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  1. #1
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    What MTB town has the lowest cost of living?

    Maybe some of you guys flow Singletracks as well and saw this posted today. They posted the question "What MTB town has the lowest cost of living"? The described a MTB town as 100 miles of excellent singletrack, within 25 miles of downtown and a good bike shop...

    I immediately though of Oakridge but not sure if it has 100 miles of singletrack and it doesn't have a real downtown but it does have a great bike shop. Median home price is $145K. next up on my list was Grand Junction which qualifies with all the requirements and has a median home price of $214K.

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    Quote Originally Posted by k2rider1964 View Post
    Maybe some of you guys flow Singletracks as well and saw this posted today. They posted the question "What MTB town has the lowest cost of living"? The described a MTB town as 100 miles of excellent singletrack, within 25 miles of downtown and a good bike shop...

    I immediately though of Oakridge but not sure if it has 100 miles of singletrack and it doesn't have a real downtown but it does have a great bike shop. Median home price is $145K. next up on my list was Grand Junction which qualifies with all the requirements and has a median home price of $214K.

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    It's probably going to be hard to beat Bentonville. There may be some but not many and not by much if at all.

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  3. #3
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    Good topic.
    I immediately thought of Oakridge as well. Easily exceeds 100 miles of single track. I think the town size is perfect really, just needs more "desirable" tenants in the store fronts.

    Grand Junction is gorgeous and I love the riding. Not a fan of how the town is falling victim to sprawl though and it gets very hot there.

    Also a big fan of McCall. Need to figure a metric for the ability to make a living vs median home price to give the thread (Mtb town has the lowest cost of living) some utility. I plan to move to one of these towns within a year.
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  4. #4
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    Yeah McCall is a pretty cool place to live but I agree, not sure how one would make a living there. Go back to school, get a forestry degree and work for the Forest Service!
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    Quote Originally Posted by WHALENARD View Post
    Good topic.
    I immediately thought of Oakridge as well. Easily exceeds 100 miles of single track. I think the town size is perfect really, just needs more "desirable" tenants in the store fronts.

    Grand Junction is gorgeous and I love the riding. Not a fan of how the town is falling victim to sprawl though and it gets very hot there.

    Also a big fan of McCall. Need to figure a metric for the ability to make a living vs median home price to give the thread (Mtb town has the lowest cost of living) some utility. I plan to move to one of these towns within a year.
    The ability to make a living vs home price/cost of living is immediately what came to mind when I thought of Oakridge. Sure, it's pretty cheap to live there, but what the hell would you do for work? What jobs are available would likely make that "low" cost of living seem pretty high.

    Now, if you can truly work remotely (or commute into a larger town/city one or two days a week - in the case of Oakridge that would be Eugene), a place with a low cost of living but few decent (not even high) paying jobs would be just fine. Unfortunately, I used to be in a field where I could pull a similar scenario off --if I ever got the wife on board-- but since I made a career change 4 years ago, I'm stuck close to cities.
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    Quote Originally Posted by WHALENARD View Post
    Good topic.
    I immediately thought of Oakridge as well. Easily exceeds 100 miles of single track. I think the town size is perfect really, just needs more "desirable" tenants in the store fronts.

    Grand Junction is gorgeous and I love the riding. Not a fan of how the town is falling victim to sprawl though and it gets very hot there.

    Also a big fan of McCall. Need to figure a metric for the ability to make a living vs median home price to give the thread (Mtb town has the lowest cost of living) some utility. I plan to move to one of these towns within a year.
    That's a key point. Oakridge is ~$3000 cheaper than Bentonville, ~$3000 more expensive than Bella Vista, but the per capita income is ~$13,000 higher in Bentonville.

    An interesting note on those comparisons is how housing can skew it. Low cost of living areas with a relatively large affluent population can cause housing costs to skew dramatically.

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    Quote Originally Posted by inonjoey View Post
    The ability to make a living vs home price/cost of living is immediately what came to mind when I thought of Oakridge. Sure, it's pretty cheap to live there, but what the hell would you do for work? What jobs are available would likely make that "low" cost of living seem pretty high.

    Now, if you can truly work remotely (or commute into a larger town/city one or two days a week - in the case of Oakridge that would be Eugene), a place with a low cost of living but few decent (not even high) paying jobs would be just fine. Unfortunately, I used to be in a field where I could pull a similar scenario off --if I ever got the wife on board-- but since I made a career change 4 years ago, I'm stuck close to cities.
    Oakridge as a location is pretty amazing for the outdoor opportunities. If I only had to drive into Eugene 8 days a month to make it work I could live with that. There are lots of fixer uppers in Oakridge for <100k. 20% down on a 30 year 100k mortgage and you would not need to make a lot of money to make your bills. I'm a contractor and this scenario is very appealing to sidestep the proverbial race of rats.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by tuckerjt07 View Post
    An interesting note on those comparisons is how housing can skew it. Low cost of living areas with a relatively large affluent population can cause housing costs to skew dramatically.


