"From my house" mountain bike towns- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    "From my house" mountain bike towns

    Sorry to repeat a theme which has been discussed ad nauseum in the past, but I'm hoping to find some local insight for a planned relocation with the stated goal of having the best mountain biking life possible. Thanks in advance for your thoughts.

    As usual, there are a few criteria that must be met:

    1. I can ride to the trails from my house in a few minutes
    (#1 criteria. MUST MEET THIS CRITERIA!!!)

    2. A hospital less than 45 minutes away by car (work)
    3. At least some sun in the winter
    4. Riding season longer than 4 months
    5. Population in the 50,000ish - 200,000ish range
    6. West of the Mississippi and not a flat state

    That should get me a few hundred towns in WA, OR, CA, ID, MT, WY, CO, UT, AZ, and NM.

    Background on me:
    Moved to western WA from Albuquerque 3 years ago
    I really, really, REALLY miss having good riding close by. It was a daily activity and I miss it dearly. There is riding around here, but you have to drive 1.5 hours to get to many trails. I also really miss the sunshine in the winter.
    I like fast, flowy, XC riding. Don't care for DH/Lift access

    There are some obvious "Meccas", but I don't know if the "ride from my house" component is there:

    Bend (going in 2 weeks)
    Hood River, OR (will check out on same trip, but worried about winter weather)
    Durango, CO (Almost moved here 3 years ago. May need to ski more, bike less)
    Albuquerque (been there, still thinking about going back)
    Santa Fe?
    Flagstaff, AZ?
    Sedona, AZ?
    Fort Collins, CO?
    Salt lake area?
    California? Lake Tahoe. (Santa Cruz, Salinas, etc?)

    Sincere thanks for your thoughts.


    Another similar thread for those interested:

    http://forums.mtbr.com/passion/best-....html#poststop

  2. #2
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    Where I live in Salt Lake:
    1. Bonneville Shoreline Trail is a few blocks away. Tons of other options in 15-30 minute drive.
    2. 6 Hospitals within walking distance, numerous others throughout the city.
    3. Plenty of sun in winter (screw biking in winter though, go ski pow)
    4. Typical riding season April - October, but can be longer or shorter depending on snow season
    5. Population 186,440 for the city, lots more throughout the valley.
    6. self evident.

    Also consider Ogden. Same as above but with better "from your door" trails, 2 hospitals, and a lot less people.
    All I know is that I don't know nothin'... and that's fine.

  3. #3
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    Hobart Tasmania?
    1, Yes
    2, Yes
    3, Yes
    4, All year.
    5, I think so.
    6, Technically, yes.
    Sent from the future to destroy the past.

  4. #4
    Te mortuo heres tibi sim?
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    I've got all that, but for number six.

    Pretty happy with my lot in life. For a "flat" state, CT has a **** ton of good riding, and I'm no further from getting more up "in the mountains" than I was in CO or OR. They are just shorter mountains. Nearly year round riding, some years, so long as you are down with riding in cold/snow some winters, or some not at all for 3-4 months. Or night riding as well.

    15 minute bike ride to work (hospital as well) is nice. Did my grocery run by bike two days ago. Have one trail spot I can pedal to in about twenty minutes, another is about forty. Within 30-60 minutes of drive time, there is a huge amount of riding choices.

    Decent amount of culture, food, etc. in town. Two hours from Boston. An hour from NYC by train. An hour the other direction can get me out in proverbial BFE.

    Danbury, CT isn't the mtb lifestyle mecca by any stretch, but I'm making it work for me.

    The downside is the ****ing humidity.
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  5. #5
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    Golden, CO.

    However, all resident positions have been filled and we are not accepting any new applications at this time.

  6. #6
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    I would include Boise, ID in that list

  7. #7
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    Albuquerque - ABQ - The Burque

    It's fall here (lows in the upper 50's & highs in the mid 70's) and the smell of roasting green chile is in the air. Soon the cottonwood leaves will be changing from green to a shimmering gold. And we have lots of great beer!! You can visit snow, without having to live in snow. I've often skied Sandia Peak in the morning, and ridden my bike in the Foothills in the afternoons in shorts. Plus, we have 0.00% humidity (usually). Summer temps are rarely 100 and you can ride all winter thanks to the low humidity and 320+ days per year of sun.

    You've been here and you know you want to come back...

    ABQ is:
    1 hr to Santa Fe
    3 hrs to Taos
    3.5 hrs to Angle Fire
    4.5 hrs to Durango, CO
    4.5 hrs to Flagstaff, AZ
    5 hrs to Sedona, AZ
    6 hrs to Moab
    7 hrs to Denver
    8 hrs to Fort Collins, CO
    10 hrs to Salt lake area

    Trails are literally just out my back door:

    Last edited by MTBNate; 09-15-2011 at 09:59 AM.
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  8. #8
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    I am a 5 minute ride to world class trails, 15-20 minute ride to the biggest hospital between Denver and Salt Lake, and 5-10 minutes from downtown. Population in my city is 45,000 officially, but closer to 120,000 if you count the entire valley. We're in a high desert with lots of sunshine year round, and winter riding does happen, for the 2-3 months of winter we have. And we're West of the Mississippi.

  9. #9
    Afric Pepperbird
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    Bend, Oregon

  10. #10
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    Palm Desert/Palm Springs, CA
    You have trailheads all over the Coachella Valley that have an extensive network. When it is too hot to ride (June-Sept) you have Hurkey Creek/Idyllwild that is 5,000 feet high and 50minutes away. We have three large hospitals in the valley. I have homes in both locations and trailheads out of my backyard at both. You may be asking yourself "why are you not in better shape?". That is because my wife and children won't let me ride more often!

