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  1. #1
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    Mountain bike road trip

    If you had a month (or two) and were to pack up a car and just drive around the country to ride mountain bikes and see the sights, where would you go?

  2. #2
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    All through AZ, then through UT, then through CO, then Nor Cal.
    ...and proud member of the anti-sock puppet desolation

  3. #3
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    The Rockies (CO, ID, WY, BC, and MT).

  4. #4
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    I did this a couple years back. Started in UT, then CO and AZ starting in early/mid Sept for 5 weeks. Got to see the full cycle of aspens turning at all elevations. Search my posts for ideas. Really you won't go wrong with anything Rockies or west. This is an awesome time to do a trip as temps are starting to cool down but high elevation is not yet frigid, and the weather is stable. Have fun and take lots of pics!

    My main advice would be to check out stuff much farther from home than you can do on long weekend road trips. Your profile says Portland. You could go north through WA to BC which could easily take up your whole trip. Or keep going west to MT, WY, CO, UT, etc. Lots of great riding you could do on a big loop any direction.

    What kind of riding do you want to do?

  5. #5
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    I'm selling my house and will make a good coin, and I'm not sure if I'm staying in Portland afterwards. So the plan is to pack up the car, bring 1 bike (currently a Giant Reign, but contemplating getting a Bronson) and check out all prospects for future living. CO is on top of that list.

    As for riding, I like all types. With only 1 bike, it'll likely be fast flowy XC, and more technical AM type trails. A few lift access days would be good too. By the time my house sells and closes, it'll likely be October, so the trip may have to wait till next season. Or I can take 2!

  6. #6
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    BC

    I have a friend who travelled by train from Ontario to BC. He is having a blast working building trails with Jay Hoots and riding in the interior BC.
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  7. #7
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    great thread, I'll be watching with interest. this has always been a dream of mine but I never could pull it off with family and all the rest of life. East Coast suggestions welcome too!
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  8. #8
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    I'd start in socal and work my way up through NV, AZ, UT, ID, OR, WA and finally ending in BC.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hawg View Post
    All through AZ, then through UT, then through CO, then Nor Cal.
    Pretty much this, particularly AZ where I did some riding for the first time this past winter. Very impressed with the AZ Trail. I'd also hit St. George, UT, which I keep hearing has great trails.

  10. #10
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    Because I live in Atlanta, I'd start in the SE.

    Asheville
    Front Range
    Summit County
    Eastern Slope Rockies
    Utah
    North to WY/Idaho maybe?
    BC
    And then fly home and have my car shipped
    I live with fear and danger every day. And on the weekends she lets me go mountain biking.

  11. #11
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    I would take 6 months, starting in the winter in the southwestern desert states and working my way north into the PNW and BC by the summer. Would take some zig-zagging east and west across the Sierras/Cascades and the coastal mountains to reach everything of interest.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drewbis1 View Post
    check out all prospects for future living. CO is on top of that list.
    Checking out possible places to live might change your direction. What sort of work do you do (or want to do)? That can be a big limiting factor. Also, are you into snow sports? I am not, so for me places like MT, CO etc are more for visiting in the summer because the higher elevation means too short of a riding season. I want to ride year round.

    Some of my criteria: be at or near destination class riding, not too sucky of a winter, reasonable distance to other destinations for riding (high elevations for summer and low for winter), and big enough to have decent transportation options (airport) without being a massive city. Some places I would consider: Durango, St George/Hurricane, Fruita/GJ, Prescott/Flag/Sedona area. PNW is possible too though I'd rather not deal with rain all winter. I lived in Vancouver for 10 yrs and could definitely live in BC again. San Diego is not bad either, good year round riding and we can get to a lot of places for a long weekend, though many require driving through LA. Somewhere like Big Bear would work too.

    Quote Originally Posted by Drewbis1 View Post
    With only 1 bike, it'll likely be fast flowy XC, and more technical AM type trails. A few lift access days would be good too.
    You can do a lot with a reign or bronson. Then just rent a DH bike if you want to hit lift access. Personally I would skip the lift access as I think the best riding is some of the epics you can do, especially high country if you are interested in CO. You may have to wait til July for that. But much of the southwest will be good into November.

    And yes, take as much time as you possibly can. You only live once, make the most of it!

  13. #13
    North Van/Whistler
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drewbis1 View Post
    I'm selling my house and will make a good coin, and I'm not sure if I'm staying in Portland afterwards. So the plan is to pack up the car, bring 1 bike (currently a Giant Reign, but contemplating getting a Bronson) and check out all prospects for future living. CO is on top of that list.

    As for riding, I like all types. With only 1 bike, it'll likely be fast flowy XC, and more technical AM type trails. A few lift access days would be good too. By the time my house sells and closes, it'll likely be October, so the trip may have to wait till next season. Or I can take 2!
    In October the SW US area will be prime. As will AZ and NM which is also awesome. Or like you said just take 2
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  14. #14
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    If you are interested in the east coast stuff, I'd just follow the Appalachians. I think you'd be safe to find good trail pretty much anywhere along the length of that range, but a few destinations stand out: Western NC/SC/N.GA/E.TN. PACKED with great trails around here. You don't hear a lot about WV these days, but there are still a lot of trails there. Not as much new stuff talked about lately, though. PA has some great stuff, and the rocks are notorious. And the rocks don't go away as you head farther north.

