Austin riding quality coming from Oregon -- will I regret it?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    New question here. Austin riding quality coming from Oregon -- will I regret it?

    Hi,

    I am entertaining a job offer in Austin. I live in Oregon now. The problem is my main hobby is MTB. I love the Oregon summers and sweet epic single track we have. I realize Austin's winters are better than Oregon with the lack of rain and warmer weather. But that is a trade-off for the hot/humid summer.

    If I move to Austin will I be crying about how I miss my pacific northwest trails and perfect summers? How does the riding even compare? Will I really even ride in the summer in Austin or is it just too hot and humid?

    Thanks for your help!

  2. #2
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    Don't miss the north at all. After 20 years Austin is home. Great riding. My site has all the details. If you come down here to scout things out let me know. If you ride a large bike I will meet you at the trail head and give you a tour.
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  3. #3
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    Where in the north did you live/ride? What about summer heat, humidity and mosquitos in Austin?

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    Summer you ride at night. And I don't know how it is there but we have moondust and endless chunk.
    Keep trying to do the awesomest thing you've ever done.

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    I rode in Bellingham this summer, so sweet loamy dirt is fresh in my memory. It's certainly different here. There aren't many sustained trail climbs here compared to actual mountains, but what we do have is punchy and technical if you're up for it. Austin does have a pretty solid mountain bike community too. Angelfire is a one day drive away and can help you get your gravity fix if that's your thing. What's your riding style and trail preference?

    As far as the heat, it sucks. There's no way around it. For 5-6 months out of the year, you will sweat if you step outside.

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    Yeah, the heat blows, but I'll take year round riding every time.

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    Speaking of year round riding, today and the last couple of days may be some of the best riding conditions I have done here in Texas ever. Upper 70's, lower 80's, tacky dirt with no dried out moon dust, the little clay dirt there is is the consistency of play dough, the numerous rocks are just dry enough to not be scared for your life on flat off camber sections and it's warm enough so that any standing water you ride through dries out quickly. It doesn't get much better than this to ride here.

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    Great tech-y, rocky trails. Lots of fun ledges, hops, etc. Very challenging technically.
    But, a two hour ride will mean gaining between 1000-1500 ft on up-down-up-down-up-down terrain -- You won't get any 4k ft elevation profile changes. No extended climbs, and no extended descents. Also, slower speed riding.
    The biggest bummer is that most of the good stuff is unofficial and off-the-map. It'll take a while to learn where it is and how to navigate it.
    Summer is hot, but I rode all year long for sure, when I lived there. You get used to the heat.

  9. #9
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    Summer heat isn't that bad, as long as you ride through the spring and early summer to adjust. At 100+, you slow down...my rides in the summer tend to be shorter and more efficient - charging the really fun sections and saving that energy.
    Also, not all years are equal here - I've been here since 2005 and we've had years with 90 days over 100*, and years with just a few days over 100*.

    Trails are really loose here - the dirt will be your biggest adjustment. Most trails are some form of loose over hardpack. Erosion has taken a toll on many lines this year as we've had almost 55" of rain, 20" of that was in Oct (average for the YTD would be 29"). We don't have many trails with sanctioned features, especially if you're riding the grey-area trails. Berms are few and far between, jumps too...natural rock ledge drops abound though.

    CWn SWCO nailed it on the general change in elevation/speed, rides are a bit slower here.

    On the tech front - if you like technical riding, then you won't be bored here. I remember someone saying that if you can ride in ATX on the tough trails, you can go anywhere and ride well and honestly I chalked it up to TX Pride clouding judgement. They were right though...I had to re-learn how to ride here and have ridden some hairy stuff in CO/NM that I never could have before riding here regularly.