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    Absolutely. Another factor is investment. Land is super cheap in Oakridge but would wager it's on the precipice of becoming discovered. There is no shortage of water in Oakridge making it attractively viable vs some other parts of the country where water supply is or will become an issue.
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  10. #10
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    Only been to McCall once, when my son was at Boise State. Not sure what I was expecting but the town was much less inspiring than what I had hoped for. I guess I was hoping for an undiscovered Durango. I know there is riding there but is there enough to sustain you w/o getting bored.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by k2rider1964 View Post
    Only been to McCall once, when my son was at Boise State. Not sure what I was expecting but the town was much less inspiring than what I had hoped for. I guess I was hoping for an undiscovered Durango. I know there is riding there but is there enough to sustain you w/o getting bored.
    The MTB scene is really growing as of late. They just built a bunch of mtb specific trail right out of town. You also have Brundage to go big and plenty of backcountry miles. A burgeoning fat bike/groomer scene in winter. I love snowmobiling and it doesn't get much better than McCall. Another plus is the Frank Church Wilderness. Biggest piece of roadless wilderness in the lower 48. McCall has a lot going for it.
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  12. #12
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    Come to think of it, I suppose that Wenatchee, WA might qualify.
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    But I prefer Twisp
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    Quote Originally Posted by WHALENARD View Post
    But I prefer Twisp
    Oh hell yeah! I'd love to live in Twisp.

    That place is awesome.
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  15. #15
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    Damn you guys for giving up the goods on McCall! It was supposed to be our secret.

    People were talking about Oakridge being "about to blow up any day" back in 2002 when I moved to central Oregon. Hasn't happened yet. It's still kinda beat down.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nat View Post
    People were talking about Oakridge being "about to blow up any day" back in 2002 when I moved to central Oregon. Hasn't happened yet. It's still kinda beat down.
    I still think it's going to happen at some point. According to one real estate website I was on, homes prices are up 9.8% over last year. It needs some "hip" businesses to open up to attract the right crowd to get things started. I wonder if any tech companies that are outdoor friendly would take a shot someday. Did you see this article in Outside Magazine https://www.outsideonline.com/2231051/living-cloud about tech companies coming to a dying town like Prineville?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Curveball View Post
    Oh hell yeah! I'd love to live in Twisp.

    That place is awesome.
    Gorgeous country for sure. Great minds think alike.
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by k2rider1964 View Post
    Did you see this article in Outside Magazine https://www.outsideonline.com/2231051/living-cloud about tech companies coming to a dying town like Prineville?
    I hadnt seen that article before. Thanks for posting it. I would love it if Prineville became the next it locale. Id buy property there. The Ochocos are the nicest mountains in central Oregon in my opinion. The locals dont really welcome the kind of changes that would appeal to the Patagonia crowd though.

    The technology companies built their data centers in Prineville because of the ideal climate and tax breaks but I dont know if Oakridge has similar appeal to any large employer.

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    If we are talking about small towns and brutal cost of living my town of Sandpoint Idaho has to rank up there. Really it's about what we earn compared to what it costs. Back in the late 90s you could buy a house for under a hundred thousand, in town. It was even less expensive outside of town.

    In around 2003 there was an article in Sunset Magazine about Sandpoint and it ruined this town. Within a few years housing prices skyrocketed to triple and higher. Houses in town that were $60,000 shot up to over $250,000. Houses were being bought and flipped, often times with no work even being done to them.

    Construction went nuts, new homes were being built and sold at insane prices. Problem was it was only the wealthy that were doing it. They also gained enough leverage to keep industry out of the area. Basically what was once a nice little logging town with a nice lake and decent ski mountain turned into a resort town for the upper income bracket to come and play.

    The recession dropped housing prices a bit, I was finally able to buy my house in 2008 for $137,000 but it's a half hour from town. The same house in town would be well over $200,000. Rental costs are insane, you can't rent a meth lab for under 800 bucks, a decent house for a family is over 1200 bucks. Jobs don't pay very well, 8 to 10 bucks an hour is about average. I do okay, I work at a small company that builds airplanes but it only employs just under 300 people. Most jobs here are low paying customer service jobs. Everything is expensive to try to fleece money from the wealthy but it's us locals that pay the price.

    So no, having your town "blowing up" isn't always the best thing.

  20. #20
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    Desirable towns will always be about the Haves versus the Have-nots, won't it? If it's a nice place people will move there. At some threshold many people will get priced out. You know the old saying about billionaires pushing out the millionaires?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kodiakrider View Post
    If we are talking about small towns and brutal cost of living my town of Sandpoint Idaho has to rank up there. Really it's about what we earn compared to what it costs. Back in the late 90s you could buy a house for under a hundred thousand, in town. It was even less expensive outside of town.

    In around 2003 there was an article in Sunset Magazine about Sandpoint and it ruined this town. Within a few years housing prices skyrocketed to triple and higher. Houses in town that were $60,000 shot up to over $250,000. Houses were being bought and flipped, often times with no work even being done to them.

    Construction went nuts, new homes were being built and sold at insane prices. Problem was it was only the wealthy that were doing it. They also gained enough leverage to keep industry out of the area. Basically what was once a nice little logging town with a nice lake and decent ski mountain turned into a resort town for the upper income bracket to come and play.

    The recession dropped housing prices a bit, I was finally able to buy my house in 2008 for $137,000 but it's a half hour from town. The same house in town would be well over $200,000. Rental costs are insane, you can't rent a meth lab for under 800 bucks, a decent house for a family is over 1200 bucks. Jobs don't pay very well, 8 to 10 bucks an hour is about average. I do okay, I work at a small company that builds airplanes but it only employs just under 300 people. Most jobs here are low paying customer service jobs. Everything is expensive to try to fleece money from the wealthy but it's us locals that pay the price.

