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  1. #1
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    A jock moving to Houston

    Hello everyone,

    At the end of October I'm moving to Houston for work, still don't where I'll be staying, however I know I will want to continue enjoying mtbing!

    I ride downhill, xc and road... Just a bit of everything I guess.

    From the googling I've been doing so far, it looks like dh in Texas in pretty much non existent sadly, angel fire resort in new Mexico being the nearest for proper gravity riding.

    Howevere there seems to be plenty of trails all over Houston to keep me on the xc bike.

    I'd like to meet some people who could show me what the Houston area has to offer and generally just looking for riding buddies. I'm not superfit (far far from it!!!) my favourite riding is technical singletrack, but I'm open minded and easy going, so will give anything a bash.

    Is there anyone out there who could put up with my funny accent to introduce me to the Houston mtb scene?

    Also I'm in two minds whether or not to ship my bikes over, or sell them and buy a new one in Texas, what do you guys ride? Would I be right in thinking 5in travel would suffice?

    Any pointers would be much appreciated

    Cheers

    Stu

  2. #2
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    The folks at GHORBA can help you find the people to ride with and where to ride. The Ant Hills in west Houston is a favorite with many people. GHORBA.org will have information. Also check out the groups on Meetup.com. Memorial Park has several trails. El Paso has some serious MTB events that might be of interest. DORBA in Dallas also can be a source for rides and people to ride with. DORBA.org. If you want to check out where the MTB races are checkout TXMBRA.org.

    I don't know how much it costs to ship bikes here but if you want a new bike this might be the time to get one.
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  3. #3
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    Memorial and Anthills are my favorites in the area. Memorial is definitely more crowded, but the triangle is still fairly private.
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    Sent you a personal message.

  5. #5
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    I'd definitely agree that you should check out GHORBA for rides in/around Houston. Also, remember that Austin, TX is only a 2.5h drive and the surrounding hill country has some great trails. Check out MountainBikeTx.com - Your Texas Mountain Bike Resource and the Austin Ridge Riders.

    Popular trails in Houston are at Terry Hershey Park (Anthills) and Memorial Park. Within an hour or just a bit more you also have Jack Brooks Park for some actual technical riding (roots, technical trail features), Huntsville State Park for wide, sandy singletrack with some gentle hills, and Double Lake Recreation Area for a fast, backcountryesque loop.
    Last edited by ecthelion; 09-04-2012 at 05:21 PM. Reason: Removing a stupid autolink
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  6. #6
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    Stu,

    i too am in the process of relocating to the Houston area, most likely around the same time or the beginning of October, just waiting on some logistical/HR stuff from the company i work for.

    Hope to meet up w/u on the trails there. I figured why not start networking a little now.

    I am moving from the "Moab of the East" (Asheville, NC) and going to do my best to keep MTBing in Texas.

    One question for you locals. What are the closest trails to the Woodlands area? Its an area my wife and i are considering to settle in. Part of my sales territory will be in Austin so i am stoked about that but curious about the after work ride closer to home.

    Thanks fellas, and Stu,

    will try to look you up in November, and will have my light charged up, btw, i spent 6 months in the UK once upon a time. good luck on your move.

    dave

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2ndChance View Post
    . . .I am moving from the "Moab of the East" (Asheville, NC) and going to do my best to keep MTBing in Texas.

    One question for you locals. What are the closest trails to the Woodlands area? . . .
    dave
    Wow. Houston's going to be a let-down after NC. I moved here last year from the northeast and grew up in N. Alabama . . . and miss the foothills/mountains a lot. Austin is definitely what keeps me sane.

    Re: the Woodlands, the George Mitchell Nature Preserve (aka Flintridge) in the southern part of the planned community has a ~ 1.5mile doubletrack loop and an inner ~5 mile singletrack loop. Plus a few rogue trails in the area that GHORBA is working to legitimize . . . not that they should be ridden until they're official. (Link to Garmin file). Very easy from a technical perspective (all flat buff singletrack) BUT it's tight, twisty singletrack. It can be pretty fun if you go fast enough. Nice little after work workout -- I used it as such when my company had me in temporary housing up there. There are plans for a lot more as part of the Spring Creek Greenway, but I doubt it will happen very fast.

    The Woodlands also aren't too far south (30-40 minutes in light, non-rush-hour traffic?) from Huntsville State Park, which has a pretty decent 6-8 mile wide, sandy singletrack loop that features a little bit of elevation change.

    Just south of the Woodlands is also the Cypresswood trails . . . maybe 10-20 minutes? They're the only ones around here I haven't ridden yet.

    Post up here, or check out some of the local bike shop group rides once you're on the ground and I'm sure you can get the tour of most of these trails.
    Last edited by ecthelion; 09-06-2012 at 10:39 AM. Reason: Added trail name & boldface
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  8. #8
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    Huntsville SP actually has around 16 miles of trails. The inner loop is around 7.5 miles. The outer loop (CCC trail) gets ignored by most riders because most of it is double track but it has the longest climbs and descents in the park.