    One thing that you probably haven't considered - ATX is really in the middle of nowhere. Having been raised in the south east, lived in VA and on the west coast, I can honestly say that Austin is close to NOTHING. If you want to go somewhere to enjoy different terrain, a city with a different vibe, etc...you're looking at a flight usually, or at least an 8+ hour drive. NOLA is a solid 8 hrs (no real riding though), ABQ and Sta Fe are a solid 11-12, CO is 16 depending...TX is ****ing huge and Austin is smack dab in the middle. Now, locals will try to castrate me for saying that, because there can be some variety in the hill country, but really...it is all the same. I really miss being close to other places, that has been the hardest adjustment for my family as far as ease of travel.

    One last thought on summer riding...NM and CO are really nice that time of year! WA/OR are a ~6hr flight away, which isn't bad.

  10. #10
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    There is a lot of variety in Central Texas for sure. You can go from The Greenbelt to Reveille to Rocky Hill to City Park. All different type of terrain. Like was mentioned before, there are no mega climbs or mega drops; it is usually up and down and up and down and up and down and... works you though. I've ridden with folks from California, Oregon, and Washington, and I often hear the same thing from them..."these rocks are killing me". When you go down around here, it can be brutal.

  11. #11
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    Don't do it. I'm from NorCal, been in Austin 3 years, and I think it sucks compared to the west coast (sorry if I offended any Texans). Austin is a really cool city for food and music but other than that central TX is sooooo boring if you are into outdoor activities. The heat and humidity is terrible. It doesn't stop me from riding but it really sucks. There's virtually no public land in TX, it's basically flat, and as someone else said earlier it's in the middle of nowwhere. You have to fly or drive forever to get anywhere with real mountains and better weather.

    I've ridden in Oakridge, Bend several times, and the Mckenzie River Trail and all of that is a billion times better than what we have here. Plus you can ski and snowboard in the winter.

    If there was a legit mountain range within 4 hours from Austin it would be way better but there isn't.

    To be fair to Texas the trails in the greenbelt and city park are legit and are right in town basically. Very technical and will probably make you a better rider but there just isn't any variety. All of the trails around here are basically the same. Living in Oregon you are within a day's drive of all of the epic trails on the entire west coast if you get bored of your local trails.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by smokehouse4444 View Post
    There is a lot of variety in Central Texas for sure. You can go from The Greenbelt to Reveille to Rocky Hill to City Park. All different type of terrain. Like was mentioned before, there are no mega climbs or mega drops; it is usually up and down and up and down and up and down and... works you though. I've ridden with folks from California, Oregon, and Washington, and I often hear the same thing from them..."these rocks are killing me". When you go down around here, it can be brutal.
    If you think that BCGB and City Park offer variety, you need to travel with your bike. In mountain states, you can ride through entire ecosystems - that is variety. Geographic features, flora/fauna/temperature all change greatly on a single ride.

    RPR offers some smooth rock, sure that is different, but it is still pretty much the same (I know, I cut a bunch of trial there).

  13. #13
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    the summers are hot. It takes some time but you get used to it and deal with it. it's part of the trade-off for a drier climate and year-round riding. you learn to bring a lot of cold water and make your rides shorter. I ride at night later in the year when the days are shorter, because spiders.

    there are hundreds of miles of trails in the immediate Austin area and there is always something fun to do outside of riding. I never tire of it. I lived in San Antonio (which is also a pretty cool place to live and ride) for seven years and always enjoyed visiting Austin whenever I could, and eventually moved here because of that.

    if you need help figuring out how to get around Austin, PM me. I love being a tour guide.

    I have not ridden actual mountains other than some north Georgia terrain, which I sm sure is nothing like west coast stuff. I guess ignorance is bliss. I know there are trails that are relatively flat around here and some with more technical terrain, but it's all about the same- rocks and loose stuff.

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    Once I adapt to the heat I don't find it to be a huge deal since most trails are shaded here. Don't ride RPR in the summer cause you will cook!

    I'd love to live in a place with 4 seasons (it's 80 degrees right now, 2 days before X-mas) and big mountain terrain as I enjoy winter sports a great deal but alas, my career is here.

