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  1. #1
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    How far would you (do you) drive for different trails?

    I'm curious as to how many hours you'd drive for different bike trails? Or maybe better trails? More interesting trails? Harder trails?

    I have four trail networks within 25 minutes of my house. They're all fun, flowy, trails and I can do 15+ miles at each one without having to run laps.

    But I recently discovered that I live a bit over two hours away from some of the best trails in the country. I'm in NE Atlanta and can be in Western NC and northern GA in under 2.5 hours. I recently drove up to Dupont and LOVED it. I may do that multiple times a month!

    But mountain biking, for me, isn't like skiing. I ride trail/XC so I climb every hill I descend. Given that, I don't drive 4 hours round trip to mountain bike for 8 hours, I drive 4 hours to mountain bike for 2-3 hours. Perfect to me!

    Agree?

  2. #2
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    My local trails in north Jersey are anywhere from 20 minutes to 45 minutes away and honestly, they are very, very good. This includes downhill at Mountain Creek (nee Diablo Bike Park). The trails at Raystown Lake in Pennsylvania are 200 + miles west (about 4 hours) and the Kingdom Trails in Vermont, about 300 miles north. These two are great areas but I don't consider them day trips.

    Raystown and Kingdom are wonderful flow trails but the stuff in my backyard is more technical. The last ice age glaciers stopped across north Jersey and deposited untold millions of rocks for your riding pleasure. Our climbs are probably like yours with nothing more than 1000 ft. vertical and that is lift served.

    I can drive an hour or two but it is essential for more of the same.

  3. #3
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    Like you, I have all of Atlanta's trails within +/- 1 hour away from me. I only do the 2+ hour drives a couple times a year and usually that for a long weekend in Brevard or Asheville.

    I try to keep the driving/riding ratio on the plus side of riding as much as possible.
    How can anyone who's been riding as long as I have, be so slow???

  4. #4
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    I'm on the other side of the City from Rev Bubba in CT, so same situation. 100s of miles of trail within 45 min drive.

    I do see a 2 hour drive as no biggie, but want my 4 hours of riding. That gets me to the holyoke range and then some...

    3+ hours is a full weekend trip commitment and opens up most of the north east.

    I do make a 1.5 hour drive every other weekend to DH at Mt.Creek.

    EDIT: Just got back from Asheville, if I had that within 3 hours, I'd be there multiple times a season. I have Kingdom north of me 4ish hours, but just don't dig it enough to do it more than every couple years, Asheville area though, once a month if it was easy... Farlow Gap!

  5. #5
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    I have a loop that's a mile from my house that I ride on my bike to. I get 10 miles and 500ft elevation gain so not bad for an hour but it isn't much fun. One trail is about 20 minutes away one town over that's a lot of fun. I frequent that one pretty much every weekend. Out of town for me is going to Austin or Waco which are both an hour or more away each direction. So thats like 2+ hours driving time which is for usually 3-4 hours riding time. That only happens like twice a month if we find someone willing to watch my insane 18 month old daughter.

  6. #6
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    I live in New England, and like Bubba, i have a lot of stuff local, but often travel more than an hour to get to the Highland to ride downhill. my group will usually stay within a half hour from home on the weeknights. my local trails have a lot of variety, so i dont feel the need to travel far very often, but on the weekends we will venture a few hours further. a few times a year we will go on big bike trips, often camping overnight and making a whole weekend out of it. Vermont is full of awesome riding, usually within about 4 hours of driving. this winter we drove all the way to Cleveland Ohio to ride Ray's. and i have taken trips out to Moab and Colorado to ride. i would like to get to whistler at some point.
    when i get bored of a trail, i will switch up the bike before i start driving longer distances to get to new trails. i have found that riding a SS or a fat bike changes things drastically and make old familiar trails feel brand new and foreign.
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  7. #7
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    I live in Chattanooga, Tennessee so I have a ton of awesome trails all around me. When I have time (never) I will drive up to 3 hours for new trails

  8. #8
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    I live in Michigan where it's mainly flat so I would love to take a trip to the mountains and try a real challenging trail with mostly climbing at the beginning and descending at the end. Most of our trails have small hills ups/ downs/ some of the trails are surprisingly technical though and kept up real well. I feel like I've mastered everything here though and been just time trialing myself everytime I go out using Strava. Would be nice to make a weekend trip somewhere with friends and try something new.

