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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What would people on here say is the best place to live and ride?

I am packing it up and moving next spring to where this place maybe. My requirements are of this....

Needs year round or damn close to year round riding.

kick ass trails...a good mix of downhills and flowing singletrack

Affordable and a real town...not a tourist, seasonal, expensive destination resort type town.

Snow resorts somewhat in driveable distance for winter fun.

and the most important of all...damn good beer!

From what I've found Arizona seems to fit the closest to those requirements. Looking for other riders persepctives that live across the country.
 

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is buachail foighneach me
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yeah, you're definitely looking at the southwest. socal, arizona, new mexico. texas would qualify if there were close enough skiing.
 

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Want Smiley Sauce w/that?
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I lived in Chico, CA before hitting the road. It's a great town. Positioned in the upper part of the central valley in CA, the summers are hot (and dry) and you can ride year-round. Bidwell Park starts in the center of town (there's a five mile section that starts right downtown), has a paved loop and lots of singletrack off of that, horse trails etc. They filmed the original Robinhood film there. The park extends up into the foothills where you'll find the more advanced trails. (Google "Bidwell Park" for images) Downieville (hello) is just a few hours drive up into the Sierras, San Francisco is 3.5 hrs to the SW (and Santa Cruz). Skiing a few hours away at Tahoe. Home of Chico State University and the Sierra Nevada Brewery, and they've got great (!) Greek food at Sultan's Bistro (that's always on my list for the perfect town). And don't miss Hula's, a cool stir-fry place where you pick the ingredients and they fry it up for you on an open grill. $8 and it will feed you for four days.

They have a great little independent theater with couches up front where they show all the art/foreign films, an amazing Thursday night market (complete with rock wall), music in the park every Friday in the summer -- this just might be your kind of town. There's always something going on in Chico.

Damn, I'm starting to wonder why I ever left. Phfff.....

The leaves aren't off the trees until just before Christmas. They might get a few days of freeze, but no snow. The locals are friendly. They have an olympic sized pool through which the creek runs that is a gathering place in the summer, and several natural pools/"holes" in the upper park that you have to hike down to that are really amazing...and clothing optional. It's a liberal college town of about 100,000 but it only feels like about 50 or 60, but I admit the traffic is worse than it used to be.

Worth checking out. I'd never heard of the place but my dad got a job at the university there my last year in college and I ended up there by default.

Very bike friendly. There's literally a bike shop on every block.
 

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I would stick with this where I live (Kranj, Slovenia), small place in middle of Alps, with great skiing in winter, great biking in summer and everything else in between :) But I somehow doubt you are looking for places outside of USA ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
cannesdo said:
I lived in Chico, CA before hitting the road. It's a great town. Positioned in the upper part of the central valley in CA, the summers are hot (and dry) and you can ride year-round. Bidwell Park starts in the center of town (there's a five mile section that starts right downtown), has a paved loop and lots of singletrack off of that, horse trails etc. They filmed the original Robinhood film there. The park extends up into the foothills where you'll find the more advanced trails. (Google "Bidwell Park" for images) Downieville (hello) is just a few hours drive up into the Sierras, San Francisco is 3.5 hrs to the SW (and Santa Cruz). Skiing a few hours away at Tahoe. Home of Chico State University and the Sierra Nevada Brewery, and they've got great (!) Greek food at Sultan's Bistro (that's always on my list for the perfect town). And don't miss Hula's, a cool stir-fry place where you pick the ingredients and they fry it up for you on an open grill. $8 and it will feed you for four days.

They have a great little independent theater with couches up front where they show all the art/foreign films, an amazing Thursday night market (complete with rock wall), music in the park every Friday in the summer -- this just might be your kind of town. There's always something going on in Chico.

Damn, I'm starting to wonder why I ever left. Phfff.....

The leaves aren't off the trees until just before Christmas. They might get a few days of freeze, but no snow. The locals are friendly. They have an olympic sized pool through which the creek runs that is a gathering place in the summer, and several natural pools/"holes" in the upper park that you have to hike down to that are really amazing...and clothing optional. It's a liberal college town of about 100,000 but it only feels like about 50 or 60, but I admit the traffic is worse than it used to be.

Worth checking out. I'd never heard of the place but my dad got a job at the university there my last year in college and I ended up there by default.

Very bike friendly. There's literally a bike shop on every block.



Sounds pretty awesome. I live in and have been living in the northwest for close to 2 decades now, so one could say I am over the endless days of rain and wet, cold winters. I've been through Chico a few times in my teenage years visiting family in Oroville (sp?) and loved the dry arid heat. As the other post mentioned, I'm definatly looking at the southwest and parts of Cali as my only options, which is fine...just need to go where the best biking is. I'm a bike mechanic too, so a town with bikes shops is a must!

Thanks for the info, I'm up to read what others have to say about areas they have lived in. It's easy to visit and ride and fall in love with a place quickly, but long term living can be a different story....kind of like a relationship! hahaha
 

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Want Smiley Sauce w/that?
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I hear ya. By my fourth year of college in the Pacific NW, I'd had enough of the rain too. Two decades...yowz...time for you to dry out.
 

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I grew up in Chico and go back to visit. Awesome town. I ride in upper Bidwell Park, and also drive over to Downieville which is only a couple hours away.

I now live in Austin, Texas and wouldn't trade it for ANYTHING. In fact, it reminds me of Chico but MUCH larger. Chico is under 100,000 people and Austin area is close to a million. The vibe is similar and people are very friendly. We ride all year round. You can hit any mountain bike trail in the area and see somebody you know. We have an awesome mt bike community. Only thing is that you are at least a days drive from snow. But I sure enjoy riding on Thanksgiving in a short sleeve jersey.
 