    So no, having your town "blowing up" isn't always the best thing.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nat View Post
    Desirable towns will always be about the Haves versus the Have-nots, won't it? If it's a nice place people will move there. At some threshold many people will get priced out. You know the old saying about billionaires pushing out the millionaires?
    Yeah that is true. Usually it's the drive across the Long Bridge that hooks most people. You don't find a nice ski mountain with a huge lake at the base in too many locations. The winters weed out the weak though. It isn't even that we get huge amounts of snow, it's more that the cloudy dreary wet season is long. We really only get about 4 months of awesome weather. The rest can be tough to deal with and a good amount of people leave after a tough winter. A significant amount of property belongs to people who only summer here.

    I don't begrudge the wealthy, my issue is with the local businesses. The gas stations are the worst. They collude to raise prices, especially during busy times of the year. It's almost mafia level. Any owner that dares to run a lower price to attract business is pressured by the rest so basically we have to pay the high prices. We won't even get into the prices of goods and services, I almost exclusively buy goods online. Food we are kind of stuck. Basically we pay city prices but are paid small town wages. Oh well, that's the price we pay to live in this area....

  23. #23
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    Van down by the river.
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  24. #24
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    Crosby, MN. Home of Cuyuna. Currently ~30 miles of glorious single track, soon to be 60. 2 hours from Minneapolis and their 100 miles. 1.5 hours for Duluth and their 100 miles. 15 minutes from Brainerd, which has most of everything worthwhile youd find in a big city.
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  25. #25
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    I tried this experiment two years ago when the last kid left for college. I took a break from my career and moved to Big Bear. You either have to drive down the hill for work or work for close to minimum wage. I landed a job working for Bear Mountain and Snow Summit ski resorts in lift maintenance, climbing towers and troubleshooting electrical issues and everything else that goes along with maintaining lifts. Both resorts are owned by Mammoth Mountain and for this dangerous work in every kind of weather, I was paid $12.00 an hour. That was with a lot of experience, both in the electrical field and building cell sites(in the mid 90s I was paid $27.65 an hour build cell towers). In a mountain tourist town, that 12 bucks wouldn't buy me a breakfast burrito. Free year round passes to both resorts and Mammoth were cool.

    On weekends, the town swells by 100k people and you cant move around town. Even the back streets get crowded. On Fridays, my wife and I would get our beer and food for the weekend and "shelter in place".

    In the end, we moved back 25 miles across to the other side of the mountain. I went back to my career and 40 minute commute off the hill. There's good trails here, but not many, and it's a easy drive over to Big Bear.
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  26. #26
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    It's all relative. Cheap places have low wages.

    That said, I've looked around, and Pocatello was at the top of the list. Went there, and found it has some "cultural issues" that weren't so attractive, and then there's the harsh winter climate. Not for me, but maybe an option for others.

    At this point, if the wife and I decide to make a run for it, it'll be to a small house on a large piece of land, far away from any major city, with a well maintained camper van parked out back for extended trips to the promised lands. Local trails won't be much of a priority, but living mortgage free and having the freedom to take off and go wherever for a week or a month at a time will.


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    Quote Originally Posted by _CJ View Post
    It's all relative. Cheap places have low wages.
    .
    That's not always true.

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  28. #28
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    Tons of good riding around Pittsburgh and the cost of living is still pretty low with lots of good paying jobs in tech, medical and industrial fields. I live 30 miles north of the city and gave 60K for a renovated house with a huge 2 car garage and 15 miles of singletrack 10 minutes away. There are at least 15 quality places to ride withing an hour drive.

    Brady's Run
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    Deer Lakes
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    Tomlinson Run
    just across the Ohio line is Beaver Creek, Lake Milton and West Branch

    Raystown, Jakes Rocks, Quebec Wilderness and Ohiopyle are within day trip distance.
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  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mookie View Post
    Yeah McCall is a pretty cool place to live but I agree, not sure how one would make a living there. Go back to school, get a forestry degree and work for the Forest Service!
    Become a smoke jumper! There's a base right in town!
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  30. #30
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    Northern New England has plenty of inexpensive bike towns. Trails networks are popping up and expanding while biking is becoming a big draw for many people.



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  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by tuckerjt07 View Post
    That's not always true.

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    This is true. We still had our house on the other end of the mountain, but in Big Bear we were renting a one bedroom one bath for $1200, in the squirrelly part of town.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vader View Post
    This is true. We still had our house on the other end of the mountain, but in Big Bear we were renting a one bedroom one bath for $1200, in the squirrelly part of town.
    Not sure if you are agreeing or disagreeing.

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    Brevard or Mills River, North Carolina. Starting to get more expensive, though.

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  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by the one ring View Post
    Become a smoke jumper! There's a base right in town!
    Now you're talking! Solutions...
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  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by mountainbiker24 View Post
    Brevard or Mills River, North Carolina. Starting to get more expensive, though.
    I was thinking about NC. I'm assuming Asheville is getting pricey too?
    Stick around if you're housebroken...

  37. #37
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    Knowing the area around Pisgah, there are still a LOT of fixer-upper opportunities off the beaten path there. Lots of hollers (hollows) where you could buy land or an old house for next to nothing. It's still Appalachia. Yeah, it would be a 30min drive into town, but you could build a palace in the woods.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    Knowing the area around Pisgah, there are still a LOT of fixer-upper opportunities off the beaten path there. Lots of hollers (hollows) where you could buy land or an old house for next to nothing. It's still Appalachia. Yeah, it would be a 30min drive into town, but you could build a palace in the woods.

