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  1. #1
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    Southwest Denver trail/relocation help.

    Sorry locals! Family and I are moving in soon. Job is bringing us to the Engleman area.

    I am an avid 20+ year cyclist (29er mtb and monstercross/road) from SoCal and can not wait to call this area my backyard. I am endurance XC/AM oriented and see all kinds of possibilities in longer rides. I will need to get acquainted with the "out the door" short rides though. I just like to ride, so I do not mind every ride not having epic singletrack. I currently enjoy long rides(20-40mi. with many climbs) at least once a week. Using some pavement, paths or fireroads is good enough for the short (1+hr) mid week rides will be okay with me.

    I need local advise/suggestions on SW locations good and bad.

    Currently wife and I are starting our search around the xlnt schools. (ages 3 &6)
    Then looking for decent commute and lifestyle areas. Followed closely by good riding areas.

    So far the list is looking like:western Lakewood (near Hwy6), Littleton, maybe Golden(seems like a difficult commute) and lastly the Highlands Ranch area. (I know, cookie-cutter) Any thoughts on good/bad areas and commutes.

    I may have to compromise with the HR area for the family and am interested in finding the pockets of older, mature growth neighborhoods. Are there any?

    Suggestions on a good local bike store that stocks friendly experienced riders that actually ride, trail info and 29er interest, if possible.

    Any help or info on the good or bad will be helpful for the wife and I to make a good decision.

    Thanks for the help,
    Tim

  2. #2
    bacon! bacon! bacon!
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    I have no idea where "Engleman" is...

  3. #3
    skillz to pay billz
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    next to Manwood

  4. #4
    bacon! bacon! bacon!
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    Quote Originally Posted by nOOby
    next to Manwood
    Uhhhhh.... huh... huh..

    Is that anywhere near Morningwood?


  5. #5
    skillz to pay billz
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    just north of there

  6. #6
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    I would recommend aurora - they have the best reservoir in the state.

  7. #7
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    Sorry Hokey....

    the natives are bit restless today.

    you did not mention were your working so that we could understand the commute involved.
    Not that familiar with the schools down the hill, so can't add much there.

    But, as far as riding, there are tons of trails within an easy ride/drive from any of those locations, from Golden thru to HR.

    As far as 29ers, there are quite a few on those trails as well, but we all know the real men ride rigid 29er fixies. (for the record, I ride a 26 full squish with as many gears as possible )

    Hoping that after some of these guys can actually get out and get a ride in, they will be in a better place and be able to provide some valuable information.
    BT
    11 Trek Hifi Delux 23in
    05 Giant NRS 22.5in
    Evergreen Co.
    "All I need is.......two wheels and the truth."

  8. #8
    Yappy little dog!
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkaredShtles
    Uhhhhh.... huh... huh..

    Is that anywhere near Morningwood?

    I can't believe your missed "mature growth".

  9. #9
    Yappy little dog!
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    Quote Originally Posted by hokeypokey3
    Sorry locals! Family and I are moving in soon. Job is bringing us to the Engleman area.

    I am an avid 20+ year cyclist (29er mtb and monstercross/road) from SoCal and can not wait to call this area my backyard. I am endurance XC/AM oriented and see all kinds of possibilities in longer rides. I will need to get acquainted with the "out the door" short rides though. I just like to ride, so I do not mind every ride not having epic singletrack. I currently enjoy long rides(20-40mi. with many climbs) at least once a week. Using some pavement, paths or fireroads is good enough for the short (1+hr) mid week rides will be okay with me.

    I need local advise/suggestions on SW locations good and bad.

    Currently wife and I are starting our search around the xlnt schools. (ages 3 &6)
    Then looking for decent commute and lifestyle areas. Followed closely by good riding areas.

    So far the list is looking like:western Lakewood (near Hwy6), Littleton, maybe Golden(seems like a difficult commute) and lastly the Highlands Ranch area. (I know, cookie-cutter) Any thoughts on good/bad areas and commutes.

    I may have to compromise with the HR area for the family and am interested in finding the pockets of older, mature growth neighborhoods. Are there any?

    Suggestions on a good local bike store that stocks friendly experienced riders that actually ride, trail info and 29er interest, if possible.

    Any help or info on the good or bad will be helpful for the wife and I to make a good decision.

    Thanks for the help,
    Tim
    Wow. Lot of endurance stuff going on in your post. Might want to tame it down around this beer guzzling group. It's 90% drinking, 5% riding, and 5% b!tching (myself included) for most in here.

