Considering a move to the Woodlands?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Considering a move to the Woodlands?

    Is there any riding close by? I will be coming from northern Calif and I have riding pretty close by for MTB and Road. I currently race MTB in my area and I would like to continue. I will be transferring with my current employer to The Woodslands? Aside from the riding, how is the area?

    thank you for your input?

    Wade

  2. #2
    meh
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    you prob wont be very happy with the mtb coming from norcal, but austin isnt too far away

  3. #3
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    what about area around the woodlands is there any mtb? less than one hour away.

  4. #4
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    you've got Huntsville close by but if your not into roots and sand on flat land be prepared to drive to Austin and around. Oh yeah...start hydrating now cuz it's gonna be HAWT!!
    apply for a transfer back now. haha

  5. #5
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    I have heard it is pretty hot. Last night I was telling my wife the weather is a little warmer and a little more humid.

  6. #6
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    Check out ghorba.org for information on local trails and local race series.

  7. #7
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    yes, it is hot and humid. you've never experienced humidity like this.

    also, the woodlands is a bunch of stuck up snobs.

  8. #8
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    Alex, from the woodlands how far to ride trails?

  9. #9
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    there is nothing really worthwhile up that way. on your chart of pluses and minuses, chalk up a big L in the MTB column.

  10. #10
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    That's not exactly true. While we don't have any long, epic rides or fast downhill runs we do have plenty of variety plus we're constantly adding to existing trails or building new ones. As for the Woodlands itself you only have one trail and that's Flintridge (aka George Mitchell Preserve). It's a small 3.5 mile trail with virtually no elevation change but it's extremely tight and twisty. Outside of the Woodlands you have many choices including Cypresswood, Huntsville State Park, Double Lake in Coldspring, TX plus lots of other choices in Houston. The biggest and best trails are all located 1 to 2 hours outside of Houston such as Jack Brooks Park, Bluff Creek Ranch, Rocky Hill Ranch and of course lots of great trails in Austin. SIgn up for the GHORBA newsletter and watch our forums for upcoming group rides and skills clinics. We have one local and one out of town group ride every month. PM me if you'd like someone to show you all the trails.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by worthy_4242
    Alex, from the woodlands how far to ride trails?
    This should help answer that.
    Pedigre


  12. #12
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    There is a trail in the woodlands
    Flintridge

    There is also another trail slightly south of the woodlands (cypress wood), that is a decent trail with some elevation and a huge drainage ditch. Had a good spill there recently

    Huntsville is the closest nice track.

    Heard good things about memorial park, so i am skipping work to check that out.

  13. #13
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    Huntsville and double lake are reasonably close to the woodlands. Trails in Houston proper are a somewhat nearby and then theres the austin/satx/dallas etc trails.

    Texas is quite active with racing.

  14. #14
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    Houston is both hot and humid almost all year long. From May unitl November it's like standing in a sauna. The people of Houston are great, which is surprising based on their climate.

    Make sure you get a house with a pool.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by bloodyknee
    The people of Houston are great, which is surprising based on their climate. .
    i didn't realize there was a direct correlation between the two.

  16. #16
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    Soccerdude and Pedigre hit the nail right on the head. Alot of trials within an hour to an hour and a half. And racing is big as well. Texas is hotter than hell. The humidity alone is a pain in the ass. So where ever you live in the woodlands, hopefully you'll be surrounded by trees. I work all around the Woodlands and Conroe, and even though the Woodlands is loaded with very wealthy people, there are still some down to earth folks. Do the speed limit, Shenandoah Police are sticklers. Get to know all the back roads off highway 45, north and south. It's the main highway right through the Woodlands. One little accident, paralyzes all four-five lanes. Lets see what else,...oh, your wife and kids will Love the mall. Its a very family oriented lil'city. Really check out GHORBA, it'll tell you everything about the trials all over the place. And one last thing about the Woodlands,..its beautiful alright, but keep a map at hand,..cuz when y'all are driving around looking for stores and gas stations and such,..there are soo many freaking tall trees everywhere, that you end up passing everything up cuz you cant see it coming

  17. #17
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    Made the very move you are considering in 2000, moved from Fremont CA to The Woodlands. The Woodlands is a flat version of Woodside, Portola Valley, Saratoga. Lots of trees, very good schools, parks, paved trail system, mall, outdoor concert venue (think Concord Pavilion or Shoreline Amphitheater). House prices are about half of what you would pay in NorCal to get about twice as big of house and lot. Close enough to downtown to enjoy the opera, symphony, theaters, restaurants, sports teams but avoiding the traffic. Has a rep for being stuck up and "Stepford-like" which should remind you of how places like Danville and Woodside are often described.

