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  1. #1
    Racerboy Wannabe
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    New question here. Where should a mountain biker live?

    Hey guys...

    It looks like my job is going to have me relocating to Phoenix later this summer (shooting for mid-August). I've been looking around for places to rent (apartments and/or houses) but am kind of clueless where I should be looking. Living close to the office won't be an issue for me because I won't be in the office most days. What is an issue is proximity to single track and good roads for road riding. If you could live anywhere in or around Phoenix basing your decision on where to live off of how the trails were around there, where would you live?

    I've done some looking around and it looks like somewhere around South Mountain might be the place to be. Looks like there's a ton of single-track and there are some roads going through the mountains. Am I on the right track? Is there somewhere better?

    I am a bi-cyclists and like spending time on the road too. If there's a bunch of different types of riding, I'm mostly a XC to aggresive XC rider. I don't mind doing small drops, but generally like to keep my wheels close to the ground.

    Thanks...
    Travis S - blog

  2. #2
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    i live right at SoMo and its the best possible place to live for any type of riding, plus we can show you all the hidden drops and dj's. the people are nice and there arre plenty of shops and riding and no crime. look in ahwatukee?? spelling
    All Mountain was so 2005

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Travis S
    Hey guys...

    I've done some looking around and it looks like somewhere around South Mountain might be the place to be. Looks like there's a ton of single-track and there are some roads going through the mountains. Am I on the right track? Is there somewhere better?

    I am a bi-cyclists and like spending time on the road too. If there's a bunch of different types of riding, I'm mostly a XC to aggresive XC rider. I don't mind doing small drops, but generally like to keep my wheels close to the ground.

    Thanks...
    I don't live in Phoenix, but ride there alot. Personally the closer to South Mountain the better, for both mountain and road riding.

    I don't mean to hijack your thread, but I wonder if you can explain to me what is "aggressive XC riding". I have been wondering this for some time. When you change from XC to aggressive XC do you do something different with your body position, or get a different look on your face, or growl at other riders as you overtake them, or what? Can you do both on the same bike, or does this require two different bikes?

    You could be the first person to clue me into what I am missing here.

    John W.
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  4. #4
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    generally agg xc is a little burlier bike, not a trail bike, and a tad tougher trails. its a happy medium between trai bikes and xc bikes, although either bike may be used for this type of riding. and thats exactly the kind of riding SoMo has, and a bunch of techy dh and stuff. seriously you need to move to ahwatukee.
    All Mountain was so 2005

  5. #5
    Racerboy Wannabe
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    Quote Originally Posted by papajohn
    I don't mean to hijack your thread, but I wonder if you can explain to me what is "aggressive XC riding". I have been wondering this for some time.
    No bother... To me, it's always been a cross between regular XC and freeride. Generally, stuff that has a high pucker factor but your wheels stay relatively close to the ground. That's just how I define it though. El Paso has a lot of what I consider aggressive XC. There's no real drops, it's not at all freeride, but I've heard of many an XC'er that would hit the trails there and freak out.

    As far as bikes and such that's all personal style. Generally AXC is mild enough that anything but the lightest of lightweight, weight-weenie bikes can handle it if the rider knows what they're doing. Same with anything though... You put a bad rider on a DH bike on a DH course and they could likely find a way to break it (or themselves)...

    Quote Originally Posted by cdub
    and thats exactly the kind of riding SoMo has, and a bunch of techy dh and stuff. seriously you need to move to ahwatukee.
    Sounds like my kind of trails! I'll make sure I pay attention for Ahwatukee when I'm looking for a place. I didn't get my 29'er until I moved out here, I can't wait to see how it floats over the the DHs out there.
    Travis S - blog

  6. #6
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    It is generally agreed that South Mountain is the gem of Phoenix riding. It has light XC, medium rare XC, aggressive XC, trail riding, retro SS riding, downhill, downhill XC, and whatever else there is.

    Seriously though, it has great riding of all types. As to crime, I suspect there is some in all of the So.Mo. communitites as crime is everywhere. I am not too familiar with actual communtities out there, but Ahwatukee is one of them that is very desirable.

