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  1. #1
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    Comparison of East vs West trails

    I am considering taking a job in Mass. around North Dartmouth. I live and ride in Lake Tahoe, Calif. Has anyone ever ridden both?

    Someone told me that I would definately sharpen my technical skills in Mass. I'm not sure what they meant by that, because they never rode out here plus never rode with me! I'm thinking they think that out here it's just dirt with no rocks? I didn't have a chance this wk when I was there to investigate further, so I came to the pro-fesh-ionals on here.

    Thanks ahead of time...K

  2. #2
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    I go to school in North Dartmouth, and from what I've seen down there, there are not really any good trails in the immediate area, RI has some good trails I hear but I haven't been to any yet. I live out in Central Mass and there are a lot more trails here than down in Dartmouth.

  3. #3
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    Freetown State Forest

    Freetown is the closest park to N. Dartmouth. It is predominately a MX dominated park with the trails pretty worn out. What you will find are LOTS of baby-head sized rock. No climbing to speak of, but quite a lot of water. Most of the puddles are hard bottomed so you can cruise right through.

    For group rides, you might check out Village Bicycles in nearby Westport. As was mentioned the riding is a lot nicer in RI - Lincoln woods, just outside Providence and for more epic riding Arcadia further South and West.

  4. #4
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    I agree with what others have said; lots of baby heads and roots, damp in places. No real climbing to speak of so if you're used to the climbing that I see passion photos of here, you'll probably dust people up our "climbs".

    I would also check out NEMBA. Lots of info on riding spots there, group rides, friendly smaller forum, but with some real diehard supporters and lots of folks involved throughout New England with the whole MTB culture. Good luck with the move!

  5. #5
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    Come ride Lynn Woods in Lynn, MA and you'll see what they're talking about in regards to technical skills. There rocks and then there are rocks. I can't comment on the North Dartmouth area but most trails in the Boston area are very tech.

  6. #6
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    The only riding out west that I have done was the Montana section of the Great Divide trail, which was mostly fire roads, so I canít really compare east vs. west. But I can tell you that landscape here in NE is for the most part rocky and rooty and frequently wet.

    There are some places that are predominantly smooth and flowey, such as the Kingdom Trails up in northern VT, or the Trail of Tears on Cape Cod. But, for the most part, you will find yourself frequently navigating over or around rocks & roots of various sizes.
    And, because NE does not have huge tracts of open land, the trails tend to be tight & twisty to get as much trail out of the available land.

    As the other people said, there is not a lot of long climbing, but there are a lot of short, steep hills.

    The wet part is partly because of rain (it rains, not like the PNW, but enough) and partly because when it gets humid in the summer, those rocks & roots can get slippery. Fall & early winter are great times to ride tho, dry, crisp & cool.

    Personally, I love the tight, technical stuff. Rounding a turn and having to get up onto a rock, rock gardens, down a rooty hill with a fallen log at the bottom; up the rooty hill with a log at the top is not so fun, but it does build skills!

  7. #7
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    There's plenty of good trails in the Freetown SF, only about 15 min. from N Dartmouth.
    Mx bikes aren't allowed on all the trails but even some of the ones they are allowed are good.
    It will take a while to figure out a good loop unless you have someone show you the best trails.

    The other spot not far is Rocky Woods in Taunton. Very similar to Freetown and about another 15 min up rt 24.
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  8. #8
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    I live in Westport which borders N. Dartmouth. It's weird that I just found this thread because literally 15 minutes ago I was showing my 4 yr old son Daddy's favorite place in the World: Lake Tahoe. I can't believe anyone would willingly relocate from there to here but, that's just my opinion.

    As far as riding in this immediate area there isn't much, other than Otis Air Force base and/or the Trail of Tears both of which are about a 45 minute drive.

    Freetown State Forest is a bit closer, about 20 minutes away, and is 'ok' but nothing great. The trails there are mostly loose, gravelly rock mixed in with sections on the 'baby-heads' that others mentioned.

    About an hour north from Dartmouth is Milford, Mass. where 'vietnam' is located. Check out the NEMBA site for info on vietnam.

    I couldn't agree more with hado_pv in re to checking out Village Bicycles in Westport. The guys there are great. I've been on a couple of group rides with them in Arcadia, Rhode Island (about an hour and 20 minute drive from Dartmouth) and have had a blast with them.