  11. #11
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    Tucson, AZ and surrounding areas. Night riding in the summer months is awesome. If you are looking for specific property my house is currently for sale and it is located in Diamond Bell Ranch outside Tuscon,AZ. I can't imagine a better ride from your house than the one I currently live in.

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  12. #12
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    Almaden Valley (South San Jose, Ca.)

    You forget you are in the d00shey Silicon Valley.

  13. #13
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    Flagstaff is MTB mecca for AZ in the summer most go the the trails above town but there are other spots.The San Farncisco Peaks are just north of town, Arizona's tallest and most beautiful mountains, a volcano. The trails there are numerous and sweet. Riding there in summer is the coolest in the state, with only 2 other areas in AZ (North Rim of the Grand Canyon and the Pinelenos) as cool. There is no work there but as you're in medicine the door is usually open. In the winter you go to Sedona.
    Sedona has over 200 trails around the town, in all directions. It's a pricy toursit town but the food's great and the biking better.
    Prescott has recently been designated an IMBA ride center, meaning there's plans for many more trails being built there in addition to an very good existing network.
    I live in Tucson, 300 miles of MTB trails. My house is also for sale, on the east side of town. Winter riding here rocks and in summer we ride early, at night or on the mountains.
    agmtb

  14. #14
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    Missoula, MT

  15. #15
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    you didn't mention living expenses as part of your criteria so I'm assuming that it either doesn't matter or you forgot to list it. If you are a physician, makes sense.

    Bend, OR is a sick place to live. Great skiing/boarding, rafting, fishing, rafting, golfing, hiking and of course biking. However, the place is pricey. Some of the retirees are moving out so homes are available. If you can afford it, can't think of a better place to go from an outdoor activities perspective.

    Sedona is another great place. I've spent a ton of time there. Snooty locals and LOTS of tourists but it gets the job done. Housing is stupid expensive due to the fact that mot of the land is not zoned for development. Everything else is already owned. Skiing/boarding in Snowbowl, some fishing and lots and lots of trails. The one thing it probably has over Bend is the ability to drive into many more trail systems with a shorter windshield time.

    Have fun looking.

  16. #16
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    Hi there! I live in a town near Barcelona in Catalunya (Spain) and I've got some trails at 5 minute from home, and If I prefer changing I can take next to the sea...

  17. #17
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    Manitou Springs/Colorado Springs, CO

  18. #18
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    Durango, CO<- biked and skied here many a summer during college, great town, great trails, great slopes. More of a college town vibe. Excellent riding from your front porch.

    Albuquerque<- My home town. Plenty of awesome riding. Job market is a little tough, and lots of big city problems for its size (drugs, crime, etc...) I still visit here at least twice a year, and miss the trails. The foothills trail is about all you can hit from your doorstep, and the ER is sketchy. Overall its a town i miss but don't want to move back too.

    Santa Fe<- Hour away from Abq, also nice, but more expensive/yuppier. Some trails accessible from town, more if you drive. Toas NM is even smaller, but the skiing and biking is EPIC!

    Flagstaff/Sedona AZ<- commuted to Flag and sedona a lot for the riding when i lived in phoenix. I would choose flag over sedona to live. Sedona is only an hourish away from flag, but its more yuppy, golfy, expensive. Flag is more laid back college mountain town style. Both Flag and Sedona have great riding from your door. Sedona, despite being an hour away has a longer season than flag.

    Fort Collins, CO<- my current town of residence. I LOVE THIS PLACE! The riding from the door can be very challenging in the foothills, and a 20 min drive lands you in two state parks. Increase your radius to an hour, and the riding options are epic. The town is great, weather is great, and if you love beer this is the place to be.

    California? Lake Tahoe.<- I lived in Davis CA, and rode in Tahoe a bit. California has its ups and downs, and my opinion of living in the state might not be the most positive. The riding is good, but to find a town to live close to epic riding from your door is difficult. Auburn is another good spot.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by schnauzers View Post
    Golden, CO.

    However, all resident positions have been filled and we are not accepting any new applications at this time.
    +1

    I grew up there! now living in San Diego.
    San Diego I get to ride year round in perfect weather. Golden gave me the best mountains in the states right at my door!

  20. #20
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    I vote for further east of Bend, and say head for La Grande! It may not make the 50,000 minimum though.

    Sorry to hear you left Western Washington, OP. I just did Lower Dungeness for the first time last month, ohh yeahhh!
    Good friction shifting is getting hard to find nowadays....

  21. #21
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    Your west of the mississipi is limiting as one of the greatest Mtn biking cities in the US is Duluth MN and we are two hours eat of the origins of the Mississipi. Great intercity trails with good topography and at the bottom of all hills lies beautiful Lake Superior, tremendous summer and winter riding, fantastic kayaking too, strong community based riding with socialmgroups pedaling from somewhere abou every day of the week. cutting edge tertiary care health systems, several fine university filled with passionate youth and a happy healthy populace. Aso a very rapid decline in population density as you leave the city with county, state, federal and corporate land in which to recreate.

  22. #22
    fresh fish in stock...... SuperModerator
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    W. side Santa Cruz (pop 55k) or Scotts Valley (pop 11k). SC and SV are 4 miles from each other.

    In Santa Cruz there are 2 hospitals (in Santa Cruz). From Scotts Valley there are 3 (1 in San Jose, 2 in Santa Cruz).

    Ride thru these 365 days a year if you like....
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  23. #23
    Ovaries on the Outside
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    Eugene, Oregon.

