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  1. #1
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    Best of Best mountain bike towns/states

    What would people on here say is the best place to live and ride?

    I am packing it up and moving next spring to where this place maybe. My requirements are of this....

    Needs year round or damn close to year round riding.

    kick ass trails...a good mix of downhills and flowing singletrack

    Affordable and a real town...not a tourist, seasonal, expensive destination resort type town.

    Snow resorts somewhat in driveable distance for winter fun.

    and the most important of all...damn good beer!

    From what I've found Arizona seems to fit the closest to those requirements. Looking for other riders persepctives that live across the country.

  2. #2
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    yeah, you're definitely looking at the southwest. socal, arizona, new mexico. texas would qualify if there were close enough skiing.

  3. #3
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    I lived in Chico, CA before hitting the road. It's a great town. Positioned in the upper part of the central valley in CA, the summers are hot (and dry) and you can ride year-round. Bidwell Park starts in the center of town (there's a five mile section that starts right downtown), has a paved loop and lots of singletrack off of that, horse trails etc. They filmed the original Robinhood film there. The park extends up into the foothills where you'll find the more advanced trails. (Google "Bidwell Park" for images) Downieville (hello) is just a few hours drive up into the Sierras, San Francisco is 3.5 hrs to the SW (and Santa Cruz). Skiing a few hours away at Tahoe. Home of Chico State University and the Sierra Nevada Brewery, and they've got great (!) Greek food at Sultan's Bistro (that's always on my list for the perfect town). And don't miss Hula's, a cool stir-fry place where you pick the ingredients and they fry it up for you on an open grill. $8 and it will feed you for four days.

    They have a great little independent theater with couches up front where they show all the art/foreign films, an amazing Thursday night market (complete with rock wall), music in the park every Friday in the summer -- this just might be your kind of town. There's always something going on in Chico.

    Damn, I'm starting to wonder why I ever left. Phfff.....

    The leaves aren't off the trees until just before Christmas. They might get a few days of freeze, but no snow. The locals are friendly. They have an olympic sized pool through which the creek runs that is a gathering place in the summer, and several natural pools/"holes" in the upper park that you have to hike down to that are really amazing...and clothing optional. It's a liberal college town of about 100,000 but it only feels like about 50 or 60, but I admit the traffic is worse than it used to be.

    Worth checking out. I'd never heard of the place but my dad got a job at the university there my last year in college and I ended up there by default.

    Very bike friendly. There's literally a bike shop on every block.
    Lose it? I didn't lose it. It's not like, "Whoops! Where'd my job go?" I QUIT. Someone pass me the asparagus."

  4. #4
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    I would stick with this where I live (Kranj, Slovenia), small place in middle of Alps, with great skiing in winter, great biking in summer and everything else in between But I somehow doubt you are looking for places outside of USA
    Primoz

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by cannesdo
    I lived in Chico, CA before hitting the road. It's a great town. Positioned in the upper part of the central valley in CA, the summers are hot (and dry) and you can ride year-round. Bidwell Park starts in the center of town (there's a five mile section that starts right downtown), has a paved loop and lots of singletrack off of that, horse trails etc. They filmed the original Robinhood film there. The park extends up into the foothills where you'll find the more advanced trails. (Google "Bidwell Park" for images) Downieville (hello) is just a few hours drive up into the Sierras, San Francisco is 3.5 hrs to the SW (and Santa Cruz). Skiing a few hours away at Tahoe. Home of Chico State University and the Sierra Nevada Brewery, and they've got great (!) Greek food at Sultan's Bistro (that's always on my list for the perfect town). And don't miss Hula's, a cool stir-fry place where you pick the ingredients and they fry it up for you on an open grill. $8 and it will feed you for four days.

    They have a great little independent theater with couches up front where they show all the art/foreign films, an amazing Thursday night market (complete with rock wall), music in the park every Friday in the summer -- this just might be your kind of town. There's always something going on in Chico.

    Damn, I'm starting to wonder why I ever left. Phfff.....

    The leaves aren't off the trees until just before Christmas. They might get a few days of freeze, but no snow. The locals are friendly. They have an olympic sized pool through which the creek runs that is a gathering place in the summer, and several natural pools/"holes" in the upper park that you have to hike down to that are really amazing...and clothing optional. It's a liberal college town of about 100,000 but it only feels like about 50 or 60, but I admit the traffic is worse than it used to be.

    Worth checking out. I'd never heard of the place but my dad got a job at the university there my last year in college and I ended up there by default.

    Very bike friendly. There's literally a bike shop on every block.



    Sounds pretty awesome. I live in and have been living in the northwest for close to 2 decades now, so one could say I am over the endless days of rain and wet, cold winters. I've been through Chico a few times in my teenage years visiting family in Oroville (sp?) and loved the dry arid heat. As the other post mentioned, I'm definatly looking at the southwest and parts of Cali as my only options, which is fine...just need to go where the best biking is. I'm a bike mechanic too, so a town with bikes shops is a must!

    Thanks for the info, I'm up to read what others have to say about areas they have lived in. It's easy to visit and ride and fall in love with a place quickly, but long term living can be a different story....kind of like a relationship! hahaha

  6. #6
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    I hear ya. By my fourth year of college in the Pacific NW, I'd had enough of the rain too. Two decades...yowz...time for you to dry out.
    Lose it? I didn't lose it. It's not like, "Whoops! Where'd my job go?" I QUIT. Someone pass me the asparagus."

  7. #7
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    I grew up in Chico and go back to visit. Awesome town. I ride in upper Bidwell Park, and also drive over to Downieville which is only a couple hours away.

    I now live in Austin, Texas and wouldn't trade it for ANYTHING. In fact, it reminds me of Chico but MUCH larger. Chico is under 100,000 people and Austin area is close to a million. The vibe is similar and people are very friendly. We ride all year round. You can hit any mountain bike trail in the area and see somebody you know. We have an awesome mt bike community. Only thing is that you are at least a days drive from snow. But I sure enjoy riding on Thanksgiving in a short sleeve jersey.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by grungePoodle
    I now live in Austin, Texas and wouldn't trade it for ANYTHING. In fact, it reminds me of Chico but MUCH larger. Chico is under 100,000 people and Austin area is close to a million. The vibe is similar and people are very friendly. We ride all year round. You can hit any mountain bike trail in the area and see somebody you know. We have an awesome mt bike community. Only thing is that you are at least a days drive from snow. But I sure enjoy riding on Thanksgiving in a short sleeve jersey.

