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  1. #1
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    Good job! Thinking About Moving To Boise

    I am coming to Boise this weekend to see the city. Figured I'd spend some time driving around checking things out and just wanted to see if I could get a little advice on what part of town is the best to live in for a mountain biker. Ideally I'd like to be able to ride out my door to the trails and also ride to the local micro brewery. Also, is there a good bike shop in town I should stop by? I've never been to Boise so any advice/comments on what I should see and do this weekend are greatly appreciated!

  2. #2
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    Word of caution....you may get a couple of responses in this thread that are akin to "don't move here!!!!" kind of stuff. Just a warning......

    I don't live in Boise, but commute to downtown during the week from my lil' ****hole out in Canyon County to the west so take everything I saw with a grain of salt.

    The North End seems to be a hip and happening place. The two epicenters in the North End are Camel's Back park and Hyde Park on 13th street. There is a small bike shop there called "Hyde Park Cycle Sports". I've never been in there though. Couple of eateries in Hyde Park...Harry's, Parilla, Richard's, Taste, Lucky 13, Java, that Mex place. Camel's Back and some of the surrounding parking lots are starting points for rides in the Foothills especially for us out-of-towners.

    I'm a big fan of Reed's out in Eagle. They carry Yeti, Transition, Raleigh, Diamond Back. Great staff.

    Man I wish I never moved from Parkcenter....

  3. #3
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    Thanks BelaySlave, I take it you are a climber too? So do you think these responses are the "don't move here because we don't want you here" type or the "don't move here because Boise isn't that great" type? I just want to perpare myself...

  4. #4
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    move to tuscon instead

    Quote Originally Posted by azmtbkr81
    Thanks BelaySlave, I take it you are a climber too? So do you think these responses are the "don't move here because we don't want you here" type or the "don't move here because Boise isn't that great" type? I just want to perpare myself...
    it is too cold here and we are getting full..traffic and the inversion are a lot worse than when I first moved here 6 years ago.

    We would expect you to do some trailwork if you did move here..
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  5. #5
    Hi!!!
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    FORMER climber. Tried coming out of retirment last spring, but said "screw it". Just wasn't my thing anymore. The Black Cliffs are not that far outside of town....columnar basalt. Sport, trad, top rope. Nothing real long though. Can get brutally hot in the frickin' summer though.

    I think you'll get responses from "Don't move here cuz it drives up the prices of homes and leads to more congestion on the roads" to "Don't move here cuz Boise ain't all that no matter what 'BIKE' magazine says about our trails cuz all the trails are 'paved' and 'sanitized' and there are no rocks."


    Good luck!

  6. #6
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    The ironic thing is...

    I think you'll get responses from "Don't move here cuz it drives up the prices of homes and leads to more congestion on the roads" to "Don't move here cuz Boise ain't all that no matter what 'BIKE' magazine says about our trails cuz all the trails are 'paved' and 'sanitized' and there are no rocks."
    The people that will advise you NOT to move here are those that did move here from somewhere else... Personally, I love the place and I moved here because of the amount of trail outside my front door but I am looking for some place else to spend the winter (maybe Tucson for a few months). In Boise, people are friendly, crime late is low and I can walk to work (however, this is all relative to the last place I lived in-Washington DC)

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by azmtbkr81
    Thanks BelaySlave, I take it you are a climber too? So do you think these responses are the "don't move here because we don't want you here" type or the "don't move here because Boise isn't that great" type? I just want to perpare myself...
    It's just another California Town!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by smilycook
    it is too cold here and we are getting full..traffic and the inversion are a lot worse than when I first moved here 6 years ago.

    We would expect you to do some trailwork if you did move here..
    It's not that cold here. Only wimps think it is cold. I'm from Michigan and this is nothing. The lack of snow in town is kind of a bummer, though. The heat is another story. 100+ degrees! Ouch! No trees to hide under (in the city of trees.....ha!)

    The traffic is not bad. I think it's funny that people think it's bad here. It's only bad if you live off of Eagle Road or in Canyon County and have to drive to Boise to work. Too bad! If you don't want traffic, don't move where everyone else moves. My commute to work is fine.