  24. #24
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    All,

    Thank you for all of these suggestions. You have provided for many further hours of obsessive internet research and trips

    MTBNate: I do miss it there, especially with the monsoons ending and chili roasting starting. Living at the base of Copper is is my current gold standard. Quick hits to the east mountains and short trips to Santa Fe, Gallup, Socorro, and that weird white deserty moonscape place 45mins west of the Big I that I forgot the name of.

    Guerdonian: I hear you on the sketchiness of the ABQ ER, but we did build a new one when I was there. Plus, UNMH was voted "Best place for green chili in ABQ"!! 3 years ago, I checked out Durango, Santa Fe, and Flagstaff. All cool places.

    Screampint: Sounds like GJ or vicinity? Never been, but I've heard its nice.

    CHUM: Hows the "ride from your house" aspect of SC?

    Current leaderboard:
    Bend
    Fort Collins
    Golden
    SLC/Ogden
    ABQ

  25. #25
    fresh fish in stock...... SuperModerator
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shift Worker View Post
    ...CHUM: Hows the "ride from your house" aspect of SC?..
    5 minutes:


    10 minutes:


    15 minutes:


    trails range from sandy manzanita, to hardpack and wild oaks, to awesome redwood riding.....going from buff to tech to gnarly.....

    and no shortage of ST.

    both MTB and road riding are fantastic...

    PS - i live S. SV...from the W. side in SC there is a little more road burn to get to the trails...but definitely not much.
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  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shift Worker View Post
    MTBNate: Living at the base of Copper is is my current gold standard. Quick hits to the east mountains and short trips to Santa Fe, Gallup, Socorro, and that weird white deserty moonscape place 45mins west of the Big I that I forgot the name of.
    White Mesa







    Also damn hard to beat the sunsets view from the Foothills trails over looking the Burque.


    "Someone must have put alcohol in my beer last night." ~ Mr. Richard Baty, Esq.


  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shift Worker View Post

    Screampint: Sounds like GJ or vicinity? Never been, but I've heard its nice.
    Yep, Grand Junction. I really like it here. May not be as cosmopolitan as the Front Range, but I don't feel so crowded on this side of the mountains.

  28. #28
    Ovaries on the Outside
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    People are fighting dirty by adding photos. These are photos of trails all within an hour of Eugene.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails &quot;From my house&quot; mountain bike towns-dsc_0004.nef.jpg  

    &quot;From my house&quot; mountain bike towns-dsc_0005.jpg  

    &quot;From my house&quot; mountain bike towns-dsc_0024.jpg  

    &quot;From my house&quot; mountain bike towns-dsc_0008.jpg  


  29. #29
    Ovaries on the Outside
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    Oh, and winter riding, cruising around town and some perks, in that order...
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails &quot;From my house&quot; mountain bike towns-dsc_0009.jpg  

    &quot;From my house&quot; mountain bike towns-dsc_0002.nef.jpg  

    &quot;From my house&quot; mountain bike towns-dsc_0010.jpg  


  30. #30
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    Good lord... I'm overwhelmed with visual mountain biking bliss! First I get hit with the nostalgia of White Mesa and the best sunsets to be had on earth from a 5 minute walk up the trailhead, then nearly suffer a retinal detachment by the sight of those redwoods, and finally get popped by one of the places I'm going to check out in a few weeks (Oakridge?). Furthermore, I had a draft Ninkasi IPA last night... quite possibly my favorite IPA. I love you guys.

    Keep it coming!

  31. #31
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    It's supposed to be a secret...

    ...but here's another for Boise, ID.

    Some of the best riding starts across the street from one of the major hospitals in town, St Luke's. Lot's to do here, great climate, good people.

    Ridge to Rivers Trail System

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by pdlhrd View Post
    ...but here's another for Boise, ID.

    Some of the best riding starts across the street from one of the major hospitals in town, St Luke's. Lot's to do here, great climate, good people.

    Ridge to Rivers Trail System
    Boise would be on my shortlist.

  33. #33
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    I took a 5 month bike trip last summer all over the west. Durango, CO or Helena, MT are worth a look.

  34. #34
    Daniel the Dog
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    St George, Utah

    Hot in the summer but AWESOME Riding.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by unicrown junkie View Post
    I vote for further east of Bend, and say head for La Grande! It may not make the 50,000 minimum though.

    Sorry to hear you left Western Washington, OP. I just did Lower Dungeness for the first time last month, ohh yeahhh!
    Nope, not even close really, 12,000.

    I'd move to Bend if I could, not in the cards at the moment.

  36. #36
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    Tahoe

    Sure we all like our local scene, so I say South Lake Tahoe, CA is pretty swell (and all of Tahoe for that matter). No matter where you live here you're generally no further than a 5-10 min ride to dirt single track that goes virtually forever up into the mountains. And when you're done riding you're not far from a big beautiful lake and sandy beaches! Can't complain about 300 days of sun either.


    Looking down on South Lake:


    Tahoe Rim Trail after work:
    Support TAMBA (Tahoe Area Mountain Biking Association) http://mountainbiketahoe.org/

  37. #37
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    i'm jealous. F#*&#$&#&$

  38. #38
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    I had similar requirements as you mentioned above and live between Green Mountain and Bear Creek Late park in Lakewood, CO (west of Denver). I almost never drive to ride and ride to all the following trails (often combining trails) from my garage: Green Mountain, Bear Creek Lake Park, Dinosaur Ridge, Matthew Winters and Mount Falcon/Lair of the Bear (loop) (all of which are described in the CO F/R forum/trails section). I also often bike commute to work 17 miles away, 95% of which is on bike paths. This last January I set a personal winter record of 17 days straight mountain biking. Tolerances vary and I can put up with the cold winter, ride at night to get frozen trails in winter and also have a Fat Bike for when the snow gets interesting. Summer heat is tolerable and though I rarely ride in the heat of the day, when I do itís not too bad (itís worse bike commuting home in the summer). There are obviously fantastic trails further afield but I HATE to drive to the trails (like you, I suspect).