    I assume you mean Englewood for work (Tech Center) and Highlands Ranch for living. That's probably a sane compromise for traffic and riding. You could easily bike commute from there as well. There's not much "old growth" in Highlands Ranch. It was an actual ranch before McDonalds put the houses in and like most ranches, completely devoid of shrubbery. You'd have to go a little further west to Morrison, Conifer, Evergreen, etc. for Pines (but they'll be dead soon anyway). I live in Golden but there is no way in hell I'd commute on a daily basis to Englewood.

    As long as your kids don't go to Denver Public Schools, you'll be fine. If you have big bucks, you might want to look at the Cherry Creek (it doesn't get much older growth than that) district within Denver, but your kids would need to attend private school and you will not be next door to trails. HR puts you within a short ride of Waterton Canyon and the Colorado Trail.

  10. #10
    tiny rider
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    If you are near the tech center for work, you might want to look at the Slavins (sp?)neighborhood near the southern end of Denver which is a collection of ranch homes and probably some new builds now. The lots are relatively large, the school is well rated and it should be a reasonable commute. You may want to look at the light rail network, though, to expand your selection of residences.

    Also, don't forget that you probably want something to walk to with the kids, and Highlands Ranch won't offer much in that regard.

    Denver (and surrounds) has a great collection of urban trails. You can connect these up for some long rides, or use them to access downtown or some actual mtb trails. Again, you may want to look at a map of this network when seeing where you want to locate.

  11. #11
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    Thanks for all the replies, both helpful and sarcastic. After lurking in the forums for a while, I understand I will have to take some crap for moving in from SoCal. I was not trying to come off as an ass with the ride distances. I am a grinder not a sprinter these days. I just enjoy getting out for a few hours and the feeling of a good ride. As for good eating, tasty brews and b!tching, thats an intregal part of mtb in SoCal too!

    I did mean Englewood for wife's work and SW area for living. I will be commuting all over. I do social sevice/at risk youth field work. I will be all over the city.

    When I mentioned "older mature growth" I know it is relatve. At this point it is realtor website searches but are have seen some houses built approx. 20 -25 years ago that seem to have bigger yards and some trees and filled in shrubs. The newest developments that are just completed are just not for me and the wife. Any suggestions as to specific great pockets to look for would be great. I do need to find out more about the light rail system.

    Cherry Creek is out. We are looking at about 300k being our max, less is always better. Also, no private schools. We are looking for the best public schools we can find then house hunting those areas.

    SCHNAUZERS:The distance from Golden/Lakewood does not seem far. Why is it such a bad commute to Englewood? Any other brutal commute stretches to avoid?

    CARTOGRAPHER: Not sure what you meant by HR not good to walk with kids. I thought that was one of the big HR suburban promise. "A park around every corner "kinda crap. Please explain.

    I am looking for local info from people I am assuming have similar understanding of riding lifestyle wants/needs. Non riders have a difficult time understanding the difference. I had one realtor tell me the trails around Aurora were extensive and xlnt.

    I will apologize now for being the forum pest I am going to be.

    Thanks to all,
    Tim

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by hokeypokey3
    SCHNAUZERS:The distance from Golden/Lakewood does not seem far. Why is it such a bad commute to Englewood? Any other brutal commute stretches to avoid?
    While this question wasn't directed at me I can tell you that the traffic is abominable to the Tech Center from Golden. It doesn't look bad but with traffic it's a sh!t drive. Seriously. I won't work in the Tech Center for that reason. They do have free parking though.

  13. #13
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    If your looking for anything with an actual yard or decent sized trees etc Highlands Ranch is not going to be your cup of tea (but since were talking about Highlands Ranch I should say cup of Starbucks). Its a decent area, but its mainly all new stuff. If you move here I hope you come ready to "keep up with the Jones's" The only area you might want to check into is the McArthur Ranch subdivision. There's a lot of cool places up there with pretty large amounts of land. Not sure if you can hit your price range but its worth a shot.

  14. #14
    skillz to pay billz
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    let's keep in mind that the OP is coming from soCal, I doubt the traffic in CO is worst than where he's coming from.


    Quote Originally Posted by athalliah
    While this question wasn't directed at me I can tell you that the traffic is abominable to the Tech Center from Golden. It doesn't look bad but with traffic it's a sh!t drive. Seriously. I won't work in the Tech Center for that reason. They do have free parking though.