    Inversions suck! I'll give you that.

    If you are into smooth trails, this is the place.
    "Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the future of the human race." - H.G. Wells

  9. #9
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    I moved here from Kansas in 97

    and I absolutely love it. Much milder winters, much less humid summers.

    I live in Southeast Boise and recommend that area - within riding distance of several trail systems, close to the Ram if you're into microbrews (I'll stick with Bud Lite myself), and the traffic ain't bad.

    HTH

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by azmtbkr81
    I am coming to Boise this weekend to see the city. Figured I'd spend some time driving around checking things out and just wanted to see if I could get a little advice on what part of town is the best to live in for a mountain biker. Ideally I'd like to be able to ride out my door to the trails and also ride to the local micro brewery. Also, is there a good bike shop in town I should stop by? I've never been to Boise so any advice/comments on what I should see and do this weekend are greatly appreciated!


    Where to start. Where are you coming from? That perspective might affect all others. If you are coming from S.Cal then you may find the traffic and population not bad. If you are coming out of a small place in the midwest then you may feel the town is crowded and traffic horrendous. As for which part of town, then that will depend on your financial situation. The North End abuts to the foothills and is the entry point for tons of trails, however, expect to pay top dollar to get a house there. East Boise, is somewhat similar close to the foothills and pricey to boot. Southeast is a little more affordable but not as close to the trail heads. The Bench is central Boise, affordable housing but you must ride several miles to any trails. South and Southwest are the most affordable housing wise but farthest away from the foothills trails. There may be trails that go South into the desert but I am not really familiar with that part of town. As for Bike shops, in addition to the one mentioned above, there is George's Cycles, Idaho Mountain Touring, World Cycle, Kens Bicycle Warehouse, Bob's Bikes and maybe a few more. Google them to get more info. Good luck.
    Ride the bike.

  11. #11
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    If and When...

    ... you move to Boise, it will be very important that you assimilate as quickly as possible. I recommend going to your local sports retailler and plunking down some cash for a nice roof rack, even if you don't need one. This is very important. Don't forget the fairing. The faring should be covered with stickers. The accesories you choose depends on the size of your SUV. Try to get a ski/snowboard mount on top along with your bike trays. Get as many Bike trays as possible.

    If your really serious about fitting in, go for the Roof Rack Trifecta. Nothing says "I will look *****in' at Lucky 13" more that a rack sporting a Kayak, Two bikes, and some skis. This will require a Big SUV. The bigger the better. And go for diesel while your at it.

    Now Move to Meridian, water your Kentucky Blugrass, and vote republican. YEE HAW!!!
    You're just a genetic material transport vessel. Nothing more...nothing less."

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by toiletsnake
    ... you move to Boise, it will be very important that you assimilate as quickly as possible. I recommend going to your local sports retailler and plunking down some cash for a nice roof rack, even if you don't need one. This is very important. Don't forget the fairing. The faring should be covered with stickers. The accesories you choose depends on the size of your SUV. Try to get a ski/snowboard mount on top along with your bike trays. Get as many Bike trays as possible.
    You couldn't have soundeed much more redneck...
    Last edited by zebdi; 03-14-2006 at 09:43 AM.
    "Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the future of the human race." - H.G. Wells

  13. #13
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    Or.....

    as close to home. Toiletsnake for mayor!

  14. #14
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    Thanks for all the responses...Boise sounds like an interesting place.

    I would actually be moving from Phoenix, AZ. I moved down here 2 years ago from Flagstaff after getting out of school due to the fact that the jobs are all in Phoenix. I now have an opportunity to move to Boise and since I miss the mountains and Phoneix is basically becoming LA I'm thinking it wouldn't be that bad of a deal.