    As others have mentioned, I have found that riding Austin absolutely prepares you for ANYTHING you will encounter elsewhere. Understand that the best trails are not to be found on websites and maps. There is some tricky stuff out there, much of it hidden.

    I was riding a place recently that I had ridden many times and I took a little direction I had not taken before and discovered a series of 20-50' drop ins. One of them essentially vertical. Maybe 8 of them in a row. I was surprised (happy!) to encounter that in Austin.

  15. #15
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    I'm a Dallasite who visits Austin to ride, so take my opinion with a grain of salt. Central Texans here can scold me if they want.

    Regarding the riding in Austin: It is overall the best riding in Texas, but I wouldn't say there is a lot of variety. There are some really technical trails in Austin, so if that is your thing, you'll be set. City Park is probably a challenge for just about any rider who hasn't been there many times before. As others have alluded to, there is probably some other stuff that is a local secret that offers even better riding. However, I disagree with the idea that "if you can ride in Austin, you can ride anywhere." In terms of technical riding, that may be true. But Austin does not have sustained climbing. The up-down-up stuff is simply not the same as riding to the top of a mountain and then riding down. If that's your thing, you'll be disappointed. I get a bit of a reality check every time I go ride in Colorado. Some of that is probably altitude, but some of it is the fact that 1500 ft. of elevation change is a pretty good ride here. In other parts of the country, that 1500 feet is all continuous, and it's only the halfway point. Anyway, all I'm saying is that the riding in Austin is likely very different than the riding you're used to. There is a lot of riding that I would call good in Austin, however. There are also a lot of serious cyclists in Austin. If it were me, I'd take Oregon, but that is purely from a cycling/outdoor recreation perspective. The heat here can get to be quite loathsome, and while the riding is technically "year round," the summer can be a challenge. Austin is far from a four-season place, and being originally from the midwest myself, I have missed fall and spring (and snow) ever since I moved to Texas. However, there's a lot more that goes into this kind of decision than mountain biking and weather, so only you can really weigh these things.

    One word of warning: If you don't already know, traffic in Austin is atrocious. I mean terrible. You can be in bumper-to-bumper traffic on a Tuesday at 1.30 PM. Or on a Sunday at 3:00. Austin has gone from 250,000 people to over a million people, and the city hasn't grown the infrastructure to handle the load. They have taken a "If we don't build it, they won't come" approach, but is it really a good idea to let traffic get so bad that people no longer want to move to your city? Will locals still want to live in such a city? Austin is extremely congested, and to me, its perks are forever shadowed by the fact that one cannot reasonably enjoy them with any sort of convenience. What good is a hip food truck park if you're going to sit in 45 minutes of traffic to get to it? Remember earlier when I said I was a Dallasite who visits Austin rather than a person who lives in Austin? The congestion is why I don't live there. I'm not recommending Dallas -- I'm probably moving to Colorado within a year or so. You should just be aware of what you're getting into. Visit for three or four days, including some weekdays, and drive around and get a feel for the city. That's the only way to understand the sort of congestion I'm talking about.
    "Plato is my friend, Aristotle is my friend, but my best friend is truth." - Newton

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wittgenstein's Ghost View Post
    However, I disagree with the idea that "if you can ride in Austin, you can ride anywhere." In terms of technical riding, that may be true.
    I suspect that when people opine the above that they are not saying "if you are conditioned to ride in Austin, you are conditioned to ride anywhere." more likely, they are saying the skillset developed in Austin (especially if you frequent the technical stuff) will allow you to be comfortable riding anywhere. If you look hard enough, you will find the types of features that will prepare you for anything extreme. There are many Austinites, myself included, that take their skillsets to Trestle, Angel Fire, and Whistler Bike Parks and have no problem riding every trail. We have features that make a 160mm bike feel right at home. In terms of lungs, we have also done 5k foot days in Pemberton and in the front range, and while it sucked, the lungs you get from the constant punchy climbs in Austin are enough to get you to the top in the real mountains as well.