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    Yes, but housing isn't the only factor in cost of living calculations. That area is pretty cheap though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by inonjoey View Post
    The ability to make a living vs home price/cost of living is immediately what came to mind when I thought of Oakridge. Sure, it's pretty cheap to live there, but what the hell would you do for work? What jobs are available would likely make that "low" cost of living seem pretty high.
    This is something many people forget when it comes to mtn biking towns or more generally places you can both live and ride a mtn bike. It not so much housing prices, but jobs. The best places to live and ride have both reasonable cost of living, jobs and mtn bike trails.

    I live in the Phoenix area. Yes it is a large city, but that provides many job opportunities. So I can have normal good job and not let my job be slave to living in a mtn bike town. Housing is reasonable considering the job market and the mtn biking is excellent. Better than most people give us credit for and with some adaption to heat and some planning I ride year around. 2-5 times per week all year.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoePAz View Post
    This is something many people forget when it comes to mtn biking towns or more generally places you can both live and ride a mtn bike. It not so much housing prices, but jobs. The best places to live and ride have both reasonable cost of living, jobs and mtn bike trails.

    I live in the Phoenix area. Yes it is a large city, but that provides many job opportunities. So I can have normal good job and not let my job be slave to living in a mtn bike town. Housing is reasonable considering the job market and the mtn biking is excellent. Better than most people give us credit for and with some adaption to heat and some planning I ride year around. 2-5 times per week all year.
    That's why I originally said Bentonville would be hard to beat.

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  41. #41
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    Albuquerque, Boise and Colorado Springs are a few others that come to mind, considering larger metro areas and job potential as some of the limiting factors. Using a couple of the online cost of living calculators, the CoLs compared to San Diego (my personal and painful benchmark) are about 60-63%.

    All of them have dozens of MTB trails close in, are a reasonable drive to many more, and are gateways to fantastic outdoor recreation beyond MTB.
    \(_o)/

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by tuckerjt07 View Post
    That's why I originally said Bentonville would be hard to beat.

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    Except for the oppressive humidity you may be right.
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    Quote Originally Posted by life behind bars View Post
    Except for the oppressive humidity you may be right.
    It's relative. Coming from southern Arkansas the worst day here is still nice.

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  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by _CJ View Post
    It's all relative. Cheap places have low wages.

    That said, I've looked around, and Pocatello was at the top of the list. Went there, and found it has some "cultural issues" that weren't so attractive, and then there's the harsh winter climate. Not for me, but maybe an option for others.

    At this point, if the wife and I decide to make a run for it, it'll be to a small house on a large piece of land, far away from any major city, with a well maintained camper van parked out back for extended trips to the promised lands. Local trails won't be much of a priority, but living mortgage free and having the freedom to take off and go wherever for a week or a month at a time will.


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    You got a problem with the Bigfoot museum in Pocatello, bro?!?!?

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    Quote Originally Posted by JoePAz View Post
    I live in the Phoenix area. Yes it is a large city, but that provides many job opportunities. So I can have normal good job and not let my job be slave to living in a mtn bike town. Housing is reasonable considering the job market and the mtn biking is excellent. Better than most people give us credit for and with some adaption to heat and some planning I ride year around. 2-5 times per week all year.
    People just don't travel enough, AZ is probably the best place for a mountain biker to live just for the variety of year-round riding available.

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    I posted this on the Singletracks article but I'll post it here as well.

    Hurricane/St. George, Utah

    We're still the somewhat undiscovered Utah mtb destination.

    That said, I'll go ahead and claim "world class" trails. Not just 100s of miles of single track but actual bucket list stuff.

    We get year round riding and our local mtb advocacy organization and BLM love to work together to build new stuff. The Cities and County love and appreciate mtbr's and don't treat us as second class citizens. Actually, we pretty much have a seat at the head of the table.

    Cost of living is way low and there are plenty of good paying jobs. St. George just announced "tech ridge", a new 155 acre development specifically planned to get tech companies and millenials/kids out of college, a great place to work and make a living.

    The area is growing fast because dumbasses like myself keep promoting it Get in while you can.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Silentfoe View Post
    I posted this on the Singletracks article but I'll post it here as well.

    Hurricane/St. George, Utah

    We're still the somewhat undiscovered Utah mtb destination.

    That said, I'll go ahead and claim "world class" trails. Not just 100s of miles of single track but actual bucket list stuff.

    We get year round riding and our local mtb advocacy organization and BLM love to work together to build new stuff. The Cities and County love and appreciate mtbr's and don't treat us as second class citizens. Actually, we pretty much have a seat at the head of the table.

    Cost of living is way low and there are plenty of good paying jobs. St. George just announced "tech ridge", a new 155 acre development specifically planned to get tech companies and millenials/kids out of college, a great place to work and make a living.

    The area is growing fast because dumbasses like myself keep promoting it Get in while you can.

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    I like the area but haven't been in quite some time. I'm also an avid canyoneering guy and it's very close to canyon country. What about summer temps down there? Easy to get up higher out of the heat to ride? Job market?
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    Quote Originally Posted by WHALENARD View Post
    I like the area but haven't been in quite some time. I'm also an avid canyoneering guy and it's very close to canyon country. What about summer temps down there? Easy to get up higher out of the heat to ride? Job market?
    Summers can hit 110ish. That's hot. We ride in the mornings. I live 1800 feet higher than Hurricane and my temps are about 10 degrees cooler. Cedar City and a lot of trails at higher elevations are less than an hour away. It is currently 65 degrees and sunny. I'll take that.