    The pollution, traffic, and home prices are getting ridiculous here so I'm thinking about selling my 1.6 million dollar house, packing up my giant sticker covered SUV and moving to Boise so I can buy up some real estate asap! Just kidding about that part I'm too young and poor to buy a house so I'd be looking to rent an apartment or maybe a room in someone else's place. I don't own an SUV, I have a truck that I only drive when I have to and ideally I'd like to be able to ride almost everywhere I need to go. I am one of 6 people in the entire city of Phoenix who actually ride their bikes to work and people here including my coworkers think I am insane and maybe I am, I've almost been mowed down a number of times. I almost forgot to mention that I don't mind getting my hands dirty doing a little trail work!

    Do most peole in the area ride hardtails since the trails are pretty smooth? Are all the trails smooth or just the popular ones used by hikers?

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by azmtbkr81
    I am coming to Boise this weekend to see the city. Figured I'd spend some time driving around checking things out and just wanted to see if I could get a little advice on what part of town is the best to live in for a mountain biker. Ideally I'd like to be able to ride out my door to the trails and also ride to the local micro brewery. Also, is there a good bike shop in town I should stop by? I've never been to Boise so any advice/comments on what I should see and do this weekend are greatly appreciated!

    Well, I'll chime in. Lived here since 1989, and find it's a great hub for outdoor activities. An hour in almost any direction and you can be in forest, desert, on a river, and most the time you can get to fun places within half that time.

    Regarding the riding, most of the foothills trails tend to be steep and smooth, with few technical challenges. If you're used to South Mtn, Mormon, National, et al, then except for the new Spudhucksters trail on Rock Island (very close in, btw), you'll be disappointed at how featureless the close-in trails tend to be.

    However, we have some fun trails up the hill toward our ski hill, that I'm just beginning to discover, and I've ridden here for 12yrs.

    As for places to live close to trails and micro-brews, they tend to be fairly spendy, or migrant shacks to be affordable. Mostly north-end or north east to put you into the foothills riding. There's at least half a dozen microbreweries, and some are even pretty good.

    I live out SW, which means its a 20 min drive to the foothills trails, but I also have the desert out south so I can roadbike from my house and get away from civilization pretty quickly. SW is "under construction," and it's hard to find a decent shack for under $245k out here anymore.

    For bike shops, I like Bob's, since they're a no-attitude Titus dealer & online seller, and have a good shop, Dirt Dart mobile bike shop (he comes to you and is a great guy), Ken's is near my house, Reeds is tiny but good people and high quality stuff, Georges reminds me of a Walgreens, almost on every corner. IMT is a big shop downtown with climbing and other sports stuff. Great folks at World Cycles downtown, Brian's Pro Bike shop, probably the best wrench in the state, but a bit of a drive to his place in Eagle, for me, anyway.

    If I were you, I'd drive up to the Tablerock overlook to get a feel for the valley, and also visit a few bike shops to pick up on the vibe, ski at Bogus, talk to a few realtors (Bombin4x's wife, for one), and see if the groove here fits you.

    CDB
    May your trails be narrow, crooked, lonesome and dangerous, leading to the most outrageous adventures. Paladin

  16. #16
    Hi!!!
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    http://www.ridgetorivers.org/

    Go to "Panoramic Journey" and you can get an idea of what the trails look like.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by azmtbkr81
    Boise sounds like an interesting place. ...

    I would actually be moving from Phoenix, AZ. ... Just kidding about that part I'm too young and poor to buy a house so I'd be looking to rent an apartment or maybe a room in someone else's place. I don't own an SUV, I have a truck that I only drive when I have to and ideally I'd like to be able to ride almost everywhere I need to go. I am one of 6 people in the entire city of Phoenix who actually ride their bikes to work and people here including my coworkers think I am insane and maybe I am, I've almost been mowed down a number of times. I almost forgot to mention that I don't mind getting my hands dirty doing a little trail work!

    Do most peole in the area ride hardtails since the trails are pretty smooth? Are all the trails smooth or just the popular ones used by hikers?
    Boise will be nirvana compared to the insane real estate prices, traffic, congestion, and heat of Phoenix. I think rentals are fairly easy to come by and I believe I heard that there's a glut of rentals on the market. If you're looking to rent, don't want to spend a bunch of money, and want to be within riding distance of the trails, I'd recommend checking out the complex that used to be called "Central Park" but I think it has since changed its name. If you want to ride to work, I think you'll find it a tad easier here than Phoenix - CBro bike commutes a lot, and I do occasionally. Not sure what sort of work you'd be looking for, but as with every metro area, knowledgeable IT people are always in high demand. As for hardtails vs. full sus rigs, I'm not sure I could generalize as to who rides what. I see more full sus XC rigs than I used to, and fewer hardtails, but I think that's a national trend, not just a Boise thing. Good luck with the move.