    If downhill is what you're looking for then you may have to drive further north to one of the ski areas in New Hampshire or Vermont. I spent today at Mt. Snow in Vermont doing some lift serviced downhill. It was about a 3 hr drive to get there.

    Hope some of this helped.

    Oh yeah, Lynn Woods.....I havn't made it up there yet but I've heard it's great. It would be about an hour 25 minutes from N. Dartmouth I think.

    Hope to run into you on the trails once ya get out here!!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by tahoedirtprincess

    Someone told me that I would definately sharpen my technical skills in Mass. I'm not sure what they meant by that...
    Check out the NEMBA trail at Borderland SF and you may then know exactly what that "someone" meant. Then again... most of the singletrack in Borderland is like that.

    There is also very good riding at F Gilbert Hills SF and Vietnam in Milford Ma. All of these locations are approximately an hour or so drive north from N Dartmouth.

    If you should decide to make the move, tours are available

  10. #10
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    Its all just dirt with a whole bunch of stuff in the way. You can find trails to suit just about everyone. You may have to adapt some skills to suit the local riding but you ll have no trouble finding trails that suit your riding preferences.

  11. #11
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    I lived in Tahoe for 4 years and for now I'm back in MA. I've been back since last summer and I've been doing a lot of riding around the western part of the state and a little bit around the eastern part too.

    First let me say that I really miss tahoe. Not just the riding but pretty much everything. I hope to be back out west by this time next year but I'm not 100% sure that's going to happen.

    Probably the biggest thing I miss about west coast biking is the long, fast descents. They just don't really exist out here. Anyone who tells you they do exist probably hasn't been to Downieville.

    The riding does seem more technical, in a low speed sort of way. I've found it to be more of a workout. The trails are more up-down, up-down, up-down...compared to a long up and then a long down.

    The trails I got to ride over on the east side of the state were a ton of fun but they were more freeride oriented. It seems they have more options for that type of riding then we do over here. That was just a small sampling though and I was specifically looking to ride the trails with stunts and drops because I had been hearing about them for a while and wanted to check them out while I spent a week a down there for work.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by dfinn
    I lived in Tahoe for 4 years and for now I'm back in MA. I've been back since last summer and I've been doing a lot of riding around the western part of the state and a little bit around the eastern part too.

    First let me say that I really miss tahoe. Not just the riding but pretty much everything. I hope to be back out west by this time next year but I'm not 100% sure that's going to happen.

    Probably the biggest thing I miss about west coast biking is the long, fast descents. They just don't really exist out here. Anyone who tells you they do exist probably hasn't been to Downieville.

    The riding does seem more technical, in a low speed sort of way. I've found it to be more of a workout. The trails are more up-down, up-down, up-down...compared to a long up and then a long down.

    The trails I got to ride over on the east side of the state were a ton of fun but they were more freeride oriented. It seems they have more options for that type of riding then we do over here. That was just a small sampling though and I was specifically looking to ride the trails with stunts and drops because I had been hearing about them for a while and wanted to check them out while I spent a week a down there for work.
    Considering the vertical drop of the Downieville Downhill is higher than the highest peak out East it's obvious where the long decents are.... But as for technical stuff they have that on the East Coast.

  13. #13
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    I guess I should of qualified my visit out to Mass with "I will be there for 6 months". I love living in Tahoe so much I can't see myself moving anywhere else. If I did, I would still keep my house and my California driver's license. Long live the Republic of California (lol).

    I am looking at living in Fall River and there is this open space preserve between Fall River and New Bedford. Anyone know if I can ride directly across it? I think I actually can, there is a reservoir there and a pond (Wattupa pond?). I love to ride, so anything I can get, especially a 4 hour ride that isn't a repetitive loop, is all good. The roots and wet trails are the ones that will be a challenge for me. I can ride by Mr Toads right out my back door (I guess I can't find an apt with that feature), so rocks are my passion LOL. The long climbs get boring, I think I will relish the change of pace for a few months. Probably the season ends in November? I seem to have forgotten about the East coast weather, I grew up in PA.

  14. #14
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    Last winter there wasn't any real snow until the end of January, it's hit or miss. Also,until the snow is really deep we find a way to get it done. Fair to say that eastcoast isn't easier or harder, just different than out west.
    Moonbeam's compost-powered hybrid generates a respectable 32 fruit flies per rotting banana peel.