    I'm retired so I can't comment on personal experience with the job market. I do watch the news and I know that our area is doing well in regards to unemployment.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tuckerjt07 View Post
    Yes, but housing isn't the only factor in cost of living calculations. That area is pretty cheap though.

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    With a 30-40 min commute to Ashville depending on job field you can do well. This looks like my retirement plan.

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    Many of these places being mentioned sound great to research for retirement.
    \(_o)/

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    Just saw an article that Colorado Springs is the number one destination in the country for millennials who are relocating. That can be good or bad depending on your perspective, but it's probably safe to say the days of hardcore conservatism and religious wackos are numbered in this town.

    Our trail system has grown immensely in recent years, and the city is putting together plans for yet another major expansion. No matter how good the trails are, if/when my house appreciates another $200K, I'm GTFO. I can always come back in live in a van down by the river for a week at a time if I want to ride the trails.


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    Great thread. To me, a great MTB town means year-round riding. Period. Only my opinion, of course, but Im not a winter sports person.

    I live in Phoenix. Do I think its the most awesome place ever? No. Its huge. Its hot. And we definitely dont need more people. But the riding is incredible and it happens 12 months a year.

    I was in Brevard last summer for a week of riding and scouting a potential move. Since it rained nearly the whole time, I had plenty of opportunity to research real estate. Didnt seem all that cheap to me.
    Just like a raindrop, I was born to fall.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blatant View Post
    Great thread. To me, a great MTB town means year-round riding. Period. Only my opinion, of course, but Im not a winter sports person.

    I live in Phoenix. Do I think its the most awesome place ever? No. Its huge. Its hot. And we definitely dont need more people. But the riding is incredible and it happens 12 months a year.

    I was in Brevard last summer for a week of riding and scouting a potential move. Since it rained nearly the whole time, I had plenty of opportunity to research real estate. Didnt seem all that cheap to me.
    People who love to fat bike will argue all day what constitutes "year-round riding".

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cerberus75 View Post
    With a 30-40 min commute to Ashville depending on job field you can do well. This looks like my retirement plan.
    For Brevard Bentonville is 10% cheaper and still has a 20% higher per capita than Ashville. Both are affordable but Bentonville is unique in that regard.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Silentfoe View Post
    People who love to fat bike will argue all day what constitutes "year-round riding".

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    ...and they'd be wrong.

  56. #56
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    Boise.

  57. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by _CJ View Post
    Just saw an article that Colorado Springs is the number one destination in the country for millennials who are relocating. That can be good or bad depending on your perspective, but it's probably safe to say the days of hardcore conservatism and religious wackos are numbered in this town.

    Our trail system has grown immensely in recent years, and the city is putting together plans for yet another major expansion. No matter how good the trails are, if/when my house appreciates another $200K, I'm GTFO. I can always come back in live in a van down by the river for a week at a time if I want to ride the trails.


    .
    I'm up in Fort Collins and same thing. Colorado State University is here and many of the graduates have ended up staying. Doing what, I have no idea but I'm watching my friends rent out one of their houses - 1600 sq/ft 3 bedroom 1960's ranch for $2,100/month and I wonder how much longer this area can sustain it.

    We love Fort Collins, but it's definitely been discovered and it's no longer cheap! Not sure where we would go, glad we own a house though. The weather isn't bad (wind at times suucks) and we do like change of seasons. Also, Wyoming is an hour north and is a hidden gem of amazing trails where the only other living things seen are deer and moose.
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  58. #58
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    Idyllwild, CA is really cheap. With 57 miles of navigable singletrack currently. They expect to grow to 75 miles by end of next year. If you can ride diverse Idyllwild... you can ride virtually anywhere.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crankout View Post
    I was thinking about NC. I'm assuming Asheville is getting pricey too?
    Getting? It has been for at least 10 years. The majority of jobs here are in the service industry. If you are lucky enough to have a job in manufacturing or tech the pay will be less than in most other parts of NC because employers know you really don't have anywhere else to go in the greater Asheville area.

    The median home price in Bouncombe County (Asheville) is $266K while the median household income is $46K. What is not seen in these numbers is the fact that there is a housing shortage here and the average cost of new construction is north of $300K for a 12-1500 sft home on .1 acres in the city. You can get a little lower cost in the county but there are other issue there (HOA or no zoning and a trailer next door).

    I've been in this area since 2002 and would not live anywhere else in the Southeast, but NC does a pisspoor job of investing in education and the environment.

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    Chattanooga, TN!!

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    Chattanooga is nice but the summers are hot and humid. It does have quite a bit of manufacturing and tech jobs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by b-roken View Post
    Chattanooga is nice but the summers are hot and humid. It does have quite a bit of manufacturing and tech jobs.
    No hotter than anywhere else in the south. Can definitely get muggy and hot though. I just ride in the early mornings in the hottest parts of the year.. But we have TONS of trails in and around the city, including tons of gravel options out near the Ocoee.

    But, don't anyone bother coming, we're full

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    Quote Originally Posted by Silentfoe View Post
    People who love to fat bike will argue all day what constitutes "year-round riding".

