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  1. #1
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    Baltimore riding

    My gf has been offered a position at johns hopkins. How far away is mountain biking? Can i ride to trails, or do i will i need to drive? How much trail mileage is there? Can i go on 20, 30, 40 mile rides?

  2. #2
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    plenty of road riding, and Patapsco state park is ~20-30 minutes from Baltimore, tons of awesome trails there. I'm sure there are more mountain biking destinations, but Patapsco is the only one I've ridden, and its terrific; miles and miles of great trails....

  3. #3
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    Are there any cities the size of Baltimore that have mountain biking within riding distance of... well as close to the center of town as Hopkins is?
    Robert E Lee park is sort of close, and you can ride there... not the sort of place I'd make any effort to go to, but if it were in my backyard...
    There's also Gwynns falls, some paved (near downtown) some not, nothing technical, but easily in biking distance.


    Patapsco is 15-20 minutes away (or more depending on the time of day), there's about 30 miles of pretty great trail there. Frederick is a little further, you could easily ride all day in the shed, maybe an hour (on a weekend in light traffic) could get you to schaffer, where you could do a 60+ mile trail ride if you wanted.
    To the north there's gunpowder falls, Loch raven if that ever opens for real to bikes again, fair hill, white clay...


    I don't know of many places as built up/urban/suburban that have as many trails as we do.

  4. #4
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    how long is the riding season? are there races near by?

  5. #5
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    people ride year round. In winter it's mostly water and wanting to be responsible and not mess up the trails that will keep you from riding. That and lack of daylight. It does snow here, but not necessarily every year, 6" is a heavy snowfall, and it's usually melted within a couple days.

    There are races nearby, and a really active club with... I think it's around 3000 members. Again, for an urban area Baltimore and DC are tough to beat.

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    i''ve lived out west for a long time, i'm not sure I can handle the big city East coast, especially the lack of national forest/blm/empty public land in general. Do you happen to know what the tech job market is like there? i'm a senior web app developer.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by dthomp325 View Post
    i''ve lived out west for a long time, i'm not sure I can handle the big city East coast, especially the lack of national forest/blm/empty public land in general. Do you happen to know what the tech job market is like there? i'm a senior web app developer.
    Fed gov seems to be the only large organization in the US hiring these days. I believe the tech job market 'round here is probably the best in the country.

    Not that I'd choose to live here if I had a good job out west. Like I said, there is a lot of good riding for an urban area. There isn't much if any great riding, the cost of living is unbelievable (which kind of goes hand in hand with a really strong job market), and if you are from a small town, you'll probably find a lot of locals to be jerks. There basically is no such thing as empty land here: it's either developed or it's parks.

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    Patapsco is amazing and has produced the likes of Jeremiah Bishop and Chris Eatough, two of the most dominating riders in the sport over the last decade. Eatough lives next to the park and Bishop is just down in Harrisonburg.

    Patapsco has some of the best riding in the US. Flowy, rocky, water crossings, steep up/downs, jumps, drops, 60 miles of trails from Elkridge to Sykesville... The DC area has some of the best trails in the US. Rockburn has the pump track and jumps right next to Patapsco. There are tons of races/rides and a few thousand miles of singletrack within 4 hours including two really good lift-assisted mountains, soon to be 3 as soon as Bryce opens up.

    I lived out west and traveled extensively out there over the years and stuff is smaller here but much closer. Traffic sucks so be careful about where you live compared to where you work compared to the trails. Baltimore has WAY more affordable housing downtown and in the close suburbs compared to DC. There are some good bike shops in the area.

    You also have three airport options within an hour so you can get out easily to anywhere in the world. People here have money. Not like San Jose/Los Gatos but people here have jobs and money. Plus you have Chesapeake Bay. You'll leave to go snowboarding though. CO/UT/CA has us beat by miles and miles...

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    The technology sector is great around here...provided you have a security clearance. Basically a huge contractor bubble is going on right now (for better or for worse). If you are looking more towards the commercial sector, the market's not horrible, but not anywhere near as rosey as the gov world.

    As others have said, lots of great options for riding in the local area and region. Lots of good day/weekend excursions too. People who say otherwise aren't getting out much.

  10. #10
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    Ok, I'm coming out there this coming week to decided if I like it. Where can I rent a bike?

  11. #11
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    We have a decent income, and we live in a higher priced area now, so as long as it's not SF or NYC level prices, we'd probably be fine. Is it too dense to get a single family house with a yard and a garage?

  12. #12
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    Rent at first and shop around.

    Personally I couldn't live in Baltimore or even Baltimore county, I grew up in a pretty open place with light traffic and lots of fields.

    Check out places in Anne Arundel county or maybe even Howard county. Older single family houses with garages will be in the 250+ range depending on area. In my city, 300-350 will get you an older house with a single garage, $350-500 gets you a really nice double garage town home $500+ gets you a really nice single family home with 2 garages.