    Amen.

    But you and I look at one point a little different. I'm thinking it's yet another perk that snow is
    a day's drive away.

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  9. #9
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    I've always liked Chico, it's a very friendly college town and with Bidwell Park, it's really pretty nice. The bike shops I have been to there in Chico had knowledgeable and friendly people working there. Oroville is not too far away for riding trails over there or boating and fishing. Skiing isn't too much farther away. Austin is just too big (if I am on the feeder road, I can see the freeway, but just can't get onto it, takes a little getting used to), but I've enjoyed visting there a few times over the years. If you are in the rainy PNW, Chico is the closest move. Someplace in Arizona might be worth your consideration also. -GT2005

  10. #10
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    Bortis, NO!

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    The Asheville, North Carolina area would be high on my list. I get to visit there a couple of times a year and it is awesome. Most of the time I'm there in the summer and fall, but last year I also did a ride in 50 degree weather on a short vacation between Christmas and New Years.

    I think any discussion of great places to ride would have to include Durango, Crested Butte, and a few other areas in Colorado. Sure they are resort areas and there are times when you can't ride because of the weather, but when you've got so much wilderness single track right outside your front door when the snow melts, well I think those places have to be up there.

    I get to ride year round in Florida and have 75 miles of pretty sweet singletrack in my county. The trailhead is just 5 miles from my home. But 75 miles isn't that much variety when you ride on the trails 4-5 times a week.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by DirtGash
    What would people on here say is the best place to live and ride?

    I am packing it up and moving next spring to where this place maybe. My requirements are of this....

    Needs year round or damn close to year round riding.

    kick ass trails...a good mix of downhills and flowing singletrack
    Kathleen!

    Wow. Big change. Hear I thought the Mountain Bike Godess would always be there - as a warm, friendly port for wayward riders seeking winter refuge in the Southwest. Phoenix is hard to beat - but is HUGE and hot, and knowing most of this region somewhat - the only places that come to mind are Albuquerque and Austin. Or California - but cost of living is a giant hurdle. Bend, OR always seemed cool, but may be too small-town tourisy (like Santa Fe!).

    Las Cruces / El Paso would be rather similar in climate and terrain to PHX, but perhaps worth looking at. You know how fantastic the Gila area is - and is close to the southern parts of NM.

    Lastly, the southeast has some great spots - but we'll need *rt* and company to chime in. Asheville, NC ranks in my personal top 3 of "if I could go anywhere..." places.

    Tough call!
    "It's better to regret something you HAVE done, than something you haven't..." -

  13. #13
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    St. George UT gets my vote. Large-ish town. Lots of local trails, and within 30 minutes to 5 hours you've got Moab, Gooseberry, Brian Head (ski in Winter, ride in Summer), Red Canyon, The Grand Canyon, Fruita, Vegas, Northern AZ, the San Rafael Swell, Zion NP, Arches NP, Canyonlands NP. Push a bit further and you've got SLC and Colorado skiing and high elevation trails. The West coast is less than a day's drive.

    Beer is the only issue. But you're a stone's throw away from Nevada or Arizona, so small scale smuggling is always an option, or learn to brew your own.

  14. #14
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    Personally, I rather like Albuquerque. Granted, I'm just beginning in this whole MB thing, but the foothills trails are enjoyable, and there is lots more around. We are close to skiing too.

    AZ, in my opinion, is painfully hot.
    - Eric

  15. #15
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    Not Boise.
    Ride the bike.

  16. #16
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    I'll put in a plug for Gallup, NM. Within half a days drive from Durango, Teluride, Moab, Phoenix, Albuquerque, Sante Fe, Taos, Flagstaff (another good choice, btw), with mild winters and mild summers, plenty of good good riding in the nearby (20 mins) Zuni Mts, plus the famous High Desert Trail System at your doorstep. Small town atmosphere, great art scene. Real. Wish someone would open a microbrewery, but no shortage of good beer.

  17. #17
    dft
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    Quote Originally Posted by grungePoodle
    I grew up in Chico and go back to visit. Awesome town. I ride in upper Bidwell Park, and also drive over to Downieville which is only a couple hours away.

    I now live in Austin, Texas and wouldn't trade it for ANYTHING. In fact, it reminds me of Chico but MUCH larger. Chico is under 100,000 people and Austin area is close to a million. The vibe is similar and people are very friendly. We ride all year round. You can hit any mountain bike trail in the area and see somebody you know. We have an awesome mt bike community. Only thing is that you are at least a days drive from snow. But I sure enjoy riding on Thanksgiving in a short sleeve jersey.
    i'm glad you like autstin, but for just mountain biking, no comparison between nor cal and austin for riding, austin is WAY behind for big mountain riding.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by grungePoodle
    I now live in Austin, Texas and wouldn't trade it for ANYTHING. In fact, it reminds me of Chico but MUCH larger. Chico is under 100,000 people and Austin area is close to a million. The vibe is similar and people are very friendly. We ride all year round. You can hit any mountain bike trail in the area and see somebody you know. We have an awesome mt bike community. Only thing is that you are at least a days drive from snow. But I sure enjoy riding on Thanksgiving in a short sleeve jersey.
    Plus, there are the world class mountains in Austin.
    Last edited by Jayem; 06-01-2008 at 06:25 PM.
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  19. #19
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    +1 FOR ASHEVILLE
    western North Carolina is great technical riding year round!

  20. #20
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    huntsville, AL

    monte sano right here, raccoon mtn an hour an a half to the north, and oak mtn an hour an a half to the south.

    ridable year round.

  21. #21
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    I'll be honest and start by saying that I don't like living in the Atlanta/North GA area, but it does meet all of your requirements. The cost of living is hard to beat and there are tons of trails within "drive for a ride" distance.

