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!
The 29er experiment proved that 26" wheels were just fine and that 650b wheels are completely unnecessary.
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.
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???
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!
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.
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.
Originally Posted by Optimus
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
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.
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.
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.
"Back off, man. I'm a scientist." - Dr. Peter Venkman
Riding in Helena? Everything you need to know, right here
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.
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.
Originally Posted by KevinGT
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.
2003 KHS Alite 4000 26" Hardtail - XC, All mountain, blah blah blah.. I just ride.
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.
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!
Lefty For LIFE!!!!! To have lived without passion, adventure, and thrill, is to never lived at all!!!
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.
I live in Durango, what is driving?
Craig, Durango CO
"Lighten up PAL" ... King Cage
I visited there recently, don't rub it in. Twin Buttes (?) in particular was a blast.
Originally Posted by cbrossman
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.
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.
Well you are lucky.....will be in Durango starting this Friday for 10 days!
Originally Posted by cbrossman
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.
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
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.
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?
It's never easier - you just go faster.
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! :-)
Originally Posted by Fleas
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.
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".
Originally Posted by J.B. Weld
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.
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