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  1. #1
    PVNEMBA vee pee
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    Moving to MA -- want to be near riding

    So I'm planning on moving to MA in the fall and one of my primary goals is to live near good riding (both road and mountain). I've ridden in the Berkshires a few times (Pedro's fest) and loved it. I'm coming from PA so I'm used to/enjoy rocks, roots, hills, and sweet, sweet single track. I regularly ride places like Jim Thorpe, French Creek, etc...

    I've been considering Springfield or maybe a burb nearby as it's close to Pedro's and what seems to be other great mountain biking. I've read that Holyoke offers some great riding. I read that crime could be an issue _in_ Springfield though.

    Anyway...I'm hoping I can get some good local feedback from road and mountain bikers alike. My ideal location would be suburbia where I can ride the road bike from the house and get out into the country w/o getting smooooshed and be ~20min or so from some OK trails and up to an hour or so from bigger/better trails. I like being near civilization though. I'm currently within 5-15min of several grocery stores, shopping centers, malls, schools, hospitals, etc...

    So why the heck would I want to move if I'm close to so much great riding and conveniences? Well...my other 1/2 has lots of family in New England and none here. Iím able to work remotely and maintain by current job/position so the only things left to sort out are new areas to ride, a place to live, and a job for her.

    - Chris

  2. #2
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    Gimpy,

    Welcome to western, MA!

    First off-I think you're in the right river valley with springfield but wrong area--move you're Ideal location 25 minutes due north on I-91.

    Northampton-Florence are great, very, very progressive communities (and for some-too much so). Great restaurants, great music scene, close to all manner of shopping (boutique and big box) and a fantastic location for road and mountain riding.

    Just across the bridge are the Towns of Hadley and Amherst--also pretty nice places with similar perks (but less cutting edge atmosphere than Noho). The Colleges (five of them) set the culture for the area-U-Mass, Smith College, Holyoke, Hampshire and Amherst College are collectively the largest empoloyers so all the benefits and cons of a college town apply.

    If you're a family man-I strongly recommend the town of Deerfield (my adopted home town) best location in the valley and a great place (with less of the hassles of some of the more self-styled progressive towns).

    The region is geographically defined by the Connecticut River and several major tributaries (most notably the deerfield) that over the millenia have cut a shaped a fantastic landscape of dramatic, tree covered hills and valleys. There are many active road riding clubs, endless miles of paved, mostly carless (with good shoulders) hilly country roads. And the mountain scene is very active-there are significant single track enclaves all over the Pioneer Valley and the number of new trails (legal I might add) is growing all the time. Similar situation to PA-good community, good landscape equalling great riding. I just spent the morning building a new trail with a buddy, and then road for 3.5 hours.

    The Berkshires are beautiful too--I spent a year there as well-but I wanted the same sylvan landscape and outdoor opportunities but the cultural/ commercial amenities that a slightly higher population density brings so I moved one river valley over to the east (The Connecticut River Valley or the Pioneer Valley as it is known) and found exactly what I was looking for.

    Anyway-Good luck with the move! New England Rules!

    Drop me a PM if you want more info on riding etc. I'm always happy to plug the riding around here!

  3. #3
    backwoods and backwards
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    Bikerag.com is the source for trail info for southern NE. I live just south of Springfield in CT and the riding is tops. Seems to me the only reasonable thing to do is take an exploratory mtb vacation to check your options.

  4. #4
    I like to ride my bike.
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    Any thoughts about the east coast? Not as much elevation change, but the "northshore" area is home to some amazing riding. The Beverly area is a hub of a huge variety of technical, fun trails for freeriders and XCers within 30 minutes. Beverly itself has fuunn trails. Pedros is a 4 hour drive from this area.

    Check out Bustedspoke.com's forum, there are some great MA riders on there as well who will give you some more info.
    You'll enjoy MA riding!
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  5. #5
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    Well, it's pretty hard to not be near riding if you live in Mass. Even the folks in Boston have great stuff right outside the city.
    You're most likely to find a job in the Springfield area, but for very nearby riding, you'll want to live half an hour north of there. Plenty of folks in Springfield ride, but it's always kind of a drive.

    Stop by for a visit. Plenty of folks, myself included, would be happy to show you around.

  6. #6
    MC MasterShake
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    Quote Originally Posted by RideFaster
    Any thoughts about the east coast? Not as much elevation change, but the "northshore" area is home to some amazing riding. The Beverly area is a hub of a huge variety of technical, fun trails for freeriders and XCers within 30 minutes. Beverly itself has fuunn trails. Pedros is a 4 hour drive from this area.

