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  1. #1
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    Moving to Phoenix from Minnesota...

    AZ bikers,

    my wife, two young'ish kids (5 & 9) and I are moving to arizona from june 2010 to june 2011. My wife has accepted a position at the mayo clinic for a fellowship.

    if I really like mt. biking, and would like to be close to her job (within a 15-20 minute drive) where would you recommend we rent a home?

    She will be working at the Mayo clinic (Shea) and up North at the Mayo Hospital (Bell Rd).

    I was thinking we would rent a house in Fountain HIlls, as I could ride McDowell Mt., but I was also looking at the North Mt. Park area, too.

    any thoughts?

    BTW, I have a 'classic' Blur and a Kona Dawg. will these be ok?

    thanks in advance for any input/advice!

    ....I was thinking of keeping our old Malibu ski boat in storage in MN, any thoughts on where to take it out if we bring it down?

    CR

  2. #2
    Meatbomb
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    Fountain Hills would put her close to the Shea campus but it may be slightly longer than a 20 min commute to the Bell Rd campus. Slightly but not much.

    To even it out a bit you could rent in the area around Via Linda and Frank Lloyd Wright. It's closer to the Bell campus and right around the corner from the Shea campus. Plenty of Mc Dowell Mountain trail heads in the area as well.

  3. #3
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    You could definetly bring that malibu down...when it's 100+ out all you'll be thinking about is being on your boat. If you live in N. Phoenix you have 3 lakes to choose from. Pleasant, Bartlett, and Roosevelt. Both high quality lakes with lots of skiing and playing room. You'll be fine with those bikes too.. Just remember to run thick tubes with slime and high air pressure...oh and carry lots of water Also being in the N valley you're that much closer to Flagstaff and Prescott and Sedona. All good stuff! I'm a MN transplant of 13+ years and have never wanted to go back. Mosquitos suck!

  4. #4
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    you should have your pick of places to rent. Might not even be a bad idea to buy and then resell once prices rebound. Personally, I wouldn't stress too much about an extra 5 min on your commute since its only a year - its a buyer's market now pick a house that is fun!

    The blur will treat you right on the McDowells. The dawg on Somo.
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  5. #5
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    If you live here a year you probably won't want to go back..

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by latedropbob
    I'm a MN transplant of 13+ years and have never wanted to go back. Mosquitos suck!
    yeah, what about that little thing called winter from November to April? That's the thing which is really killing my wife.....the kids don't know any better! I can certainly handle a change of pace, so we have decided to keep our options open.

    indeed, once we move down, we might decide to stay...perhaps lake cabin in MN for the summer, home in phoenix for the winter....I can dream, right?!

    are the slips 'wicked expensive' to put the Malibu at the marina?

  7. #7
    Meatbomb
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    Quote Originally Posted by arctic slalom

    are the slips 'wicked expensive' to put the Malibu at the marina?

    YES... just store it at your house and tow it to the lakes or , most offer dry storage for a much better rate.

  8. #8
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    One thing you will come to realize is you don't have to shovel sunshine like you have to shovel snow. Welcome to paradise! ( well from Oct thru May)

  9. #9
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    i'll take sweltering hot AZ summers over NY winters any day. I'm good for one snowfall and month of cold and than it sucks.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by latedropbob
    You could definetly bring that malibu down...when it's 100+ out all you'll be thinking about is being on your boat. If you live in N. Phoenix you have 3 lakes to choose from. Pleasant, Bartlett, and Roosevelt. Both high quality lakes with lots of skiing and playing room. You'll be fine with those bikes too.. Just remember to run thick tubes with slime and high air pressure...oh and carry lots of water Also being in the N valley you're that much closer to Flagstaff and Prescott and Sedona. All good stuff! I'm a MN transplant of 13+ years and have never wanted to go back. Mosquitos suck!
    Saguro and Canyon lake are closer than roosevelt.
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  11. #11
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    Woop! I lived in MN for a few years and loved all of the seasons! Although neg 50 made it a little hard to work up the motivation to go xcskiing in the morning....

    There's not too much biking out here like the soft, fast flowy single track around MN, WI and da UP, but that is kind of a good thing since we have rocks and mountains and gnarly terrain. Pretty sure you'll love it, although June is a hard time to move here (especially from mild MN). Just make sure to head for the hills (Flag and Pinetop) or lakes whenever you and the wife can grab a day or two.

  12. #12
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    thanks for all the advice!

    so should I continue to search around fountain hills or look over by scottsdale?