  9. #9
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    I'm surrounded by corn here in Springfield, IL
    So our trails are short. Can be fun though. 5-10 minutes away too.
    I need to head north to Peoria. Supposed to be awesome up there.
    2'ish hours away for the good stuff.

  10. #10
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    I drive 30-120 minutes to get to my favorite big mountain rides, but otherwise I just ride my local trail network. People come here to ride, and we're an IMBA ride center. I've ridden a few times in some of the other communities like Bozeman and Missoula, but it's not usually worth my time just for the riding. If something's going on, or I'm visiting friends, then it's worth it.
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  11. #11
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    Front range Colorado. Weekdays 15-40 minutes to ride. Weekends closer to an hour if I stay close to home just to get to something different or high elevation. Weekend trips range from a 2-3 hours deeper into the mountains to close to 6 to places like Moab. Variety is the spice of life.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by KevinGT View Post
    I'm curious as to how many hours you'd drive for different bike trails? Or maybe better trails? More interesting trails? Harder trails?

    I have four trail networks within 25 minutes of my house. They're all fun, flowy, trails and I can do 15+ miles at each one without having to run laps.
    I have 4-5 trail systems with in 25 min from my house as well each of which offers 1 to 4 hrs of riding depending on how far I want to ride. I will drive to trails as well, but doing do depends on a number of factors.
    1) Time... do I have time drive ride an then drive home. Some days I do, but more often than not I don't
    2) Weather... this time of year it is hot here (Phoenix) so riding locally is limited to early morning or late evening/night. However driving 90 minutes to 2 hrs can get me to cooler "ride all day" temps. That makes it more attractive to drive.
    3) Trail quality/mileage/hrs. I will also drive for a good trail, but I would like total ride time to be at least pretty close to the drive time. I don't want to drive 2hrs each way for a 1 hour ride. The trails I have local are good enough to make that pointless.

    As for distance I am about 3hrs max (one way) drive time to do a ride simply because I like to keep things to a day. If I must overnight then I consider it more of a trip than just going for a ride. Trips are cool too, but there must be a destination worth it and it may happen only once a year.
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  13. #13
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    2-10 minutes to my "local", 2 hours is about the limit for a day trip, anything longer than that and I'll make a weekend out of it.

  14. #14
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    I have three great trails within an hours drive here in florida. Santos is about two hours away. I have driven to Georgia twice in the past three months and I LOVED IT!!! I have no problem in driving 8 hours each way for an extended weekend of killer trails!
    To have lived without passion, adventure, and thrill, is to never lived at all!!! YOU CAN'T FIX STUPID!

  15. #15
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    Here in the DFW area, I'm all around the great DORBA trails, and live about 5 minutes away from Rowlett Creek Preserve and Squabble Creek. We plan camping trips around state parks having better biking trails, so we've driven 3/4 hours to camp/ride. For a day trip, we try to limit them to 1.5/2 hours. Northshore is about an hour away in traffic, 40 minutes without.

  16. #16
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    I live in Durango, what is driving?
    Craig, Durango CO
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by cbrossman View Post
    I live in Durango, what is driving?
    I visited there recently, don't rub it in. Twin Buttes (?) in particular was a blast.

    I like riding a lot more than driving so I'd take a mediocre trail that's close over an epic one hours away any time.

  18. #18
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    I live in phx but I love riding in sedona and flagstaff.

    So I will drive an hour and a half to 3 hours to ride.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by cbrossman View Post
    I live in Durango, what is driving?
    Well you are lucky.....will be in Durango starting this Friday for 10 days!

    I live in Golden so can ride from my house and regularly drive to Breckenridge to ride about an hour away. Longest one day trip I did was Monarch Crest....spent 5 hours total in the car. Won't do that again.