    I was president of ROMP so I can tell you, MTBing is going to be less diverse and available. I live minutes from the trail on Flintridge; when I first moved to the Houston area I drove hours to find good trails (eg Bluff Creek Ranch near Warda). Closer by you have Memorial Park, Cypresswoood, the Ant Hills, Double Lake and Huntsville. But most riding in Texas will emphasize singletracks and roots and not long climbs and descents. If you have ever ridden the trail system near Pacific Union College in Napa, you will be able to picture riding near Houston. Just add lots of heat and humidity. And mosquitos.

    More people ride road bikes here. But to be honest, riding on the road is more dangerous than in the Bay Area. Fewer good bike lanes, larger vehicles, and less bike awareness here than in California. And as more people move here the traffic gets worse, roads get widened, and the situation gets worse (eg 1488 used to be a great road ride... now you are safer riding on I-45). That said, there are a lot of road bike clubs and a great two-day charity ride between Houston and Austin called the MS-150. And there is a IMBA-affiliated MTB club called GHORBA.

    Happy to answer any follow up questions. Hope this helps.

  18. #18
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    i live in Redwood City, CA which is right next to woodside. i ride in that area down to portola valley very often. I have raced at pacific union a few times and if the riding is similiar to that, that works for me. The weather will be the largest adjustment for me and my family. I am going to try and live closer to work and ride my bike to work weather permitting. I have looked at the cost of housing and it is much less expensive than my area. S.F. Bay is a joke on housing.

    thank you for all of your great input on my situation. If I end up tranferring, it would be in June or July. The weather looks pretty riduculous at this time but it would work best for all involved. My wife is a teacher and her last day is in june.

    if you have any more information is would be most helpful.

    Wade

  19. #19
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    unless you have a full locker room (with a shower) at work, trust me, you will not want to ride to work. and neither will your coworkers. and like Nomad said, Houston drivers aren't very cyclist-friendly.

    everything in Texas can be considered "highway driving" because everything is so far. hell, it's far just going from one store to the other, even within the same shopping complex. as such, and weather notwithstanding, it doesn't make sense to ride your bike to work. it's unheard of to have a <5mi work commute, rare at <10mi, and much more likely at 15+ miles. each way.

    15mi is not a lot in NorCal, but you'll know where i'm coming from the second you step out of the airport in june/july.

  20. #20
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    Wade, I know Redwood City well... used to live in Belmont next to Water Dog Lake (then Fremont, near Mission Peak). Rode all the places along Skyline Blvd, including Purisima, ECdM, Crazy Petes, Long Ridge, Saratoga Gap. Plus Wilder, SDF, Coe, and then north to Tam, Annadel, and Boggs Mtn, plus Downieville and Pioneer Trail. Trust me... you will miss NorCal riding. The only thing I miss about the Bay Area though.

    My wife teaches at a preschool. I have two daughters in the public school system. Your wife will go crazy about how much better the schools are here than in Redwood City. And you will really like how much more house you will get here than there.

    It will take you a few years to adjust to the heat and humidity. AC is a necessity. Hydrate isn't just a Camelback marketing pitch. And with the heat and humidity you will have to get used to bugs. Lots of 'em. Quarterly pest control for the house is a necessity and using bug spray is pretty useful on the trail.

    Riding in the Houston area is mostly singletrack, with minimal elevation changes. Most trails are sharp switchbacks, just like Pacific Union Las Posadas. I rode there when it used to be called RompStomper. Even the little trail on Flintridge is all switchbacks. I am an old man now, so I have slowed down significantly, but I still miss the granny gear climbs out of Purisima and ECdM.

    Give a shout when you get out here... happy to show you some of the trails...

  21. #21
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    Oh man ,..possible move in June or July?? I don't think the temps have hit their peak yet. I literally die in August.

    Anyway,....Nomad1600 gave you superb advice and info. I think you should post up when you get here, and we'll all be over to help unload the trucks. The more that help, the faster we can get indoors with the AC and tallk about the next morning trails to hit

  22. #22
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    Nomad, every trail you mention i have ridden, i think the best on that list is downieville and boggs. I have an 8 hr race at boggs in a few weeks. My ridiing sounds like it will change a lot but as long is there is still riding, i should be fine.
    My wife teaches in San Mateo but it is the same as redwood city.