  22. #22
    CEB
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    Santa Maria, SLO, Paso Robles, Santa Cruz, Ventura, Oxnard, Santa Clarita, Santa Claus..........

  23. #23
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    Move to Socal. San Diego. There's no crime, the city is clean, well-run, and bicycle-friendly, the trails are plentiful, super fun, and oh so close by. The people are all very down to earth, friendly, and outdoorsy. It's a very health-conscious and peaceful place. It's also amazingly affordable.

    It's really, really wonderful.
    Last edited by HotBlack; 06-01-2008 at 07:30 PM.

  24. #24
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    Trust me, not south Florida!

    damn
    Odin! Guide our ships, our axes spears and swords!

  25. #25
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    The Shenandoah valley area would fit your requirements pretty well. I live in Harrisonburg (where JMU is) and housing is very reasonable, decent sized town, and with the college there is a good bit of "cultural" activities. Snow sports are pretty meh, but there is a small place about 9 miles from here, and Snowshoe is about 2+ hours, (pretty decent skiing and Kona mtn bike park). We don't get too much rain, actually very little, and the winters are pretty mild and summers aren't killer hot,so riding year-round is definitely doable. Active mountain bike community, with expansive riding, but you almost never come across another rider on the trails. Beer, well we've got one micro brewery in town, but this is a college town so there is no shortage of drinking and quality beer stores. I really love it here but I'm planning to move next year (hopefully out west somewhere), just because I've lived around here my whole life and I need a change, but I'd recommend giving it a look.

  26. #26
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    Santa Fe rocks!

  27. #27
    Austin, Texas
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    Quote Originally Posted by dft
    austin is WAY behind for big mountain riding.
    Agreed. Most people that leave Austin, head north to the mountains of Colorado. We don't have the altitude or big climbs, but we've definitely got some technical rocky trails.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by CEB
    Santa Maria, SLO, Paso Robles,
    I used to live in Atascadero too. SLO, Paso and SM area is some of THE most beautiful country around. If I won the lottery I would buy a second home there.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by g-bus
    The Shenandoah valley area would fit your requirements pretty well. I live in Harrisonburg...
    Nice call. Harrisonburg hardly ever gets a mention when these "best riding towns" conversations come up. The riding in western VA is tough to beat, IMHO. From Douthat to great north mtn and points in between.

    When it comes to best riding towns (real cities) in the southeast/east, I would say it's Asheville and Harrisonburg at the top, and Chattanooga becoming a real contender.

    To the OP, you can essentially ride year-round in these places... but I can't promise you'll exactly be escaping a "cold wet winter!" Pisgah and GW forests can get cold as sh*t!

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by cannesdo
    I hear ya. By my fourth year of college in the Pacific NW, I'd had enough of the rain too. Two decades...yowz...time for you to dry out.
    Ditto on that. I've been in the Pac NW almost a decade and this past winter almost broke me. It was wet, wet, wet. Now it seems that the Spring will never come. No global warming here. It's global cooling and wetness.

    I'd love to live in a place where we had more seasons than one, that being the Winter.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by cocheese
    Ditto on that. I've been in the Pac NW almost a decade and this past winter almost broke me. It was wet, wet, wet. Now it seems that the Spring will never come. No global warming here. It's global cooling and wetness.

    I'd love to live in a place where we had more seasons than one, that being the Winter.
    Bwahaha! The summers in the PNW can be beautiful! Plus, there's no real winter there as far as I'm concerned. Damp and cool, maybe. But, rain ≠ winter. Give Saskatchewan a whirl!

  32. #32
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    Small digression here, a little health tip....For those of you living in damp climates like the Pacific NW, if you stick your tongue out and see ridges on the sides of your tongue (teeth marks) that's indicative of inner "dampness" You can dry that dampness with a daily dropper full (or two) of red root tincture. It's good stuff -- ok to take on a daily basis. Great spleen tonic.
    Lose it? I didn't lose it. It's not like, "Whoops! Where'd my job go?" I QUIT. Someone pass me the asparagus."

  33. #33
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    This site might help with some of the other parts of your decision. Things like cost of living,
    cost of housing, population, industries, climate data, etc...

    http://www.findyourspot.com




    This site has a wealth of info too.

    http://www.city-data.com/




    Austin may not have mountains, but it's got "in your face" hills that are mostly rocks. The
    trails are tight and steep. They'll kick you in the gut. Very technical riding. Not much that
    can be classified as "buff" singletrack. Not for everyone. The hills are jammed together, so
    no long sustained climbs or downhills. The workout is more like weight lifting. You'll gain
    100 ft, lose 100 ft. gain 200 ft, lose 200 ft, over and over for the whole ride. And every
    gain and loss is over a trail that's loaded with loose and embedded rocks and rock shelves.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R4YtwZdxEb8

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2l7I4r2IS4Q

    For many people, this is not their idea of fun.

    We do get to ride all year 'round. It's hot in the summers, but rarely too hot (too hot = PHX -
    where people can die if they push too hard in the heat of the summer). It's never too cold.
    Last "winter", I rode when it was 37 degrees one morning! (I hear laughter). Most deep
    winter days around here, it's in the 50's. I put on arm warmers (there's that laughing again)
    I've seen snow three times in the last 12 years. I've seen ice storms maybe 4 times.

    Anyone that wants to visit to just try it out will find that there are plenty of friendly riders
    that will be happy to show them the trails. We do worry about the safety of visitors, though.
    There are plenty of opportunities for these trails to put a hurtin' on ya. If you're crashing,
    you're landing in nasty rocks. Tuck and roll doesn't work here.

    Like I said, Austin is not for everyone, but you shouldn't knock it until you try it.
    -- Evil Patrick

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  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dangeruss
    St. George UT gets my vote. Large-ish town. Lots of local trails, and within 30 minutes to 5 hours you've got Moab, Gooseberry, Brian Head (ski in Winter, ride in Summer), Red Canyon, The Grand Canyon, Fruita, Vegas, Northern AZ, the San Rafael Swell, Zion NP, Arches NP, Canyonlands NP. Push a bit further and you've got SLC and Colorado skiing and high elevation trails. The West coast is less than a day's drive.

