Moving to SLC - winter riding potential- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Moving to SLC - winter riding potential

    This is sort of a follow up thread to aggieXCRacer's post on XC scene in SLC. I'm moving to SLC in a month and I would define myself as a weekend warrior XC rider. I plan on entering some races here and there but I'm not hardcore racer. I have 2 questions really:

    1. How far south do you have to drive in the winter months to find good XC riding?

    2. Is there a good winter cyclocross scene in the SLC area? Or can you do some good training on a Cyclocross bike during the winter? I plan on building up a cross bike when I get there to use for commuting and hopefully some cross races.

    Cheers!

  2. #2
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    1. depends upon the winter. This winter - Tuscon would have worked pretty well. Last winter, no need to leave the city, if you were ok with riding in the cold. Everyone ends up with a winter hobby here. If you are concerned about training, learn to nordic ski. St George is pretty reliable for decent winter riding (5 hours), Moab usually works early in the season, too (except this season).

    <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/2255804873/" title="BDW_6.jpg by hukee, on Flickr"><img src="https://farm3.static.flickr.com/2379/2255804873_8531c986de_b.jpg" width="778" height="1024" alt="BDW_6.jpg" /></a>

    2. There is a cross scene in SLC. Whether or not you think it is good depends upon whether or not you are coming from Massachusetts, or Los Angeles. Smaller than the big scenes, larger than the small scenes.

    In the winter, the biggest issue with commuting and road riding in general is the ice. We had a lot of snow this year which made for sketchy road riding until almost spring. The previous year was a poor snow year, which meant that we were on the road bikes in January.

    *oh. I see that you are from Georgia? You probably won't like winter riding here, as least for the first season. Do something fun in the snow instead - nordic ski, snowshoe, snowboard... It will make you first real winter here a LOT more tolerable. (we moved here from SoCal, trust me on this).
    Last edited by chuky; 06-12-2008 at 07:12 AM.
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  3. #3
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    As far as staying in shape over the winter the road riding here is excellent even in the winter. You have to pick your days but I was road riding (when not snowboarding or nordic skiing) the second week of Febuary up into Emigration Canyon and riding out to Saltair on the lake. St. George can be ridden almost all year, Moab can get cold and has some brutal winds.

  4. #4
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    I have a couple of friends living there that ride (when it is not tooooo cold or wet) at a place that is South on I-15 called Lambert Park. Rolling terrain on hills east of the highway towards the base of the mountains. Rocky-ish and gravel-based trails that probably are excellent in the wet. We rode there the day after a rain last May and it was really pretty fun - maybe 1 sq mile or so, but a tight network of fun trails. Kinda like Rockville in the Bay Area, except not so steep/elevation change (just sits about 4,000 feet higher to start with!)
    R.I.P. Corky 10/97-4/09
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  5. #5
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    Snowbasin really isn't worth riding the lifts in the summer for mtb.

    If you are looking for DH in the area... head to Powder Mountain. Visit Black Diamond sports in Eden first, ask about the shuttle run up there off the pow mow road.

    Last I was up, powder found out about the trail. But, it could be re-built by now.

    Anyway, in it's day, this was some of the sickest underground shuttle stuff in the State!! The dudes who built it were temporary to the area, spent most time in Whistler/Moab. It is steep, and full of ladders, bridges, dirt gap jumps, wooden gaps, cliffs, and all around gnar.

    Probably 2K vert...

    Start at the top, as you would if you were shuttling for skiing, just off the dirt road summit... look for a singletrack trail just off the side of the road.

    Like I said, it may be long gone, but it's likely some good remain are there, or it could be re-built.

  6. #6
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    woops, wrong thread.

  7. #7
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    there are cyclecross guys here, although i don't see how those skinny tire can ride in the snow(like this year).

    i myself am planning on building a wide tire snow bike and going that route for winter riding. coupling xc sking and some basement training on the rollers it should get you by for the winter.


    you are gonna enjoy the rest of the year here though. let us know when you are settled in and ready to ride here.
    Out riding, leave a message

  8. #8
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    Uhhhh you do realize these are some of the best mountains in the world for skiing and boarding in the winter? you bikers sure are a strange breed. Why try to ride through frozen mud and snow, and drive 4 hours south every weekend to try to get in some mediocre winter bike riding when it probably just snowed 2 feet up at the ski resorts? Why not just go ski and take advantage of a different sport in winter, *gasp* it could also be considered cross training for your legs!!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by RockyPoint
    Uhhhh you do realize these are some of the best mountains in the world for skiing and boarding in the winter? you bikers sure are a strange breed. Why try to ride through frozen mud and snow, and drive 4 hours south every weekend to try to get in some mediocre winter bike riding when it probably just snowed 2 feet up at the ski resorts? Why not just go ski and take advantage of a different sport in winter, *gasp* it could also be considered cross training for your legs!!
    I totally agree!!!

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    totally thread hijack but for 6-8 months of the year this is alot better than biking.

  10. #10
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    Thank you for saying what needed to be said bushwacker.

    Year-round bikers are weird.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Summit
    Thank you for saying what needed to be said bushwacker.

