabriel Mountains.

    You will learn to climb! Or become a roadie.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oregon
    I'm planning to move out to So. Cal. in July from Dallas, and I'm trying to decide between Simi Valley, Woodland Hills and Pasadena. Calabasas is my first choice, but I don't have that kind of money. Which one is going to get me closest to the best trails? I'm an intermediate rider. Decent at technical stuff (though chicken at times) but, after four years in very flat North Texas, my climbing skills need work.

    I'll be working from home mostly so a commute really isn't a factor. I do, however, need to be in north L.A. so when I do have to drive in it won't kill me.

    Thoughts?
    I moved from Fort Worth 6 years ago and it took me about a year before I could hang on the climbs with my SoCal friends. I was granny gearing almost every climb I encountered, while my Bros were middle ringing'em like it was nothing...

    If you move to Pasadena you will be close to the San Gabriel mountains and there are some killer trails to be ridden. I'm not sure about Simi Valley or Woodland Hills as that's way north from where I live, but I think anywhere you move in SoCal there will be good trails with in minimal driving distance.

    You're gonna love the bike culture here. There's nothing in Texas like it..

    Good luck,
    AC

  4. #4
    34N 118W
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    Pasadena

    closest to great riding and the best off-bike scene of the three listed.

    the smog in the San Gabriel Valley can get really crappy at times though, the way it just hangs there.

  5. #5
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    First thought - get out here and ride.

    Woodland Hills is the best of the 3. You'll have easy access (even carless) to the Santa Monicas with all types of riding available. Flat(ish) slopes to steep. Shady (Sullivan Canyon) to sunny. Simi and Pasadena are limited in scope.

  6. #6
    a.k.a. MTBMaven
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    Pasadena

    I live in and work for the City of Pasadena and it is a great city. We are going through impressive urban renewal. The City is a model for other cities in the area for integrating commerce, residential, and transit into a livable community. Nothing like planned suburban communities of Irvine or the South. Much more European. This is speculation but in spite of the purchase prices in Pasadena, rental prices are pretty good. However in any of the communities you listed prices are going to be outrageous. Unless you make over $100,000 it is going to be hard for you to afford anything, and I mean a total fixer upper in a neighborhood that will likely scare you.

    What type of job are you getting and where is the job located. That should be your deciding factor. I used to commute 32 miles to work and that took over an hour. I moved 1 mile from my office and it was a life changing move. Commuting around LA will take years off you life.

    As for the trail, I'm partial to the San Gabriel Mountains/Angeles National Forest above Pasadena. The trails are older, steeper, rockier, and more technical. The Santa Monica Mountains are also very nice. There is a wide variety of trails in that range. I haven't spent as much time there as I have in the San Gabriel Mountains/ANF.
    I thought of that while riding my bicycle. ~ Albert Einstein on the theory of relativity

  7. #7
    Over the Hill
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oregon
    I am really excited about getting to road ride on the PCH
    Hope you have life insurance.

  8. #8
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    I'm not really looking at buying a house since I don't plan to be in L.A. longer than about two years. I do freelance voiceovers out of my house, and I'm moving there to work with some voice coaches in L.A. Plus, I might work part-time in radio. I haven't decided yet.

    Any good biking clubs in that part of town? DORBA here in DFW is great, and I'd like to find some people to ride with as soon as possible. Girl groups? I probably will be out sometime in the spring to scout some more and try to get some riding in then. Plus, I am really excited about getting to road ride on the PCH though I'm most definitely a mountain biker first.

  9. #9
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    It can't possibly be any worse than riding on the road with Kamakazi Wannabe Cowboys in their huge pickups that they then park in front of their McMansions in Plano. If you've ever been to Dallas, you'll get that. But yes, my life insurance is paid up.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oregon
    It can't possibly be any worse than riding on the road with Kamakazi Wannabe Cowboys in their huge pickups that they then park in front of their McMansions in Plano. If you've ever been to Dallas, you'll get that. But yes, my life insurance is paid up.

    PCH isn't that bad and we have our share of huge pickups, but I think people in California are much more aware of cyclist than in Texas. We also have bike lanes everywhere so that makes a difference.

    Check out: Geoladders for a good details about trails ...

    Regards,
    AC

  11. #11
    34N 118W
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    L.A. vs Big D

    Quote Originally Posted by Oregon
    It can't possibly be any worse than riding on the road with Kamakazi Wannabe Cowboys in their huge pickups that they then park in front of their McMansions in Plano. If you've ever been to Dallas, you'll get that. But yes, my life insurance is paid up.
    I lived in Dallas/Richardson/Plano for 5 years and found it to be one of the most bike un-friendly places to ride roads. I'll take PCH any day! People here understand that bikes share the road with them, they're not shocked to see you. In Dallas I would get looks like "Boy, what are you and your bicycle doing on MY streets???".

    analogy: Woodland Hills and Simi are more suburban, like Richardson or Plano. Lots of houses with pockets of strip malls. Pasadena is more like Oak Lawn. Cool shops and restaurants, all walking distance if you live in the area. Much more of a "community" feel than the others, IMO.

    use these forums or socalmtb.com when you're close to coming out to get in touch with locals.

  12. #12
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    not even close

    Quote Originally Posted by Oregon
    It can't possibly be any worse than riding on the road with Kamakazi Wannabe Cowboys in their huge pickups that they then park in front of their McMansions in Plano. If you've ever been to Dallas, you'll get that. But yes, my life insurance is paid up.
    I moved from dallas to murrieta at the begining of the year it took me a while to adjust, you can ride on the road here, not even close to dallas where I almost got hit several times, I am still a droba member too. I havent found a club yet but cool trails are here for sure, I love San Juan, you should put that on your schedule.
    http://www.caddesignwork.com/ where CAD Design and drafting happens.