    My only goal is to be close to work so that i can ride but if not then i will make it work

  23. #23
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    How has no one mentioned Terry-Hershey Park or Memorial City Park? Fun trails, although they certainly lack the scenery of SoCal and lack proper trail maps.

    Also, Rocky Hill Ranch has nice up-down singletrack and is not too far away, and Austin is less than 2 and a half hours away.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by San Marcos
    ...Terry-Hershey Park or Memorial City Park...lack proper trail maps.
    What constitutes a proper trail map?

    Memorial Park

    Terry Hershey trailheads

    Terry Hershey Googlemap route

    Complete trail listings w/ more maps and links and stuff
    Pedigre


  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pedigre
    What constitutes a proper trail map?
    I was talking about Terry Hershey. I have never found a map of the mountain bike trails before and I don't believe a map of trailheads or of the paved trails constitutes a proper map.

    The googlemaps route you provided makes a great map though, thanks. If only this were easier to find for someone searching for it.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by San Marcos
    How has no one mentioned Terry-Hershey Park or Memorial City Park? Fun trails, although they certainly lack the scenery of SoCal and lack proper trail maps. Also, Rocky Hill Ranch has nice up-down singletrack and is not too far away, and Austin is less than 2 and a half hours away.
    Actually, I believe I did mention Terry Hersey Park, but I used it's more familiar name: "The Ant Hills". There are a number of Houstonians that ride there... and created a web site to discuss: http://www.teamsmack.org/the_anthills.htm

    I haven't been to Rocky Ridge, but I understand its a good place to ride. And I bet there are lots of really good places to ride Austin and beyond.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nomad1600
    Actually, I believe I did mention Terry Hersey Park, but I used it's more familiar name: "The Ant Hills". There are a number of Houstonians that ride there... and created a web site to discuss: http://www.teamsmack.org/the_anthills.htm

    I haven't been to Rocky Ridge, but I understand its a good place to ride. And I bet there are lots of really good places to ride Austin and beyond.
    I see now you actually mentioned them both!

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nomad1600
    Wade, IIt will take you a few years to adjust to the heat and humidity. ...
    I moved from San Carlos to Houston 30 years ago after college at UC and I'm STILL not used to it. Just plan on being in the water (lake, river, pool or bath) alot from June through September. I drain two 70oz camelbacks in my 2-3 hour rides during that time of year. Know where to refill, and when you're out of water, you better not be too far from the car.
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  29. #29
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    I'm late to the party, you still coming?
    I am surprised and kind of disappointed in people's negativity concerning our trails here. I've been all over the country riding and I think Texas has an awesome variety of trails, and many of them are within an hour or two of the Woodlands. I live in central Houston, today I'll be riding my mtb over to Memorial Park for some offroad from my house, how cool is that to be able to do?
    I've never ridden Flintridge, but Cypresswood and Huntsville SP are both within 30/45 minutes of you and I love riding at both. And as mentioned, Texas has a great racing scene, in number of USAC mtb license holders, we rank #3 in the nation. My cycling team's leadership lives in the Woodlands and I have many teammates there, mostly roadies. Feel free to PM when you get settled down here.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by dadstoy
    ...but keep a map at hand,..cuz when y'all are driving around looking for stores and gas stations and such,..there are soo many freaking tall trees everywhere, that you end up passing everything up cuz you cant see it coming
    You're not kidding. That place drives me crazy.

  31. #31
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    Greater Houston Area = great riding, I agree Mtbscott. I rode in the Venezuelan mountains for several years before coming back to Houston, and find the challenges here different but also demanding and just as fun. You also don't have to worry about your personal safety here when you ride. Thank your lucky stars for that, Livin' In The USA.
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  32. #32
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    but i would trade a little bit of that personal safety for some Venezuelan gas prices!

  33. #33
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    the decision to move to houston is down to this week. There is a good chance it will go through. I haven't decided whether i am happy or a little sad to be leaving this area. I am not excited about the weather for the summer but I am looking forward to a new place to explore. Thank you for all that wrote in about the area. I was able to make it to the area a couple weeks back and we really liked the woodlands. that would be the place we would be relocated to if and when a decision is made.

  34. #34
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    Let me know and we can do flintridge, Huntsville and a few other places.

    Did a 3 day 3 track
    Flintridge
    Huntsville
    Conroe

    Conroe was not worth the drive but a change. Maybe it's could be because I broke my lockout on my fork but it was rather short.

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