What would you recommend to a Canadian looking for some riding?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    What would you recommend to a Canadian looking for some riding?

    am contemplating a trip from recently snowbound Calgary to somewhere warm and snow free to get in some much needed riding in the next week or two.

    I have been looking around and have somewhat narrowed down my choices to Palm Springs or Phoenix. Is there anyone who has ridden in both areas extensively and has an opinion?

    So, a few questions:

    I can get relatively cheap condos and flights to either place and would like to try palm springs but am not sure if mtn biking is more accessible in Phoenix? I have been researching some trails and sounds like there is good biking in PS but only if you know where you are going whereas Phoenix has more of a mapped network?

    Do the mtns around either areas get much snow this time of year?

    I am a fairly fit rider, looking for some good AM/XC trails and dont' mind climbing if it means a good down. i normally ride 20-30km (12-18miles) rides around here. I will be bringing my bike wiht me.

    i will likely travelling alone, as no one around here can swing a trip last minute without a) losing their job or b) losing their wife or both.

    I will post this same question in the Arizona forum

    Thanks in advance
    Last edited by Gunnar-man; 12-03-2011 at 08:39 PM.

  2. #2
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    I don't know about the riding around Palm Springs, but I'm wondering why you chose there instead of somewhere coastal? Lots and lots of riding in San Diego, Orange and Los Angeles counties. Might not be as cheap to get a condo, I don't know. But there are lots of trails and the weather is likely to be good, and no worries about snow! The weather near the coast will be more moderate - not as cold at night.

  3. #3
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    Phoenix and Palm Springs are two of my two favorite winter riding places. You will not go wrong at either place.

    You are correct that Phoenix probably has more mapped networks. It also has more riding areas. And everything you could want from mellow XC, to competitive tracks (bike specific race trails) to chunk to mega chunk. There is also Black Canyon Trail just north of town, a great ~70mi XC trail The Black Canyon Trail. And Sedona is just 2 hrs north, rideable year round, and well worth the drive up for a day or two. Or ten. Tucson also has good stuff an hour and a half away. Between these places you would have no problem filling any amount of time.

    Palm Springs has a network above town that I really like, and you could spend at least a couple days there and not ride everything. While the trails are good you would probably be looking for a change of scenery after that. There is lots you can check out without going too far. Idyllwild, in the mountains above Palm Springs, has great trails at Hurkey Creek or Alvin Meadows. It won't be your warm weather this time of year, at elevation however. Its maybe an hour drive. Lots of other stuff in San Diego, OC, LA as mentioned. 2-3 hours driving away from Palm Springs. That could add up to lots of driving though unless you move accomodations a couple times. Endless variety could be had.

    My suggestion would probably be Phoenix if you want to base from one location. Definitely do a side trip to Sedona. People can help with maps once you make a choice, but for now you can start with MountainBikeBill's Mountain biking Trail Reviews, Videos and Pictures. His site focuses on SoCal but has some writeups on Arizona too. Worth checking out and might help your decision process.

  4. #4
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    I know some guys that are planning to ride Palm Canyon (sounds like what you are looking for and it's near Palm Springs) on December 17th. Let me know if you want more information.

  5. #5
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    Both are fun but if I had the choice Phoenix definitely would win. More trail variety, more scenic and you can take a side trip to Sedona. Plus, I love exploring on a bike trip but getting lost and riding lame trails sucks. Less chance of that in Phoenix/Sedona.
    Have fun!

  6. #6
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    Thanks for the info guys


    The reason i had "decided" on PS or PHX was that I plan on flying with Westjet and they do direct flights from Calgary to both. Also, I have travelled with my bike with them before and they were awesome and i am not a fan of Air Canada, United, Continental etc. Plus, i have heard horror stories of driving in SOCAL traffic (long commute times) and kinda wnat to ride in the area I am staying so

    From some of the responses in the AZ forum, I think PHX is probably the best for a solo rider like me.

    Thanks again. All the info is awesome.

  7. #7
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    Phoenix is THE WINTER MTN BIKING DESTINATION. Go there for sure. There isn't enough time in the remainder of your life to ride all the options there. No snow there unless you travel upstate into the higher elevations.
    life is... "All About Bikes"...

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gunnar-man View Post
    From some of the responses in the AZ forum, I think PHX is probably the best for a solo rider like me.
    As a Canadian who has visited Phoenix/Sedona a few times to get away from BC's wet coast in winter, it's a great place for riding. South Mountain will keep you busy for a couple of days and Sedona is well worth the 2 hour drive to ride there. Not sure what is rideable in Flagstaff at this time of year but lots of fun trails there too. Enjoy the good Mexican food that's available there, too! Have fun!

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