    Still, as a T100 guy, I still think you can't go wrong in my neck of the woods - near the T100 area by Shea and 32nd Street. It is very centrally located and right in the middle of most of the riding areas - So.Mo, Pima & Dynamite, Hawes, McDowells, Cave Creek. Some nice places.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dirdir
    Still, as a T100 guy, I still think you can't go wrong in my neck of the woods - near the T100 area by Shea and 32nd Street. It is very centrally located and right in the middle of most of the riding areas - So.Mo, Pima & Dynamite, Hawes, McDowells, Cave Creek. Some nice places.
    What qualifies as T100? I checked Google Maps and came up with this...? In checking house maps there doesn't seem to be too much listed there (that only pulls from Craigslist though).

    To help me get a perspective on distances out there, how long does it take to get to South Mountain from the 32nd and Shea area? It's one thing to guess based on actual distances, its a totally different to actually drive 'em.

    The one thing I did notice about SoMo - the prices seems to be a little on the higher side. Is that generally true?
    Travis S - blog

  8. #8
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    You could be the first person to clue me into what I am missing here.

    John W.[/QUOTE]
    I don't know if you deserve a clue!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by yetisurly
    You could be the first person to clue me into what I am missing here.

    John W.
    I don't know if you deserve a clue![/QUOTE]


    WTF????????????????????
    All Mountain was so 2005

  10. #10
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    I haven't done much road riding over by SoMo so I can't say much about that but if I had it to do over again I'd be dragging down the home prices over by dirdir, skinny-tire and yetisurly.
    anyone rember the the other thread we had on this a few months ago that was covered rather extensively? and who the hell was it that moved here that time?
    This is just need to know information: Am i supposed to enjoy the irony or pity the sincerity?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by yetisurly
    You could be the first person to clue me into what I am missing here.

    John W.
    I don't know if you deserve a clue![/QUOTE]


    You are probably right...it's just that I take a kind of "jack of all trades, master of none" approach to mountain biking, and like to be capable of most of the different types and styles of riding.

    I was a bit distressed when I thought I might have to get yet one more bike (not to mention a whole new set of helmet/shoes/clothing) in order to ride aggressive XC.

    Based on your explanation I think with some effort I can learn to ride like that on one of the bikes I already own, and probably wear the same gear. My wife will be pleased about that!

    Thanks for caring.

    John W.
    Last edited by papajohn; 07-04-2005 at 07:17 PM.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by YuriB
    anyone rember the the other thread we had on this a few months ago that was covered rather extensively? and who the hell was it that moved here that time?

    Yeah...here's that thread (http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.ph...25477#poststop) , this is like dejavu.

    Also regarding the road stuff...I don't know much about it, but every time I go to McDowell Park there is like a ton of roadies on Dynamite/Rio Verde and McDowell Mountain Road. This area would be the city of Fountain Hills I believe.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Travis S
    What qualifies as T100? I checked Google Maps and came up with this...? In checking house maps there doesn't seem to be too much listed there (that only pulls from Craigslist though).

    To help me get a perspective on distances out there, how long does it take to get to South Mountain from the 32nd and Shea area? It's one thing to guess based on actual distances, its a totally different to actually drive 'em.

    The one thing I did notice about SoMo - the prices seems to be a little on the higher side. Is that generally true?
    I am talking about North Central Phoenix. The area I am in is near Shea and 32nd Street. Its not Paradise Valley, its not the Central Corridor, its just North Central Phoenix. T100, when I use that term, includes the entire Northern Mountain Preserve area.

    From my house to So.Mo. (the Ramadas at 48th Street) it takes me approximately 22 minutes except during rush hour. Phoenix has a true rush hour in the am (7-9?)and pm (4-6?) that would slow the time to maybe 40-45 minutes. Takes about 45 minutes to get to the McDowells, same to get to Hawes.

    Prices are out of control almost everywhere. Ahwahtukee more so. Very desirable. So to are all of the good areas near So.Mo.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by YuriB
    I haven't done much road riding over by SoMo so I can't say much about that but if I had it to do over again I'd be dragging down the home prices over by dirdir, skinny-tire and yetisurly.
    anyone rember the the other thread we had on this a few months ago that was covered rather extensively? and who the hell was it that moved here that time?
    If you hurry up, there is a house 5 doors down from me for sale.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by skinny-tire
    If you hurry up, there is a house 5 doors down from me for sale.
    Really? Any data? What's the zip over there?
    This is just need to know information: Am i supposed to enjoy the irony or pity the sincerity?