  20. #20
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    Like many other's , I live in a mtnbiking meca littered with hundreds of miles of trails " VA/WV state line ".

    I drive to a new trail-head every other weekend and simply hang my camping hammock and ride all weekend. It's a blast !

    This past spring I drove 8 hrs into Ohio to ride Mohican, it was worth it

    The kids are grown and the wife is a driven career woman " I'm not " so I've got nothing but time.....Harmony at it's best. lol

  21. #21
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    I live in Monument, CO. 200 meters of dirt road to get from my house to many many miles of trails. I moved here for the trails and I rarely drive to ride. Once in a while, I'll drive to Pueblo (~1.5 hours), Fruita (~5 hours), or Moab (~6.5 hours). Since having kids, I prefer to spend my time riding trails more than driving to trails.
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  22. #22
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    Ohio MTBing has a lot of variety - except mountains, that is.

    Locally, within 1 hr. of driving, there are 3 or 4 trails that people come from far and wide to ride. Closer in, we have about 5 more (more basic trails). These are all easy 1/2 day trips.
    There's a 2 hour drive no-man's land in which there is maybe 1 trail I like. Not sure how that happens.
    If I drive over 2 hours (Southern OH, Eastern PA, Eastern NY), I am probably staying overnight so I don't fall asleep at the wheel on the way home.
    I'd be perfectly happy driving to VT, GA, NC, or WV if I was riding at least 3 days.
    And man, I gotta get up to Copper Harbor, MI in the Fall.

    Going out West is a maybe. If I can't handle the elevation, how much fun would I have?

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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fleas View Post
    Going out West is a maybe. If I can't handle the elevation, how much fun would I have?

    -F
    Just take it easy and hydrate. No need to really be scared of the elevation... A mediocre trail day in Colorado is still damn good! :-)
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  24. #24
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    I have over 100 miles of trails within 30-40 minutes but the only trails right out my door suck (about 50ft gain per 20 miles)

    There's an absolutely insane amount of trails if I'm willing to venture out beyond that.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    I visited there recently, don't rub it in. Twin Buttes (?) in particular was a blast.

    I like riding a lot more than driving so I'd take a mediocre trail that's close over an epic one hours away any time.
    Sorry but if you are fortunate enough to go to Durango and you spend your time riding mediocre locals trails rather than all the amazing high alpine riding they have, that is a major fail. If you're not willing to drive an hour for amazing riding then IMO you don't have "passion".

    I can do 50 miles of mostly dirt out my door in San diego, but the riding is just "ok". For a 20 min drive from home or work I can get to a dozen riding areas that range from "meh" to good. These are my after work or need a quicky weekend rides.

    I'll drive an hour for a day ride, on rare occasions up to 2 hours. Mostly over an hour and a half driving I want to make it a weekend.

    Beyond 3 hours it has to be a weekend or better a long weekend. My max for a long weekend is what I can drive to after work, or around 7 hours. From San diego this can get us to a ton of awesome riding: Vegas, Gooseberry, Sedona, Flag, Prescott, Sierras, anywhere in SoCal.

    Variety is the spice of life and we have some amazing riding. You are doing yourself a disservice as a MTBer if you are not checking out some of this great riding when you have the opportunity to do so.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by evdog View Post
    Sorry but if you are fortunate enough to go to Durango and you spend your time riding mediocre locals trails rather than all the amazing high alpine riding they have, that is a major fail. If you're not willing to drive an hour for amazing riding then IMO you don't have "passion".

    I had other obligations and besides, leaving from your front door (carless) and finding yourself on singletrack within 5 minutes is priceless IMO. I would rather spend the 2 hours (round trip) that would be otherwise wasted driving riding instead. Maybe your passion is driving?

  27. #27
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    I don't have any of your luxury to drive more than that except in tight twisty turns or I'd be off the island, that being said, hell yes I'd do that drive a couple times a month to switch things up. Unlike you though, I'd be up there to ride 5-6 hours in a day if I only went for one, but more likely would stay over night and ride for two days to make it worth while.

    Quote Originally Posted by KevinGT View Post
    I'm curious as to how many hours you'd drive for different bike trails? Or maybe better trails? More interesting trails? Harder trails?

