Help my outlook
Reaching out to NJ & NY mtbr folks to hopefully help improve my outlook and give me the 411 on the mtb (and general bike) scene out there.
Due to my wife having a to good to pass up job opportunity in NYC, it looks like we'll be moving from the SF Bay Area to the NYC region in early 2013. Been in the Bay Area for 17 yrs, so it will be hard to leave. Hardest thing to imagine is giving up the riding opportunities, and the thought of having limited riding nearby is a very depressing thought (like an empty bottle of scotch depressing). I'm a cyclist at heart, and love it all - mtb, road, cross, track - and have a quiver of bikes to support the addiction. We have two young kids, and are considering moving to the Montclair area to be near my wife's sister and her family in Short Hills.
I am looking for suggestions (and quite honestly some mtbr moral support that I won't be a lost soul) as far as local places and destinations within an hour or two to ride, places to live near riding, even what bike(s) you consider practical and/or suitable for the trails out there.
I'm really hoping that my riding won't have to turn into riding the recumbent at the gym...
there are tons of trails on long island
local group that maintains all the trails
CLIMB - Concerned Long Island Mountain Bicyclists
I'm guessing you didn't do much research before posting... Short answer, there are tons of riding opportunites in that area.
Bicycle Long Island (CLIMB)
www.JORBA.org | JORBA - You Dig?
There's plenty of good riding in NJ near where you're looking. Within two hours there are nearly limitless opportunities and most of it is pretty well worth the trip. If it was me I'd choose some place other than Jersey though. The whole tri-state area is pretty tight so even if you were in SW CT it wouldn't be more than an hour or so for her to go visit her sis and it would put you in a better place for riding, skiing and just generally better for outdoor type stuff.
Thanks for the suggestions so far.
Maybe he did but wasn't sure about distances of trails from where he might live, impact of traffic getting to those trails, and how the trails he's reading about actually are.
Originally Posted by jmitchell13
Lots of people like to check multiple places to get additional information, this is after all a forum to help people who have questions. What does it matter what "research" he's done so far?
Good listing above. There is a lot to ride. Add these:
Originally Posted by jmitchell13
Fats in the Cats Bicycle Club | Get Involved Ya’ Bums!
Category:Trail Directory - mtbNJ.com Wiki
Most of the MTBNJ stuff is on JORBA site.
a once and future expert
If you're stuck to the idea of NJ, moving to Ringwood NJ would centralize you somewhat to established trail networks. Ringwood is just over the border from Rockland Co, NY and would offer you access to large trail networks less than 15 min. from the town's edge. Ringwood and Sterling Lake immediately come to mind, plus Mountain Creek for DH. Less than an hour from there gets you Sprain, Blue Mountain in Peekskill and a whole host of other riding destinations.
On the flip of that, the Hudson Valley in NY has at least one major MTB riding destination/trail network in each county. Living here, I've never run out of variety or choice, no one place gets too stale due to being over ridden. From Stewart Buffer Lands to Jockey Hill/Onteora Lake, 909 Taconic/Hereford MUA, Ninham and Blue Mountains... There's options for epic rides at most and new networks being built by local riding clubs.
even for those of us who live right in the city, you are only a 20-40 train ride to MTB trails outside the city and tons of road based cycling clubs and velodrome in Queens to get your track fix. You'll enjoy seeing the city on a bike, best way to get acquainted with it you can cover so much ground and see so many neighborhoods
Lots of good info above, the end of it being though - you won't be without a place to ride in this area. And I (we?) are sure you may enjoy the slightly different terrain you may be accustomed to. I'm based in westchester and our local county parks are excellent (wmba.org) so naturally, I can recommend this area.
Don't fret, just because we're in the shadow of NYC doesn't mean we don't have awesome mtb riding... http://wmba.org/blog/wp-content/uplo...thomegrown.jpg
Video Trail Reviews.Com Trail Directory
And if you want to get a feel for some of these trails. Check out these awesome videos at above link.
I don't live in the immediate NYC area but I went through a very similar move from Phoenix to Boston about 3 years ago. Having been working here 2-3 weeks out of most months for much of 1 summer (flying cross country) I had heard people talk about the relentless winters, the idea of not riding for any period of the year was just not something I was willing to accept. When I was asked to move permanently for a job opportunity, mainly keeping my job, I was left with little choice. What I found after spending a few years here is not only is the Northeast MTB community alive and well, they are some of the oldest, most organized, and well ran in the country. The NEMBA is 2nd oldest only to the bay area, from what one of the chapter presidents told me. Being in the NYC area means you'll have plenty of access to the NEMBA trails in SWCT. Also keep in mind in the Northeast states are relatively small, so don't let the idea of ride in Central CT concern you too much, I think it's only a few hours from NYC. CT has some of the best riding I've seen and having been out here 3 years, mainly exploring the New England states I've yet to make it down to much of what NY State has to offer, but I've read a lot of great reviews about Blue Mountain and there's even a NYCMTB that offers 3 trails right in NYC boarders, I don't know of many large cities that have anything like that, let alone the biggest city in America.
I felt your pain, and although I can't talk to NY specifically, there's enough cross over between Boston and NYC that I've met tons of riders from that area and there is no shortage of opportunities. One huge advantage the east coast has over the west coast is population of people spread out among big areas. You can literally take road trips across New England and New York and hit town after town for riding spots, I've done one of thes trips every summer. This year we went through Vermont and visited Kingdom Trails, Stowe, Waterbury, The Green Mountain Trails, and a few other off the cusp places. We didn't even cover 10% of the VT riding but the scene is just blowing up there and the communities embrace it like no where I've ever seen before.
Don't let the idea of a concrete jungle with little recreation fool you. Yes, in NYC you'll get to experience the best food, art, culture, music, etc... that the country has to offer but the mountains are not that far away, and if I've heard right you can even access some great riding destinations via rail, no car required. There are a lot of advantages that shouldn't be quickly overlooked.
On the flip side of the coin, you will probably need to adjust to the climate a bit. I know Long Island has year round riding options, that will have dirt available most times of the year in. In New England we can usually head to the cape even on the snowiest of winters and find dirt. This will now be my 4th winter here and I've yet to have to be off dirt trails more than 2-3 weeks thorugh any winter.
Hopefully that helps. Figured I'd share my story since it sounds somewhat similar.
Originally Posted by plantdude
Things are looking up, thanks for all the suggestions and links.
Coming out this week for some reconnaissance...
Lots and lots
There is so much more legal (and varied) singletrack in the NY metro area than the Bay area that it's not even funny. Good responses above, not to mention PA and the many, many nearby road trip opportunities.
Demo and Tamarancho are great, and Mendo-Ft. Bragg has the big network with a little travel, but overall, (especially for singletrack) options are much more limited in SF. Happy hunting!
Just to add to what others have said - plenty of riding around.
Originally Posted by plantdude
I'm in Danbury, CT after moving out here a few years ago from CO. The amount of good technical riding (the kinda' stuff i like ) around me is just plain stupid. Within, say, an hour of my house in pretty much any direction, the riding options are astounding.
I'll echo the road trip sentiments. I've done a few road trips around here. You can make an incredibly nice riding vacation out of things, and not actually have to be doing a ton of driving.
Florence Nightingale's Stormtrooper