Living to ride in Utah?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Living to ride in Utah?

    I just landed a job that allows me to live in any of the following states:

    Colorado
    Southern California
    Arizona
    Nevada
    New Mexico
    Utah

    Not bad, for a mountain biker.


    So, I'm trying to identify a town or small city that has the following:


    - Beautiful, amazing, flowy, twisty, buff smile producing singletrack.No brainer, right?
    Durango-ish. But Durango gets tons of snow!
    -A good amount of sun.
    -A long riding season. I'm coming from Austin, so I've been pretty spoiled by year round riding. A ton of snow and cold weather wouldn't be high on my list because I don't have the knees for skiing. Though, I guess I could snowshoe.
    -A town/city that has a reasonable cost of living, a good bookstore, some good independent restaurants, independent cafes, good movie theater that plays some indie/foreign films.
    -A place where I'm not the ONLY one without a wife, a minivan, and 2.3 kids.

    Flagstaff/Sedona?
    Tuscon?
    Reno?
    Albuquerque?
    Somewhere in SoCal??
    Colorado too cold and snowy with too short a riding season??

    I'm all ears!


    Thanks!!!!

  2. #2
    Team Sanchez
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    Look no further than St. George in Southwest Utah. Population of St. G plus surrounding area is about 100K. Year round riding. Arguably the best riding in the state. Do a search on the Turner forum for Team Sanchez, and you'll get an idea of what the riding is like. St. George has everything you crave, except for the quaint indy restaurants. There are few to be had.
    Team Sanchez; "Always hittin the upper lip"

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by El Chingon
    Look no further than St. George in Southwest Utah. Population of St. G plus surrounding area is about 100K. Year round riding. Arguably the best riding in the state. Do a search on the Turner forum for Team Sanchez, and you'll get an idea of what the riding is like. St. George has everything you crave, except for the quaint indy restaurants. There are few to be had.
    What about this.....

    -A place where I'm not the ONLY one without a wife, a minivan, and 2.3 kids
    Monte
    Lodging & Guiding for SW Utah Trails
    http://www.vrbo.com/298759
    www.UtahMountainBikingAdventures.com
    MTBR Discounts

  4. #4
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    i don't have a wife, minivan or kids..... and if you tell me how to get a job like that, i'd gladly move to st. george and even that out a little bit

  5. #5
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    Biking Towns

    St george would be high on my list as far as the riding goes but has none of the other things that you are looking for. However for as good as the riding is and as much of it as there is I think i would be willing to be one of the few single non LDS, No kids people around. The St geroge real estate market is really hurting and you can pick up a really nice house for half what you could a few years ago. Sedona and Park City are more expensive.

    I thnk the Sedona/ Flagstaff area might be a good fit. Much more of a Liberal city with some of the Non riding ammenities you are looking for. You can Ride sedona basically year round and with pretty short drives to phoenix and Flagstaff awesome riding and good temps can be found year round.

    Park city Utah is also hard to beat as far as smooth and flowy singletrack goes. Several hundered miles of trail can be had but the riding season is short. With a drive to the lower elevations in slc you can ride from April - Nov pretty but that makes your riding season on 7 months long. Also much more liberal non minivanish folk to be had there.

    Also look into the Fruita/Moab area. Great riding there and from what I understand Fruita is basically year round.
    Visiting St george/Hurricane? Stay at my vacation rental. Discounts for MTB's

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  6. #6
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    Personally, if I had that kind of opportunity, I'd downsize, simplify, and try living like your user name . Move to a bunch of places for 6 months/a year, and find out what works best for yourself. I love St George, but wouldn't mind living/riding in Sedona, Tucson, & Albuquerque. Heck, I might even try Socal for a couple of months even... Good luck to ya, ya lucky bastid!

  7. #7
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    Phoenix is big but PLENTY of awesome places to ride here in the valley. Hawes, South Mountain, PMP, McDowell Mountains, White Tank Mountains, I'm sure I've missed something.


    Chiva

  8. #8
    ito
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    Quote Originally Posted by El Chingon
    Look no further than St. George in Southwest Utah. Population of St. G plus surrounding area is about 100K. Year round riding. Arguably the best riding in the state. Do a search on the Turner forum for Team Sanchez, and you'll get an idea of what the riding is like. St. George has everything you crave, except for the quaint indy restaurants. There are few to be had.
    While I agree that St. George kicks ass for year round activities it pretty much fails at the second half of his requirements. That said, bring some single non-LDS females here and a couple of good restaurants and maybe a decent music venue and you have the best place in the world.

    I would check out Flagstaff, it seems pretty hippy at first glance, but there is some good real estate and plenty of culture outside of granola and body odor. The riding is good too. As is the food. Plenty of music comes through there, good breweries, and if you drive down to Sedona you can ride year round without having to live in Sedona.

    Sedona is a tourist trap with mediocre riding. I've been there a few times, honestly can't stand the "vibe" of the locals. There is a cool bike shop there, haven't found decent food though, and I am pretty sure the cost of living is high. It is a decent place to visit for the surrounding beauty, but the town itself sucks, too many head in the cloud crystal worshippers.