    I have four trail networks within 25 minutes of my house. They're all fun, flowy, trails and I can do 15+ miles at each one without having to run laps.

    But I recently discovered that I live a bit over two hours away from some of the best trails in the country. I'm in NE Atlanta and can be in Western NC and northern GA in under 2.5 hours. I recently drove up to Dupont and LOVED it. I may do that multiple times a month!

    But mountain biking, for me, isn't like skiing. I ride trail/XC so I climb every hill I descend. Given that, I don't drive 4 hours round trip to mountain bike for 8 hours, I drive 4 hours to mountain bike for 2-3 hours. Perfect to me!

    Agree?
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  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    I had other obligations and besides, leaving from your front door (carless) and finding yourself on singletrack within 5 minutes is priceless IMO. I would rather spend the 2 hours (round trip) that would be otherwise wasted driving riding instead. Maybe your passion is driving?
    If I spent that extra 2 hours riding my local trails every time, I would soon be bored to tears. Local trails you can ride to are awesome but they are for after work or days when I don't have time to venture further. Of course driving to ride is a trade off and I ride my ass off to make the most of my time. But there is so much amazing riding out there, why would you not want to check it out when you can. When I am old and on my deathbed, wishing I rode more laps on my local trails will not be one of my regrets in life.

  29. #29
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    In Portland I have trails I can ride to. There are trails that are an easy 15 minute drive, and there are trails that are an hour and a half drive. When I'm not worried about fuel cost and food money I'll take a trip a ways out. Though, generally, with all the trails that are easy to get to in my area, I'm usually using the local trails.
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  30. #30
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    On average, I drive 200+ miles per week for mountain biking. I'm about 80 miles from santa cruz, 100 miles from sonoma, 120 miles from auburn, 20 miles from a local wednesday night diablo group ride and 75 miles from another wednesday evening skeggs group ride. I have local trails 5 and 10 miles from my house but those trail systems suck and I only use them for the occasional test ride or recovery ride. If I didn't travel so much, my riding would feel a lot like training. I think riding different terrain and seeing new trail features on a regular basis stretches the cognitive aspects of trail riding, which I think is equally as important as physical fitness on a bike. I like to race most of the grassroots XC and endurance type stuff around here so I'm used to traveling. When there isn't a race I feel like I still need to pack up the car and drive somewhere. I live in the bay area, california.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by evdog View Post
    When I am old and on my deathbed, wishing I rode more laps on my local trails will not be one of my regrets in life.
    Well, I guess everyone is different. Spending time driving to better trails is a much lower priority than spending time with my family...Situations and priorities vary from person to person. Living in Vancouver, I bet you have some excellent trails to drive to!
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  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by evdog View Post
    If I spent that extra 2 hours riding my local trails every time, I would soon be bored to tears. Local trails you can ride to are awesome but they are for after work or days when I don't have time to venture further. Of course driving to ride is a trade off and I ride my ass off to make the most of my time. But there is so much amazing riding out there, why would you not want to check it out when you can. When I am old and on my deathbed, wishing I rode more laps on my local trails will not be one of my regrets in life.

    You are painting "local trails" with a generic brush. Some of us have local trails that are destination trails for others. Part of the passion for me is knowing I can ride great trails from my house without having to deal with loading up a vehicle, driving, and burning fuel just to ride my bike. I wouldn't call my local trails epic, but they are far from boring.

    Quote Originally Posted by baker
    Living in Vancouver, I bet you have some excellent trails to drive to!
    Since when is San Diego in Vancouver??

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by BumpityBump View Post
    Since when is San Diego in Vancouver??
    Err, what? I don't believe I ever referenced you or San Diego (which I have heard has some decent riding)...
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  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by pdxmark View Post
    In Portland I have trails I can ride to. There are trails that are an easy 15 minute drive, and there are trails that are an hour and a half drive. When I'm not worried about fuel cost and food money I'll take a trip a ways out. Though, generally, with all the trails that are easy to get to in my area, I'm usually using the local trails.
    I too am in Portland and it seems anything worth riding is at least an hour outside of the city (with no traffic). On weekends I drive 3 hour round trips both days to get my fix in. Portland does not have decent trails, but we are fortunate enough to have many fantastic trail systems within 1.5 hours away. Got to pay to play

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by baker View Post
    Err, what? I don't believe I ever referenced you or San Diego (which I have heard has some decent riding)...
    Sorry, to clarify, evdog said he lives in San Diego, I thought your Vancouver reference was toward him.

