Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner

1 - 20 of 34 Posts

·
Banned
Joined
·
2,674 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
At one point in my life, learning to paddle white water and living in a 2 room joint in Stowe, I was spending more money on gasoline for the T-100 than anything else in life except rent.

Chasing Rain, after our meager snow-melt season in Vt, meant jumping in a truck, car, or van and regularly driving clear across the state, or to neighboring states for day trips without thought. Hey, there's water, we're going.

My accountant wife gave me the numbers, I calculated the probable miles, and could not escape the obvious hypocritical reality of my stated personal beliefs on environmental and corporate issues, and the reality I was actually living. I made a personal rule. Total drive time can not exceed half the play time. Driving an hour for a 4 hour paddle was the limit. 2 hours for a rare and special all-day event. That meant I basically quit boating. Lol.

I traveled to ride, but lived at the trail head and bike shop and rode 8 or 9 times a week so once a week out of town, or a couple of Waterberries seemed no big deal. As personal time got more precious, and we moved away from any local trails worth riding, the temptation to take a lot of car trips to pedal was there, but was on my radar. Instead, I just committed to doing trail work locally when I couldn't find the motivation to ride locally....which was a lot, the local trails weren't that motivating.

I travel to ride once or twice a month. I have a lot of local trail now. I burn even less gasoline to enjoy nature. It feels good.

How often to you drive to pedal? If gasoline was ten bucks a gallon, would it change where you ride, where you choose to live? If you have to drive to MTB, what is your average drive and ride time?

Just Curious.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
59 Posts
Since I've had kids my riding is limited to the immediate trails in my backdoor. When I was at work before COVID I would be able to sample stuff in a little broader geography. Our family finally got a long weekend at our cabing 1.5 hrs away in central VT. It was awesome to ride the new RASTA stuff. Looking back over the past few years, I've travelled less and less to ride. There's just so much good stuff under 2 hours away to justify a long drive. With the explosion of new trail networks I haven't even been able to hit up stuff within an hours drive. If I didn't have kids I would no doubt travel more. If gas was $10 a gallon things wouldn't change much. I'd still take the drive out to Slate Valley or up to Ascutney every month or two. Destination riding... not in my cards for awhile.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
858 Posts
Interesting. Well, since technically our cabin in VT has traditionally been our home base for most of our riding and we spend 100-150days there per year depending on the year, but that means driving up from NH which is only ~130miles as it is more "over" from NH than "up". Of course COVID has kept a lot of $ in our pockets.

We have taken a number of MTB road trips which are combined vacations, camping trips with the travel trailer and/or house rentals so we can cook some of our meals ourselves. Pisgah/Brevard, Canaan Valley, PA, Roanoke, etc.

Normally, we drive to whatever trailheads we will launch from and I don't really care how long or far it is if the actual riding is worth it.

Lately, been exploring the local trails ride from my house, been enjoyable.

All that being said, I travel to hunt as much or more than biking......road trips to SD, WI, etc. have been done with the dogs and wife (yes she hunts too).

We budget for road trips, it is what it is.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
37 Posts
Activity time has to be double or more the amount of drive time. In the past I drove everywhere, Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Montana, etc for outdoor activities, not so much anymore.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
25 Posts
I ride from my driveway to go riding for the most part. I might drive to ride elsewhere in VT ten times a year, do an out of state trip two to four times a year.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
858 Posts
I ride from my driveway to go riding for the most part. I might drive to ride elsewhere in VT ten times a year, do an out of state trip two to four times a year.
JBP it is always nice to be able to ride directly out of the house.......we have a similar situation here as well which is nice, while I have no problem with the ease of a One-Up rack, it is nice to not deal with racks, driving, making sure the right gear is in the car etc..

Plus given the current COVID concerns, Apres Ride at my own house is nice as well
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,245 Posts
Being in the North Shore MA we have a lot of riding options year round. From my doorstep I have 2 solid riding spots that I do a ton of trail work on. Some would say too much, but that's another subject... 10/15 minutes there's several more options. 30/45 minutes there's a few more options. 1/1.25 hours there's a few more and so on and so on. I also have a cabin in Burke that I frequent. I also get several park days a year, so that's 1.25 to 3 hours depending on where we go. And then of course our annual week+ trip which we've gone to many places. Some flying some driving.