    Check out Bustedspoke.com's forum, there are some great MA riders on there as well who will give you some more info.
    You'll enjoy MA riding!
    I have to agree with RF. I live on the North Shore and I have an easy 30 minute commute to work and my choice of trails including a trailhead across the street from my house. Plus I'm a 40 minute drive away from Boston.

  7. #7
    achiever
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    Westfield is pretty good. I ride out my door to miles of good trails. Maybe not very scenic at the lower elevations due to illegal dumping in a few areas but fun nonetheless. I commute to work most days at 50/50 trail to road ratio. Actually, there are trails pretty much everywhere, you just have to look. Also, I've never gotten hassled about riding any trail.

  8. #8
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    SuperbMan pretty much nailed it as far the pioneer valley is concerned. Anywhere in that area would put you within a reasonable commute to Springfield.

  9. #9
    pepito
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    Quote Originally Posted by dfinn
    SuperbMan pretty much nailed it as far the pioneer valley is concerned. Anywhere in that area would put you within a reasonable commute to Springfield.


    true, but the real estate is sky-high in the noho area. i'd shoot for anything west of the ct river in the pioneer valley. rolling farmland, great country roads, plenty of hills, awesome trails. drop us a line if you're coming out this way. i'm sure most of us would be happy to get together and show you the area.
    "Melancholy is incompatible with bicycling" ~James E. Starrs

  10. #10
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    Southampton is a hidden gem right next to every thing but very clean and no crime. Its 10-15 min to the Holyoke mall and right in the middle of Westfield/Northampton so you still get all the great food and activities

  11. #11
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    Westfield / Southwick

    Westfield and Southwick are two very nice towns about 20 minutes west of Springfield. The both have some good riding and 20 minutes is any direction will offer tons of good options.

    I am not sure what you are planning on doing for work. But if you want some advice I would try to get a job in CT, and live over the border in W. Mass. The cost of living is much higher in CT, and the pay is higher to compensate. On the flip side real estate (and pretty much everything else) is cheaper in MA. I live in Westfield MA, and my wife and I both work in Hartford CT. My commute is about 35 minutes each way, but I make about 20% more working in Hartford CT than I would in W. Mass.

  12. #12
    norwoodrider4
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    move to great barrington because they have some bike shops and they have the best trails you will ever find on the east coast, just buy a dual suspension bike. i may not live there but i visited it and fell in love. i think you will too.

    the loser isnt always the person that makes it back to the car last.

  13. #13
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    I couldn't imagine not being able to ride Lynn Woods and Gloucester. I would stay away from western MA if you like the conveniences of the city. Pedros is only once a year so I wouldn't let that influence your choice. Stay near Rt.128 north of Boston. You can get to Vietnam, Lynn, Beverly, Gloucester, Fells, etc. and still hop on 95 and hit Highland or Sunday River in under 2 hours.

  14. #14
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    Hey Mike,,

    Sweet ride in Lynn today.Go to the Turner Forum and check out photo's of my Nicolai FR make over(posted by Fagone)everyone really seems to be freakin over this one(and for good reason)31.4 pounds with much much bling.And of course the fact that its a Nicolai.CF..

  15. #15
    I like to ride my bike.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kubaner
    I couldn't imagine not being able to ride Lynn Woods and Gloucester. I would stay away from western MA if you like the conveniences of the city. Pedros is only once a year so I wouldn't let that influence your choice. Stay near Rt.128 north of Boston. You can get to Vietnam, Lynn, Beverly, Gloucester, Fells, etc. and still hop on 95 and hit Highland or Sunday River in under 2 hours.
    He's right.
    I like bicycles. Bicycles make me happy. Riding them makes me even happier.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by RideFaster
    He's right.
    Except for hitting SR in under 2 hours......

  17. #17
    MC MasterShake
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    Quote Originally Posted by DHRFX Joe
    Except for hitting SR in under 2 hours......
    Yeah, I've done it in 3 and I was hauling arse. You can also get to Kingdom Trails in 3.

  18. #18
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    I don't get rides from my grandmother any more so from Danvers I get to SR in just about 2 hrs. Especially if I don't start the timer until I get to Portsmouth. 5am, no traffic, no cops, not drinkin' yet, driving like someones chasing me. Anyway, just pointing out that the North Shore is a pretty good central location to get to a lot of cool spots

  19. #19
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    Ok, I'll be the one to say it. The air pollution and chemicals that have seeped into the ground water has clouded these poor North Shore souls. There is no riding on the NS. None. Nearest interesting trail is 3hrs away.

  20. #20
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    I meant Vancouver. Move to Vancouver. Yeah.

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