    I like the idea/access of the water for the malibu? What is the McDowell riding like....is it worth living close to?

    We only visited the area for two days and seemed to like how laid back Fountain Hills is. Is there any riding up by Payson or in those mt. areas NE of Fountain Hills?

    thanks!

    CR

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by arctic slalom
    thanks for all the advice!

    so should I continue to search around fountain hills or look over by scottsdale?

    I like the idea/access of the water for the malibu? What is the McDowell riding like....is it worth living close to?

    We only visited the area for two days and seemed to like how laid back Fountain Hills is. Is there any riding up by Payson or in those mt. areas NE of Fountain Hills?

    thanks!

    CR
    I guess it all depends on what you are looking for. Ftn Hills is true suburbia, with nary a decent restaurant, bar, or ethnic market in sight (it's pure milquetoast...kinda like 99% of Minnesota!). You have to drive 20-30 minuntes into Scottsdale or Phoenix for that.

    So if you want sleepy-town living without the amenities most often found in bigger cities AND you love to be "out of the way" with nice panoramic vistas AND you don't mind a long drive to just about anywhere, Ftn Hills is your place.

    But if you want to live in an area a little more exciting...closer to markets and restaurants and such...check out N Scottsdale or NE Phx.

    As far as biking goes, Fountain Hills is out of the way for everything except the East side of the McDowell's (via Dixie Mine) or the McDowell Mtn Park (mostly flat, boring race loops). Anything else, including South Mountain & Phoenix Mtn Preserve is a haul.

    N Scottsdale has the McDowell's (many more trails/options than the Ftn Hills side) and it's all pure XC bliss with some pretty long/tough climbs. NE Phx has the Phoenix Mtn Preserve ("Trail 100", etc), which has a myriad of riding options to choose from...from XC rollers to some nasty black-diamond gnar.

    South Mtn Park is about 45 minutes from Scottsdale and probably 30 minutes from NE Phx. Hawes, another worthy option during the wetter months of the year, is about 40 minutes from both places.

    For your boat, NE Phx is probably the best choice, as you have access to Lake Pleasant, which is easily the best lake in the area for water sports. Saguaro Lake is close to Ftn Hills, but it's small and really sucks for water sports IMHO. I own a Cobalt ski boat and we haul it over to Lake Pleasant, which is only 35 minutes from my house now (65mph freeway all the way!).

    And that brings up one last issue -- if you're going to bring your boat, then you really limit yourself as to where you can live. Some of the newer Scottsdale and Phoenix locations have houses built on dinky lots that won't fit a boat OR they have nasty HOA's that don't allow boats on the property. You have to find some of the older/bigger houses in NE Phx or N Scottsdale that allow boats (or have room). Ftn Hills would be a crap-shoot in that regards, as some areas would work and others would not.

    BTW - where in Minnesota are you coming from? I have a lot of extended family that live up there. They live all over Minneapolis/St Paul (downtown St Paul, Maple Grove, Plymouth) and some are north of the city in the sticks (have that funny accent too -- "ya" and "oof dah"). Trust me -- once you come out for an extended period of time, you won't want to go back! I really don't care for that place..it's either too damn cold or the HUGE bugs eat me alive!!

    Thx...Doug

  14. #14
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    doug,

    thanks for the advice!

    I'm moving from Rochester....a.k.a. 'mother mayo'. wife is going to work for little mayo out in scottdale for the year....radiology. grew up by st. cloud, went to fargo (bison) for undergrad, grand forks for grad (fighting sioux), bismarck for work (med school) and finally Rochester for residency.

    ....it kinda sounds like I might get bored riding the race loops out at McDowell as my main riding area, eh? Can I take Dixie Mine over the mt. to the west side? What is the riding like on the west side? I visited McDowell Park, but I didn't ride it when I was out there. Pretty much pulled the rental car up to the parking lot, looked around and then left.

    I rented a bike and I rode about a 15 mile out-n-back on South Mt. -national trail I think?! On the way back i rode a couple of spur trails, but nothing to burly. I was really impressed with the trail....fun stuff, more rocks than I'm used to. I was going pretty slo up a rocky climb and some dude on a Titus just blew by me...it was like I was driving a lawn tractor on interstate!

    I wonder if I'll be able to rent a home where I can store the boat? It's 21' long....sunsetter. I could fit in a garage and park a car outside....I will need to ask around about that.

    i do like the idea of not being in suburbia.....but the fact of the matter is with (2) kids a my wife in a super busy residency, it will be tough for the two of us to go out much and live it up. I kinda got the impression that Fnt hills is a retirement town?, but really not sure?

    thanks for the help.....