  36. #36
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    I normally ride some local trails, occasionally I'll go up to Trumbull, CT which isn't far at all. Summer of 2016 I plan to head out to Whistler for a few weeks with some friends of mine. We plan to do some XC riding and of course some downhill.

  37. #37
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    Re: How far would you (do you) drive for different trails?

    I just can't wrap my head around the mentality of "I live in 'x' city, so why travel?". Maybe if that x is whistler. Maybe.

    Even if I lived in Brevard, or Chattanooga, or... I'd still travel to ride. No place has every construction style, or every type of terrain. People in different places build trails in different ways, and experiencing that variety is amazing and addicting. You ATL guys should consider Chattanooga btw. Sick riding. Chattanooga guys should consider Birmingham and Anniston.

    I live in Michigan, and my favorite kind of riding is ultra tech and bouldering. We have scores of trails within an hour, and they are great, but none of them quench my thirst for Pennsylvania rocks. I spend three weeks a year driving thousands of miles to sample new dirt. A couple weekends in there too. Highlight of my year.

    Agree with most that 2 hours is the day trip limit. But I've driven across multiple states, just to avoid inclement weather, and to ride 20 milez of new dirt, before moving on to the next place. I don't bother trying to justify the time or cost. The experience is priceless, and totally worth it.

  38. #38
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    How far would you (do you) drive for different trails?

    Headed out Wednesday for a trip to Oregon from SoCal (18 hours) for some trails

  39. #39
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    Living here in So-Cal, I am surrounded by amazing riding. I usually travel about 10-15 miles to get to my usual rides, and 45 miles to get to the really good stuff. Just for fitness, I ride from my front door a couple days a week. Usually 1-2 times a year, I travel about 130 miles to get up to the Sierra's for truly Epic riding. I'm not opposed to traveling further to experience new terrain, but for me it's a economic thing too. Travel cost money I just don't have at this time, so that plays into the equation for me.

  40. #40
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    Personally, I wouldn't drive more than 45 minutes to an hour to get to a trail. This limits me to only a few trails but I don't care.

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by BumpityBump View Post
    You are painting "local trails" with a generic brush. Some of us have local trails that are destination trails for others. Part of the passion for me is knowing I can ride great trails from my house without having to deal with loading up a vehicle, driving, and burning fuel just to ride my bike. I wouldn't call my local trails epic, but they are far from boring.



    Since when is San Diego in Vancouver??
    Totally disagree with this. If this was really the case, ANYONE who would drive to trails would ALWAYS drive to your SAME trails, but people obviously ride other trails on this planet. I just did a 40-45 miler yesterday (see pic) from my house...BUT you gotta change it up and experience other stuff. Day before was a DH race at the ski resort 30-45 min South. Before I lived here, I lived pretty close to Sedona. Did I ride Sedona every time? Heck no. I had lots and lots of trails in my immediate area, but Flagstaff had more variety and vertical, whereas Sedona had better views and interesting features, then there was Phoenix, which had all kinds of varied riding in the Valley. Then there were longer trips to places in the White Mountains, Pinal Peak, CA, etc. That's just one of the places I've lived, but even with great local trails it's fun to go mix it up and explore. Do a challenging ride somewhere else. Do something you haven't done before.

    Drive 2hrs each way each weekend? Heck no. Drive maybe an hour each way one day and maybe 2hrs each way once a month? Sure! Maybe an additional trip one month or a light month another.

