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Also, a poor understanding of ecology. Arid climates aren't meant to support millions of people. Engineering can make it happen, but the harder you lean on that engineering, the closer to the precipice you get.
I think what he was getting at, is that people like to pretend that Arizona is on track to be uninhabitable in 2 years. It's like I said before, people being dramatic about the issues facing places they don't live or visit regularly. The Phoenix valley was just as much a desert when it first was settled as it is now, and the arid desert conditions and droughts are planned for and designed around. I completely agree with you that it COULD reach a breaking point one day, but that's not anytime soon or something that people need to be concerned about at the moment. I personally think we should all be aware of our water usage, but am I worried about having to mass exodus out of Phoenix in 2023 because of water shortages? Not at all.
 

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Avoid CA like the plague unless you really want to move here. I lived in NC most of my life and regret the move to CA. The housing prices are ludicrous (500k for 1100 sq. ft. fixer in a 'transitional' neighborhood), the schools (I'm a teacher out here) are some of the lowest performing in the nation (unless you can live in a house in area where the average comp is 1 million plus, and even then...), and the infrastructure is literally falling into the ocean. There's a good reason the state is losing more people and businesses than are coming into the state.

I wished I had stayed in NC. Between the Triad (Winston-Salem, Greensboro, and Charlotte) and the Triange (Chapel Hill, Durham, and Raleigh) there are plenty of businesses and job opportunities. The state school (college level) system is decent and affordable. With a decent paying white collar job you can afford a comfortable lifestyle. No housing crunch which means your property dollars will go the distance and there's always new developments because there's plenty of land to build. If you can deal with hot and humid summers (I call July-August scorch) the rest of the year can be quite pleasant and there are 4 distinct seasons. Fall and Spring are incredible. Western NC is a gem; if MTB is a priority there's plenty of it. The beaches along the coast are stunning; I haven't visited a beach anywhere in NorCal or SoCal that holds a flame to what Coastal NC has to offer.

Oh, and the people are friendly. Southern hospitality is real.
 

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I think what he was getting at, is that people like to pretend that Arizona is on track to be uninhabitable in 2 years. It's like I said before, people being dramatic about the issues facing places they don't live or visit regularly. The Phoenix valley was just as much a desert when it first was settled as it is now, and the arid desert conditions and droughts are planned for and designed around. I completely agree with you that it COULD reach a breaking point one day, but that's not anytime soon or something that people need to be concerned about at the moment. I personally think we should all be aware of our water usage, but am I worried about having to mass exodus out of Phoenix in 2023 because of water shortages? Not at all.
I think most people aren't even remotely aware of not just their individual water usage, but the collective impact of the population on the water resources. What I mean by that is that I don't think most people realize how close to the precipice they actually are RIGHT NOW.
 

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Elitest thrill junkie
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This is kind of what I was getting at in my post above. People dramatize the hell out of things about states they don't live in and quite frankly have probably never visited. I still have friends and family back in Kansas City who constantly tell me they would never live in Arizona because it's too hot. When you look at their social media it's just constant complaining about the weather back there though. It's only 5 degrees in the winter, the summer is too humid, the spring is nice but all it does is rain... but Arizona is too hot and running out of water. Ok. Most of them have never even been here.

It's the same situation with California. It's easy to sit on the internet in Tennessee and talk about how California is too expensive or too crowded, even though you've never been there. Most of it is just crap they have heard from other people. I mean people who work at McDonalds, the gas station, Wendy's, secretaries... literally millions of low wage earners find a way to live happily in California. It's not like you need to have a billion dollar trust fund in your name to afford an apartment.
Yeah, they think Arizona is all desert floor like on Looney Tunes.
 

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I think most people aren't even remotely aware of not just their individual water usage
I would definitely agree with this statement. I cringe at the amount of grass and plant life I see that I know takes a lot of water to maintain here in the valley. A lot of the public areas use reclaimed water, which is great... but the guy down the street with a full yard of grass and a bunch of flourishing fruit trees is definitely not reclaiming his water.
 