  39. #39
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    The thing about AlbQ that always makes an impression on me: Middle class neigborhoods with bars on the first floor windows. (Copper and Tramway area). Nice riding though.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by BeanMan View Post
    The thing about AlbQ that always makes an impression on me: Middle class neigborhoods with bars on the first floor windows. (Copper and Tramway area). Nice riding though.
    The ol' bars-on-windows thing has got to be one of the most oft asked question about cities like Albuquerque, and it has got to be one of the most overrated "scare" things that the doom and gloomers of crime use to unnecessarily scare folks not used to the Southwest about the crime.

    Look at any houses built in Albuquerque since, say, 1990. Almost without exception, you won't find the bars, as most homes since then have built-in alarm systems.

    The bars in some quarters are called "burglar bars" and indeed, they were used as a rudimentary and inexpensive anti-crime device (somewhat like a lock on your front door or a CLUB on your car) on homes, but furthermore, were used so as somewhat of a traditional, ornamental, almost-decorative home component out of the Mexican / Hispanic tradition.

    In the same way shag carpeting was big amongst many regions of the nation in home construction in the 1970s, in cities with a heavy Mexican / Hispanic cultural influence (eg: the US Southwest) in the 60s, 70s, 80s, these bars were often used on windows (Copper and Tramway area). It certainly isn't just Albuquerque. Look at homes from this era in cities like El Paso, Phoenix, Tucson, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas...you'll find 'em there too.

    They were so common in Albuquerque in some of the nicest areas of the town (check out homes in the beautiful Arroyo del Oso golf course area - they have 'em on $300K homes) that I didn't find it unsightly at all...like cacti, yuccas, and roadrunners, they seemed to just blend in as a regional fairly norm.

    Again though, you look at all of the new construction from say 1990 or so in Albuquerque (which is enormous), they aren't there. So if you don't like 'em, you can find a huge bulk (majority) of houses now in ABQ (or other SW cities) without them now.

    (Again, this demonstrates a trend / fad of using them more than anything.)

    Last edited by MTBNate; 09-16-2011 at 03:23 PM.
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  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spoon Man View Post
    Where I live in Salt Lake:
    1. Bonneville Shoreline Trail is a few blocks away. Tons of other options in 15-30 minute drive.
    2. 6 Hospitals within walking distance, numerous others throughout the city.
    3. Plenty of sun in winter (screw biking in winter though, go ski pow)
    4. Typical riding season April - October, but can be longer or shorter depending on snow season
    5. Population 186,440 for the city, lots more throughout the valley.
    6. self evident.

    Also consider Ogden. Same as above but with better "from your door" trails, 2 hospitals, and a lot less people.
    Yeah, but what's up with that "light" beer in Utah?

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by unicrown junkie View Post
    I vote for further east of Bend, and say head for La Grande! It may not make the 50,000 minimum though.

    Sorry to hear you left Western Washington, OP. I just did Lower Dungeness for the first time last month, ohh yeahhh!
    La Grande is near me. Have done Umatilla Rim a few times, Awesome singletrack up there. Other trails near La Grande?

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by CHUM View Post
    W. side Santa Cruz
    I miss my hometown Santa Cruz. I just live 30 min. away, and all my family and friends are down there - 5 generations deep.

    So stoked to be riding there tomorrow morning.

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by bridger View Post
    Yeah, but what's up with that "light" beer in Utah?
    lol

    "Someone must have put alcohol in my beer last night." ~ Mr. Richard Baty, Esq.


  45. #45
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    I never knew that was what the bars on the windows were about. Our rental also had those weird star-shaped lights hanging from the ceiling which I heard were also a cultural crossover/holdover. I can say that I never felt unsafe living there with two big dogs and friends for neighbors.

    Hey Benders: Whats the sky like in Oct, Nov, Dec, Jan, Feb, Mar, April, and May? I've heard the phrase "morning sun, afternoon clouds". Is that accurate?

  46. #46
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    Claremont CA look up trails on geoladders

  47. #47
    Don't worry, be happy!
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    Spokane WA
    pop 200K or so for the city proper.

    4 season climate but you can ride all year round some years.
    Riverside State Park, in town, has 70+ miles of trails, plus High Drive, Mt. Spokane, and Beacon Hill in town.
    Mountain riding aka Epics close by in N. Idaho, Montana, British Columbia. We should get bonus points for proximity to BC.

    Spokane is off the radar because no one knows much about it. Affordable housing, great schools, huge regional medical destination.

    Mountain biking, snow sports, whitewater and more... great place to live if you like the outdoors and thankfully we are off the radar of Outsides' ten best list, it keeps the population down.

  48. #48
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    Living in a "off the radar" mountain bike town is my life dream!!! I hope you find yours!!!

  49. #49
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    If I find it, I'll let you know. My feeling is that wherever I end up won't be so "off the radar" because of my population/work requirements. More likely than not, it'll be an over-crowded, tourist-filled, transplant-majority location - which will be fine for me as I will be 1. adding to the crowd, 2. a tourist initially, and 3. a transplant. As long as I've got therapy on two wheels it'll be OK.