    CR

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by arctic slalom
    doug,

    thanks for the advice!

    I'm moving from Rochester....a.k.a. 'mother mayo'. wife is going to work for little mayo out in scottdale for the year....radiology. grew up by st. cloud, went to fargo (bison) for undergrad, grand forks for grad (fighting sioux), bismarck for work (med school) and finally Rochester for residency.

    ....it kinda sounds like I might get bored riding the race loops out at McDowell as my main riding area, eh? Can I take Dixie Mine over the mt. to the west side? What is the riding like on the west side? I visited McDowell Park, but I didn't ride it when I was out there. Pretty much pulled the rental car up to the parking lot, looked around and then left.

    I rented a bike and I rode about a 15 mile out-n-back on South Mt. -national trail I think?! On the way back i rode a couple of spur trails, but nothing to burly. I was really impressed with the trail....fun stuff, more rocks than I'm used to. I was going pretty slo up a rocky climb and some dude on a Titus just blew by me...it was like I was driving a lawn tractor on interstate!

    I wonder if I'll be able to rent a home where I can store the boat? It's 21' long....sunsetter. I could fit in a garage and park a car outside....I will need to ask around about that.

    i do like the idea of not being in suburbia.....but the fact of the matter is with (2) kids a my wife in a super busy residency, it will be tough for the two of us to go out much and live it up. I kinda got the impression that Fnt hills is a retirement town?, but really not sure?

    thanks for the help.....

    CR
    generally, the McDowell Park proper is favored for easy-intermediate rides and races. I've been there about 4 times in 8 yrs, I like tech and epic rides, and personally don't feel like I'm missing anything. FH is like Doug described, and somewhat landlocked. You do have easy access to Sagauro Lake, but like has been mentioned, that lake is fun but crowded and not as good for boating. I would go in NE Scottsdale, ride the McDowell Preserve and Somo. There are killer deals now for renting with pools and super-nice kitchens, I'm sure if you make it a priority you will find something with an RV gate for boat storage, especially since long-term location\schools are not your priority. Or just rent a storage spot for a year, won't cost that much and you might save it in rent. Lots of RV\boat storage facilities around the Valley.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by arctic slalom
    doug,

    thanks for the advice!

    I'm moving from Rochester....a.k.a. 'mother mayo'. wife is going to work for little mayo out in scottdale for the year....radiology. grew up by st. cloud, went to fargo (bison) for undergrad, grand forks for grad (fighting sioux), bismarck for work (med school) and finally Rochester for residency.

    ....it kinda sounds like I might get bored riding the race loops out at McDowell as my main riding area, eh? Can I take Dixie Mine over the mt. to the west side? What is the riding like on the west side? I visited McDowell Park, but I didn't ride it when I was out there. Pretty much pulled the rental car up to the parking lot, looked around and then left.

    I rented a bike and I rode about a 15 mile out-n-back on South Mt. -national trail I think?! On the way back i rode a couple of spur trails, but nothing to burly. I was really impressed with the trail....fun stuff, more rocks than I'm used to. I was going pretty slo up a rocky climb and some dude on a Titus just blew by me...it was like I was driving a lawn tractor on interstate!

    I wonder if I'll be able to rent a home where I can store the boat? It's 21' long....sunsetter. I could fit in a garage and park a car outside....I will need to ask around about that.

    i do like the idea of not being in suburbia.....but the fact of the matter is with (2) kids a my wife in a super busy residency, it will be tough for the two of us to go out much and live it up. I kinda got the impression that Fnt hills is a retirement town?, but really not sure?

    thanks for the help.....

    CR
    Ya...Ftn Hills is definitely a "retirement town" in that the average age of the population there is much higher than, say, Scottsdale...but it's not a "retirement-only" area such as Sun City. A few of my friends live out in Ftn Hills, and most everybody around them is in their golden years.

    If you like variation, you will definitely get bored w/McDowell Mtn Park (competitive loops). It's all the same. As with Jason, I haven't been out there in about a year and I don't miss a thing. It's pretty non-typical AZ in that it is flat, smooth...and did I say flat? Some of the sections are pretty fun and swoopy, but an annual trip out there is all I need to get my fix.

    Now the McDowell Mtn Preserve, not to be confused w/McDowell Mtn Park, is a different animal entirely. It's "typical" AZ XC stuff...which means lots of climbs, lots of rocks, and lots of fun. It gets pretty crowded on the weekends with hikers and bikers, as does most everywhere close to Phoenix.

