Anybody here in El Centro, CA- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Anybody here in El Centro, CA

    I currently live in the L.A. area and might be moving to El Centro soon. Anybody here from that area? From what I've seen it's pretty flat. Where's the mountainbiking? Do you drive to San Diego for your trails fix?

    Thanks in advance.
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  2. #2
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    Zero hills. Its in Imperial Valley, (near Yuma AZ) a big farming community. I've unfortunately spent time there
    in the 1990's doing immigration stories, illegal alien crossings, farm/drought stories.
    Hablamos Espanol sin embargo

    If you do
    some riding around town, lock up your bike, unemployment rate is a bit steep there. Also its
    hot and sometimes muggy and hot. Great combo. Nice to have warmth in the winter months though. Summer
    is awful. Just as bad as Fresno. A/C is mandatory. Good luck in your endeavors.

  3. #3
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    El Centro is a pit. During the summer is REEKS and just smells horrible because of all the farms out there. The smell bakes and rises and sits in the city. It got it's first mall not to long ago. Buy a road bike.

  4. #4
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    You can ride the BMX track in El Centro.

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  5. #5
    CEB
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    No one will admit to living in El Centro.

    I've driven by several times........
    Last edited by CEB; 08-10-2012 at 01:28 PM.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by fatcat View Post
    Zero hills. Its in Imperial Valley, (near Yuma AZ) a big farming community. I've unfortunately spent time there
    in the 1990's doing immigration stories, illegal alien crossings, farm/drought stories.
    Hablamos Espanol sin embargo

    If you do
    some riding around town, lock up your bike, unemployment rate is a bit steep there. Also its
    hot and sometimes muggy and hot. Great combo. Nice to have warmth in the winter months though. Summer
    is awful. Just as bad as Fresno. A/C is mandatory. Good luck in your endeavors.


    Stories? Are you a journalist? I have a reporting gig lined up down there.
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  7. #7
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    And thank you for the tips everybody. I saw that it's quite flat. My road bike and BMX will get plenty of use there. I guess I'll have to drive out to the trails.
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  8. #8
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    Honestly El Centro probably isn't further from some of the goods in the Mt Laguna area than San Diego. It may even be a shorter drive to some places like Lake Morena. So I wouldn't despair - you may not have much 10 minutes from your doorstep but if you're willing to do a little driving you should be fine.

    Also, I've done some camping north of the Ocotillo exit on I-8, there's all sorts of dirt roads running up into those valleys east of the mountains separating San Diego from the Imperial Valley. There may be trails worth riding out there I just don't know them. The desert around there is wonderful for camping from fall through spring provided you avoid any heavy rains. I'd take my MTB and explore more when camping out there but the kids aren't big enough to ride yet. Given the rep El Centro has around here (probably deservedly so) you may be looking to get out of town on weekends anyways!

  9. #9
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    Ah, beautiful Hell Centro...

    No real MTB riding there - you can go ride along fields and canals on the dirt or in the desert (not much fun). Best bet is to head West towards the Cuyamacas in the summer. About an hour 20 to Julian, about the same to Pine Valley to ride Noble and other stuff up there. Lake Morena is a bit closer and a fun ride.

    El Centro is HOT in the summer. It's hitting 115 right now. Can't recall the exact statistic but I think it has the nation's second highest unemployment rate (Yuma 1st?).

    You can drive to Phoenix and ride South Mountain, etc (4 hour drive or so) or keep going to Sedona. Tucson too.

    Redeeming qualities? Camacho's Mexican food, Burgers and Beer, Chinese food in Mexicali, great weather in the winter. Mah's Kitchen in El Centro is pretty good (Chinese). There's a Wal Mart, Costco, Target, Home Depot (all signs a town has "arrived" ) and as someone mentioned, a mall with a Macy's and Dillards that went in a few years ago. Lots of beer too.

    Not a great town but as with everywhere, it's what you make of it.

  10. #10
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    Thank you, everybody. I'll keep you posted.
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  11. #11
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    Been here over a month now and haven't touched the MTB once. Went out a few times on the track bike and the BMX. Love riding those bikes but need to get some singletrack soon. Proper research is necessary.
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  12. #12
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    If you don't drive like a granny you can get to pine valley in an hour, easy. No worries about traffic either. Check out lake moreno too. Also, some fun fire roads to ride around the jucumba. Just stay away from the nudist colony. Search for the thread about the train tracks ride too. Park in Ocotillo and ride up the highway then ride the tracks back down.

    Superstition has some fun riding too. You'll get some funny looks from the people riding motorized toys ha ha. Also some guys ride out by, I forgot the name of the place, but it's off Huff road inbetween Wheeler and Imler road. Actually some fun little decents on that ride. They ride it year round. Need lights for the winter rides. Some other guys have a ride they do out near Brawley too. Maybe meet up with the road bike group there to get in touch with the guys that ride mtb. Imperial Valley Velo Club - Group Rides

    Also check out MountainBikeBill's Mountain biking Trail Reviews, Videos and Pictures for info on a ride or two near palm desert.

    I lived there for a long time. I pass back throughs occasionally and will try and hit you up if I'll be there long enough for a ride.

    It is hot there during the summer and it's no mtb mecca, but you can still have some fun riding there. I'd probably choose to live there over the middle of LA. Oh, get some carne asada from Kennedys market, pico market, and el sol (in imperial). Lots of good mexican places to eat too. everytime I visit I load up on carne.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vlad View Post
    Been here over a month now and haven't touched the MTB once. Went out a few times on the track bike and the BMX. Love riding those bikes but need to get some singletrack soon. Proper research is necessary.
    It might be heresy on this site, but have you considered getting a motorcycle? The winter riding out on the desert is pretty fun. It's pretty cool to "slalom" through the creosote bushes at 50 mph. Years ago I participated in some enduro events out of Plaster City. I don't know if they are still going on, but there was a series of events every year. And if you haven't been over to the dunes at Glamis, you have to check that out. It's a pretty amazing scene.

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