    The Woodlands trails are lame. No offense to people in the woodlands they are ok for a short ride after work or whatever. It is just a really flat and boring trail.

    Cypresswood is a better after work ride. Kinda flat like most of the Houston area. The fun is in the dips and bowls.

    Memorial Park and the Anthills are also good after work rides. Much like Cypresswood the fun comes from the dips and bowls.

    If you want technical go to Jack Brooks. The drive to Hitchcock from the Woodlands area is a btich, so don't make the trip during rush hour. Probably the most fun Houston area trail though.

    If you want a long ride in the piney woods go to Double Lake. Not as much elevation as Huntsville but the turns are better. Also the only Houston area trail with 20 miles of pure single track.

  9. #9
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    Bring bug spray if you're going to Jack Brooks this time of year. Houston city did aerial mosquito spray so Memorial Park is fine.

    I went to Jack Brooks last week and came back with over 20 mosquito bites, not to mention that my bike was covered with dead ants since the whole trail was like a ant pile.
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  10. #10
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    To be honest, the best place to ride in Houston is Austin.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by anthonylokrn View Post
    Bring bug spray if you're going to Jack Brooks this time of year. Houston city did aerial mosquito spray so Memorial Park is fine.

    I went to Jack Brooks last week and came back with over 20 mosquito bites, not to mention that my bike was covered with dead ants since the whole trail was like a ant pile.
    Jack Brooks is fun...in the winter.

  12. #12
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    Thanks EC and Plee, appreciate your input, any shops in Houston that carry Santa Cruz? if there are, do those shops have a good rep? btw, its official will be moving the last week of Sept! See you at he trail heads.

    dave

  13. #13
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    Bicycle World and Webster Bike are the official dealers . . . Never been to Webster bike and haven't been impressed much by Bicycle World . . . though I haven't given them much of a shot to be honest. West End's my favorite shop in the area thus far, and I'd prefer Bicycle Sport Shop or Mellow Johnny's in Austin for service, etc. on my Tallboy (I didn't buy the bike from any of them -- bought frame only and built from parts).
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  14. #14
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    welcome to Houston, a 5 inch travel bike is more than enough for anything here. I ride Memorial and the anthills pretty often so I can show you those anytime. My work schedule allows me to ride quite often, I work 4 on and 4 off. If you are going to buy a bike in any of the Houston shops do your research, most of them here want to pay the rent selling one bike. I had a shop quote me on a couple of parts at MSRP + 10%.

    If you are into DH riding I invite you on our trips, we have a small group that usually goes to Angel Fire or Winter Park about 2-3 times per year. I ride a Corsair crown, my friend rides an M9 and my wife rides a mountain cycle battery. We do have smaller bikes for Houston riding, I just call it training for real mountain biking. When you get into town and want to do some riding, shoot me a PM, later and hope the move goes well.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by ecthelion View Post
    Bicycle World and Webster Bike are the official dealers . . . Never been to Webster bike and haven't been impressed much by Bicycle World . . . though I haven't given them much of a shot to be honest. West End's my favorite shop in the area thus far, and I'd prefer Bicycle Sport Shop or Mellow Johnny's in Austin for service, etc. on my Tallboy (I didn't buy the bike from any of them -- bought frame only and built from parts).
    I havent been to Webster in a few yrs, but the owner or owners son? he is really helpful and informative...... I have had good luck with them and bike barn in clear lake (south side of town )

  16. #16
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    Guys,

    Thanks very much for all the replies!

    Finally here in Houston, just back from touring the bike shops today and put a deposit down on a trek superfly 29er, probably a bit overkill for memorial park from what I've heard, but hopefully spot on for the anthills.
    So hopefully should have it in a week or so and will be reading to ride

    Once I have it, I'll be back on here pestering you guys to show me the trails!

    Cheers

  17. #17
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    Which shop did you go to?

    I use Spring Valley Bicycles and can't recommend them enough. They've always helped me out.

    I just ordered a Flash 29er as well. Should be in this week and I'll definitely join you for a few rides. I've lived in houston all my life and still never ridden the anthills. So that's my #1 priority.

  18. #18
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    this thread is a great help to me too, I bought a house in Houston in July, but I have yet to get there, I'm in the Army for a couple more weeks.

    Glad to know that there's a good group of dudes to ride with, I'm stoked for actual singletrack, the singletrack in Germany was always too short and connected by miles and miles of gravel lined fire roads.
    who needs brakes?

  19. #19
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    Happy New Year everyone!

    Anyone keen to show me around Terry Hershey Park (Anthills) at some point?

    Cheers

    Stu

  20. #20
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    The Houston Cycling Club on meetup.com has weekly rides at Terry Hershey Park. They would be good people to checkout.
    Ride at Hershey Park - Houston Cycling Club (Houston, TX)
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  21. #21
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    hey man, if u like grabbin air, there is one spot in cypresswood where u can hukk off a small cliff and get 10ft or so of air and land into a descent. Dallas has a small downhill run at Big Cedar and there are few tiny runs around Austin. The panhandle has a good bit of freeride trails.
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