    Year-round bikers are weird.
    Oh - I don't know... I'd say many of us are LUCKY to live in places where we don't have to ride in snow in cold and just deal with a bit of rain and mud (maybe...) While the SLC area has rockin' skiing and snowboarding, I think I would go nuts if I had to go a few months without riding, or freezing my a$$ off to do it. If I want to hit the slopes, I can do it in 3 hours driving, or choose to go riding from my front door. To each his own though - think of how crowded the trails/slopes would be if we all wanted to do the same thing each day!
    R.I.P. Corky 10/97-4/09
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  12. #12
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    Yeah, I don't even look at my bikes from mid December through April unless I travel somewhere warm over X-mas to bike like Maui (there is super sick biking in Maui).

    Why would I want to bike on half frozen dirt when I can float and choke in the white room:
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    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro....

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by RockyPoint
    Uhhhh you do realize these are some of the best mountains in the world for skiing and boarding in the winter? you bikers sure are a strange breed. Why try to ride through frozen mud and snow, and drive 4 hours south every weekend to try to get in some mediocre winter bike riding when it probably just snowed 2 feet up at the ski resorts? Why not just go ski and take advantage of a different sport in winter, *gasp* it could also be considered cross training for your legs!!

    well for me i tore off most of my left hamstring in 1992. been training on bikes and hiking with heavy packs to get it strong enough to race again.
    some of the things i can't do is a deep knee bend like in surfing, snowboarding and some sking.

    biking is just fine for me in the snow and some xc sking on other days.

    people i have ridden with can tell you that i can keep up and even pass ya on a bike
    Out riding, leave a message

  14. #14
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    Why would I want to ride year round?

    For me biking is not just a recreation, its a way of life. I'm also a serious commuter as well as a MTB'r. I plan on building up a cross bike capable of being raced and with the addition of fenders, capable of commuting year round.

    I'm also a skier. I really enjoy the slopes here but I don't get the same satisfaction from skiing as I do from riding. I can't imagine going a week without a good hard ride. I'm aware of the long winters here and I'm planning on skiing, snoeshowing, running, but I'd like to keep my cycling legs up as much as possible even when there is 2 feet of snow on top of the moutains.

    By the way... I just arrived in SLC. I tried to go riding my first day and nearly died b/c I'm not acclimated to the elevation! I plan on riding again today and this weekend anyway though.

    Cheers!

  15. #15
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    Wiggles,

    there's plenty of winter riding to be had if you want it. Some years are tougher than others due to weather. But if you don't mind being a little chilly and working a bit harder, there's plenty to be had. Some big tires (i.e., endomorphs) would be a good investment if you plan on doing a lot.

    We ride snowmobile tracks and you can still access a lot of the high mountain areas by doing that. You can also get up early and ride the cat tracks at the ski resorts - some are friendly to this and some are not.

    Depending on the snow year, there are a number of trails that can be ridden during winter - they are lower elevation. This past winter was a bad one for this -- the Frozen Hog had 2+ feet of snow on it and I've raced it in years past on bare dirt. It varies.

    There are diehards that go out year round. Get on this forum and on the utahmountainbiking.com forum and you will find folks who do it. I recently moved away from the Wasatch so I'm not much help as far as showing you where to go. UMB also has a section on winter friendly trails, I think.

    Anyway, you've moved to paradise. Enjoy it!

  16. #16
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    Take some care riding hard with the current air quality and your lack of acclimatization. Gave myself a really nice case of bronchitis doing the same thing the first summer I was here. Your lungs will be working extra hard, the air is very dry and filled with particles and you will be pulling them very deep into your respiratory system.

    I think that you will find that riding is a way of life for many people here (don't forget, the church requires 2 years of riding for many members ). Don't underestimate anyone's dedication to recreation or training in this state. In general, I have seen that most transplants do their best to stick to the cycling every day for the first year. It was easy for us, as our first winter was pretty mild. The thing is, there are just so many other options here for working out that we have really branched out in our second year, which is what a lot of our transplant friends have done, too.

    You will see a lot of the local and local pro racers on snow shoes and nordic skis in the cold months, and they occasionally head south for some good training blocks in the slightly warmer south. The nordic ski areas are pretty funny - half the people there are wearing bike clothes. I have found that the fastest people I know on bikes are all nordic skiers, too, with a couple of exceptions. Utah is also a world class climbing area, and the desert canyons have to be seen to be believed. We have been getting in some great 8-12 hour hikes lately.

    Feel free to PM if you are looking for good road riding. JMH and I road raced for a long time before we moved out here, and have found some pretty decent road rides here. Though, frankly, the MTB riding is much higher quality and we don't touch our road bikes much once the trails melt out ( a big change from riding on the road every day in SoCal).
    I only attempt to change the world in the appropriate World-Changing venues and forums.

  17. #17
    Homer's problem child
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wiggles_dad
    I'm also a skier. I really enjoy the slopes here but I don't get the same satisfaction from skiing as I do from riding. I can't imagine going a week without a good hard ride. I'm aware of the long winters here and I'm planning on skiing, snoeshowing, running, but I'd like to keep my cycling legs up as much as possible even when there is 2 feet of snow on top of the moutains.
    Get alpine touring gear, take an avy course and get avy-savey and you can get/keep your legs and lungs in killer shape while schralping the crap out of that 2-3 ft of lake effect snow the Cottonwood canyons get regularly.

    My pic above was part of a 4000 ft of vert backcountry day. Imagine 4000 ft of earned-turns like that. Yes, it was a GOOOOOOOOOD day.

    A couple days like that and you wan't care about riding your bike when 2 feet of snow falls.

    My prediction anyway.

    B
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro....

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