  15. #15
    t.i.t.s.ceo/FR amoeba rep
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    McArthur is out and after living in HR for nearly 9 years now (ughhh...it's not that bad) My trees are actually getting pretty good sized! My work is mostly south and occasionally the museum. (contractor) Highlands Ranch is definatley cookie cutter, but with some searching you can find some mature areas, and some that back to open space which is the only way I was moving here. Good time to buy around here. And who cares about keeping up with the Jonses, I have the oldest truck on my street and it is a 98 Toy unless you count the wifes 97 4runner! So combined we have the oldest vehichles but at least there both paid off!! I can load up and be at Deer Creek in 15 min. or out the door on the road bike and be heading up the canyon within 25min. Good Luck and welcome!!
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  16. #16
    Flyin Pig
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    Quote Originally Posted by nOOby
    let's keep in mind that the OP is coming from soCal, I doubt the traffic in CO is worst than where he's coming from.
    I'm gonna have to agree here. Coming from SoCal - my commute was 30 miles which took an hour and a half usually. Its about 33 miles from my house in Golden to the Tech Center and on the freeways and generally don't ever seen it over one hour. If you take some of "the back ways" its consistently 45 minutes.

    Now the difference is when its a really bad commute day such as when it snows(which is like rainy days in LA but it snows a bit more here, than rains in LA) - it can take upwards of 2 hours. But those days I work from home anyway, so if you have to commute every single day, even in the snow, it may be an issue.

  17. #17
    skillz to pay billz
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    true, some of my co workers would spend 3 hours during the winter going between boulder and denver.

  18. #18
    bacon! bacon! bacon!
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    Look at SW Littleton for mature, affordable neighborhoods (built in the 70's), proximity to trails, and a "reasonable" commute to the tech center (15-20 miles).

    How big of a house are you expecting for $300K?

  19. #19
    tiny rider
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    Quote Originally Posted by hokeypokey3
    CARTOGRAPHER: Not sure what you meant by HR not good to walk with kids. I thought that was one of the big HR suburban promise. "A park around every corner "kinda crap. Please explain.
    Well, I was just pointing out that some suburban areas are ok for walking (i.e. the streets have nice sidewalks and such) but nowhere to go I returned some videos, grabbed some groceries and picked up some adult beverages in a 1/2 mile loop on foot last night.

    For fun, you can put an address in http://walkscore.com/ and get a rough idea of how much there is nearby.

    It all goes into weighing your priorities, but it's something I look for more now than I would have a few years ago.

    A quick note on Denver schools. There is a possibility of choicing into a different school than your neighborhood would locate you in. However, the few best-rated schools often have many more people looking than available spots, so it's a lottery at best. Once you're in a school, though, you are welcome to stay.

    Renting for a bit in your desired school's neighborhood while you look would set you up with your 6yo. Your younger child would be at the top of the wait list, but not absolutely guaranteed a spot, in the same school.

    I can't speak to surrounding districts.

    Again, good luck with your decision.

  20. #20
    Thank YOU, Chuck Norris!
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    I bought a home in Bear Valley (SW Denver that was developed for the firefighters and policemen) about a year ago. It is a restored late-60's, 2700 sq feet, 2 car garage, and 1/4 acre home. I bought for $279K, but prices continue to drop in the area. We are about 1/4 mile from one of the main area commuting paths (Bear Creek Trail) that connects with multiple area trails for commuting) and within a mtb rideable distance to several single-track parks. We are also near several major highways and a short car ride to many single-track parks. If you want, you can PM me with any ???'s. Cheers and good luck! Brian
    I see you're drinking one percent. Is that because you think you're fat?

  21. #21
    Yappy little dog!
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    [QUOTE=hokeypokey3
    SCHNAUZERS:The distance from Golden/Lakewood does not seem far. Why is it such a bad commute to Englewood? Any other brutal commute stretches to avoid?
    [/QUOTE]

    Route 25 to and from Golden would be a huge headache. I worlk almost a similar distance from Golden to Westminister and it takes 20 minutes on a real bad day. Golden to the Tech Center would be an hour. That's 40 minutes of ride time out the window.

  22. #22
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    Thanks for all the posts and PM's. All your interest and info is appreciated. Yeah, even the ridicule from the knuckleheads!

    Wife just returned from visiting Denver and some of your info was of great help in pinpointing areas. I will be visiting in a couple of weeks for the next round of house hunting. Highest on the list are Littleton, a couple of pockets of Lakewood and parts of Highlands Ranch (near Northridge Park?) Those areas seem to have the best compromise of good schools, sensible commute, house price and of course access to trails and rides. Any additional local insight (good or bad) is appreciated.

    When I get settled I hope to meet some of you out on the trail/road. I'll buy the first round.

    Thanks again, Tim

  23. #23
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    You might want to check out the 80228 area. Pretty decent house for the money, 25 minute commute to the Tech Center and you can ride to several local mountain bike trails.

    Not sure about the schools in the area but it's a real quick trip to Red Rocks.

  24. #24
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    -----------------------------------------
    Last edited by Rubber Soul; 07-23-2008 at 07:54 PM.

  25. #25
    bacon! bacon! bacon!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rubber Soul
    Ken Caryl Valley.
    For 300K he can forget that prime location.

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