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Travis S
    Generally AXC is mild enough that anything but the lightest of lightweight, weight-weenie bikes can handle it if the rider knows what they're doing.
    Then south mountain (national, etc) could easily fit the description.
    I know in my heart that Ellsworth bikes are more durable by as much as double. AND they are all lighter...Tony Ellsworth

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Travis S
    El Paso has a lot of what I consider aggressive XC. There's no real drops, it's not at all freeride, but I've heard of many an XC'er that would hit the trails there and freak out.
    Not to put too fine a point on this issue, but I'm confused again. Is it the trail that is aggressive or the riding style? If I rode those trails in El Paso in a timid fashion, would they still be aggressive XC trails?

    More importantly, I'm guessing you must wear baggies, not lycra, to ride AXC, true?

    John W.
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  18. #18
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    Looks like somebody opened a can of smartass this morning...

    p.
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  19. #19
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    Where should a mountain biker live?

    In his car, parked by the trail.

  20. #20
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    Have to mention the East Valley.

    I ride both on and off road and live fairly close to Hawes and Pass Mountain. Can also jump on my road bike and get a nice frontside/backside Usery loop in. Saguaro and Canyon Lakes are fun, but dangerous this time of year with all of the boats/trailers. Tortilla Flats or even (gulp)......the end of the pavement (roadies that have been out past Tortilla Flats will know what I'm talking about...) are also "must see" rides.

    Whatever your choice, there is a lot of riding to do around the valley. Good luck and welcome.
    "I've got nothing to hoard...."

  21. #21
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    The End of the Road ride rocks! First time I ever broke 50mph.

    What are home prices like in Mordor, I mean Las Sendas?

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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul B
    Looks like somebody opened a can of smartass this morning...

    p.
    Surely you aren't referring to me!? You know me better than that.

    As the Wordmeister, you know how important it is that we define our terms. For all I knew "aggressive XC" meant going off-trail, and here we were suggesting the fellow locate near South Mountain!

    Who here truly knew what "linear" and "progressive" meant when applied to shocks/forks the first time they ever heard the terms? Not me. I gotta ask to have these things clarified if I'm going to participate here without making an udder fool of myself.

    Like this morning, I went out to Golder Ranch assuming that if I rode at high speed through all the sections I normally pick my way through, that I would be doing "aggressive XC riding". All I accomplished was crashing multiple times and tearing my derailleur off the back of the bike.

    That's why I thought I better come back herer and check my facts.

    John W.
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by papajohn
    Surely you aren't referring to me!? You know me better than that.


    I tried aggressive XC for a while but I ended up throwing too many elbows into non-yielding descenders and yelling at riders without helmets. So my new strategy is to master passive-aggressive XC riding. Mostly I just scowl and tsk a lot.

    p.
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul B


    I tried aggressive XC for a while but I ended up throwing too many elbows into non-yielding descenders and yelling at riders without helmets. So my new strategy is to master passive-aggressive XC riding. Mostly I just scowl and tsk a lot.

    p.
    LMAO! I already knew all that, I was just wondering if you were going to throw your hat in the ring here, and you did not disappoint! Have you given up your "aggressive road-riding" too?

    John W.
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  25. #25
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    Lmfao

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul B

    So my new strategy is to master passive-aggressive XC riding. Mostly I just scowl and tsk a lot.

    p.
    ....try it on a Gestalt Unicycle

    you may have been spending to much time in Sedona
    This is just need to know information: Am i supposed to enjoy the irony or pity the sincerity?

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by YuriB
    you may have been spending to much time in Sedona
    Dude...you're harshing my mellow. Ssshhh.

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  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by papajohn
    Have you given up your "aggressive road-riding" too?
    Hell no! They'll have to pry it from my dead, cold fingers. Which they probably will, despite all my yelling, hood-slapping and bird-flinging.

    p.
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  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by papajohn
    Sorry, double post. My bad.

    John W.
    Seems to me that we've got a lot of "antagonistic XC" types on this board...

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by LCdaveH
    In his car, parked by the trail.
    I thought it was "In an Element (or do you still own the Scoby Mobile?) down by the trail head...".
    Travis S - blog

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by papajohn
    Dammit Rex, does THAT require another bicycle too? How much suspension would you recommend for antagonistic XC riding?

    John W.
    7"/7" and a very slack head angle.

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  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Srexy
    Seems to me that we've got a lot of "antagonistic XC" types on this board...
    Dammit Rex, does THAT require another bicycle too? How much suspension would you recommend for antagonistic XC riding?