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the schools (I'm a teacher out here) are some of the lowest performing in the nation (unless you can live in a house in area where the average comp is 1 million plus, and even then...),
I think that as a nation we all need to come to terms with the fact that our school systems are pretty much in a decline everywhere. You can find good school systems, but they are really few and far between. There are MAYBE a couple of states where you can say statewide that all of the school systems are decent. When we were moving we kept our options open to quite a few places, and ALL of them you could find people all over the internet complaining about their local school systems.

School systems were the #1 priority for us because I (obviously) want my daughters to get a good education. We reached a point where we just had to start looking at neighborhoods on an individual basis. The neighborhood we ended up in has very highly rated schools, the high school is like a 9. If you go 5 miles down the road, that high school is rated at like a 4. We basically just had to pick a state, narrow it down to a metro area and then hunt down the neighborhoods that put your kids in a good place. It sucks, but our education system in the US is largely a failure.
 

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I am in Goodyear, in a neighborhood called Estrella Mountain Ranch. I have an insane amount of singletrack in my backyard. I can ride less than a mile and be at the TH for 3 different systems. It's incredible. We are also an isolated neighborhood kind of out in the middle of nowhere, which is a bonus. I am the same way, wouldn't want to live downtown or in a super cluttered area. I like that I can get lost on a bicycle in the desert 15 minutes from my front door.
Man I was looking in there, looked great.
Reasonable prices coming from the DC area,
 

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Also, how're the trails in NoVa?
We lived in NoVA for a year. In my opinion, the trails are awesome. I'm a pedally, reformed-XC kind of rider. If you're a DH or Enduro bro, you're gonna have to drive somewhere for a little more elevation. But for hilly, rolling terrain with sweet singletrack, NoVA has tons of options that are easily accessible. Would recommend, would ride again.

Oh, snakes out the arse, though. Never seen so many snakes on the trail as I did living in VA :cool:
 

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I'm going to guess that you're pretty new to AZ, that you don't know what this place was like before the drought started 20 years ago, and that all of these things are still simply 'better than california' to you.
Irrelevant. My point still stands. If you really believe AZ is going to run out of water, you'd find someplace better to live. You know...like a place that won't run out of water.
 

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I’ve spent time in LA, Oakland/SF, and San Diego. Quite a bit.

I’m genuinely perplexed by the complaints about roads. They aren’t bad at all. Maybe it’s because I’ve spent time in places that get snow, have freeze-thaw and use salt, but go to Cleveland,Milwaukee, or Buffalo and you’ll learn what bad roads look like.

But, I’m guessing the CA residents who fled to AZ will keep on insisting that CA = bad.

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All you have to do is road trip it from CA into AZ, OR or NV and the road quality generally changes literally within 5 minutes....especially on I-15 going into NV.
 

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Temecula, CA is another possibility for you; smaller city with a good school system. The high schools even have MTB racing teams. There is also some push for the middle schools to start teams. Primarily a suburban commuter city for those who work in San Diego, but also has multiple wineries and equestrian ranches. Affordable for SoCal, but prices are increasing due to the pandemic fueled housing spree. Traffic is bad during work commute times, but decent the rest of the time. Murrieta abuts Temecula, but schools aren’t rated quite as well. Beaches and mountains are within a couple hour drive. Lots of local riding areas (Greer in Murrieta and Vail Lake 5 miles east of Temecula are the two most well known), and can easily make a day trip to trails around San Diego, OC, Idyllwild, and the mountain parks.
 

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Discussion Starter #115
This is kind of what I was getting at in my post above. People dramatize the hell out of things about states they don't live in and quite frankly have probably never visited. I still have friends and family back in Kansas City who constantly tell me they would never live in Arizona because it's too hot.
I've only been to AZ once in March. Phoenix was hot, but Sedona and the Grand Canyon just got some snow and were beautiful.

But the summer in Phoenix is no joke. I know this because my neighbors just moved from there, my friend moved from there, another friend and in-laws went to college there. I'm in NC where people complain about the heat/humidity, but seems worse in AZ based on what I hear who have lived there.