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    Even when I lived in Prescott there is no way I'd ever ride in the desert in 110 degree temps. That's where cold destinations that freeze are "just as much" year-round as Phoenix, but there are far better milder climates (than Phoenix) that don't get anywhere near as "wintry" as the far North. If you love the heat, go to Phoenix, they have it, but don't wimp out and use A/C!
    "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

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  64. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    Even when I lived in Prescott there is no way I'd ever ride in the desert in 110 degree temps. That's where cold destinations that freeze are "just as much" year-round as Phoenix, but there are far better milder climates (than Phoenix) that don't get anywhere near as "wintry" as the far North. If you love the heat, go to Phoenix, they have it, but don't wimp out and use A/C!
    Agreed. Many areas have extremes of weather, or even four distinct seasons. People who live there adapt and overcome. Either riding in the cooler hours or by owning a bike capable of riding on the snow.

    I've found that I'd rather have dirt than snow (even though I own a kickass fat bike and love snow) and I don't mind driving an hour to alter my climate.

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    Quote Originally Posted by richde View Post
    People just don't travel enough, AZ is probably the best place for a mountain biker to live just for the variety of year-round riding available.
    "Cept for that desert, 115 F in the shade and no water, awesome. I get there are mountains, forest and elevation, just not my cup of tea. Try MA, more temperate, forests and dirt, fat biking in the winter.

  66. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cayenne_Pepa View Post
    Idyllwild, CA is really cheap. With 57 miles of navigable singletrack currently. They expect to grow to 75 miles by end of next year. If you can ride diverse Idyllwild... you can ride virtually anywhere.
    How are the trails since the fire? I miss The Spring Challenge. I'd live there in a minute if the commute wasn't so loooong.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vader View Post
    How are the trails since the fire? I miss The Spring Challenge. I'd live there in a minute if the commute wasn't so loooong.
    Idyllwild Cycling - Home

    Looks like Spring Challenge won't happen this year. May Valley trails aren't yet complete.

    There is actually trail work scheduled for this Saturday on Coffee Pot & Spine trails.
    \(_o)/

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    Quote Originally Posted by leeboh View Post
    "Cept for that desert, 115 F in the shade and no water, awesome. I get there are mountains, forest and elevation, just not my cup of tea. Try MA, more temperate, forests and dirt, fat biking in the winter.
    That's why you go to higher elevation areas (6,000'+) in the summer, or just HTFU...and I can almost guarantee you do not know elevation as well as you think you do.

    I live in Vegas, did not grow up here, and it's not that bad. For a couple months in the summer you start a little earlier, ride a little easier, and a little shorter duration. But guess what I've been doing while you've been shoveling your driveway...that's right, riding my bikes.

  69. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vader View Post
    How are the trails since the fire? I miss The Spring Challenge. I'd live there in a minute if the commute wasn't so loooong.
    Everything recovered, with some nice new trails.

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    Quote Originally Posted by richde View Post
    That's why you go to higher elevation areas (6,000'+) in the summer, or just HTFU...and I can almost guarantee you do not know elevation as well as you think you do.

    I live in Vegas, did not grow up here, and it's not that bad. For a couple months in the summer you start a little earlier, ride a little easier, and a little shorter duration. But guess what I've been doing while you've been shoveling your driveway...that's right, riding my bikes.
    Not much elevation in eastern MA. At all. 19 F at the start of my 17 mile commute on 40 mm studded tires, that's HTFU. And fat biking each weekend. I tend to overheat, so for me, 50 is better than 90. Enjoy the desert, pedal on. I guess it's all what you are used to.

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    Quote Originally Posted by richde View Post
    That's why you go to higher elevation areas (6,000'+) in the summer, or just HTFU...and I can almost guarantee you do not know elevation as well as you think you do.

    I live in Vegas, did not grow up here, and it's not that bad. For a couple months in the summer you start a little earlier, ride a little easier, and a little shorter duration. But guess what I've been doing while you've been shoveling your driveway...that's right, riding my bikes.
    Quality of life comes into it, heading up to Flagstaff every weekend in the fall, spring and summer when it's 2hrs away burns up a lot of your life and makes it difficult to do anything else, not mention riding during the week. In the brief winter months, Phoenix becomes a decent riding area with many parks and trails within driving range, but doesn't come close to a more forested area with milder climates where you don't have to drive so far and spend days driving to escape. While you "can" escape to those higher elevations, the further you are the less practical this becomes. Getting in and out of places like the Bay Area just gets ridiculous if you are trying to head to the hills. It becomes something in theory rather than reality unfortunately. Living east of Sacramento gave me multiple options to head to the hills in short order, same thing with Prescott and the national forest on 3 sides of the city, some of the lower "high" places like Santa Fe and Flag get a joke of winter compared to places in CO and UT, snow is literally off the streets in hours after a dump due to sublimation and the ample sunshine makes it much easier than cold grey places up north or the frigid stuff in Idaho/Montana.

    Quality of life may take a huge hit if you are depending on the "i can just drive for 2 hours". Might be ok, but some of these places are better to visit than live IMO.
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    ^^^^ Agreed, it's a mt bike town but I have to drive 2 hrs? My trails are 100 yds from my driveway.