No question, the closest trails I rode the most. I've skipped many a group ride that was a 10 min drive away to just pedal from my house. The group rides bounce around a bunch but are generally 10 to 15 mins away on OUR local trails. Our trails are excellent, but it easy to get sick of them when you ride them all the time, especially with no offseason. I'm more likely to push to other riding areas than most of my riding crew is, but there are a few of us that like to travel to check things out. My wife rides too so we can go on mini-vaca's to the various 2 to 3 hour away spots. Burke used to get a lot of visits from us, but the sh!t-show has put that on the back-burner.

Our trails aren't conducive to being in the saddle all day so most of our rides are 2 to 3 hours long, with the occasional 5+ hour bar burner. The further we go out the more hours and days we try and ride. 2 hours each way for a 2 hour ride is a non-starter for me. I'll drive up solo the night before and ride the trail and then meet everyone there the next day if I want to join something.

When gas got expensive a few years back it definitely curbed my traveling to ride. Less park riding, less rides in the 45 to 2 hour range. We ended spending more days on our long trips and carpooled as much as possible. 6 dudes in an SUV packed with bike gear gets pretty stinky, but it was awesome. If it surged to 10$ per gallon that would definitely make traveling to ride less likely.
 

·
Monkey
Joined
·
324 Posts
I've pretty much got both ends covered.

We chose our current house next to our favorite Laurentiens trail network. All other networks are about 15 min. drives. We got hundreds of kms of trails around us. From machine built flow trails to underground gnar stuff. All can be connected for epic multi day adventures. Heck I even got a small bike park that I can access the summit via singletrack straight from my house.

On the other end, we got a van, yeah one of those... We started travelling far to ride in early 2k, we've covered a good chunk of north america. We like our stuff at home, but the season is sometime short and we will go far to get a early start on the season, or stretch it a few more weeks.

On a positive note. I haven't use a car to go to work in 14 years nor taken a plane to travel.

RIDEMAP.jpg
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
2,674 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
So for the folks that travel to ride a lot. Is there a place you could be happy living if job and other **** all worked out?

Or why don't you live where you play?

Will personal carbon footprint ever be part of the equation for travel?

Not judging, genuine curiosity.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,377 Posts
I'm in Eastern CT and lucky to have 6-8 great XC singletrack locations within 10 to 45 minutes of my house. I ride year round and even when there is a fair amount of snow inland I have options on the coast where snow is very uncommon.

I ski a fair amount and make 2.5hr day trips to Killington (usually on a Friday) which is a long day. In summer I've only sprung for one road trip/year to VT, NH or Maine for riding because the XC terrain is not much different from what we ride here. When I do go North the focus is on true 'flow' type terrain which is limited in CT.

At $10/gallon, everything would be impacted that requires a roadtrip but we all have priorities!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
858 Posts
So for the folks that travel to ride a lot. Is there a place you could be happy living if job and other **** all worked out?

Or why don't you live where you play?

Will personal carbon footprint ever be part of the equation for travel?

Not judging, genuine curiosity.
Quick answer for me is, I live now where I have all the options to play as our official residence is NH. I have mentioned that we normally spend 100-150days per year in VT at our cabin in the NEK. For our careers I need access to RI and a real airport within an hour or so. We would never contemplate VT full time while working just from pure tax reasons alone.

We don't commute much even pre-COVID as my wife is 100% WFH and I was 2-3 days per week. So the weekend trips are carbon neutral in theory compared to when we were stuck in commuter hell......and I'm fine with that level of carbon footprint.

We never vacation via plane or cruise which are huge polluters so I can live with the fuel we burn on road trips.

I think working where you CAN play is nice, but eventually we at least crave variety and new experiences. That requires some travel and movement.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,245 Posts
So for the folks that travel to ride a lot. Is there a place you could be happy living if job and other **** all worked out?