    Head towards Baltimore and lower those prices 100-150k

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by dthomp325 View Post
    Ok, I'm coming out there this coming week to decided if I like it. Where can I rent a bike?
    I'm certain there are add'l shops that rent mt bikes but I know of Race Pace because I rented a 29er from them 2 yrs ago before I bought one. They have two locations that I know of in Owings Mills and Ellicott City.
    Life is like riding a bicycle - in order to keep your balance, you must keep moving. ~Albert Einstein

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Bye View Post
    I'm certain there are add'l shops that rent mt bikes but I know of Race Pace because I rented a 29er from them 2 yrs ago before I bought one. They have two locations that I know of in Owings Mills and Ellicott City.
    they have a shop in columbia too

  15. #15
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    One of the nice things about Patapsco is that there are lots of options to live within a couple miles of the singletrack, but still be convenient to the rest of your life. I live in Ellicott City, which is center of Patapsco. Some days I ride my mountain bike to work in Elkridge. May not be as epic as out west, but I think a 1/4 mile walk to a cool historic neighborhood with a fair number of restaurants and bars, and being able to do a challenging 60+ mile mountain bike ride from my front door is pretty dang good.
    Last edited by renegade44; 06-08-2013 at 04:44 AM.

  16. #16
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    I would contact the Hub in Catonsville. I am pretty sure they rent out bikes out and you can ride right into Patapsco from the shop.

  17. #17
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    REI
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    All in Columbia

    Lots of bike doctors in md also.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joules View Post
    To the north there's gunpowder falls, Loch raven if that ever opens for real to bikes again, fair hill, white clay...
    Loch Raven is just fine and definitely open. Reports of rampant ticketing are greatly exaggerated; I ride there three times a week and have only been stopped twice in the past four years. There are some excellent and very challenging hills there. Anyone who can climb the alpine-like power line hills that run perpendicularly to the fire roads (the crazy-fast one that has mostly white gravel) on the part of the reservoir that's closed to car traffic on weekends has my serious respect.

    Also, I hear lots of people are going to Little Gunpowder on Harford Road.


    Quote Originally Posted by dthomp325 View Post
    how long is the riding season? are there races near by?
    It's year round if you don't mind the cold weather. If you're "fair weather", then it's from March until November.

    Check BikeReg.com - online cycling event registration for the local races. Currently, there's Fairland Hills, Michaux, the Patapsco 100 and Schaeffer Farms, to name a few, that are within 60 miles of B'More.

    Quote Originally Posted by dthomp325 View Post
    i''ve lived out west for a long time, i'm not sure I can handle the big city East coast, especially the lack of national forest/blm/empty public land in general. Do you happen to know what the tech job market is like there? i'm a senior web app developer.
    Near DC is probably the place to be.

    Quote Originally Posted by trailbildr View Post
    Patapsco is amazing and has produced the likes of Jeremiah Bishop and Chris Eatough, two of the most dominating riders in the sport over the last decade. Eatough lives next to the park and Bishop is just down in Harrisonburg.

    Patapsco has some of the best riding in the US. Flowy, rocky, water crossings, steep up/downs, jumps, drops, 60 miles of trails from Elkridge to Sykesville... The DC area has some of the best trails in the US. Rockburn has the pump track and jumps right next to Patapsco. There are tons of races/rides and a few thousand miles of singletrack within 4 hours including two really good lift-assisted mountains, soon to be 3 as soon as Bryce opens up.
    +1. Great post.
    Quote Originally Posted by dthomp325 View Post
    Ok, I'm coming out there this coming week to decided if I like it. Where can I rent a bike?
    In addition to the ones mentioned, Twenty20 Cycles in Hampden (hippest neighborhood in Baltimore city, IMO) rents a few Specialized bikes.
    '12 S-Works Stumpjumper carbon HT
    '13 Specialized Carve Comp
    '94 S-Works M2

  19. #19
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    I'm guessing that will be on the wrong side of town to live. What would the commute to Johns Hopkins be like?

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by dthomp325 View Post
    I'm guessing that will be on the wrong side of town to live. What would the commute to Johns Hopkins be like?
    Hospital or University? They are in two very different parts of town.
    My other bike is a /7.

  21. #21
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    University

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    I reserved a bike from Race Pace. I'm planning on riding wed-friday, but it sounds like Patapsco might be too wet to ride. Anywhere around that might be dry enough to ride, or road routes if everything is too wet?

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by dthomp325 View Post
    I reserved a bike from Race Pace. I'm planning on riding wed-friday, but it sounds like Patapsco might be too wet to ride. Anywhere around that might be dry enough to ride, or road routes if everything is too wet?
    This rain is insane and out of the ordinary (I know, anytime you visit somewhere with crappy weather the locals always claim its unusual for this time of year). I'm pretty sure just about everything in the Baltimore/dc area is washed out for at least the next 24 hours. Rockburn park tends to drain quickly and has hard packed trails, but yesterday's rain is certain to leave lots of massive muck spots and even flooding anywhere you go.

    Might have to settle for a gravel fire/utility line trail.

  24. #24
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    Yea the rain we've had over the past week has been out of the ordinary. Most of the BCo side of Patapsco usually drains pretty quickly and the soil doesn't hold the water super long. The HoCo side is an entirely different story though, the really muddy parts never seem to dry out.

    If the trails are too wet you could go exploring the roads and paved paths inside of the park too.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by dthomp325 View Post
    I reserved a bike from Race Pace. I'm planning on riding wed-friday, but it sounds like Patapsco might be too wet to ride. Anywhere around that might be dry enough to ride, or road routes if everything is too wet?
    Loch Raven drains much faster than Patapsco, which is very slow to dry, especially on the Howard Co (south) side. If it doesn't rain any more today, you should be good for tomorrow afternoon at LR. Try Loch Raven - Seminary Loop Maryland Trail Reviews
    My other bike is a /7.

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