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  1. #1
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    Southwest boy looking for some encouragement about the right coast

    So, my job has given me the opportunity to work in Boston as a park ranger on the Freedom Trail. I have lived the majority of my adult life in the West (MT, Durango, CO, now in Flagstaff, AZ) except for a 4 year stint stationed in Germany w/ the Army. I grew up in PA and enjoyed the riding there. But I moved to the West for the riding opportunities. The powerlines that I see in the pics remind of riding in PA.

    Could someone tell me a little more about Vietnam? How large is it? Are there good XC loops? From the pics on this forum, it appears that there are adequate technical challenges for me.

    Are there other riding opportunities available as a daytrip from downtown boston? Anyone that can weigh in on riding a road bike in the city?
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  2. #2
    MC MasterShake
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    There is plenty of riding opportunities in the Boston area. The riding here is very technical with very little elevation. Definitely expect a different type of riding. Trails here (like the city streets) are not marked and can often be very confusing. Hooking in with the locals is the best way to find the best trails. There is a large road biking scene and it can be done in the city (although I wouldn't recommend it). The burbs have a ton of road options and there is amazing roadie stuff in VT, NH, and ME.

    Vietnam is a blast. It's a large park with lots of rocky technical riding. You really need a guide to find your way around these trails as there are tons of intersections going in all directions. I always get lost there myself. There are also 2 main "jump tracks" that have been built up and are a blast.

    There are riding options in all directions of Boston (accept for East, of course). I would recommend living either slightly west or north of the city to get the most options. I live north of Boston myself so I'm mostly familiar with that area. There's Middlesex Fells, Harold Parker, Lynn Woods, B&T's, Dogtown all with 40 minutes of the city. You go further north and you have Exeter, Mt. Aggie, Bear Brook. Go even further north and you have Kingdom Trails (an absolute must do trip), Highland (DH/FR), Millstone.

    Feel free to PM me if you want more detailed info.

    Cheers!

  3. #3
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    Thanks. That sounds pretty encouraging. There is also a possibility that Yosemite is going to offer me a job so I am pretty torn right now. Unfortunately, I would have to decline the Boston job and hold out for Yosemite.
    [SIZE="1"]MTBR disclaimer- Work in the industry from time 2 time. For the majority of the stuff that I use, I didn't pay retail price.[/SIZE]

  4. #4
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    Vietnam is about 1000 acres and while most of the press it gets is about free riding and the stunts , there is adequate XC loops.

    and each direction ( except east, well east has its own challenges ) has some very good riding. Woodyak covered North , west has Vietnam , Mt Pisgah, Calahan State Park, Upton State Park , The Blackstone canal, Rayburn, Singletary, Lake whitehall ,Douglas, Hodges, etc ,etc
    to the south you get Blue Hills, Foxboro, Borderland, Freetown , Wompatuck, Wrenthem,Otis , etc ,etc.

    and there is great riding in CT, NH and VT that is not too far away
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  5. #5
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    Look at the picture thread in this category
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  6. #6
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    Woodsguys maps. Some of them have his reviews with pictures.

    http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UT...6,3.537598&z=8

  7. #7
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    B.ray

    I'm a NH native, went to school @NAU and eventually came back east. Like the others have said, it is certainly a different type of riding. It's quite a bit more technical and the terrain variation is significant. You won't climb for the same overall elevation gain but the steeps will be steeper and you'll go from dry and smooth to wet to rock then to roots and back many times on most trails. You'll get in some nice long rides even though the prime riding areas don't have huge acreage. The trail layout makes the most use of area.

    If you're looking for more elevation gain, the Whites are about 2 hours north of Boston. Easy day trip.

    I got very spoiled in Flag and I certainly miss be acclimated to the thin air but the Northeast has everything and more. Think watersports.

    Have fun and good luck with the job.

  8. #8
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    Hey buddy-
    Moved back to Boston last year after 4.5 years in San Diego, which I'd consider to be pretty similar to AZ, at least in terms of climbing.

    New England riding is almost like a different sport compared to riding in the South West. You don't have those long ass, lung busting climbs followed by fast descents. But, the terrain is anything but flat. Its extremely "bumpy" I guess you could say, and is almost like a full body workout, with short burst like climbs and a little bit of trials thrown in.

    Anyways, my first dozen or so rides out here really threw me for a loop. Took some major adjustments. But now in year two, I don't think I'd trade back for So Cal.

    Compared to SoCal (can't speak for AZ) the MTB community is FAR more involved and active, which results in more trails, which are far better maintained. You should also factor in the half dozen or so lift accessed MTB parks with 2-3.5 hours from Boston, along with peddable mountain trails of VT and NH if you really start to jones for climbing.