Or why don't you live where you play?

Will personal carbon footprint ever be part of the equation for travel?

Not judging, genuine curiosity.
That's a tough one. There is no place that has it all. There are so many cool places that would have enough to make me happy, including where I am now. I play everyday no matter where I am. I have moved around a bunch before kids. Kids have me locked down, but the longer I stay the harder I could imagine going elsewhere. No matter where I go I'd be zipping around. It's probably more about adventure than anything. My wife is a home body. She enjoys trips, but is always missing home. While I tend to get anxious if I'm not zipping around going somewhere else. I love new experiences as well as renewing some old experiences. I have friends in most of the locations I travel to, so its great to renew our friendships. New England is special in that we have so much diversity in a relatively short travel distance compared to most other regions.

Carbon footprint is tough. Try to make it up in other ways. I've worked remotely by choice for about 10 years now, so despite all my trips I have way less mileage on my vehicles than when I commuted. I do fly for bike trips, but really not that often. Solar panels, pellet/woodstove, recycle, conserve, pick up trash (which is everywhere), etc. I also probably travel way less than most Americans. I'd say 90% of my trips are extended weekends in New England/Eastern Canada.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
964 Posts
I try and make a point to go somewhere once per month. That said, somewhere lately has been Bentonville as I only live a bit over 2 hours from there, so it can be a day trip for sure. My normal riding spot is almost an hour away so it isn't a big stretch. Now that summer is here for all intents and purposes, there are spots that are closer are they are finally drying out, so now only 10 minutes to a riding spot, which I really appreciate as 2 hours of my day is spent commuting.

I would have no heartburn living in NW Arkansas. Trails are fun and there is a lot of trail diversity for lack of a better term. Big plus is you can ride to most trailheads so the car stays home.

I have a trip planned over labor day to SD, but that is where my parents live. I can be on a couple of different trails in less than a mile from their house, so it's a good trip in all regards. They also have a huge pump track and jump park less than a mile away(Sturgis SD FYI....yeah the motorcycle rally place. Suprisingly good trail systems there)

I like to do a big trip of some sort every year. Lately it's been elk hunting, but preference points and a few other things came up to turn it into a bike trip with my brother. He lives in the Twin Cities area, but across the river in Wisconsin. Trying to talk him into meeting me in Bentonville as well, but he is balking a bit (and he has a brand new Switchblade.... ughh)

I don't personally worry about my carbon footprint but do try and use the most fuel efficient vehicle possible, mainly because I am cheap.

Edit...sorry just realized this was in the Vt/NH/Maine forum. Sorry. I did so the Mt. Washington Auto road hill climb last year though. Whoda thunk NH had real mountains? Haven't spent much time in the NE, but loved it!
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
2,674 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
I try and make a point to go somewhere once per month. That said, somewhere lately has been Bentonville as I only live a bit over 2 hours from there, so it can be a day trip for sure. My normal riding spot is almost an hour away so it isn't a big stretch. Now that summer is here for all intents and purposes, there are spots that are closer are they are finally drying out, so now only 10 minutes to a riding spot, which I really appreciate as 2 hours of my day is spent commuting.

I would have no heartburn living in NW Arkansas. Trails are fun and there is a lot of trail diversity for lack of a better term. Big plus is you can ride to most trailheads so the car stays home.

I have a trip planned over labor day to SD, but that is where my parents live. I can be on a couple of different trails in less than a mile from their house, so it's a good trip in all regards. They also have a huge pump track and jump park less than a mile away(Sturgis SD FYI....yeah the motorcycle rally place. Suprisingly good trail systems there)

I like to do a big trip of some sort every year. Lately it's been elk hunting, but preference points and a few other things came up to turn it into a bike trip with my brother. He lives in the Twin Cities area, but across the river in Wisconsin. Trying to talk him into meeting me in Bentonville as well, but he is balking a bit (and he has a brand new Switchblade.... ughh)

I don't personally worry about my carbon footprint but do try and use the most fuel efficient vehicle possible, mainly because I am cheap.