  13. #13
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    Gotta second everything Mtnfiend says about Pasadena. Can't beat having a huge national forest with tons of great trails right in your backyard. There'a also good road riding in the mountains. Pasadena's got a lot more charm that the typical sprawl/fauxdobe/cookie cutter development that prevails in the majority of So Cal.

  14. #14
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    My Vote is for Pasadena

    The San Gabriels offers all kinds of riding and Pasadena has more to do when you're not biking.

  15. #15
    Just another Homer
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    Pasadena

    would get my vote too. If you want to road ride also check out the Rose Bowl on Thursday nights at about 5:30. They have a group that does laps and if you can hang, it's a hoot.I'm good for about two laps and then I'm spent. Lots of other road rides in the area with many clubs,both road and mountain.
    Santa Monicas are really not that far from Pasadena so you still have the opportunity to ride there too. They are at a lower elevation and mountains might be stretching it,but they are still one of my favorite rides, both road and mountain. You really can't go wrong with either in my opinion.
    I may not be as good as I once was.
    But I'm as good once, as I ever was.
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  16. #16
    Neg reppers r my biatches
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    of the 3, if I were single, definitely Pasadena. I HATE the San Fernando Valley personally so I could never live in Woodland Hills and Simi Valley is a great choice with a family but if you are single, forget about it! Pasadena is a pretty cool area.....riding around all 3 will be great, they will have their own pluses and minues I am sure.

  17. #17
    a.k.a. MTBMaven
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    Quote Originally Posted by 'fiend
    Gotta second everything Mtnfiend says about Pasadena. Can't beat having a huge national forest with tons of great trails right in your backyard. There'a also good road riding in the mountains. Pasadena's got a lot more charm that the typical sprawl/fauxdobe/cookie cutter development that prevails in the majority of So Cal.
    Thanks young Padawon. Maybe one day we can get a mtn in front of your name.
    I thought of that while riding my bicycle. ~ Albert Einstein on the theory of relativity

  18. #18
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    I'm a recent Texas transplant out here. I was in college station for the past few years.

    Won't comment on where to live, but the MTB is absolutely incredible out here! You'll get the hang of all the climbing with time as long as you just keep riding!

    It's wicked expensive out here, but highly enjoyable!

    ...and I can't get myself to compete with road traffic when there are so many killer mtb spots all over the place!

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oregon
    I'm planning to move out to So. Cal. in July from Dallas, and I'm trying to decide between Simi Valley, Woodland Hills and Pasadena. Calabasas is my first choice, but I don't have that kind of money.
    Are rental rates really that much cheaper in Woodland Hills versus Calabasas? I lived in Calabasas for a while, and got the impression that Woodland Hills wasn't that much less expensive.

  20. #20
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    I lived in Woodland Hills for three years. I would NOT recommend this area. The 101 on the weekends is just about as close to hell as you can get. Most people seemed pretty rude. And it seems like it is always one of the hottest spots in the Valley during the summer (probably nothing, though, compared to the Texas summer sizzle). Simi is OK. I grew up there, and there is some pretty good riding in the immediate area. I would have to agree with the majority. Pasadena is the place to hang out for a while and enjoy the So Cal biking scene.

  21. #21
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    Wow! I never expected this much agreement about anything on a bike forum. Sounds like I'll be living somewhere around Pasadena. Now if I can just learn to climb....

    I was in Orange County for two weeks in February excited to ride. Unfortunately, L.A. was in monsoon season so I didn't get to.

  22. #22
    Neg reppers r my biatches
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    in all fairness, just remember, none of these places are bad. people are simply commenting relative to the "closest" riding to the 3 places mentioned. I live even further West/North than Simi Valley and ride everywhere in LA county, to include by Pasadena (granted, on weekends). The riding by Simi is great and that then puts you close to Ojai and Santa Barbara which also have killer riding....so the moral is that you frankly cant lose; live where the best place is for your entire lifestyle, not just biking. my 2 cents...

    cheers and keep us posted

  23. #23
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    Refugee

    Quote Originally Posted by Oregon
    Wow! I never expected this much agreement about anything on a bike forum. Sounds like I'll be living somewhere around Pasadena. Now if I can just learn to climb....

    I was in Orange County for two weeks in February excited to ride. Unfortunately, L.A. was in monsoon season so I didn't get to.
    Agreement about riding or the city? Sure the town is OK (I lived there 4 years and worked at JPL), but the smog is a killer and the trails don't compare in variety to the Santa Monicas. The prevailing winds push LA pollution against the San Gabriels. For the cleanest air the Conejo Valley is not much farther than Calabasas and has even more trails. I rate CV as the best area in the nation for MTB. Come out and try it.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by pacman
    Agreement about riding or the city? Sure the town is OK (I lived there 4 years and worked at JPL), but the smog is a killer and the trails don't compare in variety to the Santa Monicas. The prevailing winds push LA pollution against the San Gabriels. For the cleanest air the Conejo Valley is not much farther than Calabasas and has even more trails. I rate CV as the best area in the nation for MTB. Come out and try it.
    I can vouch for the Conejo Valley as well. Quiet, no smog, and the area is literally surrounded by 5 or 6 seperate trail complexes. I'm not sure what the rent is like compared to Pasadena, but it's somewhat cheaper then Calabasas. It's still close enough to L.A. and the SF Valley to be convenient if you don't have to drive there every day.

  25. #25
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    What towns does that include? I know parts of L.A. pretty well. But those are the only parts of town I know.
    Last edited by Oregon; 12-23-2005 at 09:10 AM.

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