    How far would you (do you) drive for different trails?-img_1046s.jpg
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  42. #42
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    Hell I have to drive 35-45mins minimum to get to a trail. Unless for some reason I have a weekday off I only hit trails on the weekends these days with having kids and all. But anytime we go out of town I bring my bike with so I can ride whatever is in the area were going. I'd like to drive less for normal rides but have no issues traveling on a weekend and finding something new.
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  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    Totally disagree with this. If this was really the case, ANYONE who would drive to trails would ALWAYS drive to your SAME trails, but people obviously ride other trails on this planet.
    Your comment implies that I said my local trails are the only ones worth driving to ride. I never said that. I was disagreeing with the "local" trails being boring comment. My point was that not all local trails are the same just because they are "local", thus the same brush comment. Granted, what bores some, wouldn't have the same effect on others.

    I have ridden a lot of places in numerous states over the last 25 years, I'm pretty happy where I'm at now and don't feel the need to travel much unless I am in an area for other reasons (Southwest UT later this month, and a 40 mile drive to a new area this morning to ride with a good friend I hadn't seen in quite a few months). There is no disagreeing with it, because that's what works for ME.

  44. #44
    since 4/10/2009
    Reputation: Harold's Avatar
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    I just drove 3hrs each way to sample some new dirt today. It's steeper than the stuff I usually ride, and more rocky, so I did fewer miles. I still had a great ride. I just wish I'd had more time to ride throughout the summer so I could have handled more miles today.

    I have trails much closer to home. There are two between my house and where I work. All in all, I have 3 not bad trails within half an hour. A couple more short super beginner trails not much worth my time. Another one about 30-45min away. Some real destination type trails an hour or so away. I still haven't ridden everything in THAT area yet. And more is getting built there, too.

    I definitely hit the stuff close to home after work, but also occasionally on weekends when I can't/don't want to travel far.

  45. #45
    mtbr member
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    Quote Originally Posted by steadyflow View Post
    Well you are lucky.....will be in Durango starting this Friday for 10 days!

    I live in Golden so can ride from my house and regularly drive to Breckenridge to ride about an hour away. Longest one day trip I did was Monarch Crest....spent 5 hours total in the car. Won't do that again.
    That was just a smart-ass comment on my part. I do drive on weekends to hit the high country stuff, but that can usually be had with an hour or less of driving. And there are road trips, Fruita, Moab, Sedona and such, but those are typically done when the high country is out of season.
    Still, there is a lot of very good riding to be had within a couple of mile of town.
    Craig, Durango CO
    "Lighten up PAL" ... King Cage

  46. #46
    2006 Yeti AS-X
    Reputation: Lawson Raider's Avatar
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    The longest I have driven to drive trails was 852 miles (Kansas City to Fruita, Colorado). 1000 if you count Moab which was a side trip from Fruita.

    I go to Fruita every year and have been for the past 4 years. It's been an annual pilgrimage to me and I never get tired of those trails. I love it now just as I did the first time I rode them way back in May, 2010.
    I don't use Strava. Don't need an application to tell me I am slow because I already know.

  47. #47
    meh... whatever
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    i'll drive as far as needed to get to the good stuff! i don't consider the 16 hour drive to moab too far to go ride for a few days and head back.

    ozarks are 5 hours away. pisgah about the same as moab. lots of good places in between.

    headed up to the pacific nw next spring for some riding. bend, eugene, BC, vancouver, bellingham, etc.
    "Knowledge is good." ~ Emil Faber

  48. #48
    psycho cyclo addict
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    I can pedal to the trail I maintain and a couple of others.

    More interesting/rocky/technical ones are 40 min to an hour or so by car. Which I go to maybe 10-12 times a year.

    I typically do ~4 road trips up to ~200 mi away every year as well...
    【ツ】 eDub 【ツ】

  49. #49
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    Spent 20 hours in the truck this weekend for 1 glorious day of riding.
    15 Yeti ASR-c
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    15 Roubaix S-Works

  50. #50
    Perpetual n00b
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    Drove 10 hours from Ogden, UT to McKenzie River Trail in Oregon this weekend. Worth it.

    How far would you (do you) drive for different trails?-10598336_1535357500013276_480396788_n.jpg
    The leg bone's connected to the Cash Bone!

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