    On the Ftn Hills side it's kind of dull because the only decent trail over there is Dixie Mine (the only other trail is a connector...really dull). You can ride over the top to Bell and drop onto the Scottsdale side, but then you're pretty far into your ride and won't have a lot of time to expore the rest of the preserve (without making it an epic). Don't get me wrong -- Dixie Mine isn't bad...but it's really the only thing over there...so it can get boring.


    So if mtn biking with some variety is what you want, locate to N Scottsdale or NE Phoenix and ride around the WEST (Scottsdale) side of McDowell's or anywhere in the Phoenix Mtn Preserve.

    Now about that boat...a 21' boat is never going to fit in any garage. Mine is also a 21' boat, and even with the trailer tongue removed, it was still ~24' long (mine has in I/O motor protruding out the back). I guess you could angle it into a 2-car garage and take up both sides and have no parking left...but the other issue I had with mine is that it was 8.5' tall, and would not clear the garage door. That's why my boat is stored outside.

    Anyway, I think you will want to come back to Phoenix for a second trip to pick out a place to live. Mayo has 2 locations, so you'll want to know for sure which one your wife will be working at before you choose a spot. The good thing is that both N Scottsdale and NE Phoenix are pretty close to both Mayo locations...and far from neither (whereas Ftn Hills is pretty far from the North Mayo location...and totally far from everything else).

    Thx...Doug

  17. #17
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    I would definitely try and stick to the East/NE valley. If you're into technical/gnar stuff, be sure to check out Red Mountain/Hawes, Pass Mountain, en the ubergnar South Mountain. I live in (east) Mesa, and I have lots of cool riding right at my fingertips, but I wouldn't want to commute to Scottsdale from here. Fountain Hills is a pretty picture, but it's way out there, and to go anywhere you have to travel at least 20 miles, though close to Scottsdale. But hey, that's Arizona. I didn't realize how far everything was until I bought a new car and saw the mileage racking up so fast it scared me.

    Also recommend taking a weekend and visit Hurricane, Utah and go riding at Gooseberry Mesa. About a 6 hour drive, and so worth it!

    You will appreciate all the extra time you will have in the morning, since you don't have to go warm up the car, dig it out, and clear the driveway. No more potholes, salt trucks, shovels throwing up a wall in front of your driveway. Been there, done that, never again.
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  18. #18
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    CR,

    Based on your situation, and the ages of your children, there are two places you need to look for homes: McDowell Mtn Ranch and DC Ranch. Your children will love the master-planned community amenities, your wife will be right in the middle betwen the hospital and the clinic, and you can ride to the McDowells from your driveway. I would rent for the first year until you get a feel for exactly which schools you want your kids to go to and exactly which communities your wife is most happy. The rental prices right now are awesome. Well, so are the foreclosure prices...buying wouldn't necessarily be bad either.
    I came from Chicago to Arizona for residency at Mayo Scottsdale in 1996 (man, I'm getting old...) -- PM me if you need help finding a place -- glad to help.

  19. #19
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    Interesting thread for me since I just moved out here in October from the Midwest, live in Fountain Hills, have a boat on Saguaro Lake, and ride the McDowells and McDowell Mountain Park a couple times a week.

    Really I'd have to say these guys are all spot on.

    Fountain Hills is pretty sleepy and out of the insanity of the city (which is what we wanted). I'd say calling it a retirement town is pretty harsh but if partying and shopping are your deal this isn't the place. There is good enough food here for when we don't want to cook and there are several good enough places to drink in public when you want to. There is a hardware store, 2 bike shops, and several grocery stores with adequate beer selections so I can get 98% of everything I need up here. The rest is right down Shea in Scottsdale (20-30 minutes). I'd guess that less than 25% of Fountain Hills has an HOA and you should be able to find a house here with a yard big enough to park your boat if you make it a priority. Also, not that big of a deal, but it is around 600 ft above Phoenix and has less concrete and humanity so it is usually about 2-5 degrees cooler up here than down in the valley.

    Saguaro Lake is right up the road from Fountain Hills (20-30 minutes). I have a slip up there for my pontoon boat. I can see it being small for skiing but I do see quite a few people out there doing it and they seem to have room. I think it's a great place but all I'm doing is cruising around drinking beer with some friends and occaisionally catfishing.