  18. #18
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    what?

    Quote Originally Posted by Earthpig
    Boise will be nirvana compared to the insane real estate prices, traffic, congestion, and heat of Phoenix. I think rentals are fairly easy to come by and I believe I heard that there's a glut of rentals on the market. If you're looking to rent, don't want to spend a bunch of money, and want to be within riding distance of the trails, I'd recommend checking out the complex that used to be called "Central Park" but I think it has since changed its name. If you want to ride to work, I think you'll find it a tad easier here than Phoenix - CBro bike commutes a lot, and I do occasionally. Not sure what sort of work you'd be looking for, but as with every metro area, knowledgeable IT people are always in high demand. As for hardtails vs. full sus rigs, I'm not sure I could generalize as to who rides what. I see more full sus XC rigs than I used to, and fewer hardtails, but I think that's a national trend, not just a Boise thing. Good luck with the move.
    Is this the real Earthpig?

  19. #19
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    shock and awe......
    ...building wherever they'll let me...

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by flipnidaho
    Is this the real Earthpig?
    No, this is the "kindler, gentler" Earthpig. Yeah, and I've got a Glenwood Bridge to sell to you.

    Your comments above about the newcomers being the ones who yell the loudest about not wanting more people to move here struck home, as did toiletsnake's comments (oddly enough). Hey, it's not like what we say here is going to stem the flood of newcomers - if you can't beat the sh!t out of 'em, join 'em. The more riders and recreationalists we can get here, the more people there are to vote in favor of the next foothills levy and to build more trails!

  21. #21
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    Funny enough..

    Quote Originally Posted by Earthpig
    No, this is the "kindler, gentler" Earthpig. Yeah, and I've got a Glenwood Bridge to sell to you.

    Your comments above about the newcomers being the ones who yell the loudest about not wanting more people to move here struck home, as did toiletsnake's comments (oddly enough). Hey, it's not like what we say here is going to stem the flood of newcomers - if you can't beat the sh!t out of 'em, join 'em. The more riders and recreationalists we can get here, the more people there are to vote in favor of the next foothills levy and to build more trails!
    And I think I told you this after we first met Geoff, I had been lurking the board since July 2004 and I remember reading someone named "Earthpig"'s posts thinking "I'll never tell this guy I am from California if we ever meet...." I chuckle now. Power to the people.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Earthpig
    No, this is the "kindler, gentler" Earthpig. Yeah, and I've got a Glenwood Bridge to sell to you.

    Your comments above about the newcomers being the ones who yell the loudest about not wanting more people to move here struck home, as did toiletsnake's comments (oddly enough). Hey, it's not like what we say here is going to stem the flood of newcomers - if you can't beat the sh!t out of 'em, join 'em. The more riders and recreationalists we can get here, the more people there are to vote in favor of the next foothills levy and to build more trails!
    amen brutha...

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by toiletsnake
    ... you move to Boise, it will be very important that you assimilate as quickly as possible. I recommend going to your local sports retailler and plunking down some cash for a nice roof rack, even if you don't need one. This is very important. Don't forget the fairing. The faring should be covered with stickers. The accesories you choose depends on the size of your SUV. Try to get a ski/snowboard mount on top along with your bike trays. Get as many Bike trays as possible.

    If your really serious about fitting in, go for the Roof Rack Trifecta. Nothing says "I will look *****in' at Lucky 13" more that a rack sporting a Kayak, Two bikes, and some skis. This will require a Big SUV. The bigger the better. And go for diesel while your at it.