    The punchy climbs in Austin are constant entertainment. What I mean is, you don't get a rest, and you aren't bored to tears climbing fire roads. Its a trade off. Would you rather spend 3 hours climbing for 30 minutes of adrenaline on the way down, or would you rather have several 15 minute climbs followed by 3 minutes of adrenaline...lather rinse repeat for next 3 hours. Both have their merits.

    Austin traffic is no worse than anywhere else if you have tribal knowledge of how to navigate it. I am on the road 3-5 days a week, often in Dallas and Houston, and both are just as miserable when it comes to sitting in a car.

    Now on to the meat of your question: You will no doubt be disappointed in Austin if your biking frame of reference is the PNW. We have rock and moondust...its rough, hard on equipment, and very hard to put together a flowy line in. The only place you will find hero dirt is at the MX track. If you are not into spandex and 29" wheels and going slow in techy stuff, then the expansive network of Austin trails actually begins to shrink pretty quickly.

    The heat is oppressive. October through June is the prime riding season. July through September is lake and bike park trip season.

    The culture used to be cool, but Austin is quickly becoming yuppified. The city has become a giant theme park with an endless number of festivals that bring way too many people to town. They fall in love with the intimate music scene, decide to move here and live in condos that tower over the music venues, then bark about the venues making too much noise. A huge number of those venues have been forced to shut their doors.

    Like many, we are looking for a way to get to higher elevation....

  17. #17
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    oh...another note:
    during our prime riding season, we have to suffer through daylight savings time, reducing riding to weekends if you cant bail from work early...advantage: mountains.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wittgenstein's Ghost View Post

    However, I disagree with the idea that "if you can ride in Austin, you can ride anywhere." In terms of technical riding, that may be true. But Austin does not have sustained climbing. The up-down-up stuff is simply not the same as riding to the top of a mountain and then riding down. If that's your thing, you'll be disappointed. I get a bit of a reality check every time I go ride in Colorado. Some of that is probably altitude, but some of it is the fact that 1500 ft. of elevation change is a pretty good ride here. In other parts of the country, that 1500 feet is all continuous, and it's only the halfway point.
    Yeah, we don't have much climbing here. Strava only has me at 334,000 feet for the year

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    As far as the cardio goes, Austin has climbs that can make your heart jump out of your chest. But it's not possible to replicate the O2 reduction that occurs at altitude that causes your body to add red blood cells while you are sleeping. The climbs are just as hard though, and many of them for 20 minutes at a time hard even w/o mountains.

    There are plenty of better riders than me but I ride better than most I feel, and I still have to get off and walk on several climbs and ledges like at Emma Long, Dump Truck, and a few others that I have no names for.

    I did go to a bike park for the first time last summer and what a blast it was, but everything was easily rideable for me from the very first run, not something I can say about Austin trails after riding them exclusively for my entire 2 year mountain biking habit.

  20. #20
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    general Austin living- yes, traffic is bad, but it's not as bad as many other cities I have visited. plan on being flexible with where you live vs where you work. try to find a way to live close enough to ride a bike to work or along a major bus route to avoid the driving traffic.

    I recently got a new job 20 miles away on the polar opposite side of town. I go in at 1 pm, so the traffic is light and it takes me less than 30 minutes to get there, which I think is still awful. when I get out at 6 (short day, work from home for the other half of my job), it can take over an hour to get home. when there is a music festival, a UT football game, or something at Zilker Park, it is much, much worse. The problem for me is that there is really only one way to get across Barton Creek, that big chasm (full of awesome trails) that runs south-west away from the city. the south side is growing more slowly, but the lack of bridges over BCGB might be the reason.