    This thread was originally yours (referenced in my initial post)! Any progress on the quest? Did you ever check out any of those towns mentioned in your thread that you can comment on?

    If you're looking for "off the radar", check out "101 best outdoors towns" by Sarah Tuff. Lots of good smaller places, though not mountain bike focused. I've been to Driggs, ID, which is a cool "off the radar place", especially if you ski. I did an incredible backcountry ski trip there and can imagine that it'd be incredible riding in the summer.

  50. #50
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    Not much luck due to my "field of work" (Machinist) and the economy in general. Still live in JeffCo, not the worst place to be by any means. I've most definatly have and will continue searching tho! Good luck to you in searching, your line of work will help greatly. Ive put most of my effort into "The Fort" as well as Oregon. Im interested in where you land, I wish you much luck!!

  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by screampint View Post
    I am a 5 minute ride to world class trails, 15-20 minute ride to the biggest hospital between Denver and Salt Lake, and 5-10 minutes from downtown. Population in my city is 45,000 officially, but closer to 120,000 if you count the entire valley. We're in a high desert with lots of sunshine year round, and winter riding does happen, for the 2-3 months of winter we have. And we're West of the Mississippi.
    I would do almost anything to live in the Grand Junction, CO area - if only I could land a good IT job there. Hmmmm????
    I don't use Strava. Don't need an application to tell me I am slow because I already know.

  52. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shift Worker View Post
    I never knew that was what the bars on the windows were about. Our rental also had those weird star-shaped lights hanging from the ceiling which I heard were also a cultural crossover/holdover. I can say that I never felt unsafe living there with two big dogs and friends for neighbors.

    Hey Benders: Whats the sky like in Oct, Nov, Dec, Jan, Feb, Mar, April, and May? I've heard the phrase "morning sun, afternoon clouds". Is that accurate?
    Usually beautiful snowflakes drifting down on the mountain (read: Bachelor), and then pure sun by the time you're halfway back into town. The rainshadow effect really holds true here.

    Spring is the same, with light rain replacing the snow more often than not.

  53. #53
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    Why are you limited to a city of 50,000+? (that's not a town, it's a city). Hospitals exist in smaller communities.

    I live in a hamlet of 2500 in NE California. No sidewalks, no traffic light, no starbucks. 25 miles to a full service hospital. 1.5 hours to the nearest mall. A bike trail literally out the rear gate around my yard that connects to about a zillion mile maze of single- and two-tracks. A house with acreage can be bought for less than $100k.

    Downside: Have a firm job offer before you come. Unemployment is running around 25%, and most of the private sector jobs are part time minimum wage. 4 months of winter, and you don't ride locally during those 4 months unless you chain up your MTB tires. If you have a job, though, it's a great area for all outdoor recreation.

    Big cities pay more, but cost of living is higher. You may end up with more net disposable income and a higher standard of living in a small town.

  54. #54
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    I grew up in Santa Cruz, great riding out my back door.

    Went to college in Flagstaff, great riding out my back door.

    Moved to Tucson, Shithole as far as I am concerned, nice riding though year round

    Looking to move to Durango as soon as possible.

  55. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by MTBNate View Post
    lol


    Ugg, don't get me started. I recently moved to Utah and have to jump through so many BS hoops just to catch a buzz here. If any Utahns claim that the regulated light beer isn't that bad, they are lying or just tricking themselves.

    Back to topic:

    Probably already mentioned but I've lived in Durango and Flagstaff and both have world class trails out your back door.

  56. #56
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    Lake Tahoe for sure.

    I have been here twenty years and still am amazed at the riding, the friendly people, the sun, and the Lake.

    Truly heaven, if you are into the outside more than the inside.

  57. #57
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    Flagstaff is where I went to college as well. I still go back all the time.
    It gets my vote, and the Hospital there is a major hub for all of N AZ and Surrounding states.

  58. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by bkalkopf View Post
    Not much luck due to my "field of work" (Machinist) and the economy in general. Still live in JeffCo, not the worst place to be by any means. I've most definatly have and will continue searching tho! Good luck to you in searching, your line of work will help greatly. Ive put most of my effort into "The Fort" as well as Oregon. Im interested in where you land, I wish you much luck!!

    I'm in the same boat bkalkopf. At least you live in Colorado. I'm in Lousyana, and while there is good riding here it's not on par with the west and I have to drive to get there for a flat ride by a ditch. On a recent vacation to Durango, CO, I fell in love with the place. There does not seem to be any jobs for machinists though.

  59. #59
    N8!
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    Go LOCO

    Quote Originally Posted by JoeandEaston View Post
    I'm in the same boat bkalkopf. At least you live in Colorado. I'm in Lousyana, and while there is good riding here it's not on par with the west and I have to drive to get there for a flat ride by a ditch. On a recent vacation to Durango, CO, I fell in love with the place. There does not seem to be any jobs for machinists though.
    While you are right about the elevation of La, there are some of the best mtb peeps there. Do you know about the La Off-road Cycling Organization?

    LOCO:
    www.locomtb.com

  60. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmmorathI
    I recently moved to Utah and have to jump through so many BS hoops just to catch a buzz here.
    You're doing it wrong.

  61. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by N8! View Post
    While you are right about the elevation of La, there are some of the best mtb peeps there. Do you know about the La Off-road Cycling Organization?

    LOCO:
    www.locomtb.com
    Yup, I know about LOCO and most of the trails in LA, though I have not ridden all of them. I just don't like driving from BTR all the time for good trails. Good trails to me are in the mountains. North LA has some hills, as well as Clear Springs, both a good drive. Remember, this is the "from my house" thread! And yes, the peeps here are the best!