    Now Move to Meridian, water your Kentucky Blugrass, and vote republican. YEE HAW!!!
    Once again, a great post from the toiletsnake. I commend and encourage your sarcasm (instead of being offended by it, unlike some....) However, I might add that you forgot to mention that he HAS to join a local cycling club, shave his legs, get a heart rate monitor, wear a team jersey, and start riding in roving, pillaging packs in the foothills, while training for his next sport XC race.

  24. #24
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    Earthpig...

    Touche
    You're just a genetic material transport vessel. Nothing more...nothing less."

  25. #25
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    Good thread. The wife and I are hoping for her to get her transfer accepted within her architectural firm so that we can make the move from St. Louis. I'll be jumping into the job market as a Registered Dietitian. This July we are making a trip to Boise to visit and make sure it's what we really want. We're btinging the road bikes.
    Any thoughts on things we should see, both natural and cultural? Good food? We aren't big on churches or amusement parks.

    Cheers

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crockpot2001
    Good thread. The wife and I are hoping for her to get her transfer accepted within her architectural firm so that we can make the move from St. Louis. I'll be jumping into the job market as a Registered Dietitian. This July we are making a trip to Boise to visit and make sure it's what we really want. We're btinging the road bikes.
    Any thoughts on things we should see, both natural and cultural? Good food? We aren't big on churches or amusement parks.

    Cheers
    Why not the mountain bikes? As for "what to see," both natural and cultural, there are no amusement parks here, but lots and lots of churches. (See the other post from "holyrider" about moving to Boise.) For "natural" in Boise itself, take a walk or ride on the greenbelt through town, rent a tube or raft and float the Boise river (sans alcohol, thanks to our overly zealous police force), rent a mountain bike (or better, bring your own) and ride the foothills, or maybe take a trek out of town and go see Sun Valley or McCall. (July can be pretty hot - sans humidity - and it's usually cooler and nicer in the mountains).

    Culture? That one kind of has me stumped. Compared to St. Louis, I'm afraid you'll find a distinct lack of what I'd call "culture" here. There's an art museum that has some interesting exhibits sometimes, and some local semi-professional theaters (Boise Contemporary is my favorite), but other than that, you're looking at a lot of country music concerts and sporting events. There's not much of a local music scene, and the bars are mostly geared towards the early 20's college and psuedo urban hipster yuppie crowd. I'd have to opine that the reason people live here is for the outdoor opportunities, not the "culture." You'd have to head further west to Portland or Seattle for that stuff. Enjoy your visit!

  27. #27
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    Sure have to agree with you

    about the lack of a local music scene. I'm a former musician from Topeka, Kansas, and there was a much better music scene there than there is here. It surprised me when I first moved here.

    I wonder why that is? Maybe anyone with talent moves to the coast.

  28. #28
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    Yeah if you do bring the road bikes, definately hit up the Greenbelt. There are a number of parks you can park at and start your ride. Here is some more info:

    http://www.cityofboise.org/parks/Par...x?id=greenbelt
    http://www.cityofboise.org/parks/par...enbelt_map.pdf

    Like Earthpig said, consider bringing the mountain bikes and making the drive to either McCall or Sun Valley. Those are two top destitations for folks that live in the Treasure Valley and want to escape the summer heat. If you are outdoorsy in any way...you'll love those two areas.

    This is somewhere on top of Brundage (probably Elk Trail) just outside of McCall (I do believe McCall would be off to the left of the pic right?):
    http://www.fototime.com/25194953EA82648/standard.jpg

    This isn't the greatest pic of the Sun Valley/Ketchum area, but this should give you an idea of what is over there. This is the Warm Springs side of Sun Valley (the ski hill):
    http://www.fototime.com/9D2E5C1AB3E6998/standard.jpg

    As far as culture stuff in Boise....errrr.....IMNSHO Boise is somewhat "plain". Some museums and art galleries here and there. I work downtown and it pains me to see some folks doing the public art self guided tour with disappointed looks.

  29. #29
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    Hyde Park in Boise is a mix of the Central West End and U-City ala Delmar near Clayton. Check that out if you are inclined.