    Beer is the only issue. But you're a stone's throw away from Nevada or Arizona, so small scale smuggling is always an option, or learn to brew your own.
    All true. However, unless you're a retiree, a mormon family, or just special, St. George is not a very fun place to live. And hot in the summer.

    OP, you want Flagstaff. Good luck finding a job.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by ionsmuse
    OP, you want Flagstaff. Good luck finding a job.


    Anything in the MTBermuda Triangle -- Flagstaff, Prescott, Sedona.



    But as you say, employment might be a challenge.

    OP. What do you do? What do you want to do? What are you willing to do? What's available
    and fits any of those questions? Will it be enough money?




    EDIT: Well, everyone -- it looks like DirtGash has made a decision:

    http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=417017
    Last edited by Evil Patrick; 06-02-2008 at 06:51 AM.
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  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by dft
    i'm glad you like autstin, but for just mountain biking, no comparison between nor cal and austin for riding, austin is WAY behind for big mountain riding.
    uh, kinda geographically challenged, there *are* no mountains in/near austin.

    that's not to say you can't put together a ride with 5k+ climbing in it, but there's no long grinders nor bombers.

    makes a great excuse to get outta tx now and then though, to go visit Real Hills.

    ( am currently happily living in Austin )

    I do miss seasons though. Four days of fall,six of spring, two of winter, and the balance being summer is a bit to handle sometimes. Of course, we don't have the death-dealing 110+ with no humidity like central/lower AZ does so we get to keep riding all summer long during daylight hours, should we choose to.

    I could also be happy in AZ, from what I've sampled of the Tucson and Phoenix culture and trails that part of life could be very happy there. Much shorter drive to mountains for visiting with snow.

  37. #37
    TNC
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    Mountains overrated...

    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem
    Plus, there are the world class mountains in Austin.
    OK Jayem...let me clarify that statement. Frankly I don't like big mountains unless I can shuttle those suckers. Extremely long periods of intense climbing...or walking...kinda suck IMO. Now I'm talking about the kind of climbing you'd find in the big mountains of Colorado and such. I know some really like that kind of abuse, and that's fine for those that do, but I don't...and I think a good many other mountainbikers don't either. Maybe we should just call them dirt bikes...ooops...that name is already kind of taken, isn't it.

    Now, I do like the ups and downs like you find in Moab and such places. I think technical terrain is more fun than just finding things to climb for long distances and long periods of time. So, those of you who like big mountains with big climbing...enjoy. I'll take more rolling technical terrain anyday. These are preferential issues to some degree, of course, and I'm not slamming those who have a different priority in their riding enjoyment.

  38. #38
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    uh...

    Did you read my post and just try to re-phrase it.

    plagiarizer!

















    BTW - thanks for not squishing Buck yesterday. Did you catch my "hello"?
    -- Evil Patrick

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  39. #39
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    Nebraska, gotta be Nebraska

  40. #40
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    St. George UT. I would say Moab, but finding good paying work for as much as it cost to live here is tough, without having 2 or more jobs.
    It's not an adventure until someone BLEEDS!

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by TNC
    Frankly I don't like big mountains unless I can shuttle those suckers.... Now I'm talking about the kind of climbing you'd find in the big mountains of Colorado and such. I know some really like that kind of abuse, and that's fine for those that do, but I don't...
    Being a relatively late-in-life Rocky Mountain 'type', I admit that climbing for 3-4 hours and descending for 1-2 hours is addictave. The fitness and skills required demand some dedication, but the payoff - like seeing the sun pop up into the sky over 12k foot peaks on a crystal clear, calm, cool summer morning - is oh so worth it.

    Overall - I could live and enjoy pretty much anywhere folks have mentioned, and would embrace the challenges and quirks of that regions trails' character. I find it sort of funny when folks get all defensive about 'their' turf! If it weren't for the epic road and mountainbiking - I think Santa Fe (where I'm at), NM would rank abysmally low as far as places to live. Old well-to-do folks and an odd, underlying old-school anti-gringo feeling add up to sort of cruddy total. Add in ZERO night life and an general sense of slowness ala ' land of manana', and sheesh! That and the fact the weather is 6-8 months of cool / cold, 1-2 months of WIND, and a few OK months where it's neither too hot, too cold, no too WINDY - but the forests might be closed due to fire hazard.

    Anyhow, we do need Kathleen to chime in!
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  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Evil Patrick
    uh...

    Did you read my post and just try to re-phrase it.

    plagiarizer!

    BTW - thanks for not squishing Buck yesterday. Did you catch my "hello"?
    We co-authored.

    I think Buck would have squished me, these days.

    Yes I did, butthead.

    I ran into Buck and Mooney later on, after you had dusted them off. They seemed happy to relax. Funny, was talking bikes n stuff n how Bizzo broke Mooneys.

    Thirty minutes after they left I ran into Bizzo. Out riding, stitches bandaged up under-glove, broken rib, and all.

    I would add to Our Posts; that for people transitioning from Sandstone-land to Limestone-land, prepare to endo.

    Getting acclimated to the Lack of Tracktion (TM) is sometimes a hassel, and I only visit limestone.

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    Grand Junction Colorado would work. I lived there years ago for the riding and it was of course sweet (Fruita). Western Colorado is an amazing place to hang for sure. I'm living in Vegas these days for the year round riding and I love it. I haven't missed many weekends in my 3 years of living here. We have two large sections of trails that are not far from town. Most people are here to gamble and party and not ride, thus there is not much traffic on the trails.
    Last edited by Redline fan; 06-02-2008 at 09:40 AM.

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    SLO, CA is pretty ideal not many places with a year round dh rides right in town plus a huge ridge line to explore or just shuttle it. Good breweries, and wow the gals here are beautiful, must be the college effect

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Evil Patrick
    Anything in the MTBermuda Triangle -- Flagstaff, Prescott, Sedona.



    But as you say, employment might be a challenge.
    What is within that triangle? Jerome?

    I have to say, Bill Williams mountain has some sick riding, and ridiculous potential.