  62. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by TraumaARNP View Post
    Manitou Springs/Colorado Springs, CO

    Umm, I think you meant to say Denver/Golden. No riding around here, move along....

  63. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeandEaston View Post
    I'm in the same boat bkalkopf. At least you live in Colorado. I'm in Lousyana, and while there is good riding here it's not on par with the west and I have to drive to get there for a flat ride by a ditch. On a recent vacation to Durango, CO, I fell in love with the place. There does not seem to be any jobs for machinists though.
    As someone who started a similar thread to this sometime back, I thought I would mention that machinists seem to be in high demand and well compensated for out here in SLC. If you look at Craigslist you will find a number of places hiring.
    I relocated here from NYC and while not completely enamored by the place, it has some good things going for it and there are def some big mountains. You are also a couple hours from many great Western riding spots (as it is always mentioned when SLC comes up as a place to live and ride).

  64. #64
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    I have friends that live in Flagstaff. They love it. In the summer months they ride the trails around flagstaff. Then in the winter when Flagstaff has snow they dip down in to Sedona. Sounds perfect to me.

  65. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmmorath View Post
    Ugg, don't get me started. I recently moved to Utah and have to jump through so many BS hoops just to catch a buzz here. If any Utahns claim that the regulated light beer isn't that bad, they are lying or just tricking themselves.
    You've got EPIC Brewing Co, downtown SLC. I would start there

  66. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by teleken View Post
    Umm, I think you meant to say Denver/Golden. No riding around here, move along....
    Don't ass ume what I meant to say; you apparently have not taken a bike up and back down Pikes Peak.

  67. #67
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    what CHUM said.

    i live in santa cruz proper...east-ish side. 3 miles of road/path to RR tracks. 1.5 miles of RR until singletrack.

  68. #68
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    Singletrack is legal in LA, not that much in BA. I would live in La Jolla or Santa Barbara if I could afford them. Otherwise Reno would be a great choice - ride from your house to Tahoe and back, not bad.

  69. #69
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    West side Santa Cruz or Scotts Valley. I'll be there one day.
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  70. #70
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    Wink

    It doesn't satisfy the population requirement. But to me, I suppose it's paradise.

    2 Minute ride from world class singletrack in any direction. Deer creek, 401, lupine, snodgrass, upper, lower, GB loop, 404, 403, doctor's park, etc. Too many to choose from and even fewer that I'll reveal to anyone but a close friend.

    Sunny days. Snowy winters. And a town defined by its passion for all things bike and ski. I wake up every morning and am always infinitely inspired

    Crested Butte, CO. Home sweet home.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails &quot;From my house&quot; mountain bike towns-ride4.jpg  

    &quot;From my house&quot; mountain bike towns-ride1.jpg  

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  71. #71
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    Yeah, that's an insane place to be. A few years back, I took the greyhound from Gainesville Florida to Gunnison, got a ride to Pitkin, and another ride to Crested Butte. It was a long, smelly, trip. I brought my mountain bike in a box and bent my front wheel somewhere in transit.

    For the wisdom and benefit of others: threatening beer farts on a greyhound bus (occasionally reinforcing your threat with auditory and olfactory stimuli) for 3 days will earn you an entire bench to yourself in which to sleep (learned from an obnoxious, loud, drunk person at the back of the bus). When the bus stops to pick up new passengers, feign sleep and you may keep your bench (personal experience). Move over when the recently released inmates board the bus to get home (alternatively, it may be wise to shank someone at this point).

  72. #72
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    Ya, too bad you're a city boy, you could live on a mountain full of trail and be 20-30 minutes from a couple a busy ers.
    I ride with the best dogs.




  73. #73
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    I grew up in a small town near the Finger Lakes region of central NY and now live about 25 miles outside of Houston. Been here since the summer of 2002 when I graduated college.

    Seeing threads like this really make me second guess some decisions in life. I have all the reasons why I "should" stay in Houston (very promising career, lots of great friends, my family, great entertainment options, etc) but I always find myself looking longingly at these pictures.

    The riding is pretty good down here, and we do it all year round which is great... but none of it is 'epic' like the photos you all post. And I really miss the small town atmosphere. I don't want my daughter going to school of 5k kids, I want to ride epic trails, I want to get away from the hussle and bussle of the the big city life (shoot I'm only 31 and it's already getting to me)... but I also want to continue to be able to provide well for my family, opportunities to continue to do so abound in Houston.

    Damn these threads... they make me crazy!!

    On a side note, my sister lives in Flagstaff and we go visit them a few times each year and if my wife would "OK" the deal... I'd move there in a heartbeat. I love it there so much.
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  74. #74
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    Austin/Hill Country = Solid Technical, year round, XC Riding

    I love how Austin gets no mention in these fun hypothetical discussions. I suspect because it's surrounded by Texas. Wink. I have lived in Colorado (Front Range, currently Crested Butte) Austin and Missouri (Ozark Mtn Foothills) and ridden all over the West.

    There are some GREAT in-town trails in Austin and nearbyTexas Hill Country and year-round riding. The caveat to this is that Texas is dry and loose right now but, I've lived there long enough to see Austin go from drought to max lake levels in less than a month. It's only a matter of time before the rains return.

    1. I can ride to the trails from my house in a few minutes
    Check out the Barton Creek Greenbelt, Walnut Creek, Reimers, City Park, Pace Bend for in-town/near town great XC riding.

    2. A hospital less than 45 minutes away by car (work)
    Lot's of choices here

    3. At least some sun in the winter
    Austin gets over 300 days of sunshine/year (almost as much as Denver)

    4. Riding season longer than 4 months
    Yep! Summer rides kick off before 8am and Jan/Feb highs are in the 50s mostly. This is where Austin shines!