    The main downside would be the winters, which IMO translate into 3-4 months of non-riding, although others go year round. You should also take into accoutn the non-riding aspects of Boston (i.e., super cool place to live).

  9. #9
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    Thanks everyone. In a way, I am looking forward to a season when I can't ride. just have to head down to Sedona here and can ride anytime. Sort of makes me take riding for granted. And I am looking forward to living in Boston.

    I did check out the photo thread. That's how I figured out there is ample technical challenges for me and the powerlines that I saw in photos reminded me of riding in PA. They always seemed to be a great connector.

    I'm a tech geek, so I wonder if anyone wants to weigh in the "one" bike for the riding in the area? I honestly found my one for the west. It is a Haro Xeon. But I think that the wheelbase might be a bit long out there.
    [SIZE="1"]MTBR disclaimer- Work in the industry from time 2 time. For the majority of the stuff that I use, I didn't pay retail price.[/SIZE]

  10. #10
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    You can get away using a hard tail, but if you want to have a blast running through single track, rock gardens and tree roots then I'd say nearly any 4" dualie would be your best bet.

    I can't help you on the drop offs and jumps as I just ride cross country.

  11. #11
    MC MasterShake
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    Quote Originally Posted by b.ray
    Thanks everyone. In a way, I am looking forward to a season when I can't ride. just have to head down to Sedona here and can ride anytime. Sort of makes me take riding for granted. And I am looking forward to living in Boston.

    I did check out the photo thread. That's how I figured out there is ample technical challenges for me and the powerlines that I saw in photos reminded me of riding in PA. They always seemed to be a great connector.

    I'm a tech geek, so I wonder if anyone wants to weigh in the "one" bike for the riding in the area? I honestly found my one for the west. It is a Haro Xeon. But I think that the wheelbase might be a bit long out there.
    The "one bike" all depends on what direction you are going to take your riding and how hard you are on equipment. I have a Delirum T for 90% of my riding with a Racer-X for endurance races. I'm pretty hard on equipment myself and I don't shy away from stunts, rock gardens, drops, etc. I started with a hardtail and slowly progressed up to a Knolly Delirium. The trails were manageable on various 4x4 and 5x5 level bikes that I owned, but I found myself going through parts and frames. It also limited how aggro I could go on the trails. Most of my buddies ride 6x6 or tough 5x5 bikes. Enduro, Stumpy, Heckler, Gruitr, 6.6, 575,RFX, Blur, Mach5 are some frames used in my circle. If you stay more on the XC end then you can obviously go lighter.

  12. #12
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    One bike

    Ah, the one bike question comes up again. If you want to ride everything New England has to offer, including epic XC (Kingdom Trails in VT), jumps and drops (Vietnam in MA), technical nastiness (Lynn Woods in MA - The best technical riding in North America if you believe bike magazine) and good old rocky, root New England singletrack (Harold Parker State Forest in MA), I am not sure there is a perfect bike. Trust me, I have searched for years but I don't really think there is a bike that can handle New England XC and technical New England Freeride equally well.

    That said, I know a lot of people that own just one All Mountain bike, suffer a little on those long XC rides and don't do the super technical stuff. The ones that I see consistently are Specialized Stumpjumpers and Enduros, Santa Cruz Hecklers and Blur LT's, Iron Horse MKIII, Ibis Mojo, Specialized Pitch, Pivot Mach 5, Kona Dawg, etc. As mentioned before, the 5 x 5 bikes rule in New England.

    I personally have two rides, one for XC and one for freeride. I have a Niner EMD for XC and a Transition Preston for the more technical stuff.

    Honestly, I have been really impressed at how good 29ers are on New England singletrack. I say keep the Xeon and build it up tough then score yourself a 29er for those long rides...

  13. #13
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    Thanks again for all the input everyone. This is just an interesting question for me to ask. I worked at the Yeti/Schwinn factory in Durango and at a shop here in Flag. So I am pretty in tune w/ the industry side of things. I have the gamut covered from Schwinn HG HT (set up as sweet commuter right now) to Specialized big hit hitting 5 and 6" in between. The big hit has been pretty irrelevant to me out here b/c i am morally opposed to shuttling. thinking that it could become a lot more relevant out of the mountains. But honestly looking to thin the stable a bit. Guess I'll just have to wait to see what works for me in NE. Rode some 29'ers at interbike and I was impressed. Maybe have to add another instead of thinning.
    [SIZE="1"]MTBR disclaimer- Work in the industry from time 2 time. For the majority of the stuff that I use, I didn't pay retail price.[/SIZE]

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