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    How's Co Springs? The winters aren't that bad are they? They get dumped on a couple times a year, but it doesn't stay snowy all year does it?
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    Quote Originally Posted by luckybastard
    How's Co Springs? The winters aren't that bad are they? They get dumped on a couple times a year, but it doesn't stay snowy all year does it?

    This site has a wealth of info too.

    http://www.city-data.com/

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  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jwind
    Nebraska, gotta be Nebraska
    HOO-AH! Bikers of the Corn...
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  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jwind
    Nebraska, gotta be Nebraska
    Hey now,we have one good thing going for us;its only 500 miles to Colorado from Lincoln.

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    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dangeruss
    St. George UT gets my vote. Large-ish town. Lots of local trails, and within 30 minutes to 5 hours you've got Moab, Gooseberry, Brian Head (ski in Winter, ride in Summer), Red Canyon, The Grand Canyon, Fruita, Vegas, Northern AZ, the San Rafael Swell, Zion NP, Arches NP, Canyonlands NP. Push a bit further and you've got SLC and Colorado skiing and high elevation trails. The West coast is less than a day's drive.

    Beer is the only issue. But you're a stone's throw away from Nevada or Arizona, so small scale smuggling is always an option, or learn to brew your own.


    All true. However, unless you're a retiree, a mormon family, or just special, St. George is not a very fun place to live. And hot in the summer.

    OP, you want Flagstaff. Good luck finding a job.
    Matters on what you feel is fun. I've lived here (stgeorge) 4 years and it is a great place. Granted if your into the walking down to the corner bar it's not going to be. I'm not much into drinking I'm way more into the outdoors and this place is sure hard to beat for that. Pretty much any climate within an hour and you can ride year around (it's in the 40's-50's in january). Yes it's a little hot in the summer for about 3 months but you just ride early and be done by 10 or 11 and your fine. Go south and your into death valley type desert, north your in pine/cedar forest, East more red rock and zion national park. When my fiance and I feel like a little more night life, Mesquite is only 30 minutes away and vegas is 1.5 hours. The demographic has really changed here in the last 5 years with a large influx of people from Cali and Vegas.

    Beer is the only issue. But you're a stone's throw away from Nevada or Arizona, so small scale smuggling is always an option, or learn to brew your own.
    :-) It's not a "dry" town you can buy beer anyplace. There just aren't a whole lot of bars. Now that I think of it to be honest not counting bars in like applebees or iggys, I think the only bar is in the bowling alley!

  51. #51
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    I took the Find Your Spot survey and St George came up on top.

    If I could only find a good job there...
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    Reno. There is year round riding with the exception of about 3 wks. The snow is gone very quickly. No state income tax, great airport, 25 min to Tahoe. In the summer Tahoe is beyond description good. I live in North Az, and it's good, but Tahoe crushes it. There is more great riding in Tahoe than all of AZ combined. From North AZ it is a day drive to skiing.

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    Wow that's a large temp swing we are here suffering thru 50-70 year round in CA coasts. But hey its St George got poligamists why ride bike

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brown_Teeth
    Wow that's a large temp swing we are here suffering thru 50-70 year round in CA coasts. But hey its St George got poligamists why ride bike
    Didn't you mean, "But what the fcuk, its St George got polygamists why ride bike?"

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  55. #55
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    Yup, actually St George, UT been there, nice place but its turistaville on a major interstate, not a place to do more than ride and bye bye.

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    Reno would be good, but I'll have to disagree about the statement "There is more great riding
    in Tahoe than all of AZ combined." I've ridden lots of AZ and lots of Tahoe. I think the word
    "great" really depends on what you're looking for. Flag, Sedona, Prescott, Phoenix, Tucson -
    there's a lot of sweet trail all across AZ. Tahoe is only one lake. Yes, it's spectacular.
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    I was not meaning to diss AZ, as I think the riding is great, and beats most places. Tahoe's combo of tons of sun, perfect summer temps, huge trees offering shade and wind shelter, big vertical options, lakes/streams, a great race series at Northstar in the summer and in Reno/Carson from Feb-Sept, free-riding options at Northstar, infinite trails from really technical to non-technical, big climbs/small climbs/rolling stuff, etc. It offers alot and doesn't seem to spare anyone. But it's just my opinion. It's where I would go if I were moving somewhere to maximize fun on the bike.

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    Personally, I'm a PNW guy... Humboldt county and southern Oregon to be exact.


    But if you want to move where the people are cool and the riding is killer you should check out Santa Cruz. Not only can you mountain bike 7 days a week, but you can also surf 7 days a week. The weather is nice, usualy a little foggy in the morning which burns off to beautiful blue skies and 70's-80's for the temp. The trails are largely located under forested canopies so you'll stay shaded and cool. We have the Santa Cruz mountains, a multitude of state parks, and the entire bay area with it's many diverse and incredible riding spots. We have xc, am, freeride, dh shuttles, and tons of really awesome roads to ride on too (if that melts your butter). The people in town are pretty nice but some of the locals are over-opinionated (and of course they're always right ) and smelly hippies. As far as beer goes, Santa Cruz has a microbrewery, there's a few more in the mountains, along the coast, inland... not to mention all the healthy and organic grocery stores that have amazing beer selections.

    So yeah, killer trails, incredible geographical diversity, surf, awesome beer, and yes we have cute ladies too.

    It can be pricey here, but oh well. The riding and lifestyle is awesome.

  59. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by TNC
    OK Jayem...let me clarify that statement. Frankly I don't like big mountains unless I can shuttle those suckers. Extremely long periods of intense climbing...or walking...kinda suck IMO. Now I'm talking about the kind of climbing you'd find in the big mountains of Colorado and such.
    Lots of fun mountains to ride in that are smaller than ones found in CO but bigger than those found near Austin. Look to NC, VA, WV, OR, AZ, CA, SD, N GA for examples.