    McDowell Mountain Park is extremely tame compared to most of the other trails in AZ but it's still a good time. I have only lived here since October but I still ride there at least 2 times a week and am not bored with it. Mostly because I am usually tight on time and it is so convienent (and it is all new to me). I can leave my house, get to MMP, ride 2 sport or tech loops (6 miles) and be back home in about an hour. There are lots of other trails there besides the competitive loops, too. Like these guys said though, the stuff around the mountains is more challenging and really just better so if I have the time I hit the reserve or Hawes.

    In general I think AZ kicks ass and don't miss the Midwest one bit. Although I rode this afternoon and it was 93 degrees and I'd hafta say that's about as hot as I'm ever going out. Morning riding start.....NOW.

  20. #20
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    to all,

    thanks for all the great input and advice! It really helps to get perspective from those living and riding down there, rather than just trying to stop at a local bike shop and asking them about the scene (although that would be good too)!

    I'm certainly looking at NE scottsdale right now, perhaps up by Frank Lloyd Wright Road. I really like the idea of McDowell Mtn Ranch and DC Ranch, but am worried about the price up there $$$. I'm only going to be there for a year, so perhaps we'll just suck it up and pay a llittle more rent for a nice place! Fountain Hill is certainly not off the list....it just sounds like the access to more amenities is a bit more limited.

    we'll keep looking; thanks again!

    CR

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    There is a house for rent across the street from me right now in Tempe. Might be a little closer to 30 minute commute to Mayo, but you will be a smidge over 2 miles from South Mountain!
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  22. #22
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    thanks again for all the good info on here.

    winterized the malibu this weekend....bummer.

    i think we are heading down in November to check out some rental places in NW scottsdale.....still not sure where, exactly.

    the tires on my SC Blur are toasted!

    what tires should I buy for a 4" FS bike down there? I've ran a 2.5 weirwolf in the front and a 2.35 ritchey zmax in the rear, but they are smoked.

    I was thinking maybe kenda 8 block or nevegal? something thicker for the rock, perhaps?

    I'm 6'2, 236, so i'm thinking a durable tread.

    any thoughts would be great!

    CR

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by arctic slalom
    AZ bikers,

    my wife, two young'ish kids (5 & 9) and I are moving to arizona from june 2010 to june 2011. My wife has accepted a position at the mayo clinic for a fellowship.

    if I really like mt. biking, and would like to be close to her job (within a 15-20 minute drive) where would you recommend we rent a home?

    She will be working at the Mayo clinic (Shea) and up North at the Mayo Hospital (Bell Rd).

    I was thinking we would rent a house in Fountain HIlls, as I could ride McDowell Mt., but I was also looking at the North Mt. Park area, too.

    any thoughts?

    BTW, I have a 'classic' Blur and a Kona Dawg. will these be ok?

    thanks in advance for any input/advice!

    ....I was thinking of keeping our old Malibu ski boat in storage in MN, any thoughts on where to take it out if we bring it down?

    CR
    I've been out here since 2006 and love it. The Area Near that hospital (Fountain Hills and Scottsdale is Very Expensive but worth it if you can swing it. The Mc Dowell competiitve trails are really nice cost 6 buck per vehicle to get in though.

    The North Phoenix Area in Many ways is cheaper and better and 20 min West of the Hospital, You have all the North Mountain Trails Like Trail 100 and all the trails coming out of the Dreamy Draw off the 51 hwy.

    Truth be told, it's too hot for MTBing from June to Sep. (Yeah I'm a wimp) However the remaining 8 months are outstanding. Payson, Prescott, and Flagstaff offer and escape from the 4 months of hell. Camping Mt Biking Hiking etc.

    My GF and I say we are gonna build our dream house in Fountain Hills if we win the lottery. It's an Upper Class community where the Average home sells for over $800,000 even in this economy. Scottsdale is Pricy too. A lot to see and do in Phoenix/Scottsdale, most people from the Midwest never go back home after a year of Phoenix under their belt.
    SF
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  24. #24
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    my fiance and I are moving from IL to Phoenix in early 2011 also.. we run a home business so we can pick the location without having to worry about dreadful work commutes. Right now its a toss-up between the Gold Canyon area in the SE and Surprise in the NW. For the price of our 1200' condo here,, we can get a 3000'+ home there...

    I have seen vids on the hawes trails system and it looks to be more my style of XC riding (i would not be bombing over those crazy rocky downhills at south mountain park). Although i will miss the tight forest singletrack of palos where sometimes the vegetation is so overgrown that you can barely see 10' in front of you and leaves are constantly smacking you in the face.