  21. #21
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    I'd actually be afraid of moving away from Austin because of the mountain bike scene we have. I've ridden SoCal, Tahoe, and Utah...never Oregon, so can't comment directly on that. I'm a sucker for technical challenges so our rocky (and sometimes quite steep) terrain is great in my opinion; I can head right to the chunk if I'm pressed for time. If you pick the right part of town you can be set up to ride some great stuff from your doorstep with very little road.

    You might consider reviving this thread:
    http://forums.mtbr.com/texas/utah-austin-988480.html
    to get an update of opinion.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by cykelk View Post
    I'd actually be afraid of moving away from Austin because of the mountain bike scene we have. I've ridden SoCal, Tahoe, and Utah...never Oregon, so can't comment directly on that. I'm a sucker for technical challenges so our rocky (and sometimes quite steep) terrain is great in my opinion; I can head right to the chunk if I'm pressed for time. If you pick the right part of town you can be set up to ride some great stuff from your doorstep with very little road.

    You might consider reviving this thread:
    http://forums.mtbr.com/texas/utah-austin-988480.html
    to get an update of opinion.
    my wife and i are starting to make plans to move from Austin to Denver. Im a little nervous about moving somewhere where you basically always have to drive to ride and can only ride half the year. Right now, I live 30 seconds from Walnut Creek and can ride at the drop of a hat. Itll be tough to give that up.

    The riding in Austin is very good and a lot of fun. But theres no substitute for the true speed and flow that comes from flying down a mountain. I went to visit friends 6 months ago and rode once while there and man..... its just a totally different experience.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by austin_bike View Post
    Yeah, we don't have much climbing here. Strava only has me at 334,000 feet for the year

    Life's what you make it
    I didn't say Austin didn't have much climbing. I said it didn't have a lot of sustained climbing. In the context of a comparison of the riding in Austin to the riding in Oregon, it doesn't.
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  24. #24
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    I pretty much agree with most everything said above.

    Lol, and this reminded me of one of my Oregon trips....
    It was August and we had just finished about a week of riding that included Washington, Black Rock, Hood River, McKenzie River, Oak Ridge and Bend. It also included prime hero dirt, 2 fresh baked blackberry pies, a 3lb bag of fresh picked blueberries, Tillamook ice cream, eating fresh blackberries growing on the side of the trail, a naked chick on the trail, Widmer Bros and Deschutes beer, fried chicken on a stick and now a hot springs session. We are sitting in a hot spring sipping cold beer with about 6 other folks. After introductions and telling of our awesome trip up to this point, a gal asked where we were from and we told them Austin. They all said that they had heard Austin was sooo cool, and asked “so what’s Austin like?”
    Well, sitting in this hot spring and just relating the past weeks adventures, all I could think of as a truthful reply was “Austin is overrated”.

    Now that's not to say we don't have kickass riding (cause we do), but it ain't Oregon.

    What we do have that is extraordinary is life sucking traffic... that will only get worse. There is no solution to the traffic problems in Austin. It has the ability to suck hours of your life each day.
    Morning traffic is 6:15am-9:15 am, evening traffic is 3:15pm-6:15 pm Monday-Friday. And this is only if there are no accidents... it is the best case scenario.
    Cost of housing is also pretty impressive these days.

    But yeah, we have some great riding.

  25. #25
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    Yeah, having ridden all around the world I would say that everything has its pros and cons. Austin is best for those that live here and those that want to stay here. I would be hard pressed to convince someone to move here unless they had a job opportunity.

    It is a great place to live*

    *if you have to live in Texas
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    Austin would blow itself if it could only reach.

    But I'm happy to have the lovely lakes, and good technical mountain biking terrain so close by, but mainly I have a great career that is located here so there it is.

    The Cons are Summers suck in a work suit, they are great at the lake however. Housing is expensive, traffic is awful (seriously, pay whatever it takes to be half way between your job and the trails). The worst thing for a single guy is the women situation in Austin, TX. It's dire. It's just terrible. Way more men than women results in healthy decent looking fellows dating fat ass women cause that's all that is left. Kill me now.