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    Fort Collins would fit your criteria, we can usually ride year around except for the few snow storms we get where it sticks for a couple of days. We are 2-2.5 hours away from good skiing in the winter, we have a ton of good beer in the city. Odells, New Belgium, lots of denver and other state micro brews in the area etc. 4.5 hours to Fruita, 5.5 to Moab. We have a ton of good riding in the state

  61. #61
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    austin riding: "The workout is more like weight lifting. You'll gain
    100 ft, lose 100 ft. gain 200 ft, lose 200 ft, over and over for the whole ride."

    oh i would HATE that, i like 2500 foot climbs minimum so i can actually enjoy a substained descent. but each their own. i drop my seat for all downhill riding, thus would really hate up/down/up/down riding.

  62. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by dft
    austin riding: "The workout is more like weight lifting. You'll gain
    100 ft, lose 100 ft. gain 200 ft, lose 200 ft, over and over for the whole ride."

    oh i would HATE that, i like 2500 foot climbs minimum so i can actually enjoy a substained descent. but each their own. i drop my seat for all downhill riding, thus would really hate up/down/up/down riding.

    "but you shouldn't knock it until you try it"

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  63. #63
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    How about the Sacramento area. Close to Tahoe's great MTBRing, skiing, and its other outdoor activities. Close to Downieville. 1 1/2 hours to SF bay area. We have an international airport. Lots of decent trails in the area (salmon falls, auburn, foresthill, ect). The folsom breakouts who ride every tuesday and they are a blast with post ride beers. Prairie City race series on wednesdays and a new tbf race series on fridays. jobs are pretty good here (gov. and health care tops). housing market is in a free fall here so there are some great bargains rite next top the american river. As far as the other places people have listed... Santa cruz..very nice great biking...but its a tourist town and very very $$$$$ with not very many jobs. St. george..I have driven through there and it is very nice and close to vegas, the canyons, and not really into beer there thats all I know. Chico is very nice. It is just north of Sac.

  64. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by pkeigs
    Fort Collins would fit your criteria,
    I was fortunate enough to live in FC in 1998. It was the best place I ever lived in the US. Years spent in Boulder, Denver, Aspen, and Breck did not compare. Only Fort Collins had the best balance of everything. It is a real place to live (and ride and hike and climb and...)

    I imagine the place has changed in ten years, but I still work toward my goal of moving back there again someday.

  65. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by glenzx
    Kathleen!

    Wow. Big change. Hear I thought the Mountain Bike Godess would always be there - as a warm, friendly port for wayward riders seeking winter refuge in the Southwest. Phoenix is hard to beat - but is HUGE and hot, and knowing most of this region somewhat - the only places that come to mind are Albuquerque and Austin. Or California - but cost of living is a giant hurdle. Bend, OR always seemed cool, but may be too small-town tourisy (like Santa Fe!).

    Las Cruces / El Paso would be rather similar in climate and terrain to PHX, but perhaps worth looking at. You know how fantastic the Gila area is - and is close to the southern parts of NM.

    Lastly, the southeast has some great spots - but we'll need *rt* and company to chime in. Asheville, NC ranks in my personal top 3 of "if I could go anywhere..." places.

    Tough call!
    Hahaha, I think you read the OP's handle as DurtGurl! Subliminal message there, Glen?

    Oh, in the 'old days' the correct answer to this question would be "Peoria!"

    Out!

  66. #66
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    Yet another vote for Shenandoah Valley.

  67. #67
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    Salida, CO
    Reno, NV
    Anywhere in Wyoming you can get a job.

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    Quote Originally Posted by his dudeness
    Personally, I'm a PNW guy... Humboldt county and southern Oregon to be exact.


    But if you want to move where the people are cool and the riding is killer you should check out Santa Cruz. Not only can you mountain bike 7 days a week, but you can also surf 7 days a week.
    Another vote for Santa Cruz...That place really grows on you. Between the big trees and the ocean and the biking....This was mid-January.
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  69. #69
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    I'm throwing in another vote for Reno, NV. There are always trails open, every thing from brutal climbs for XC to some professional built DH runs. Theres tahoe with all the resorts all with in an hour, North Star, Sacramento is only 3-4ish hours if you need to go to a big city. Sea otter is only about 7 hours. Vegas is 7-8 hours and you can ride all the time there.
    Besides bikes you have tahoe, tons of four wheeling, great venues that come, street vibrations, hot august nights (huge classic car show). Housing is relatively cheap at the moment, just like most places. Theres also a couple of really great bike stores on the south end of reno. If you have kids, the public school system is decent, and UNR is the cheapest university in the country. if you need more convincing just hollar
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    I always liked reno , too.

    But, where I live now is the bomb (that is, for an outdoorsy family man who appreciates a certain density of higher profile cultural attributes with his dirt pursuits...) and that place is.....Western, MA (right in the Heart of the Pioneer Valley).

    I could wax rhapsodically about the virtues of this last frontier in accessible New England-but, either you're hip to the vibe here or, you'll doubt it based on pre-conceived regional prejudice. If nothing else-I'll put the single track (both in quantity and quality) available withing a 1 hour radius up against thaat anywhere in the world (I've ridden a lot of it-there are many great places, many with very sublimely fantastic views-I'm not saying what we have is better-but, as a pure riding experience it is on par with some of the best).

  71. #71
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    The problem with culture is that if you want it together with MTB then Europe is your best option.

  72. #72
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    Phoenix, yes it's horribly hot in the summer...but you can defiantly ride every day of the year. Itís never too cold, muddy or windy. You would just have to do early mornings and night riding in the summer. You have mountains to the north with skiing and cool summer temps...Big city lots of jobs and plenty of deals in real estate now. With all the different trail systems in the metro area you cold defiantly find a place within riding distance of your house.
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    Quote Originally Posted by luckybastard
    Phoenix, yes it's horribly hot in the summer...but you can defiantly ride every day of the year. Itís never too cold, muddy or windy. You would just have to do early mornings and night riding in the summer. You have mountains to the north with skiing and cool summer temps...Big city lots of jobs and plenty of deals in real estate now. With all the different trail systems in the metro area you cold defiantly find a place within riding distance of your house.
    LOL! I can't wait to remind the guys on the AZ board in a few weeks how they can start their "year round riding".