    Phoenix and the surrounding is quite awesome. I was there this past winter and was surprised at how much I liked it. The riding is good, possibly great, and there is a wide variety of life going on there. It is a big city, as opposed to St. George, Sedona, and Flagstaff, so all the good and the bad that go with it.

    In New Mexico there is Taos, which seems pretty cool. I've only been there once and remember enjoying the town. Hot springs, plenty of good restaurants, mountains nearby that appeared rideable. Smaller place, kind of a new age town, but less so than Sedona.

    Haven't been to Albuquerque, but I have had friends who lived there and loved it. Tuscon seems to be hit or miss with people. Some folks love it, others can't stand it. The lovers of it seem to be the outdoorsy folks.

    I'd definitely look at Grand Junction as well. Year round riding, near Fruita (by far the best trail system I have ridden). Plenty of bike culture, good food, quiet small city. Seems to have a pretty big homeless/drug problem though. Probably cause the weather is mostly decent for sleeping outside year round.

    I gotta say though, St. George is pretty nice. I've been here three years and I keep finding more excuses to stay. The more cool people that move here the better it is going to get. Cheaper than sin to live here too. I haven't paid more than $250 a month for rent since I got here.

  9. #9
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    Dude

    Stay out of Durango, Park City, Flagstaff. These people are all too cool for the rest of the world with their Subaru's and Coexist stickers. And the riding blows for most of the year because the winters are brutal and last 7+ months.

    Pick a warm small town in the desert somewhere that is central to many biking areas. St. George is cool because you can ride through the winter and then head for the mountains in the summer that are just down the road and hour or two. Moab is a good bet as well, but the riding can come to a near halt in the winter months. New Mexico could have some similar spots.

    Phoenix and Vegas are too big and too hot for a lot of the year and the riding is mediocre in my opinion.

    Grand Junction/Fruita would be cool, but gets really cold and shuts down like Moab can for a couple of months.

    St. George would be ideal because if you choose to explore outside of St. George, you have Moab, Vegas, SLC, Flagg, Fruita, and lots of Utah Mountains within easy traveling distance. Also, the girls are hot in St. George, but you may want to be Mormon to land the deal.

    I would explore New Mexico for its potential. It is a beautiful state but low key and off the mountain biking map it seems. Not real central to venture out. It would take long drives to get to other riding meccas.

  10. #10
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    Check out Prescott AZ.

    Good trail systems and lots of riding from town. Rideable most of the year. Close to Sedona and Flagstaff and not too far from Phoenix. It puts you right in the middle of a TON of riding variety.

    There is great riding throughout the SW, but for the most part it's "seasonal".
    Places you can ride all winter are often too hot in summer. Places that are pleasant in summer are often snowbound in winter.

    Prescott is a really good mix for riding and "small town" feel. College town as well. Good rock climbing area too.

    Prescott has lots of trees and water.

    Not too far away you'll get the red rock terrain of Sedona, aspen lined singletrack in Flagstaff, or the classic AZ desert riding. Also, it's not too hard to get out to Bootleg Canyon in Vegas for wintertime DH.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Punta Lobos
    Dude

    Stay out of Durango, Park City, Flagstaff. These people are all too cool for the rest of the world with their Subaru's and Coexist stickers. And the riding blows for most of the year because the winters are brutal and last 7+ months.
    Yes we are! but our coexist stickers go on our chevy tahoes and suburbans now cause we realize that being as cool as we are, that its OK for us to consume extra resources while still shopping with our organic cotton reusable shopping bags.

  12. #12
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    Another vote for St George.

    I grew up near Reno, and the riding isn't all that good, unless you go into the immediate Tahoe area. Reno is a bit of a dump anyway, so I'd stay away, unless you move into the Tahoe Basin, like south lake or Incline village. But then there's the snow...

    Regarding living in Utah: I think everyone makes too big a deal about living amongst the Mormons. I know I'm going to catch some flak for this, but if you are friendly to them and don't treat them like religious zealot aliens, they're generally quite nice in return. Live and let live. There's plenty of room for all.

    Anyway, sorry. Back to SG. I go there fairly often for the riding, it's so good. There are some great small restaurants in SG, great climbing if you're into it, the people are generally quite friendly (Mormon or not), incredible riding year-round, and it's not far from Vegas if you feel like being a little extra rowdy. Oh, and if you're still worried about the Mormon minivan 85.2 kids thing, most of them don't ride bikes much, so trails are often very open and peaceful. Just the occasional boisterous scout troop, and they're always good for some entertainment (crash reel footage).
    tangaroo: What electrolytes do chicken and turkey have again?
    rck18: All of them, because they're meat.

  13. #13
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    If you can't handle Durango winters you should take all of Colorado and northern AZ off your list as well (or learn something new for the winter). In terms of snowfall, Durango averages 70" which is less than Boulder at 83 and Flagstaff at 97.

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