  15. #15
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    I remember riding on xmas eve day last year. I hope that doesn't happen again, I really prefer snow and cold at that time of year.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by tahoedirtprincess
    I guess I should of qualified my visit out to Mass with "I will be there for 6 months". I love living in Tahoe so much I can't see myself moving anywhere else. If I did, I would still keep my house and my California driver's license. Long live the Republic of California (lol).

    I am looking at living in Fall River and there is this open space preserve between Fall River and New Bedford. Anyone know if I can ride directly across it? I think I actually can, there is a reservoir there and a pond (Wattupa pond?). I love to ride, so anything I can get, especially a 4 hour ride that isn't a repetitive loop, is all good. The roots and wet trails are the ones that will be a challenge for me. I can ride by Mr Toads right out my back door (I guess I can't find an apt with that feature), so rocks are my passion LOL. The long climbs get boring, I think I will relish the change of pace for a few months. Probably the season ends in November? I seem to have forgotten about the East coast weather, I grew up in PA.
    It sounds like your best bet is going to be the Freetown SF. But again, there are some other nice, 'techy' areas within an hour or so drive from this area.

    As far as riding an 'open space preserve between Fall River and New Bedford' goes, I don't think it's possible. What seperates the resevoir and the Watuppa pond is interstate 195 East-West and Route 24 N-S. You can't legally cross either on bicycles. But if you DO manage to find rideable trails between Fall River and New Bedford please let me know. I've lived here for 40 yrs (and ridden here for at least 20 yrs) and know of no trails in the area you mention.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by tahoedirtprincess
    I am considering taking a job in Mass. around North Dartmouth. I live and ride in Lake Tahoe, Calif. Has anyone ever ridden both?

    Someone told me that I would definately sharpen my technical skills in Mass. I'm not sure what they meant by that, because they never rode out here plus never rode with me! I'm thinking they think that out here it's just dirt with no rocks? I didn't have a chance this wk when I was there to investigate further, so I came to the pro-fesh-ionals on here.

    Thanks ahead of time...K
    I've ridden almost everywhere in the US. I've lived in the mid-west (Chicago), NE (VT now Mass), Texas (Austin), and CA (San Jose). So you name it and I've ridden it, just about. Haven't ridden anywhere from VA to SC or pretty much anywere in the South but have been told there some great riding in NC, AK, .... even FL believe it or not. So riding is what you make of it but comparing one place to another is tough because what one place offers another might not and vica versa.

    As for comparing Tahoe, forget about what the riding is like the thing you are going to miss are the views. The Flume might not be the best ride but the views are spectacular. Rides like Toads, Hole in the Ground, or heading towards D-Ville are some of the best rides around. I so wanted to do the D-Ville Classic this year but my schedule just didn't work out. Definetly make it again.

    Mass Riding - well first off find a group to ride with. Most Mass trails are marked so poorly that the only way you'll find a good one is if someone shows you it over and over. Everything looks the same and there is no perspective because there is not allot of altitude change over the entire ride. CA/Tahoe you get use to climbing and looking out to orient yourself. Forget about it here as one tree looks like the next. Also most places have trails going in every direction so you will have to stop ever 15 ft to decide which way to turn. Group rides are horrible if anyone falls behind. No continuous trails that goes on for miles and miles.

    Now on the plus side, okay this might be the minus side for some, the trails are much more techinical. Rocks, roots, mud equals challenge. You won't be climbing forever to descend forever. Most technical places in Tahoe area are because of speed. Slow yourself down and the challenge goes away. Yes I've race D-Ville and its a challenge but it depends on how fast or slow you go. Here you can go 5 miles on a flat trail and it could take you more than 1 hour riding as hard and fast as you can. I have found few buff trails that are screamers. I've had to change my bike setup since moving east (shorter stem, different shock setup, air pressure in the tires, ...).

    Overall I am enjoying the riding in Mass.. I miss my long climbs and descents but would miss things from here if I went back. I was in the Bay Area not so long ago and I climbed and climbed but missed the jarring of rock from the East Coast. I just raced the 6 hr solo event at Pat's Peak in NH and got plenty of climbing and descending in to remind me of what its all about.

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