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    In the NW you would be close to BCT (Black Canyon Trail) incredible epic singletrack and in the summer would be closer than most of PHX to Sedona, Prescott and Flagstaff... the latter two are forested singletrack.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by longhairmike
    my fiance and I are moving from IL to Phoenix in early 2011 also.. we run a home business so we can pick the location without having to worry about dreadful work commutes. Right now its a toss-up between the Gold Canyon area in the SE and Surprise in the NW. For the price of our 1200' condo here,, we can get a 3000'+ home there...

    I have seen vids on the hawes trails system and it looks to be more my style of XC riding (i would not be bombing over those crazy rocky downhills at south mountain park). Although i will miss the tight forest singletrack of palos where sometimes the vegetation is so overgrown that you can barely see 10' in front of you and leaves are constantly smacking you in the face.
    Those are the bedroom communities of the Phoenix Area. Homes are cheaper out there and those areas have the most Transplants. Ahwatukee (south of south mountain) is very nice as is the NE Phoenix area near the North Mountain Perserve. Those BedRoom Communities have some big houses for the money however the older more Established areas have a better Quality of life. Also is your running a business out of your home try to avoid a home owners Accosiation.
    Some good Zip Codes are 85044 Ahatukee, 85022 Moon Valley. These are Actually part of the City of Phoenix. I've been out here since 2006 and have lived in 4 zip code. I now live in 85021 (Central Phoenix) It's not so nice here but my GF and I cant sell the house right now.
    SF
    Who cares how much gas you save, ride your bike to work because it's fun!!!!!!!

  27. #27
    No Clue Crew
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    OP: June is the perfect time to move to Phoenix

    Seriously, hope you hire a company and don't try to do it yourself. To the uninitiated or the unaware, summer heat here can kill you.

    I live in N. Scottsdale and completely concur with most of what was initially written in this thread. I'm near FLW and Cactus. Each Mayo campus would be about a 15-minute drive from my house (actually more like 10 to Shea and 20 to Bell). Easy access to most of the best trails, except SoMo would be roughly 30 minutes away.

    With the traffic, base your housing decision on ease of access to work. Your quality of life will be better that way.

  28. #28
    Meatbomb
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blatant
    I'm near FLW and Cactus. .
    Howdy neighbor

  29. #29
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    For tires I like my Nevegals but no matter what you decide on, do yourself a huge favor and go tubeless now if you aren't all ready. This place EATS tubes.

  30. #30
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    i think we are going to be living in the McDowell Mountain Ranch (subdivision) Area.

    we are expecting a third rugrat in march and moving down to Scottdale in late June.

    Not sure yet, but thinking we (might) rent a furnished house (and put our stuff in storage).

    What is the riding like immediately east of the McDowell Mountain Ranch? From the aerial google maps, it appears several singletrack options? Any thoughts on this area?

    ....ideally, I'd love to ride from my house to the foothills, etc....am I dreaming or is that possible?

    Any advice on realtors or website I might be able to find rental homes on?

    thanks,

    CR

  31. #31
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    gonna add my .02 quick from a guy originally from south dakota...

    by the mayo any place in north scottsdale is good.. if you get closer to phoenix and tatum you get close to PMP trailhead for Trail 100 which is an awesome ride.

    I agree with people saying fountain hills is boring stay in town. //g

  32. #32
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    Here is one trail map of the area. There are several others. Search for McDowell Sonoran Preserve (or MSP or something along those lines) in google or in this forum.

    http://www.mcdowellsonoran.org/map.html

  33. #33
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    wow.

    thanks!

  34. #34
    drink coffee, ride.
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    the only thing we don't have is Homie Fall Fest. But then AZSF is coming, you may need to make a trip south "just to get to know the area"

  35. #35
    Meatbomb
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    McDowell Mountain Ranch is in the middle of an awesome trail system... look at the bypass rides, they go right through that subdivision.

  36. #36
    Mike-e
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    Quote Originally Posted by latedropbob
    You could definetly bring that malibu down...when it's 100+ out all you'll be thinking about is being on your boat. If you live in N. Phoenix you have 3 lakes to choose from. Pleasant, Bartlett, and Roosevelt. Both high quality lakes with lots of skiing and playing room. You'll be fine with those bikes too.. Just remember to run thick tubes with slime and high air pressure...oh and carry lots of water Also being in the N valley you're that much closer to Flagstaff and Prescott and Sedona. All good stuff! I'm a MN transplant of 13+ years and have never wanted to go back. Mosquitos suck!
    You're from MN to?! crazy! we must have moved down here around the same time. We came in '98 and never looked back!