Edit...sorry just realized this was in the Vt/NH/Maine forum. Sorry. I did so the Mt. Washington Auto road hill climb last year though. Whoda thunk NH had real mountains? Haven't spent much time in the NE, but loved it!
No worries, good answer. If MTB got 10X more expensive in Arkansas, would you go elsewhere, or go less?
 

·
Stubby-legged
Joined
·
1,306 Posts
A few years ago we bought a camper to make our mtb travels easier. Bring the homw with us, we justified. Expand our riding area. Explore different places. meet like minded people.

Our trips took us from home base of Central Maine out to Canada, Vermont, North Carolina all for the fun and excitement of biking and paddle boarding.

Is travel worth it? Yep. Would we do it if gas was $10/gallon? Tough call. We have some great local trails that are constantly improving and expanding. Driving two hours one way to ride two hours doesn't seem to make sense anymore.
Now with the quarantine requirements, we may not be allowed to travel at all.

We canceled our Florida camp/ride/paddle this April and our July 4 trip to Vermont is in jeopardy as well as our August Canada trip.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
858 Posts
Camper......we have the same for various reasons. Road trips south to ride in 2018, 2019 we moved so didn't take a "vacation" per se.....but this May's trip to NC was clearly canceled and we moved it to Sept but I think we will just punt.

We are looking at staying within NH this year and will clearly leverage our VT cabin as we are allowed. It is close to the NH border so as long as this 14day thing is active and as long as the sentiment of "locals" in VT is to keep "outta staters" out we will just use our cabin as a base camp and go ride the various Northern NH spots, gas prices don't really impact us much unless they hit a ludicrous level.

Plenty to ride, fish and hunt in NH for us.

It is what it is.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
2,674 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
Having a vacation build around some type of car or van seems like the opposite of a vacation to me, personally.

It seems like you all do it because it's cheap enough. Of course, subsidies for highly profitable companies, as well as cartel behavior is what keeps it that way.

If a state like Vt, or Fl taxed the crap out of vacationing, and made it twice as expensive for you to visit, would you still go? Would you go elsewhere.

If travel was 10 times as expensive to go anywhere, but you could find a good job, would you still live where you do, or would you relocate to have access to better recreation from your door step?
 

·
The Riddler
Joined
·
1,035 Posts
Having a vacation build around some type of car or van seems like the opposite of a vacation to me, personally.

It seems like you all do it because it's cheap enough. Of course, subsidies for highly profitable companies, as well as cartel behavior is what keeps it that way.

If a state like Vt, or Fl taxed the crap out of vacationing, and made it twice as expensive for you to visit, would you still go? Would you go elsewhere.

If travel was 10 times as expensive to go anywhere, but you could find a good job, would you still live where you do, or would you relocate to have access to better recreation from your door step?
I think you have to define "good job." There are plenty of "good jobs" available that no one wants to do, even in classic VT industries like logging and quarrying/stone fabrication.

If you look at the migration data for those moving to VT, most are higher net-worth/salary earning individuals. Many are moving to Chittenden County/greater Burlington because that's where those jobs are (or education systems that feed people into those jobs) and thus where a lot of the tax revenue is spent. Most still drive to play, I'd assume.

So sure, tax/limit tourism. But if the intent is to create a more holistic economy that benefits all VTers (or anyone in any state outside of that income bracket), tourism is just a microcosm of a bigger picture problem that includes plenty of those who call VT home, including most who MTB I assume.

But to answer your question, I would still go. Family and friends and long standing business vendors make me feel comfortable not feeling like a "Stowe" tourist. I don't think I'm special but do think creating binaries between in and out of state visitors is a simplification that ignores a more thoughtful conversation.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
37 Posts
“Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by Vegetating in one little corner of earth all of one’s lifetime.” Twain

Perhaps if some people traveled a bit more, they wouldn’t hold such myopic and condescending attitudes towards other communities practices.
 
1 - 20 of 34 Posts
Top