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Discussion Starter #1
Sorry to repeat a theme which has been discussed ad nauseum in the past, but I'm hoping to find some local insight for a planned relocation with the stated goal of having the best mountain biking life possible. Thanks in advance for your thoughts.

As usual, there are a few criteria that must be met:

1. I can ride to the trails from my house in a few minutes
(#1 criteria. MUST MEET THIS CRITERIA!!!)

2. A hospital less than 45 minutes away by car (work)
3. At least some sun in the winter
4. Riding season longer than 4 months
5. Population in the 50,000ish - 200,000ish range
6. West of the Mississippi and not a flat state

That should get me a few hundred towns in WA, OR, CA, ID, MT, WY, CO, UT, AZ, and NM.

Background on me:
Moved to western WA from Albuquerque 3 years ago
I really, really, REALLY miss having good riding close by. It was a daily activity and I miss it dearly. There is riding around here, but you have to drive 1.5 hours to get to many trails. I also really miss the sunshine in the winter.
I like fast, flowy, XC riding. Don't care for DH/Lift access

There are some obvious "Meccas", but I don't know if the "ride from my house" component is there:

Bend (going in 2 weeks)
Hood River, OR (will check out on same trip, but worried about winter weather)
Durango, CO (Almost moved here 3 years ago. May need to ski more, bike less)
Albuquerque (been there, still thinking about going back)
Santa Fe?
Flagstaff, AZ?
Sedona, AZ?
Fort Collins, CO?
Salt lake area?
California? Lake Tahoe. (Santa Cruz, Salinas, etc?)

Sincere thanks for your thoughts.


Another similar thread for those interested:

http://forums.mtbr.com/passion/best-out-my-back-door-towns-653823-post7351658.html#poststop
 

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Where I live in Salt Lake:
1. Bonneville Shoreline Trail is a few blocks away. Tons of other options in 15-30 minute drive.
2. 6 Hospitals within walking distance, numerous others throughout the city.
3. Plenty of sun in winter (screw biking in winter though, go ski pow)
4. Typical riding season April - October, but can be longer or shorter depending on snow season
5. Population 186,440 for the city, lots more throughout the valley.
6. self evident.

Also consider Ogden. Same as above but with better "from your door" trails, 2 hospitals, and a lot less people.
 

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26 for life.
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Hobart Tasmania?
1, Yes
2, Yes
3, Yes
4, All year.
5, I think so.
6, Technically, yes.
 

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Te mortuo heres tibi sim?
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I've got all that, but for number six.

Pretty happy with my lot in life. For a "flat" state, CT has a **** ton of good riding, and I'm no further from getting more up "in the mountains" than I was in CO or OR. They are just shorter mountains. :) Nearly year round riding, some years, so long as you are down with riding in cold/snow some winters, or some not at all for 3-4 months. Or night riding as well.

15 minute bike ride to work (hospital as well) is nice. Did my grocery run by bike two days ago. Have one trail spot I can pedal to in about twenty minutes, another is about forty. Within 30-60 minutes of drive time, there is a huge amount of riding choices.

Decent amount of culture, food, etc. in town. Two hours from Boston. An hour from NYC by train. An hour the other direction can get me out in proverbial BFE.

Danbury, CT isn't the mtb lifestyle mecca by any stretch, but I'm making it work for me.

The downside is the ****ing humidity.
 

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Int'l Man of Leisure
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Albuquerque - ABQ - The Burque

It's fall here (lows in the upper 50's & highs in the mid 70's) and the smell of roasting green chile is in the air. Soon the cottonwood leaves will be changing from green to a shimmering gold. And we have lots of great beer!! You can visit snow, without having to live in snow. I've often skied Sandia Peak in the morning, and ridden my bike in the Foothills in the afternoons in shorts. Plus, we have 0.00% humidity (usually). Summer temps are rarely 100 and you can ride all winter thanks to the low humidity and 320+ days per year of sun.

You've been here and you know you want to come back...

ABQ is:
1 hr to Santa Fe
3 hrs to Taos
3.5 hrs to Angle Fire
4.5 hrs to Durango, CO
4.5 hrs to Flagstaff, AZ
5 hrs to Sedona, AZ
6 hrs to Moab
7 hrs to Denver
8 hrs to Fort Collins, CO
10 hrs to Salt lake area

Trails are literally just out my back door:

 

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Des(s)ert Rat
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I am a 5 minute ride to world class trails, 15-20 minute ride to the biggest hospital between Denver and Salt Lake, and 5-10 minutes from downtown. Population in my city is 45,000 officially, but closer to 120,000 if you count the entire valley. We're in a high desert with lots of sunshine year round, and winter riding does happen, for the 2-3 months of winter we have. And we're West of the Mississippi.
 