With that said, everyone should move to AZ instead of NC...we're getting too overcrowded (probably growing faster than PHX), it's too humid, it's the "South" and we get more rain than Seattle :)
 

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Elitest thrill junkie
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Arizona is running out of water, don't move there.........
You can't be running out of water if you are building new stuff.

 

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My kids are off at college now but we lived in a few different areas, all with good mountain biking, while they were younger.

We started in Tucson, AZ. There is truly great mountain biking in the mountains surrounding the city but you mostly have to drive to trailheads. I lived close enough to Catalina Hwy. to ride up to Milagrosa Ridge from home when I was in really good condition but otherwise had to drive 30-45 minutes for most rides. Good public schools at the time were limited to the foothills to the North. Hot, but not as hot as Phoenix and housing was very affordable. We paid $153K for our 4br house with a pool on an acre in '97.

From there, we ended up in El Dorado Hills, CA from '02-'07. Terrific mountain biking near there as well, but again, you have to drive your bike around to get to the good stuff. Pretty hot summers there too. Schools were good, houses cheap compared to the Bay Area but not by most other standards. We made some good friends there but there is a lot of ultra-competitive mom stuff going on at the schools. It was at times both hilarious and annoying. People there seemed to want you to know they had money, whether they actually did or not.

Next up was Redmond, WA from '07-'09. The weather up there doesn't bother me and dense forest trails are my favorite. Good schools according to standardized test scores but we weren't thrilled with them. The way they taught math drove me bonkers. Driving is a huge PITA up there. Redmond doesn't look too far from Tokul or Duthie on a map but it can take an hour at times. Public transit is great with express buses every 8 minutes if you're going between Seattle and the Redmond but not so good from Redmond to Issaquah.

From there, we moved to the Monterey, CA area. My office was in a business park immediately adjacent to Ft. Ord/Laguna Seca Raceway so I had all of the Sea Otter trails to ride after work or at lunch. It's lacking tech but the access was great. From my house in Carmel, I could also ride into the not so well known trails in Pebble Beach. The trails there are short but steep. Real estate there is insane. I was lucky to rent from a family who had owned the property since 1904 and hadn't raised the rent in a decade of more. We were 3 blocks from the water and it was awesome.

We finally ended up about 45 minutes up the road from Carmel in Scotts Valley. We're about 5 miles from Santa Cruz, which is close enough for convenience but far enough that we don't have their issues with homelessness and property crime. Cycling is huge here. Kids ride their bikes to school and all over town after school. The pumptrack and skate park are packed all afternoon. I have no driving access (2 miles of pavement to the main trailhead) to what I consider to be some of the best trails I've ever ridden. I walk 2 minutes to the dentist, 5 minutes to the doctor. I walk home from the mechanic if I need to drop the car off. Tech salaries here are quite a bit higher than elsewhere and while it's not enough higher to compensate for housing prices in towns like Sunnyvale, Mountain View, or Cupertino, it's more than enough to make the difference in Scotts Valley. I manage a team of 74 engineers from entry level through the Principal/Director level at a big semiconductor company so I know this intimately. If it's not already obvious, I really like it here. We're slowly looking into other areas with riding from the door for retirement but will likely keep this house as a rental/Airbnb even if we do move.
 

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Discussion Starter #119
My kids are off at college now but we lived in a few different areas, all with good mountain biking, while they were younger.

We started in Tucson, AZ. There is truly great mountain biking in the mountains surrounding the city but you mostly have to drive to trailheads. I lived close enough to Catalina Hwy. to ride up to Milagrosa Ridge from home when I was in really good condition but otherwise had to drive 30-45 minutes for most rides. Good public schools at the time were limited to the foothills to the North. Hot, but not as hot as Phoenix and housing was very affordable. We paid $153K for our 4br house with a pool on an acre in '97.

From there, we ended up in El Dorado Hills, CA from '02-'07. Terrific mountain biking near there as well, but again, you have to drive your bike around to get to the good stuff. Pretty hot summers there too. Schools were good, houses cheap compared to the Bay Area but not by most other standards. We made some good friends there but there is a lot of ultra-competitive mom stuff going on at the schools. It was at times both hilarious and annoying. People there seemed to want you to know they had money, whether they actually did or not.