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grungePoodle said:
I now live in Austin, Texas and wouldn't trade it for ANYTHING. In fact, it reminds me of Chico but MUCH larger. Chico is under 100,000 people and Austin area is close to a million. The vibe is similar and people are very friendly. We ride all year round. You can hit any mountain bike trail in the area and see somebody you know. We have an awesome mt bike community. Only thing is that you are at least a days drive from snow. But I sure enjoy riding on Thanksgiving in a short sleeve jersey.

Amen.

But you and I look at one point a little different. I'm thinking it's yet another perk that snow is
a day's drive away.

:thumbsup:
 

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I've always liked Chico, it's a very friendly college town and with Bidwell Park, it's really pretty nice. The bike shops I have been to there in Chico had knowledgeable and friendly people working there. Oroville is not too far away for riding trails over there or boating and fishing. Skiing isn't too much farther away. Austin is just too big (if I am on the feeder road, I can see the freeway, but just can't get onto it, takes a little getting used to), but I've enjoyed visting there a few times over the years. If you are in the rainy PNW, Chico is the closest move. Someplace in Arizona might be worth your consideration also. :) -GT2005
 

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The Asheville, North Carolina area would be high on my list. I get to visit there a couple of times a year and it is awesome. Most of the time I'm there in the summer and fall, but last year I also did a ride in 50 degree weather on a short vacation between Christmas and New Years.

I think any discussion of great places to ride would have to include Durango, Crested Butte, and a few other areas in Colorado. Sure they are resort areas and there are times when you can't ride because of the weather, but when you've got so much wilderness single track right outside your front door when the snow melts, well I think those places have to be up there.

I get to ride year round in Florida and have 75 miles of pretty sweet singletrack in my county. The trailhead is just 5 miles from my home. But 75 miles isn't that much variety when you ride on the trails 4-5 times a week.
 

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DirtGash said:
What would people on here say is the best place to live and ride?

I am packing it up and moving next spring to where this place maybe. My requirements are of this....

Needs year round or damn close to year round riding.

kick ass trails...a good mix of downhills and flowing singletrack
Kathleen!

Wow. Big change. Hear I thought the Mountain Bike Godess would always be there - as a warm, friendly port for wayward riders seeking winter refuge in the Southwest. Phoenix is hard to beat - but is HUGE and hot, and knowing most of this region somewhat - the only places that come to mind are Albuquerque and Austin. Or California - but cost of living is a giant hurdle. Bend, OR always seemed cool, but may be too small-town tourisy (like Santa Fe!).

Las Cruces / El Paso would be rather similar in climate and terrain to PHX, but perhaps worth looking at. You know how fantastic the Gila area is - and is close to the southern parts of NM.

Lastly, the southeast has some great spots - but we'll need *rt* and company to chime in. Asheville, NC ranks in my personal top 3 of "if I could go anywhere..." places.

Tough call!
 

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St. George UT gets my vote. Large-ish town. Lots of local trails, and within 30 minutes to 5 hours you've got Moab, Gooseberry, Brian Head (ski in Winter, ride in Summer), Red Canyon, The Grand Canyon, Fruita, Vegas, Northern AZ, the San Rafael Swell, Zion NP, Arches NP, Canyonlands NP. Push a bit further and you've got SLC and Colorado skiing and high elevation trails. The West coast is less than a day's drive.

Beer is the only issue. But you're a stone's throw away from Nevada or Arizona, so small scale smuggling is always an option, or learn to brew your own.
 

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Personally, I rather like Albuquerque. Granted, I'm just beginning in this whole MB thing, but the foothills trails are enjoyable, and there is lots more around. We are close to skiing too.

AZ, in my opinion, is painfully hot.
 

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saddlemeat
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I'll put in a plug for Gallup, NM. Within half a days drive from Durango, Teluride, Moab, Phoenix, Albuquerque, Sante Fe, Taos, Flagstaff (another good choice, btw), with mild winters and mild summers, plenty of good good riding in the nearby (20 mins) Zuni Mts, plus the famous High Desert Trail System at your doorstep. Small town atmosphere, great art scene. Real. Wish someone would open a microbrewery, but no shortage of good beer.
 

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grungePoodle said:
I grew up in Chico and go back to visit. Awesome town. I ride in upper Bidwell Park, and also drive over to Downieville which is only a couple hours away.

I now live in Austin, Texas and wouldn't trade it for ANYTHING. In fact, it reminds me of Chico but MUCH larger. Chico is under 100,000 people and Austin area is close to a million. The vibe is similar and people are very friendly. We ride all year round. You can hit any mountain bike trail in the area and see somebody you know. We have an awesome mt bike community. Only thing is that you are at least a days drive from snow. But I sure enjoy riding on Thanksgiving in a short sleeve jersey.
i'm glad you like autstin, but for just mountain biking, no comparison between nor cal and austin for riding, austin is WAY behind for big mountain riding.
 

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Elitest thrill junkie
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grungePoodle said:
I now live in Austin, Texas and wouldn't trade it for ANYTHING. In fact, it reminds me of Chico but MUCH larger. Chico is under 100,000 people and Austin area is close to a million. The vibe is similar and people are very friendly. We ride all year round. You can hit any mountain bike trail in the area and see somebody you know. We have an awesome mt bike community. Only thing is that you are at least a days drive from snow. But I sure enjoy riding on Thanksgiving in a short sleeve jersey.
Plus, there are the world class mountains in Austin.
 

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All-most Mountain
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huntsville, AL

monte sano right here, raccoon mtn an hour an a half to the north, and oak mtn an hour an a half to the south.

ridable year round.
 
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