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Palm Desert/Palm Springs, CA
You have trailheads all over the Coachella Valley that have an extensive network. When it is too hot to ride (June-Sept) you have Hurkey Creek/Idyllwild that is 5,000 feet high and 50minutes away. We have three large hospitals in the valley. I have homes in both locations and trailheads out of my backyard at both. You may be asking yourself "why are you not in better shape?". That is because my wife and children won't let me ride more often!
 

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Tucson, AZ and surrounding areas. Night riding in the summer months is awesome. If you are looking for specific property my house is currently for sale and it is located in Diamond Bell Ranch outside Tuscon,AZ. I can't imagine a better ride from your house than the one I currently live in.

MapQuest Maps - Driving Directions - Map
 

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Flagstaff is MTB mecca for AZ in the summer most go the the trails above town but there are other spots.The San Farncisco Peaks are just north of town, Arizona's tallest and most beautiful mountains, a volcano. The trails there are numerous and sweet. Riding there in summer is the coolest in the state, with only 2 other areas in AZ (North Rim of the Grand Canyon and the Pinelenos) as cool. There is no work there but as you're in medicine the door is usually open. In the winter you go to Sedona.
Sedona has over 200 trails around the town, in all directions. It's a pricy toursit town but the food's great and the biking better.
Prescott has recently been designated an IMBA ride center, meaning there's plans for many more trails being built there in addition to an very good existing network.
I live in Tucson, 300 miles of MTB trails. My house is also for sale, on the east side of town. Winter riding here rocks and in summer we ride early, at night or on the mountains.
 

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you didn't mention living expenses as part of your criteria so I'm assuming that it either doesn't matter or you forgot to list it. If you are a physician, makes sense.

Bend, OR is a sick place to live. Great skiing/boarding, rafting, fishing, rafting, golfing, hiking and of course biking. However, the place is pricey. Some of the retirees are moving out so homes are available. If you can afford it, can't think of a better place to go from an outdoor activities perspective.

Sedona is another great place. I've spent a ton of time there. Snooty locals and LOTS of tourists but it gets the job done. Housing is stupid expensive due to the fact that mot of the land is not zoned for development. Everything else is already owned. Skiing/boarding in Snowbowl, some fishing and lots and lots of trails. The one thing it probably has over Bend is the ability to drive into many more trail systems with a shorter windshield time.

Have fun looking.
 

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Hi there! I live in a town near Barcelona in Catalunya (Spain) and I've got some trails at 5 minute from home, and If I prefer changing I can take next to the sea...:thumbsup:
 

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Manitou Springs/Colorado Springs, CO
 

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Beer Me!
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Durango, CO<- biked and skied here many a summer during college, great town, great trails, great slopes. More of a college town vibe. Excellent riding from your front porch.

Albuquerque<- My home town. Plenty of awesome riding. Job market is a little tough, and lots of big city problems for its size (drugs, crime, etc...) I still visit here at least twice a year, and miss the trails. The foothills trail is about all you can hit from your doorstep, and the ER is sketchy. Overall its a town i miss but don't want to move back too.

Santa Fe<- Hour away from Abq, also nice, but more expensive/yuppier. Some trails accessible from town, more if you drive. Toas NM is even smaller, but the skiing and biking is EPIC!

Flagstaff/Sedona AZ<- commuted to Flag and sedona a lot for the riding when i lived in phoenix. I would choose flag over sedona to live. Sedona is only an hourish away from flag, but its more yuppy, golfy, expensive. Flag is more laid back college mountain town style. Both Flag and Sedona have great riding from your door. Sedona, despite being an hour away has a longer season than flag.

Fort Collins, CO<- my current town of residence. I LOVE THIS PLACE! The riding from the door can be very challenging in the foothills, and a 20 min drive lands you in two state parks. Increase your radius to an hour, and the riding options are epic. The town is great, weather is great, and if you love beer this is the place to be.

California? Lake Tahoe.<- I lived in Davis CA, and rode in Tahoe a bit. California has its ups and downs, and my opinion of living in the state might not be the most positive. The riding is good, but to find a town to live close to epic riding from your door is difficult. Auburn is another good spot.
 

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Golden, CO.

However, all resident positions have been filled and we are not accepting any new applications at this time.
+1

I grew up there! now living in San Diego.
San Diego I get to ride year round in perfect weather. Golden gave me the best mountains in the states right at my door!
 

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I vote for further east of Bend, and say head for La Grande! It may not make the 50,000 minimum though.

Sorry to hear you left Western Washington, OP. I just did Lower Dungeness for the first time last month, ohh yeahhh!
 
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