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    I recommend this book to anyone who is contemplating life in any yet-to-be-discovered bike/ski town. It's also a good read for those of use who are already living in one that's been discovered.

    https://www.amazon.com/Brave-New-Wes.../dp/0816524742

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    Quality of life comes into it, heading up to Flagstaff every weekend in the fall, spring and summer when it's 2hrs away burns up a lot of your life and makes it difficult to do anything else, not mention riding during the week. In the brief winter months, Phoenix becomes a decent riding area with many parks and trails within driving range, but doesn't come close to a more forested area with milder climates where you don't have to drive so far and spend days driving to escape. While you "can" escape to those higher elevations, the further you are the less practical this becomes. Getting in and out of places like the Bay Area just gets ridiculous if you are trying to head to the hills. It becomes something in theory rather than reality unfortunately. Living east of Sacramento gave me multiple options to head to the hills in short order, same thing with Prescott and the national forest on 3 sides of the city, some of the lower "high" places like Santa Fe and Flag get a joke of winter compared to places in CO and UT, snow is literally off the streets in hours after a dump due to sublimation and the ample sunshine makes it much easier than cold grey places up north or the frigid stuff in Idaho/Montana.

    Quality of life may take a huge hit if you are depending on the "i can just drive for 2 hours". Might be ok, but some of these places are better to visit than live IMO.
    There are other cities in the SW, you know. Personally, it takes me 45 minutes to get to a trailhead at 6,500', and I still ride at lower elevation during the summer, just not as fast, or for as long.

    I will continue doing what I'm doing, riding my bikes year round, and not having to buy a specialized bike for it either. Once I experienced true year round riding (in Japan), everything else is inferior.

    We also don't do baby sized 8-10 mile loops, but that's a subject for a different thread.

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    Will check it out but being from 2007 it is already 10-12 years out of date and there has been huge growth since then as well. I wonder if there is a revised edition or plans for one. Moab, Crested Butte, etc. have changed considerably since 2007. What I see as the biggest threat to a lot of these small towns is not hard core mountain bikers (or climbers or skiers) coming it is the need to dumb down the outdoor experience and appeal to everyone (ie. EBikes / Alpine Slides at Vail, Guided Jeep tours, 4-star hotels, roads that go right up to scenic spots (instead of hiking in), etc.). The number of hard core bikers will always be way less than the total number of people moving to these towns or visiting.

  76. #76
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    I consider myself a hardcore mountain biker but I love staying in 4-star hotels and Jeeping up to scenic spots. I break the mold.

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    There is no MTb town in Canada eh

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    Quote Originally Posted by Picard View Post
    There is no MTb town in Canada eh

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    Certainly none in BC. I doubt you could even find a decent trail in the whole province.
    Riding Washington State singletrack since 1986

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    Every cool place has become too crowded. Where the hell do all these people come from?
    Riding Washington State singletrack since 1986

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    Gotta wonder with the trending lack of and unpredictable snow if ski towns won't go through another boom/bust cycle.

    Spent a lot of time living in and around Telluride through it's transition. Witnessed the period from living out of my van in the dirt lot hassle free to 20 million dollar log mansions that people spent 2 weeks a year in. Place is absolutely ruined IMO along with just about every other place that has a lift. They're not even on my radar as a place to visit much less move.
    It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.

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    Quote Originally Posted by richde View Post
    That's why you go to higher elevation areas (6,000'+) in the summer, or just HTFU...and I can almost guarantee you do not know elevation as well as you think you do.

    I live in Vegas, did not grow up here, and it's not that bad. For a couple months in the summer you start a little earlier, ride a little easier, and a little shorter duration. But guess what I've been doing while you've been shoveling your driveway...that's right, riding my bikes.
    Yeah that's right, shovelling my F/N driveway. I really could do without this snow, and if it got too hot in the summer I could ride at night, they do make lights. A fat bike won't work in a lot of environments. Here we have steep icy hills and deep snow, you would be lucky to ride a mile or two.
    Anyone thinking of moving to a sleepy hollow town and buying cheap real estate has to remember that if a boom doesn't come you will be selling a home that isn't worth enough to buy one elsewhere. Life can change and you always need a exit plan.

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    Steep n ice? Snow? Studded tires and grooming works here. Hiker/dog walkers as well as XC ski areas to get our bike on. Back to the OP? Someplace rural. And small. Lots of areas in New England have 100 miles of trails.

  83. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by richde View Post
    There are other cities in the SW, you know. Personally, it takes me 45 minutes to get to a trailhead at 6,500', and I still ride at lower elevation during the summer, just not as fast, or for as long.

    I will continue doing what I'm doing, riding my bikes year round, and not having to buy a specialized bike for it either. Once I experienced true year round riding (in Japan), everything else is inferior.

    We also don't do baby sized 8-10 mile loops, but that's a subject for a different thread.
    Well, if it's say, Tucson, then all of your "above 6500 riding" is compressed to a relatively small area and you are always going in that one direction. It's not like riding out of Durango where you have hundreds of miles of interconnecting trails in the mountains. Again, quality of life IMO. Places like Durango are on the edge of the mountains so you have more pleasant (than winter) weather not far off. If people like the 110 heat and riding when you can only stand an hour or so or where you have to wake up at 4am, more power to you. Some of us go to equally extreme measures in other extreme climates, which is why we know that these other extremes are "no more extreme" than yours. If you are telling me that you always go to that 6500 elevation place for every ride between March and November, then I think I'd get pretty bored pretty fast. I like options, being able to go further and longer, etc. That's what starts to make up some of these MTB destination towns. Where you can ride out of town in multiple directions. I think trail development in AZ is decent, lots of trails, but lets not kid ourselves, many of those trails are in a very extreme environment, or thick urban environment. Getting "out" of this is logistically and practically not possible all the time.