    John W.
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  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by papajohn
    Dammit Rex, does THAT require another bicycle too? How much suspension would you recommend for antagonistic XC riding?

    John W.
    - I'm sure there are other users better equipped to answer that than me!

    Travis - either T100 or SoMo will do very nicely.Tempe is a good spot. What other criteria do you have for your living situation?

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Srexy
    - I'm sure there are other users better equipped to answer that than me!

    Travis - either T100 or SoMo will do very nicely.Tempe is a good spot. What other criteria do you have for your living situation?
    I've been in and out of the loop for about a month now, but are you still a Zonie, or have you started using y'all yet?

  34. #34
    Racerboy Wannabe
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    Quote Originally Posted by Srexy
    Travis - either T100 or SoMo will do very nicely.Tempe is a good spot. What other criteria do you have for your living situation?
    Hmm... A house or apartment is fine. I'll probably rent for at least 6 months so I can make sure I'm in the part of town where I'm spending all my time. Something 800 - 1100 sq feet: gotta have room for the bikes to kick up their heels

    It looks like rent is super cheap on houses if you want to get out away from Phoenix. I don't want to spend all my time in the car though - unless of course I could get out and be in the mountains with good roads for road biking and singletrack nearby

    The next question: if you were going to live an hour or two out of Phoenix and didn't have to come back in every day for work, where would you live?
    Travis S - blog

  35. #35
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    It's definitely a renter's market. In the last 6 months, the housing prices here have exploded. IMO, most of the "hot" neighborhoods are overpriced (I saw a POS 1900 square foot home--very dated--on a fairly busy street about a mile Trail 100 that was listed at 420K).

    If I was going to live two hours outside of Phx, I'd live in Flagstaff....and drive real fast! Are you asking about suburbs? Cave Creek is actually really nice, and I think still affordable. I think Fountin Hills is also nice, but I'd venture to say is also overpriced (check out the apartments there, but my guess is, they are much higher than what you will find in the city).

  36. #36
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    Suburbs = no.

    I was thinking Flagstaff, but I don't know if I want to deal with the snow in the winter. I'm guessing at 7k' a ski-bike or skis are a necessity if you want to stay active during the winter.
    Travis S - blog

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Travis S
    Hmm... A house or apartment is fine. I'll probably rent for at least 6 months so I can make sure I'm in the part of town where I'm spending all my time. Something 800 - 1100 sq feet: gotta have room for the bikes to kick up their heels

    It looks like rent is super cheap on houses if you want to get out away from Phoenix. I don't want to spend all my time in the car though - unless of course I could get out and be in the mountains with good roads for road biking and singletrack nearby

    The next question: if you were going to live an hour or two out of Phoenix and didn't have to come back in every day for work, where would you live?
    How about your choice of neighbourhood vibe? I'm guessing you're a bachelor in which case I'd hit South Scottsdale or Tempe. Check out the Phoenix Craigslist for an idea of rents in different areas. Houses seem to be a relative bargain these days vs. condos - however it may be too much for one person $wise.

    Jeff - I'm practising my kite-surfing/shark boxing technique in preparation for my trip to the Gulf of Mexico - I hear they have plenty of wind over there... I'm hoping that the house won't have blown away before we attempt to move into it.

    2hrs out - you could almost push Prescott with that in mind...

  38. #38
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    Ok - well Flagstaff and Prescott where two of the places I had thought of if I don't live in Phoenix. Either one of them better than the other?

    As far as neighborhood vibe - urbans always cool, but from what I understand Phoenix doesn't have too much of a downtown and the lofts I've seen listed down there are more than I want to pay. The biggest thing is being in an area that biker friendly. I know there are places in every city that you generally try to avoid on bike because of the idiot drivers and such and there's always places that seem to be geared more towards cyclists (or at least tolerate them better).
    Travis S - blog

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Travis S
    Ok - well Flagstaff and Prescott where two of the places I had thought of if I don't live in Phoenix. Either one of them better than the other?

    As far as neighborhood vibe - urbans always cool, but from what I understand Phoenix doesn't have too much of a downtown and the lofts I've seen listed down there are more than I want to pay. The biggest thing is being in an area that biker friendly. I know there are places in every city that you generally try to avoid on bike because of the idiot drivers and such and there's always places that seem to be geared more towards cyclists (or at least tolerate them better).
    Phoenix is not terribly bike-friendly but if there is one pocket of bike-friendliness it'd have to be Tempe due in no small part to ASU. We're talking - bar and back or grocery store and back bike-friendliness.