  37. #37
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    Not sure yet, but thinking we (might) rent a furnished house (and put our stuff in storage).
    Don't bother - you'll never move back to MN. Seriously, don't even bother entertaining the idea of moving back. I can count on zero fingers the number of people I know who moved to AZ from the midworst and then returned.

    perhaps lake cabin in MN for the summer, home in phoenix for the winter...
    No need to return to MN in the summer. Drive 2 hours north to Flagstaff for cooler temps, or head west to San Diego during the real heat waves.



    Right now its a toss-up between the Gold Canyon area in the SE and Surprise in the NW.
    Neither. My dad lives in gOld Canyon, and I used to work outside of Surprise. I wouldn't want to live in either location. If you don't have to commute to work then it would be a no-brainer for me: Ahwatukee within a mile of SoMo.

    $200k and awesome location:
    http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/44.../8258888_zpid/
    -MitchB

  38. #38
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    My co-workers and I relocated from Michigan to the Southwest (first Phoenix, now Orange County). We compiled some basic likes/dislikes about SoCal to send back to our friends at the home office (most apply to Phoenix as well):



    *******
    Absolutely everything we miss about Michigan:

    michigan lefts
    paczkis
    vernors
    good arabic food
    euchre
    houses w/basements



    The short list of what sucked the most about Michigan:

    grey
    mosquitos
    potholes
    "wintery mix" and "ice pellets"
    cold, dirty snow, ice, all day dreary rain
    humidity
    flat, swampy landscape
    mdot construction
    angry people
    neverending yardwork
    poison ivy



    The best parts of living in CA:

    sun
    mountains
    sun
    ocean
    sun
    surfing
    sun
    2hrs from every ecosystem in the world: mountains, forests, ocean, deserts, vegas
    sun
    smoking hot girls everywhere
    sun
    san diego, san francisco, huntington beach, long beach, santa monica, santa barbara, monterey bay, mammoth, tahoe, sierra nevadas
    lots of breweries
    recognizing pornstars shopping at costco
    mexican + thai + vietnamese food
    on any given summer day you can: water ski, dirtbike, mtn bike, surf
    on any given winter day you can: snow ski, dirtbike, mtn bike, surf
    sequoia + yosemite + kings canyon natl parks
    laguna seca + willow springs
    angles crest hwy + other twisty roads
    earthquakes (earthquakes are fun)
    watching million dollar homes burn or fall off cliffs during mudslides
    no smoking at bars
    taco stands
    lane splitting on motorcycles


    The worst parts of living in Kalifornia:

    LA
    LA traffic
    LA people
    high rent
    taxes
    expensive gas
    too many rules
    people don't yield the left lane on the freeway
    CHiPs and thier speedtraps
    -MitchB

  39. #39
    In the rear with the beer
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    Quote Originally Posted by arctic slalom
    I was thinking maybe kenda 8 block or nevegal? something thicker for the rock, perhaps?

    I'm 6'2, 236, so i'm thinking a durable tread.


    CR
    I'm just a bit smaller than you and I switch between crossmarks (for speed) and nevegals (for everything else) on my Yeti. They both seem to survive my regulary riding pretty well.

    As a few mentioned, NE Phx isn't a bad choice. Her commute wouldn't be too bad and its a bit cheaper than Scottsdale proper. I live technically NE Phoenix (within the city), but my address is Scottsdale (something to do with the location of the post office, I still don't understand it myself). I can ride to the trails at the PMP and its pretty quick (and actually ridable) to the McDowell trails on the Scottsdale side of the mtns. Plus, its still a pretty quick escape from the city to the northern regions. Moved here from PA in 2005, haven't looked back. Actually, we are currently trying to rent or sell my wife's old house in the same area (tatum/greenway) if its got any appeal to you (PM me if you want any info...we'd even do it furnished).

  40. #40
    Chunky Monkey
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    Lakes

    Quote Originally Posted by clockwork
    Saguro and Canyon lake are closer than roosevelt.
    +1
    And Better.

    Thx,
    John
    Lurkers Unite! Never mind....

  41. #41
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    can a newbie (new to the area, not new rider) ride down there in july (early morning)?

    or will i die?

    i used to ride the Maah daah hey all the time in 95 degree heat.