    Other places in the "east" that you may not think of being a west coaster:
    NW Arkansas is a bucket list destination for me. Lots of big mileage bikepacking stuff out here.
    Southern IN/Northern KY is sorta my backyard. Lots of flowy singletrack here, with some chunky stuff thrown in for good measure. Trail mileage is increasing pretty quickly in this region. Bike Magazine did an article about this area recently, and it doesn't address even half of the good stuff. Middle Ground: Indiana's trail network ? BIKE Magazine Louisville has a pretty ambitious plan in play. The Brown County area in Indiana is shaping up to be even bigger. We've had a big plan here in play for a lot of years, and pieces are falling together.
    Copper Harbor in MI is another place with some great trails. It's a bit more reminiscent of the stuff in BC. Not so much my kind of riding, but I've heard it's great from riding buddies who have gone there.

    If I had a month or two, I'd travel farther afield, honestly. I would want to include destinations on both coasts, as well as some of the stuff in the middle. Variety is the spice of life.

  15. #15
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    I like the CO, UT, AZ and NorCal ideas. Along with the east coast. Those western and central states are definite musts, and if my wheels end up taking me back east (my whole family is still in Upstate NY), then I'll have to check out the Appalachian Mountains along with VT and Maine.

    For work, I weld so it's fairly easy to find work in most places. Those plans of a career could be changing in the near future as well.

  16. #16
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    i couldn't resist. lots of good advice out there, hit that high country!

  17. #17
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    Leave from L.A. and go up the california coast up thru oregon and washington. Then back down thru the inland area of those same states till L.A.

  18. #18
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    li'd head straight for the SW. CO is a gamble then with the weather, but if it holds, ride a few days on CO trail near durango then hit up NM, AZ, UT. All will be primo riding season that time of year. and its all pretty close by. you could base out of 4 corners area, and be in grand junction, moab, SW CO, all within a half days drive. i moved to NM from PDX and really enjoy the riding out here (but really miss the beer and coffee in PDX). i did a 4 day trip last Oct with hermosa tours outta durango and had a blast. we had a group of 5 but you can also hook up with others. 4 days of amazing riding on the CO trail. have wanted to go back to ride a few sections of it.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by teleguy03 View Post
    li'd head straight for the SW. CO is a gamble then with the weather, but if it holds, ride a few days on CO trail near durango then hit up NM, AZ, UT. All will be primo riding season that time of year. and its all pretty close by. you could base out of 4 corners area, and be in grand junction, moab, SW CO, all within a half days drive. i moved to NM from PDX and really enjoy the riding out here (but really miss the beer and coffee in PDX). i did a 4 day trip last Oct with hermosa tours outta durango and had a blast. we had a group of 5 but you can also hook up with others. 4 days of amazing riding on the CO trail. have wanted to go back to ride a few sections of it.
    Where do you ride in CO and NM? Any particular trails? And since you are familiar with the spots out here in PDX, how do the trails/terrain compare?

  20. #20
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    I was just planning a one month ish trip with a friend. The plan was to leave from Colorado Springs Colorado to ride Grand Junction then head to Moab. After Moab was a long drive to Lake Tahoe for some riding. Then a trip up to northern Californa to visit friends and another bit of a drive up to Portland then Seattle for some riding and sight seeing. Next stop Whistler for some DH Down the Pacific Coast Highway to visit family in LA and a bit of deep sea fishing. Heading back east to Sedona Arizona for some riding then towards Albuquerque New Mexico for more riding and visiting some family. Finally a short 6 hour drive north back home I think we could do it in about three weeks. The longest sections of driving are towards Tahoe and down the PCH
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drewbis1 View Post
    Where do you ride in CO and NM? Any particular trails? And since you are familiar with the spots out here in PDX, how do the trails/terrain compare?
    Much more open, flowing out here (desert vs. dense forest) and more hard dirt/rock as opposed to the the soft soil in the PNW. love the trails up by hood river but were a pain in the arse to get to. I'd say hood river is more similar to what i've ridden in the rockies as opposed to the SW. I live in santa fe, and there's a ton of great riding here. taos has an epic (south boundary). haven't gotten down south to riudoso but have heard its nice - just out of the way. AZ, been to sedona a bunch and the XC riding there is a blast. you can make your way through NM/AZ and find lots of great places, gallup, tuscon, prescott, sedona, etc. CO, mostly ride in SW CO, and have ridden around grand junction, durango, pagosa. great riding in that area, but it can get cold earlier in the year of course (less so in grand junction). recently rode some of the new single track near moab and had a blast (mag 7, etc.)

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