    5. Population in the 50,000ish - 200,000ish range
    Austin is a big small town. Well over your desired range but pop drops off dramatically 15min out of town

    6. West of the Mississippi and not a flat state
    Austin is not flat like most of Texas. Think Austin Hill Country. You would be surprised!

    This has been a great read as I may be relo'ing to the SF Bay Area and am in search of the same lifestyle attributes. No diggs at all on the other options either, they all are/sound great! Just wanted you to get the full story. Austin is a great place to ride/work, despite it being in Texas. My $.02 Good luck with your adventure!

  75. #75
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    All but one...

    West Sedona would meet all but one of your criteria.

    1. Over a dozen and a half trailheads within a fifteen minute bike ride, and many of them have more than one trail!

    2. There is a hospital in Cottonwood, 25 minutes away. There is also a hospital in Flagstaff. (Just under an hour.) And a medical center in West Sedona. (Ride to work!) Also an Urgent Care in West Sedona, now that I think about it...

    3. As for sunshine, we get more days of that stuff each year than the "Sunshine State"!!!

    4. Riding season??? It's really rare to have a day that you cannot ride off road at least part of the day. On the rare occasion that it snows, it is usually all melted by noon, and dried up enough to ride an hour or two after it finishes melting. Summertime brings monsoon rains, but they mostly occur mid to late afternoon, so just get up early to ride. Once since I've lived here, it was possible to ride every day consecutively for over 22 months in a row, simply by scheduling your ride for the right time of day!!!

    5. Population is the one criteria that Sedona does not meet. The estimates for the permanent population here range from 11,000 to 16,000 depending on the source. Not sure of the population of Cottonwood, but it is bigger, and just 17 miles away. There is also the Village of Oak Creek, about 5 miles from Sedona, with a few thousand folks living there. You can even connect Sedona to the villave or to Cottonwood by singletrack!

    6. Sedona is NOT flat! Bring your climbing gears. Many locals run a 20 tooth front chainring and a cassette with a 32, 34 or even a 36 tooth first gear.
    If more people rode more bikes, more places, more often, the world would be a more better place!

  76. #76
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    I currently live in Golden, CO....really love it here, but if I could make it work would be in Durango. Great biking there, big mountains close and great access to the 4 corners desert.

    I did Salt Lake for 10 years prior to Golden and the reason to live in SLC is skiing, the biking season is short there (and really the biking is in Park City) compared to the Front Range, but the skiing is the best. As a city SLC sucks pretty bad....Denver is much better.

    Last Sunday went for a ride from my front door and then went to a Broncos game in the afternoon.....not too many places you can pull that off.

    Golden provides a really nice balance having a small town feel and a real sense of community with great biking access from town and tons more with a short drive, while having access to a major city that has a lot going on.

  77. #77
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    Chico, CA

    1. I can ride to the trails from my house in a few minutes: everything in Chico is a 30 minute ride from everything else.
    2. A hospital less than 45 minutes away by car (work): Yes.
    3. At least some sun in the winter: Yes, mostly dry winter but wet spring.
    4. Riding season longer than 4 months: Yes. April - November = awesome
    5. Population in the 50,000ish - 200,000ish range: 90,000 currently
    6. West of the Mississippi and not a flat state: Sierra Nevada/Cascade ranges meet just west of here

    A few bonuses:
    1. Home of the Sierra Nevada brewery, nuf said.
    2. Home of CSU, Chico. Keeps it lively and eventful with the university, lots of concerts, bands, art, etc.
    3. 1.5 hrs from Sac, 2 hrs from Downieville, 2.5 hrs from Tahoe, 3 hrs from San Francisco, 4 hrs from the north coast. Just far enough but not too far for a day or weekend trip.
    4. Nearby trails: Upper Bidwell Park (in Chico), Lake Oroville (20m drive), Bullards Bar (45m drive)
    5. Great road biking opportunities also, and a great cycling community.

    A few caveats:
    1. A full suspension is a must have unless you're a rock loving animal. Upper park is home to lava cap and solidified mud flows, covered by a small compliment of dirt and river rocks. IMHO, a 5" travel trail bike is perfect but I've had my ass handed to me by better riders on hardtails.
    2. Finding a good paying job is tough. Agriculture, education, professional services, and some small tech companies are your best bet.
    3. Chico is a small "city" surrounded by a large rural area. There is not much outside Chico to speak of until you get to Sacramento which is about 90 minutes away. Not necessarily a bad thing though...
    4. HOT summer, 100F+ is not uncommon although this year has been pretty mild.

    The brown Chico:


    The green Chico:
    Last edited by TwoHeadsBrewing; 09-21-2011 at 01:39 PM.
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  78. #78
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    I need to go on a road trip and visit every single on of you...haha. Will bring the beer

  79. #79
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    Thanks for the ideas. If I get a job and move, I'll post it for sure.

  80. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bike Doc View Post
    West Sedona would meet all but one of your criteria.

    1. Over a dozen and a half trailheads within a fifteen minute bike ride, and many of them have more than one trail!

    2. There is a hospital in Cottonwood, 25 minutes away. There is also a hospital in Flagstaff. (Just under an hour.) And a medical center in West Sedona. (Ride to work!) Also an Urgent Care in West Sedona, now that I think about it...