    We don't have Forrest Park, but the Foothills north of town are more fun and filled with less muggers at night. Bring mountain bikes when you visit. You'll get more use out of them, as you can ride the Greenbelt and explore trails in the Foothills.

    Boise is a good town, but much smaller than St. Louis. However, like St. Louis, it is about where you go and the people you meet that distinguishes.
    ...building wherever they'll let me...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Visicypher
    Hyde Park in Boise is a mix of the Central West End and U-City ala Delmar near Clayton. Check that out if you are inclined.

    We don't have Forrest Park, but the Foothills north of town are more fun and filled with less muggers at night. Bring mountain bikes when you visit. You'll get more use out of them, as you can ride the Greenbelt and explore trails in the Foothills.

    Boise is a good town, but much smaller than St. Louis. However, like St. Louis, it is about where you go and the people you meet that distinguishes.
    Thanks for being so specific in your comparisons. We live about 2 miles south of U-city in Maplewood and spendmost of our time in the Loop, Clayton, or South Grand. Hyde Park will be one of the first places we'll explore. It's pretty important for us to be close to either her job or someplace where I can get a job (Hospital, diabetes clinic)

    The reason we are bringing the road bikes is that we will be in Boise for 2-3 days then heading to Lewiston (great road riding) to see grandma then we are off to Seattle to be with friends for another 5 days (roadies). We both enjoy mountain biking a lot but my wife has some important road races after we return to STL and mtbing just does not fill the gap.

    Now, that no-booze-while-rafting thing is logical but gee-whiz Wally, a man likes to have a beer at all the wrong times. I'll drink alone I 'spose.

    I really appreciate your comments and maybe meeting in the future.

    Cheers

  31. #31
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    There are a handful of hospitals for you to scope out.

    I understand the training thing. I spend a lot of time on the road training. The roadie scene is pretty good here. You can pretty much ride year round. I do at least. You might want to ride up to Bogus Basin, the local ski resort. It is a short ride @ 18 some odd miles, but it has some nice climbing on the way up.
    ...building wherever they'll let me...

  32. #32
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    The north end would be the place to live if you are planning on doing a lot of riding.
    Best riding spot is the Hulls Gulch Area, including the Crack, and other nearby stuff.
    Best pizza in town is Guido's on 5th I think.
    As far as brew goes, I can't really advise you, seing as I'm only 16...

    Anyways, the riding scene here in Boise is obviously significant, as shown by the amount of posting on these forums pertaining to here.
    Also, we are currently getting some pretty technical trails, in addition to the tons of mild and easy difficulty trails in the boise foothills.
    If you do end up moving here, I'd be up for a ride anytime, so give me a call...
    ~Trevor Thornton 830-5351

  33. #33
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    hikerdave

    Quote Originally Posted by CBro
    Well, I'll chime in. Lived here since 1989, and find it's a great hub for outdoor activities. An hour in almost any direction and you can be in forest, desert, on a river, and most the time you can get to fun places within half that time.

    Regarding the riding, most of the foothills trails tend to be steep and smooth, with few technical challenges. If you're used to South Mtn, Mormon, National, et al, then except for the new Spudhucksters trail on Rock Island (very close in, btw), you'll be disappointed at how featureless the close-in trails tend to be.

    ...

    CDB
    I moved the other way and am getting my ass kicked every time I go riding here in Phoenix. The trails in the Boise area are pretty smooth and in generally good shape. But you'll make up for the lack of technical difficulty with great scenery and lots of elevation gain and nice fast descents. You can get by on a hardail but full suspension is the way to go.

    As far as traffic, population and pollution, the Boise Metro area is fast becoming the Phoenix you left behind. In five years or ten years you won't be able to tell the difference.

    But If you like camping, backpacking, whitewater boating, dirt biking, and skiing as much a you like to mountain bike you'll think that you've died and gone to heaven! And the Boise River greenbelt is always a simple pleasure -- my family and I never got tired of riding on the paved path.

    One caution -- Boise is still very much a backwater compared to Phoenix. Make sure that you find a job you like before you go, or you'll find that life is very difficult.

    Dave Wissenbach

  34. #34
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    Nobody cares what kind of bike you ride.

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