    Sorry, it's a personal peeve of mine, I know the valley has some great riding, and I enjoy it from time to time, but if you can ride "year round" there, then there's no place on the planet that you can't ride year round, it's just a matter of commitment. It takes commitment to ride in -20 temperatures with big fat snow-tires and the right clothing, and it takes commitment to ride in phoenix in the summer when it's 115 or more, and it may only cool down at night to 95-97, in any case, it takes commitment and it's no more "year round" than alaska.
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  74. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem
    it's no more "year round" than alaska.
    What ever...What do you need to ride in Phoenix's "Off Season"? An alarm clock and lots of water, that's it. Most people have that. If your not a morning person? $200 for a real nice light.

    He did mention a "real city with real jobs" in his criteria. So that knocks out about 80% of these recommendations. Most of them are great places that I'd much rather live than PHX, but I also need a real job. So I'm in Phx until I can afford to move to a sweet little mountain town like Durango.

    By the way do you ever ride with Kevin Perlak in the "Biscut"?
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    Quote Originally Posted by luckybastard
    What ever...What do you need to ride in Phoenix's "Off Season"? An alarm clock and lots of water, that's it. Most people have that. If your not a morning person? $200 for a real nice light.

    He did mention a "real city with real jobs" in his criteria. So that knocks out about 80% of these recommendations. Most of them are great places that I'd much rather live than PHX, but I also need a real job. So I'm in Phx until I can afford to move to a sweet little mountain town like Durango.

    By the way do you ever ride with Kevin Perlak in the "Biscut"?
    Don't know a kevin, if he's part of the prescott cycling club then I definitely don't know him.

    True, most of the cities would be knocked away due to non-realistic job opportunities, but again, "lots" of water doesn't even cut it, I can go through 100oz in an hour up here above 5000' when it's hot in the summer, there simply isn't enough water and electrolytes to keep one going for a significant period of time down there.
    "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

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  76. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem
    Don't know a kevin, if he's part of the prescott cycling club then I definitely don't know him.

    True, most of the cities would be knocked away due to non-realistic job opportunities, but again, "lots" of water doesn't even cut it, I can go through 100oz in an hour up here above 5000' when it's hot in the summer, there simply isn't enough water and electrolytes to keep one going for a significant period of time down there.
    He's the cop who got shot up there a few months ago. I was in the Air Force with him...

    True, I keep those dawn/night rides to a around a hour mid June-Aug.
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  77. #77
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    It's never 100 degrees in Phoenix at sunrise...

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    Quote Originally Posted by OnyRS
    It's never 100 degrees in Phoenix at sunrise...
    The hottest overnight low I recall from last year was 97.

    Give it ten minutes...100 degrees. 97 ain't that far off. The other thing to consider is that the heat-island effect will mean that eventually, it will be 100 degrees in phoenix at sunrise. As more building takes place around the fringes of the valley, more heat is concentrated back into the valley, this has been happening for years and the temps reflect it. Again ~100 degrees on the hottest days at sunrise, it takes commitment and it's no more year round than any other place.
    "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

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  79. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by radair
    Hahaha, I think you read the OP's handle as DurtGurl! Subliminal message there, Glen?

    Oh, in the 'old days' the correct answer to this question would be "Peoria!"

    Out!
    DOH! Yer right.

    LMAO - Peoria???
    yow.
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    Bend, OR

    Someday

  81. #81
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    Another vote for Colorado Front Range. Skiing close. Good beer close. Riding nearly year round. More affordable than mountain resort type towns, but not as affordable as Nebraska. If temps approach 100 in summer, go higher in elevation. Temps at or below freezing do not seem as cold in our dry, sunny climate. 300+ days of sunshine!

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    I'd have to give the nod to Albuquerque, NM for year-round riding and the potential of getting a job that doesn't involve waiting tables or cleaning vacation condos and housing that won't cost a fortune.

    Summers rarely break 100, and if so, there's a number of peaks 12000ft+ less than an hour away that will be int the 50's at most on top. In winter when the snows build up, the 'querque doesn't get enough precipitation to have it last more than a few days. On a day with snow on the ground that you must ride, White Mesa will clear off in a few hours.

    Jobs aren't as plentiful as some other locals, but with Sandia National Lab and Kirkland AFB in town, plus lots of DoD contractors like Boeing, Northrup/Grummond, McDonald-Douglass, there are opportunities. It's got an airport, two interstates, and that funky old spanish/hispanic cultural influence going for it. It's got problems, like most cities, and the state of NM isn't for everyone. But, if you really want year-round riding, it's got that in spades.
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  83. #83
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    im curious of all these mentions for reno...

    no doubt you have much goodness for snow and riding nearby and an airport, casinos, relatively affordable living, etc. but, what the hell is reno all about as a town/city and community? i ask this because i have spent some time there and always felt like it was a bit of a nasty little city... kinda dumpy. maybe i just got the wrong impression but fill me in on what makes the city so great other than the proximity of great mtns?

    places i would think the op should surely consider (most have been mentioned by now):

    bend, or... year round riding with a short drive. decent population b/t bend & redmond... more job opps than people realize, imo. expensive. doesnt seem like you are in the pnw.

    flagstaff, az... see everything above plus its college town and 5 hours from moab & durango and a bit more to t-ride, wolf creek, salida, etc, less to gooseberry/st.george. worldwide tourista destination due to the grand canyon and sedona, though. proximity (2-2.5 hrs) to ginormous phx which has some pluses and minuses. expensive and not much water to speak of. npr recently did a big piece about living here titled "poverty with a view" if that tells yo anything.

    boise, id... the most underrated little city in the west, imo. college town, proximity to everything an outdoors lover could want (as well as places that would be great to live if you could find work such as stanley, mcall and riggs/tetons/jackson aint far). everytime i have been there ive been blown away by the number of hot ladies as well. clear bonus.

    missoula, mt... see boise although smaller, colder (longer winter), burlier "ladies" and further from everything (bad or good?... you decide). doesnt really fit your need for sunnier climes i suppose.

    ft.collins, durango, gc/fuita or even eagle area, lots of spots on the cal coast. all have good and bad that people that have lived there could elaborate on... the 4 i mentioned are places im familiar with and would (do) live in in an instant given the right job opportunity.

    have fun picking a new spot...