  27. #27
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    ^tech bro sausage fest?

    I think it's fair to say that very few people would move to Austin specifically for bike riding purposes. (unless you ride BMX, which another world altogether. people move from all over the world specifically for the BMX scene in Austin.) however, if you have a job opportunity in Austin or some other compelling reason, you won't be disappointed with the mountain biking terrain and the "scene" it has to offer. definitely tons more riding here than in the midwest or the gulf coast (I would rather die than live in Houston), but it's not Colorado mountains.

    traffic is not as bad as many bigger cities, but it's getting worse as the city grows. I cannot emphasize enough- find a place to live that makes getting to work easy and is close enough to daily needs so that you don't have to get stuck in traffic. I have visited LA, Chicago, Houston, San Francisco, etc and the traffic there seemed 100x worse than anything I have seen in Austin.

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    I can vouch for Chicago, LA, Philadelphia and NYC. All those places have worse traffic that#1 starts earlier and lasts longer and #2 doesn't move as quickly. Yeah traffic is annoying here, but you won't get conditions here that turn a 20 minute commute into a 4 hour odyssey of despair and futility. I'm a daily Mopac traveler and I've never been at a standstill for more than 30 seconds.

  29. #29
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    my commute from the southwest side to the northeast side starts at noon and takes me 25 minutes. the drive home starts at about 6 and takes a little less than an hour. if I had a make a similar drive in Houston (I have spent too much time in Houston), it would take an hour to get to work and 2 hours to get home. I could ride my bike to and from work with a 90 minute commute each way, but I think I will wait until later in the season when I have daylight for the ride home. despite what you hear from locals, riding roads around Austin is pretty safe if you chose the right route.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Suns_PSD View Post
    Austin would blow itself if it could only reach.
    For truth.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Suns_PSD View Post
    The worst thing for a single guy is the women situation in Austin, TX. It's dire. It's just terrible. Way more men than women results in healthy decent looking fellows dating fat ass women cause that's all that is left. Kill me now.
    Hmm, I find my experiences to be the opposite.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doc D View Post
    Hmm, I find my experiences to be the opposite.
    I feel like this depends on how "hip" you are. I see dirt balls with beautiful women all the time because they are wearing the right jeans to the right bars. Or cross fit, don't get me started. Doesn't pay to be a normal guy in Austin.

    Edit: I don't mean to sound shallow but I have had less dates in Austin then anywhere I've lived.

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    I've been here a few months now, just moved from Salt Lake. I'm digging the riding so far but I really miss just hauling ass down a mountain. The tech is fun, the singletrack is great, but yeah, hitting 30mph on singletrack just ain't gonna happen here. Oh well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Summit View Post
    hitting 30mph on singletrack just ain't gonna happen here.
    Sure it will. Very briefly, right before tree impact.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cykelk View Post
    Sure it will. Very briefly, right before tree impact.
    Hah fair enough! I really like living here so far, it's beautiful, people are awesome, culture is amazing, food is making me fat and slow, and the riding is a blast. My tech skills have improved for sure already, Salt Lake is just buff singletrack with gravel over hardpack for the most part so it kinda makes you lazy. I have noticed my cornering skills degrading though, Austin terrain is very "steer-y" and not very "lean-y"

  36. #36
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    Nuts and Suns are trippin. More hot fit ladies here than anywhere else I know of. You guys need to get out.
    Keep trying to do the awesomest thing you've ever done.

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    Yup. I've had sex with attractive women more here since my divorce then I did in my 20s. And I'm fat and in my 40s.

  38. #38
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    Traffic? Spend a little time in Moscow or Beijing and you'll love Austin's traffic.
    Austin Mountain Biking and worldwide travel pictures:

    http://www.austinbike.com

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by austin_bike View Post
    Traffic? Spend a little time in Moscow or Beijing and you'll love Austin's traffic.
    great comment. This is about Austin vs Oregon, not showing off where you may have traveled...