    3. As for sunshine, we get more days of that stuff each year than the "Sunshine State"!!!

    4. Riding season??? It's really rare to have a day that you cannot ride off road at least part of the day. On the rare occasion that it snows, it is usually all melted by noon, and dried up enough to ride an hour or two after it finishes melting. Summertime brings monsoon rains, but they mostly occur mid to late afternoon, so just get up early to ride. Once since I've lived here, it was possible to ride every day consecutively for over 22 months in a row, simply by scheduling your ride for the right time of day!!!

    5. Population is the one criteria that Sedona does not meet. The estimates for the permanent population here range from 11,000 to 16,000 depending on the source. Not sure of the population of Cottonwood, but it is bigger, and just 17 miles away. There is also the Village of Oak Creek, about 5 miles from Sedona, with a few thousand folks living there. You can even connect Sedona to the villave or to Cottonwood by singletrack!

    6. Sedona is NOT flat! Bring your climbing gears. Many locals run a 20 tooth front chainring and a cassette with a 32, 34 or even a 36 tooth first gear.
    well, it does get over 100 degrees for a few months and the rocks reflect the radiation and make it feeleven hotter, not much significant shade either. Sedona may not be "flat", but it lacks epic climbs/descents due to the wilderness limitations. Its not horrible, but i wouldn't want to live there. Much better riding options around moab/GJ, Pac-Nw, California, etc.
    "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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  81. #81
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    east coast shoutout!

    switch #5 to population of less than 1000, and #6 to east coast, and you described Davis, WV. You have to like to ski out your backdoor too, because the snowpack can stick around enough that you ain't riding for months unless you head down off the mountain.
    just another piece of chaga

  82. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by bkreitz View Post
    Austin/Hill Country = Solid Technical, year round, XC Riding

  83. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkaredShtles View Post
    someone must enjoy riding in 105 degree heat

  84. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shift Worker View Post

    As usual, there are a few criteria that must be met:

    1. I can ride to the trails from my house in a few minutes
    (#1 criteria. MUST MEET THIS CRITERIA!!!)

    Anything on the East Side of I-80 is a not more than a 5 minute pedal to a canyon rim trail.

    2. A hospital less than 45 minutes away by car (work)

    Auburn Faith, Roseville Sutter, Roseville Kaiser, Mercy San Juan, probably 2 or 3 more I'm forgetting about.

    3. At least some sun in the winter

    Sac Valley fog stopps about a mile and 250 feet of elevation down the hill at NewCastle.

    4. Riding season longer than 4 months

    I'd call it 8 solid months. There's a 2 months in the summer where its fully ridable but a bit hot, and December and January are rideable but a bit muddy. So maybe 8-10 months depending on how much dirt and sweat you'll tolerate. 12 months if you're pig.

    5. Population in the 50,000ish - 200,000ish range

    Auburn itself its 16k-18k. At least double that if you include that developed areas that are not in the city proper. If you include the rest of south placer county we're all over that population range.

    6. West of the Mississippi and not a flat state

    That should get me a few hundred towns in WA, OR, CA, ID, MT, WY, CO, UT, AZ, and NM.

    Check.

    Background on me:
    Moved to western WA from Albuquerque 3 years ago
    I really, really, REALLY miss having good riding close by. It was a daily activity and I miss it dearly. There is riding around here, but you have to drive 1.5 hours to get to many trails. I also really miss the sunshine in the winter.
    I like fast, flowy, XC riding. Don't care for DH/Lift access

    Most of the stuff accessible directly from Auburn is canyon riding; uphill slog, down hill coast. There's some flowy, but not a great lot of it.

    There are some obvious "Meccas", but I don't know if the "ride from my house" component is there:

    Bend (going in 2 weeks)
    Hood River, OR (will check out on same trip, but worried about winter weather)
    Durango, CO (Almost moved here 3 years ago. May need to ski more, bike less)
    Albuquerque (been there, still thinking about going back)
    Santa Fe?
    Flagstaff, AZ?
    Sedona, AZ?
    Fort Collins, CO?
    Salt lake area?
    California? Lake Tahoe. (Santa Cruz, Salinas, etc?)

    Sincere thanks for your thoughts.


    Another similar thread for those interested:

    http://forums.mtbr.com/passion/best-....html#poststop

  85. #85
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Shift Worker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    74
    I got a job and I'm moving to Lake Tahoe! I'll have to ski a bit more than planned, but I'll survive.

    Thanks for all the advice. Someone should print this thread and make it into a book.

  86. #86
    mtbr member
    Reputation: kcaz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    182
    Congrats Shift.

    We expect a ride report when you land.

  87. #87
    Weekend warrior aspirant
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    400
    Quote Originally Posted by Shift Worker View Post
    I got a job and I'm moving to Lake Tahoe! I'll have to ski a bit more than planned, but I'll survive.

    Thanks for all the advice. Someone should print this thread and make it into a book.
    Congrats!
    There is SO much cool stuff around there - good skiing, good snowboarding, great biking, you name it.
    Mountain bike with 15k miles, Road bike with 10k miles, breaking in my 29er by riding the entire AZ Trail

  88. #88
    MTB Mamba
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    394
    St. George, UTAH

    1. I can ride to the trails from my house in a few minutes
    (#1 criteria. MUST MEET THIS CRITERIA!!!)
    Depending on where you settle down there will be several in riding distance

    2. A hospital less than 45 minutes away by car (work)
    More than one

    3. At least some sun in the winter
    How about sun virtually all winter.

    4. Riding season longer than 4 months
    All year

    5. Population in the 50,000ish - 200,000ish range
    72,000

    6. West of the Mississippi and not a flat state
    Check

    Less than a 2 hour drive to Vegas. Under 4 hours to Salt Lake/Park City

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