Next up was Redmond, WA from '07-'09. The weather up there doesn't bother me and dense forest trails are my favorite. Good schools according to standardized test scores but we weren't thrilled with them. The way they taught math drove me bonkers. Driving is a huge PITA up there. Redmond doesn't look too far from Tokul or Duthie on a map but it can take an hour at times. Public transit is great with express buses every 8 minutes if you're going between Seattle and the Redmond but not so good from Redmond to Issaquah.

From there, we moved to the Monterey, CA area. My office was in a business park immediately adjacent to Ft. Ord/Laguna Seca Raceway so I had all of the Sea Otter trails to ride after work or at lunch. It's lacking tech but the access was great. From my house in Carmel, I could also ride into the not so well known trails in Pebble Beach. The trails there are short but steep. Real estate there is insane. I was lucky to rent from a family who had owned the property since 1904 and hadn't raised the rent in a decade of more. We were 3 blocks from the water and it was awesome.

We finally ended up about 45 minutes up the road from Carmel in Scotts Valley. We're about 5 miles from Santa Cruz, which is close enough for convenience but far enough that we don't have their issues with homelessness and property crime. Cycling is huge here. Kids ride their bikes to school and all over town after school. The pumptrack and skate park are packed all afternoon. I have no driving access (2 miles of pavement to the main trailhead) to what I consider to be some of the best trails I've ever ridden. I walk 2 minutes to the dentist, 5 minutes to the doctor. I walk home from the mechanic if I need to drop the car off. Tech salaries here are quite a bit higher than elsewhere and while it's not enough higher to compensate for housing prices in towns like Sunnyvale, Mountain View, or Cupertino, it's more than enough to make the difference in Scotts Valley. I manage a team of 74 engineers from entry level through the Principal/Director level at a big semiconductor company so I know this intimately. If it's not already obvious, I really like it here. We're slowly looking into other areas with riding from the door for retirement but will likely keep this house as a rental/Airbnb even if we do move.
Sounds pretty sweet. What sort of trails are they? When I lived in Santa Barbara, it was mostly pretty steep - 90 minutes of up followed by about 20 minutes of hauling down. Definitely a blast, but as I get older, I tend to play it safe a bit more. I loved being able to bike around the city and along the beach when I was there.

I've driven the PCH a couple times but have never checked out the Santa Cruz area. Hopefully we'll get back to CA sooner than later to visit family and friends (we've had to push back a bunch of travel due to covid). When we do, we might try to make the drive up to check it out. Looking at Zillow, we'd probably be paying about 3x for a house out there which we could do, but we'd have to totally fall in love with it to justify it.
 

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orthonormal
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Sounds pretty sweet. What sort of trails are they? When I lived in Santa Barbara, it was mostly pretty steep - 90 minutes of up followed by about 20 minutes of hauling down. Definitely a blast, but as I get older, I tend to play it safe a bit more. I loved being able to bike around the city and along the beach when I was there.

I've driven the PCH a couple times but have never checked out the Santa Cruz area. Hopefully we'll get back to CA sooner than later to visit family and friends (we've had to push back a bunch of travel due to covid). When we do, we might try to make the drive up to check it out. Looking at Zillow, we'd probably be paying about 3x for a house out there which we could do, but we'd have to totally fall in love with it to justify it.
I mostly ride the UCSC upper campus and the Forest of Nisene Marks. Soquel Demonstration Forest ("Demo") is great too, but I don't often go because it's about 45 minutes by car. I usually ride UC from home and Nisene is 15 minutes away by car.

It's mostly Redwood forest, which is kind of like PNW riding but less wet and less dark. We have roots but not a lot of rocks. It's loamy where the Redwoods are dense and the ground stays dark but even the best parts get blown out in late summer. You can also round a turn into sunshine and sandy terrain surrounded by Oak and Manzanita (and Poison Oak) instead of Redwoods. A lot of it is really steep but there's a good variety. Many of the more technical trails are undocumented and I only know a fraction of them. It's a strange situation and has been for a really long time. There have been crackdowns, with trails closed and riders receiving citations but it's been generally tolerated.
 
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