  40. #40
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    ...and grouping Austin with two of the worst traffic congested cities on the planet does not make it look any better.... although it may be a accurate insight to what Austin traffic will resemble in the future.

  41. #41
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    My point was that traffic is relative. I moved from Texas from Chicago and when I got here everyone complained about traffic, but it was nothing compared to other places, so it is all relative.

    Traffic has gotten a lot worse here over the years, but compared to the rest of the country, I can find places that are a lot worse. As we have a lot of people coming to Austin every day (somewhere north of 100 people a day) clearly there are people from other places, not just Oregon, that may be looking at this thread.

    Yeah, traffic is bad, it is only going to get worse because Texas, in general, never invested ahead of the curve, or in mass transit.

    Austin's biggest problem that it will always face is the Colorado River. Because it bisects the city, north/south traffic has to go over the river. This barrier is hard to expand over, so widening Mopac or I-35 is a very difficult task, so you create north/south bottlenecks.

    Additionally, we built SH-130 out east but never took the step of banning trucks from I-35 and giving them a free pass on 130 as they bypass Austin. Instead, we have trucks clogging I-35 and for every truck you could have 2-4 cars in the same space.

    But our new mode is everything is a toll road. And not owned by the state where you can do creative things, they are owned by private businesses.

    What will Austin look like in the future? More packed, more bottlenecks, and more people working from home because people simply cannot get to work.

    The big upside on this, as a home office worker, is that when you work from home, you can often have more flexible hours. I bike every day.
    Austin Mountain Biking and worldwide travel pictures:

    http://www.austinbike.com

  42. #42
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    Alright time to get back on topic.

    How many attractive women have you been able to have sex with since moving to Austin?
    ...or hot fit ladies?

  43. #43
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    Zero, I was married when I got here
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  44. #44
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    Three. It's been ten years. I like to savor the flavor.

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by austin_bike View Post
    Yeah, traffic is bad, it is only going to get worse because Texas, in general, never invested ahead of the curve, or in mass transit.

    Austin's biggest problem that it will always face is the Colorado River. Because it bisects the city, north/south traffic has to go over the river. This barrier is hard to expand over, so widening Mopac or I-35 is a very difficult task, so you create north/south bottlenecks.
    this. I can't wait (20, 30 years?) for them to finally figure out how to build a commuter rail from San Antonio to Georgetown. that, and divert through-traffic for those who are just trying to get to dallas or someplace else around the city rather than straight through the heart of it, and 35 will be a relative breeze. I-35 is idiotic. my advice is to avoid driving on it at all most of the time. with my current job, I really don't have much choice.

    that, and the bike/ped bridge that is going to parallel MOPAC over the greenbelt and 360. it's well under way, but has seen some stumbling blocks. I would love to work downtown and have THAT on my commute every day.

  46. #46
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    I have to go close to Austin to get to Houston. Having graduated from Texas State U, then Southwest Texas State, I like to go by San Marcos, and then on to Lulling, and catch I10. I only want to drive in or near Austin if I am going there, and it has been awhile.

    The reason I want to avoid the Austin area is the traffic. For a city, I would rather go to Austin than Houston, but my son and grandchildren live in Houston.

  47. #47
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    delete

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    Quote Originally Posted by sooner518 View Post
    my wife and i are starting to make plans to move from Austin to Denver. Im a little nervous about moving somewhere where you basically always have to drive to ride and can only ride half the year. Right now, I live 30 seconds from Walnut Creek and can ride at the drop of a hat. Itll be tough to give that up.

    The riding in Austin is very good and a lot of fun. But theres no substitute for the true speed and flow that comes from flying down a mountain. I went to visit friends 6 months ago and rode once while there and man..... its just a totally different experience.
    I lived in Denver for 2 1/2 years and just moved back to TX this summer for my wife's career. For me, Denver and CO in general blows TX away in every aspect. If mtn biking is your only outdoor hobby and you can get it here pretty much year round, then yeah, you will be a bit disappointed in Denver...BUT CO has soooo much more to offer for lifestyle and outdoor activities year round. There is absolutely no comparison.