    Of course, there's more to QOL than just mountain biking. Maybe you like urban environments, shopping malls, more restaurants, costco, hospitals, family close, etc.
    "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

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    Well, if it's say, Tucson, then all of your "above 6500 riding" is compressed to a relatively small area and you are always going in that one direction. It's not like riding out of Durango where you have hundreds of miles of interconnecting trails in the mountains. Again, quality of life IMO. Places like Durango are on the edge of the mountains so you have more pleasant (than winter) weather not far off. If people like the 110 heat and riding when you can only stand an hour or so or where you have to wake up at 4am, more power to you. Some of us go to equally extreme measures in other extreme climates, which is why we know that these other extremes are "no more extreme" than yours. If you are telling me that you always go to that 6500 elevation place for every ride between March and November, then I think I'd get pretty bored pretty fast. I like options, being able to go further and longer, etc. That's what starts to make up some of these MTB destination towns. Where you can ride out of town in multiple directions. I think trail development in AZ is decent, lots of trails, but lets not kid ourselves, many of those trails are in a very extreme environment, or thick urban environment. Getting "out" of this is logistically and practically not possible all the time.

    Of course, there's more to QOL than just mountain biking. Maybe you like urban environments, shopping malls, more restaurants, costco, hospitals, family close, etc.
    Yup. We LOVE Tucson in the fall/winter/spring but not sure I could live there full time. Last year in March we pulled our RV and camped 10 days in Oro Valley (Catalina State Park) and it was 95F high temps we were there. In March! I guess maybe you adapt, but 100+ for several months of the year has to be tough for sure.
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  85. #85
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    When we lived in Tucson wed either ride at 4am or head up to Summerhaven to do the little alpine loop up there. It was a nice respite from the heat but I recall it being only about 3 miles of trail maybe? Nothing to write home about.

    Wed journey to Flagstaff and Prescott a few times per year too. We definitely had to make a weekend trip out of it; not easy to do as a day trip.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nat View Post
    When we lived in Tucson wed either ride at 4am or head up to Summerhaven to do the little alpine loop up there. It was a nice respite from the heat but I recall it being only about 3 miles of trail maybe? Nothing to write home about.

    Wed journey to Flagstaff and Prescott a few times per year too. We definitely had to make a weekend trip out of it; not easy to do as a day trip.
    4am?!!!

    No way.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Silentfoe View Post
    4am?!!!

    No way.

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    In Phoenix this is rather common, get the lights out and start before the sun comes up, the coolest part of the day. Plan to be off the trails by 9-10am, it's blazing by that time. People who go out and ride in the middle of the day in that summer environment die, no joke. It's nothing to screw around with. Temps sometimes don't get down below 95 or so, but without the sun, it makes a huge difference. Once the sun comes up, better bet getting off the mountain. I do the same thing in the winter now, ride in the dark
    "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

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    Thank god the smartest dude on the internet is here to tell us how to think. And where to move.
    Just like a raindrop, I was born to fall.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Silentfoe View Post
    4am?!!!

    No way.

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    Way. In summer trailhead parking was full of cars by sunup, empty by 8:00am.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nat View Post
    Way. In summer trailhead parking was full of cars by sunup, empty by 8:00am.
    I'm retired. I try not to see any time before 8am

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    Quote Originally Posted by Silentfoe View Post
    I'm retired. I try not to see any time before 8am
    Man, the older I get the less I can sleep. Thats why Im always posting at 2am.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    In Phoenix this is rather common, get the lights out and start before the sun comes up, the coolest part of the day. Plan to be off the trails by 9-10am, it's blazing by that time. People who go out and ride in the middle of the day in that summer environment die, no joke. It's nothing to screw around with. Temps sometimes don't get down below 95 or so, but without the sun, it makes a huge difference. Once the sun comes up, better bet getting off the mountain. I do the same thing in the winter now, ride in the dark
    So ride like a vampire?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blatant View Post
    Thank god the smartest dude on the internet is here to tell us how to think. And where to move.
    Why, thank you! I'm quite flattered.
    Riding Washington State singletrack since 1986

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    Quote Originally Posted by tuckerjt07 View Post
    It's probably going to be hard to beat Bentonville. There may be some but not many and not by much if at all.

    Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk
    Simply seeing the thread title and I knew Bentonville and Bella Vista would have to top that list. Hell, you can find a 2,000 sq ft house just north of the border for $50,000 and be 15 mins from a trail head.

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    Quote Originally Posted by leeboh View Post
    So ride like a vampire?
    Mainly, the whole "Get up at 3 am on the weekend" part is not compatible with my lifestyle.
    "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

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    Mainly, the whole "Get up at 3 am on the weekend" part is not compatible with my lifestyle.
    This. I live where it is hot in the summer and I still hate getting up early. I'm retired. I don't like to see any time before 8am. I just ride easier in the afternoons.

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    Rotorua, would be very cheap with exchange rates taken into consideration

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    Kinda limited job options though (says the guy in Whangarei!). Same goes for Nelson (NZ), if I could work there I'd move tomorrow. Not sure how the house prices compare internationally, but they seem pretty reasonable compared with the rest of NZ.

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    If you want to see a real joke check out salida co. Zero real jobs, housing is insane, 400k for cookie cutter or a 1970s manufactured home... I dont know what they are thinking.

    The pacific north west has great trails and great jobs in Portland and Tacoma but the housing is expensive but the homes are at least semi worth the money. When compared salida or another po dunk millionaire town its hard to beat

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