  42. #42
    And I don't mean the band
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    Quote Originally Posted by arctic slalom
    can a newbie (new to the area, not new rider) ride down there in july (early morning)?

    or will i die?

    i used to ride the Maah daah hey all the time in 95 degree heat.
    If you go out at sun up it's not too bad, but as soon as the sun starts beating on your head it can get pretty tough pretty quickly.... You'll be fine as long as you take it easy and take PLENTY OF WATER...
    Get a bicycle. You will not regret it if you live. --Mark Twain

    BLAWG

  43. #43
    Elitest thrill junkie
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    Phoenix has year-round 24/7 riding.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  44. #44
    mtbr member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem
    Phoenix has year-round 24/7 riding.
    Best place/people EVER!

  45. #45
    In the rear with the beer
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    Quote Originally Posted by arctic slalom
    can a newbie (new to the area, not new rider) ride down there in july (early morning)?

    or will i die?

    i used to ride the Maah daah hey all the time in 95 degree heat.

    You'll survive, my first summer, i used to go out in 100+ for rides (with a full load of cold water and a frozen water bottle). Just be careful and when the warning signs hit don't try to "test your limits".

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phillbo
    McDowell Mountain Ranch is in the middle of an awesome trail system... look at the bypass rides, they go right through that subdivision.
    phil,

    i'd like to read about the trails immediately in this area.

    I looked up; Sunrise, Lost Dog, Paradise, Bell Pass & Quartz.....no dice.

    what are the names of the trails as indicated and reviewed in MTBR for this area (immediately east/ne of McDowell Mountain Ranch?

    any help would be great!

    CR

  47. #47
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    search the forum for bypass... not much for them in the review sections. www.singletrack.us has great maps.

  48. #48
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    Yeah, singletrack.us has the best maps.

    But here is another of the McDowell Mtn area that someone posted a while back. This shows the trails on both the east and west sides.

    http://www.fh.az.gov/content/pdfs/ma...URE_TRAILS.PDF

    EDIT: Since this is a PDF file, don't forget you can zoom way in to get a closeup of any particular area.
    Last edited by jimbowilly; 01-10-2010 at 08:39 AM.

  49. #49
    Nothing can stop me now
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem
    Phoenix has year-round 24/7 riding.
    So does Prescott and Flagstaff and Sunrise and Greer and Mt Lemmon... If your tires are wide enough and blood is thick enough. The only difference is that the trail conditions are always the same in lower deserts. The air temperatures can be invigorating and dangerous though... And there are all these hikers.... and traffic and smog and other "city" stuff to deal with.

  50. #50
    mtbr member
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    crazy last couple weeks:

    son was born, ethan, just shy of 10 lbs.!!

    sold house in Minnesota!!

    went to pre-season game at Target Field (wow, gonna miss it)

    local trails are dry and buff for early season riding!!!

    .....looks like we are going to rent a house in the McDowell Mountain Ranch.

    i'm coming down in early May to secure a rental house...

    thanks again for all the advice in here.

    CR

  51. #51
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    Skol Vikings!
    '10 Rockhopper SL Comp 29er

  52. #52
    How much further ???
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    Quote Originally Posted by longhairmike
    Although i will miss the tight forest singletrack of palos where sometimes the vegetation is so overgrown that you can barely see 10' in front of you and leaves are constantly smacking you in the face.
    As a born and raised Northwest Chicago suburbanite which started my mtn biking career in Iowa, Kettle Moraine, Deer Grove and Palos a couple times, I can say without a doubt you will not miss midwest riding at all.
    “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did." Mark Twain

  53. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by arctic slalom
    ....I was thinking of keeping our old Malibu ski boat in storage in MN, any thoughts on where to take it out if we bring it down?

    CR

    I've ridden (wakeboard) at all the lakes you mentioned except canyon. If you are expecting flat (good) water you you might consider leaving it at home.

    Saguaro = sucks except week days early, and the dead of winter
    Pleasant = terrible unless you want to party, then it is good
    Roosevelt = huge and wide open, rollers travel everywhere during summer, mornings are good
    Bartlet = decent mid week, saturday is worthless, sunday early AM or late PM are decent, late fall/early spring is good
    Apache = good, but a pain in the ass to get to

    I've heard canyon sucks because the walls of the lake are ehhh, canyons and rollers bounce off everything and don't dissipate.

    If you don't mind putting your boat on salt water you could get a pass to firebird, however it is very far away from fountain hills. regardless, it is the best riding in the valley if you can stomach the salt. A pass, a couple years ago was 3k/year, and worth every penny. Plenty of access to the water, and flat as can be. I pretty much stopped riding after my buddy didn't renew his pass there.

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