How's riding around Raleigh?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    How's riding around Raleigh?

    I'm looking to move up there in about a year and I'm having a hard time finding info on trails in the area. Most of what I've found seems to be more cross country oriented. How far would I have to travel to get into more all mountain or even downhill type riding? Does anyone have any videos of the trails I can watch? Thanks

  2. #2
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    I moved to the area about 2.5 years ago from Florida. My ride time increased exponentially. Most things around here are more cross country oriented. The benefit that the area has is that you have so many options on singletrack, each with its own unique feel. In Fl I considered myself lucky when I only had to drive 45 mins to access good singletrack. Here I can ride from my house.

    Western NC mountains are ~4 hours away, with plenty of great riding in between.

    Closest lift access DH is Beech Mountain (~3 hrs away). Snowshoe is ~5.5 hrs away, but is worth the drive for DH.

    Check out TriangleMTB.com, your source for mountain biking in Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill for more info on the local trails. That site is a good place to start. Once you get here just start riding. You will hook up with some locals that will eventually introduce you to the bandit trails in the area. The bandits will have everything you are looking for if you haven't already found it.

    ~Kirby

  3. #3
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    Thanks that's good to know. I'm actually living in Florida now. How do you like the area in general?

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    My wife and I love it. It is a beautiful state, & Raleigh is decently located to see it all. 3 hrs to the beach, 4 hrs to the Mountains. If you live "the saltlife" it may be a big adjustment for you. I was born & raised in Daytona Beach, She was born & raised in Panama City. Although we didn't really consider ourselves to love the ocean (being so close to it for so long), we did find that we missed seeing all the water when we first moved up. We have since found lakes & swimming holes to fill those gaps.

    Our two most common grievances would be:
    1) Living relatively far from family
    2) Adjusting to the cold winters (Each year has been getting better. Embrace a winter sport & you will love the cold)

    Back to the important thing.... MTB. I can literally ride a good 50 miles of mixed single track from my door, with 100s of miles of options within an hour. It is a really big benefit to just be able to decide to ride after work, & actually have time to do it due to no/limited drive time. Rocky, Flowy, fast, jump lines, pump tracks, you name it. The trails are always changing with people putting work into them. My bike stable has increased to having an XC, DH, & jump bike (XC & jump used locally).

    We have Asheville in our sites for the future. Raleigh is just difficult to leave due to it having more jobs in the area.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonMX5 View Post
    I'm looking to move up there in about a year and I'm having a hard time finding info on trails in the area. Most of what I've found seems to be more cross country oriented. How far would I have to travel to get into more all mountain or even downhill type riding? Does anyone have any videos of the trails I can watch? Thanks
    Like mentioned, everything is hours away. There are some good trails there though that will keep you entertained. I live in the mountains bit go there a couple times a year to visit family and take a bike to ride. Also, when you get there it won't take long to find the super secret trails with all the gap jumps. It is the worst kept secret in all of Raleigh.
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by kjlued View Post
    Also, when you get there it won't take long to find the super secret trails with all the gap jumps. It is the worst kept secret in all of Raleigh.
    Quote Originally Posted by kjlued View Post
    Maybe we shouldn't spread this around.
    Word gets out, more bikes ride, people complain and rangers are forced to do something.
    Besides, not just mountain bikers read these forums.

    Just saying, but do what you want.
    Why point out the existence in the Triangle, but downplay the existence in WNC?
    Experienced riders find the bandits quickly, noobs find the bandits because the internet tells them to look for them. Then noobs get hurt, barricades are put up, and enforcement gets stepped up (even if it is only temporary). Why accelerate that process?

  7. #7
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    Please, I didn't even ask and people were telling me where they were without knowing anything about my riding ability.
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by kjlued View Post
    Please, I didn't even ask and people were telling me where they were without knowing anything about my riding ability.
    Heh...yeah. Last time I visited that area there were so many people openly parking and riding those trails that I couldn't even get a parking spot. I parked at a legit nearby trail system and the first person who talked to me asked me if I was riding through to get to the others.

  9. #9
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    No argument that they are quite easy to find when you show up. Just no need to put the comments out on the internet to get someone to go in search of them.

    Every time someone asks about the Triangle area, the response about the not so secret bandits is posted, from someone in WNC no less.

    Now we're dealing with the annual threat of the legit trails getting developed into commercial buildings. Having just one person go out and hurt themselves bad in a nearby area by screwing up a gap is one thing we don't need to deal with, especially considering it's the same land owner for the bandit and legit trails.
    Last edited by RDU Goldfish; 10-23-2014 at 08:35 AM. Reason: clarify what developed meant

  10. #10
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    I agree with most everything that's been said here except the sentiment that "everything is hours away". You do have to drive a ways to get to the really long uphills and downhills but there are a lot of different trails in the area that are fun and enough to satisfy most people (even excluding the bandit trails): Harris and Crabtree are awesome for beginners and singlespeeders, Beaverdam is fun and flowy, and New Light is perfect when you need to do some bloodletting and can't find any leeches.

  11. #11
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    P.S. You can search for any of the trail names above in youtube to see video but, in my opinion, video never really does a trail justice

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by RDU Goldfish View Post
    No argument that they are quite easy to find when you show up. Just no need to put the comments out on the internet to get someone to go in search of them.

    Every time someone asks about the Triangle area, the response about the not so secret bandits is posted, from someone in WNC no less.

    Now we're dealing with the annual threat of the legit trails getting developed into commercial buildings. Having just one person go out and hurt themselves bad in a nearby area by screwing up a gap is one thing we don't need to deal with, especially considering it's the same land owner for the bandit and legit trails.
    BTW, you did notice that I never posted the location.

    The fact is, if he moved to Raleigh without knowing that the bandit trails exist, he wold still find out within a week. I found out on my first visit with my bike while riding a trail system in Apex not knowing anything about them.

    Everyone knows and nobody keeps it a secret.

    BTW, when I rode them it just got done raining the week before and cut a bunch of downed trees and replaced a few bridges that washed out from the flooding.

    Even though you probably didn't know that happened, you're welcome.
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

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