    Depending on your perspective - ASU is either an asset or a detriment to the night-life. I don't know what it's like to live there but from an outsider's perspective it certainly seems to have a cool vibe.

    Check out www.tbag.us for some of the fun the locals enjoy there. It's close enough to SoMo and the freeways to make it a good MTB jumping off point.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Travis S
    Ok - well Flagstaff and Prescott where two of the places I had thought of if I don't live in Phoenix. Either one of them better than the other?

    As far as neighborhood vibe - urbans always cool, but from what I understand Phoenix doesn't have too much of a downtown and the lofts I've seen listed down there are more than I want to pay. The biggest thing is being in an area that biker friendly. I know there are places in every city that you generally try to avoid on bike because of the idiot drivers and such and there's always places that seem to be geared more towards cyclists (or at least tolerate them better).
    If I had my choice of places to live in Arizona within two hours of Phoenix, I would move to Tucson. I left in 1992. Back then, it was very road bike friendly. I rode all the time (5 days a week) and had almost no issues with drivers. Assuming you are a decent roadie, from town, you could hit Mt. Lemon, Gates Pass, Oracle, Marana, Madera Canyon, and many more. We even had a 20 mile night ride to the airport and back. It has lots of dirt trails too.

    Big enough to be called a city, with all the city things, but not too big. It is cooler than Phoenix. Most significantly, my guess is that it cools off much more at night. I like the mountain towns, but not when it is cold.
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  41. #41
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    Here's my 2 cents.

    You can't go wrong if you live near South Mountin, the Phoenix Mountain preserve or in Fountain Hills.

    South Mountain provides the greatest variety and number of trails. There is also great road riding in the park (the roads were repaved last year) and in the Ahwatukee foothills. You could find condo rentals at the Point South Mountain if you wanted to be trailside, or find a house in the Ahwatukee area. The baseline corridor, along Baseline road in Phoenix, is also booming with new housing developments so you might be able to get into a new build there.

  42. #42
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    Housing by Honda

    Quote Originally Posted by Travis S
    I thought it was "In an Element (or do you still own the Scoby Mobile?) down by the trail head...".
    The Element makes a fine portable biker housing pod.

    Smokin' Ray's got the Scooby (the blue/white Sanford wagon - cue 70s sitcom music).

    I had Beauregard the Big A$$ Van. That white van was so large it had smaller vans trapped in orbit around it.

  43. #43
    Fragile - must be Italian
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    Places to live

    Quote Originally Posted by jaybird
    You can't go wrong if you live near South Mountin, the Phoenix Mountain preserve or in Fountain Hills.

    South Mountain provides the greatest variety and number of trails. There is also great road riding in the park (the roads were repaved last year) and in the Ahwatukee foothills. You could find condo rentals at the Point South Mountain if you wanted to be trailside, or find a house in the Ahwatukee area. The baseline corridor, along Baseline road in Phoenix, is also booming with new housing developments so you might be able to get into a new build there.
    I second Jay's opinion. If you want to live in a MTB area, then the best bets are near SoMo, near Phx Mtn Preserve, and NE Scottsdale/Ftn Hills. These are also the best places for road riding. Mesa has some riding too, but I detest that town for many reasons I won't post here.

    If you're on a budget, then scratch NE Scottsdale/Ftn Hills. Even dinky condo's sell for $500K+ in those areas.

    The Phx Mtn Preserve is a very mixed bag for housing. The eastern end of the trail is near PV. Houses over there go for $1M+ for a "fixer upper". Nice houses are $2M+. On the western end the housing prices become much more affordable -- you can probably find a decent house in the $200K range.

    Ahwatukee housing is also all over the map. There are many cheaper tracts in the $200K range and some more expensive homes >$500K. Ahwatukee also has a lot of condos, which may better suit your style.

    If you want culture + MTB, well then you're going to be relatively limited. If you really want culture, then look at Tempe (near ASU) or East Phoenix (near Biltmore/Arcadia). Both areas are within a 20 minute bike ride to the nearest trails. Many of my more "cultured" friends have also moved into central Phoenix, but then there is no access to biking down there.

    Good luck.

    BTW - if you're in the market later in the summer, I'm going to be putting my house on the market. It's 1 block from the Phx Mtn Preserve Trail 100. And it's one hell of a party house.

    Thx...Doug

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