    Depending on where you live in the Denver area, there are miles and miles and miles of bike paths for cyclists. The drive to get to other biking areas is park of the beauty and journey of going for a ride. It is magical to point west and head into the mountains. There are tons of mtn biking trails right in the foothills of Denver. A quick 20-30 minute drive and you are there. Want bigger? Keystone is only about 70 minutes away during the summer. Their park is top notch and loads of fun.

    If I were you, I would already be there.

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bionic_Hipster View Post
    BUT CO has soooo much more to offer for lifestyle and outdoor activities year round. There is absolutely no comparison.
    NO! BIKES AND ONLY BIKES!

    I'm currently thinking about moving out of Austin, mostly because of the people, and Denver was on my list. I have visited in summer a few times and liked it well enough, but I was in Colorado Springs one March and it snowed for half the trip. I spent a week stuck in a Travelodge doing nothing. I moved south because I love bikes and HATE snow.

    Edit: Sorry, rant. Just found out my yoommate won't be renewing our lease so I need to figure something out and I'm stressing about it.

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bionic_Hipster View Post
    I lived in Denver for 2 1/2 years and just moved back to TX this summer for my wife's career. For me, Denver and CO in general blows TX away in every aspect. If mtn biking is your only outdoor hobby and you can get it here pretty much year round, then yeah, you will be a bit disappointed in Denver...BUT CO has soooo much more to offer for lifestyle and outdoor activities year round. There is absolutely no comparison.

    Depending on where you live in the Denver area, there are miles and miles and miles of bike paths for cyclists. The drive to get to other biking areas is park of the beauty and journey of going for a ride. It is magical to point west and head into the mountains. There are tons of mtn biking trails right in the foothills of Denver. A quick 20-30 minute drive and you are there. Want bigger? Keystone is only about 70 minutes away during the summer. Their park is top notch and loads of fun.

    If I were you, I would already be there.
    yea i lived in Denver for 3 years from 2006 to 2009. winter is definitely somewhat of a challenge (as im not a skiier or anything) but the riding there is better for sure and there is a lot to do, and the weather in the summer is so much better. just gotta find a job now....

  51. #51
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    I too lived in Denver but it was before I had discovered MTBing. But what I do remember is from my home in downtown, that it took so long to get up and down those mountains on the weekends due to traffic that I only went up that way 2x cause it was like a 12 hour trip after I drove the 60 miles to the ski resorts. Maybe it's easier during the summer? Or if you don't work during the week? I actually went snowboarding more often living in TX than I did living in CO!

    I continue to discover new and exciting trails around Austin. I was riding last Saturday and was just having a great epic and then came across some trails new to me, some one called one of them 'pantie' near Travis Country, I don't know about the name but they were sick and challenging trails until I slashed my tire. I'd personally have a hard time riding anything more challenging than this stuff and actually being able to keep my tires rolling!

    One thing I have discovered is sometimes you are on a lame XC trail but you are just 100 yards off of a great AM type trail this is very close. So many criss-crossing trails it's hard to discover all the new ones.

  52. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by big_papa_nuts View Post
    I'm currently thinking about moving out of Austin, mostly because of the people, and Denver was on my list.
    newsflash- there are douche bags everywhere. when alien life greets us from another galaxy, many of them will be annoying to you as well. no place is immune from it. you get jaded if you stay in any place long enough, so you just have to ignore them and find where you fit into the population.

    I suppose austin's problem is the constant influx of new people trying really hard to be seen and heard. that is going to happen anywhere that there are JOBS because the local economy is growing. if you want to move somewhere laid back, it's likely to be economically depressed and likely not as fun as a result. go live in Muncie, Indiana for four years, bleh.

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