  84. #84
    shred my gnar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OnyRS
    It's never 100 degrees in Phoenix at sunrise...
    okay... 95 at sunrise.

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    Boise is hardly underrated, though. It's like the least kept secret of the last five years. And sadly, that will be to the detriment of the area and its quality of life.

    /complaining.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem
    It takes commitment to ride in -20 temperatures with big fat snow-tires and the right clothing, and it takes commitment to ride in phoenix in the summer when it's 115 or more, and it may only cool down at night to 95-97, in any case, it takes commitment and it's no more "year round" than alaska.
    If you're comparing riding in -20 degree temperatures to waking up at 6:00a.m. I guess you would be right.

  87. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by happy_ending
    im curious of all these mentions for reno...

    no doubt you have much goodness for snow and riding nearby and an airport, casinos, relatively affordable living, etc. but, what the hell is reno all about as a town/city and community?
    Reno.......so close to hell, you can see Sparks!






    J/K, the proximity to the mountains makes Reno super cool, IMO. It's less than 45 minutes to Truckee and the Sierra's.

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    Quote Originally Posted by happy_ending
    okay... 95 at sunrise.

    Heck, it's 70 degrees but with 80% humidity here in Atlanta in the morning already and it feels pretty much the same.

  89. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by OnyRS
    Heck, it's 70 degrees but with 80% humidity here in Atlanta in the morning already and it feels pretty much the same.
    sounds great. so phx & atl are places i wouldnt want to live... check.

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    Pittsburgh, PA

  91. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anchorless
    Boise is hardly underrated, though. It's like the least kept secret of the last five years. And sadly, that will be to the detriment of the area and its quality of life.

    /complaining.
    i say that b/c, around places i have lived (flagstaff, slc, mammoth) i dont think ive ever heard someone talking about boise and/or how great it would be to live there other than guys i have worked with in the usfs.

    i had the opportunity to spend a fair bit of time in and around boise due to working on a hotshot crew for several years and those were the guys that seemed to get it about boise, firefighters that is. my other, non-firefighter friends that ride/paddle/hike/etc never mention boise.

    i guess that is probably different outside the southwest.

  92. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by happy_ending
    i say that b/c, around places i have lived (flagstaff, slc, mammoth) i dont think ive ever heard someone talking about boise and/or how great it would be to live there other than guys i have worked with in the usfs.

    i had the opportunity to spend a fair bit of time in and around boise due to working on a hotshot crew for several years and those were the guys that seemed to get it about boise, firefighters that is. my other, non-firefighter friends that ride/paddle/hike/etc never mention boise.

    i guess that is probably different outside the southwest.
    Yup Boise is full-up right now. I would recommend another location unless you are willing to show up and do some trailwork... and don't hate dogs or want to live 20 miles from town and clog up the freeways.
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  93. #93
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    Throwing Roanoke, VA in the mix

    Quote Originally Posted by chickenlegs
    Nice call. Harrisonburg hardly ever gets a mention when these "best riding towns" conversations come up. The riding in western VA is tough to beat, IMHO. From Douthat to great north mtn and points in between.

    When it comes to best riding towns (real cities) in the southeast/east, I would say it's Asheville and Harrisonburg at the top, and Chattanooga becoming a real contender.

    To the OP, you can essentially ride year-round in these places... but I can't promise you'll exactly be escaping a "cold wet winter!" Pisgah and GW forests can get cold as sh*t!
    Might consider Roanoke area too (Douthat and points South). Good mix of buff trails and backcountry riding on the National Forest. Mostly year round riding, but I usually take off a few weeks in the summer and a few weeks in the winter. More blue collar, less granola like than Asheville, but still not too bad a town. Good riding right in the city. Real estate prices are reasonable and jobs exist, although it's not the highest paying area.

  94. #94
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    Colorado Springs Native Here

    Quote Originally Posted by luckybastard
    How's Co Springs? The winters aren't that bad are they? They get dumped on a couple times a year, but it doesn't stay snowy all year does it?
    If we do have lots of snow we just drive an hour south to Pueblo. Good winter riding here.

    Springs would be a great choice. Everything from big mountain 4000ft climbs/downhill to flowy rolling single track with minimal climbing.

    Less than a 30 minutes drive from my house I can count at least a dozen different sweet rides. If you want get dropped off at the top of Pikes Peak and descend 7000 vertical feet. Tons more riding options 1-2 hours away.

    Job market is good, housing is decent ant the Springs has a small town feel.

    Ski resorts are about 2 hours away. Plenty of delicious beer. Laughing Lab is my personal fav. Come check out the Springs some time.

  95. #95
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    Move to Canada.

    Specifically Penticton BC. Wicked riding MTB and road. Tons of good ski hills in the area. Canadian beer (need I say more). A riding season that is 10 months of the year.

    What more could you ask for?

  96. #96
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    Black Hills of SD. 1.4 million acres of USFS land, lots of trees, treees treees and rocks, lots of trails, long riding season (year round but for a few cold/snow days peppered in the winter), lots of different soils, plenty of other pursuits. Undulating terrain, up to 7,000 feet, high enough for "real mountain" living, but not locked out of riding all winter or gasping for air.

    Pick Custer, Hill City, Rapid City, Sturgis, or Spearfish. Good riding out the front door anywhere you go.

    EZ flights to Denver, SLC, Minneapolis, Vegas, what have you. Short drive to the Front Range, I-90 is right through with I-25 not far off. Geographic center of the Lower 48.

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  97. #97
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    Is the riding season there 5 or 3 months a year? Jeez Dakoda??? That's like way worse than the east coast on a mild winter no?

  98. #98
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    Year round riding in Bend, OR isn't a guarantee, and this year it has seemed like summer is never coming. Plus, it is expensive. I'm never moving, but it is expensive.

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    The answer to this question can be found here:

    http://www.austinbike.com

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  100. #100
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    Quote Originally Posted by luckybastard
    How's Co Springs? The winters aren't that bad are they? They get dumped on a couple times a year, but it doesn't stay snowy all year does it?
    It sucks here.

    jaydude nailed it though.

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