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Discussion Starter #1
I'm looking at potential jobs in places that appear to be great for mountain biking. Boise popped up and I applied. I'm looking for more information about the MTB scene in Boise. I live in KCMO(Go Chiefs!) now. MTB is surprisingly great here. Except the soil and trails don't handle precipitation very well and are closed for days after a wet spell. 1 inch of rain spells 2-3 days of trail closure. It's driving me crazy and I've only lived here about a year. According to my brief research, it seems like Boise get less rain and snow on average per year than KCMO does. That already looks good to me. Because rain and snow can go to hell.

Is riding in Boise seasonal or does it have potential to be ridden all year round?

What are the trails like? Smooth and flowy? Tech and rocky? Ups and downs? Long climbs to long descents?

What are the crowds like on trails? Is there heavy traffic with hikers and horse people?

What travel would a typical MTB have in Boise?

I'm sure I'll have more questions to come up with.

Thanks!
 

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Boise gets a few storms every winter and the snow sticks around for a few days or so. Longer in the shade. If you're riding in winter, then you should time it so the ground is frozen. Lots of trail runners and riders out there. The trails are wide open and pretty fast. Not too much technical.
130mm 29er will do just fine. Check out Ridge to Rivers and SWIMBA websites.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the info. I assume the soil and trails there turn in to mush when it's wet like here in KC. I do a lot of frozen trail riding here as well so that's not new to me.

I have real a few articles about Boise and it becoming "the faster growing city in the USA". I've also read that vehicle traffic is pretty bad now. Just how bad is the traffic? Is it just a lot of cars on the freeways but it's moving? Or is it bumper to bumper, LA style traffic?
 

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I don't know KC at all, but the trails are Boise are actually pretty sandy and drain pretty quickly- except in spots with clay. Regarding the traffic, someone from Boise will have to answer, I don't live there, but travel down to ride in the winter.
 

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The soil here does vary a bit. As Wayndar said, you'll just learn which trails drain well and which are a bit more sticky.

Re: traffic, it REALLY depends where in the valley you live and where you commute. It's bad and getting worse, but nothing like, say, Denver. I don't know KC at all so cannot compare. But generally, if you live further West and commute on the Interstate, you'll run into issues. During rush hour it is definitely stop and start. (I can't say how bad exactly because I mostly commute by bike.)
 

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Hi,
You can trail ride 9 months a year here in Boise, Mid November to mid February you can still ride but not always due to mud that clogs your bike (clay soil) and rain/snow. Some years people ride all year, they go out early in the Winter before the trails thaw.
A few years ago we had a real winter with lots of snow, but that was rare, most years it snows than melts off in the valley but most trails are not rideable November thru February.
You can road bike or ride inside or XC ski as well. It is high desert so there is low humidity and things dry fast.
The traffic is worse with congestion and rude drivers and horrible for us long time residents but not as bad as larger cities. The main clog is people living West of the City and driving in to Boise. It is a total cluster Fook, and should be avoided if relocating. Just pay more to live near your job in Boise and avoid that mess it is worth it. I live in Meridian and it was great for 15 years but now challenging to drive in and hit the trails. Rude, aggressive driving is the new Idaho.
The road biking is good, especially South of Boise and Meridian and the climb to the ski area in the Summer is usually good except Saturdays now with rude drivers ( a lot of them are driving up to Bogus Basin to MTB and drive like jerks if you are riding up. It is just more of a rat race than years ago.
You will enjoy it if you don’t pin yourself into cheaper housing and have a commute with traffic and crashes daily. If you want trails live near them and you will have the entire Boise front to ride, the higher you can climb up the less people, most rides are up, over and down. Like above not a lot of super technical, and if it gets too hot head to the ski area to ride or road trip to the mountains on the weekend. It hits 100 in July and August so early riding or late evening is better.

Hope this helps and you should definitely visit and interview if possible.
 

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I'd agree with all that has been offered above. To go along with the traffic comments, and also because my wife and I try to be "one less car on the road", I really encourage you to live where you work. If you say you are looking at a job in Boise, live in Boise. If it is Meridian, live in Meridian, Nampa, live in Nampa, etc. I work in West Boise, live in NW Boise. For me, it is around a 20 minute bike commute, whether I'm heading into work, or to downtown Boise. The nearest trail-head into the Ridge to Rivers system is only about a mile out my door. We love our location.

As has been mentioned, year-round trail riding is possible, but depending upon the conditions, will be more limited in terms of when and where you can ride. Summer riding in the valley can get hot, as angryoldman stated, but even then, I'm sure riding in 100 degree weather in Boise is more comfortable than riding in mid/upper-80's in KC, with your humidity. I grew up on the East coast, and do not miss the humidity, although, a little more green would be nice here. :)


Best of luck in your search!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Hi,
You can trail ride 9 months a year here in Boise, Mid November to mid February you can still ride but not always due to mud that clogs your bike (clay soil) and rain/snow. Some years people ride all year, they go out early in the Winter before the trails thaw.
A few years ago we had a real winter with lots of snow, but that was rare, most years it snows than melts off in the valley but most trails are not rideable November thru February.
You can road bike or ride inside or XC ski as well. It is high desert so there is low humidity and things dry fast.
The traffic is worse with congestion and rude drivers and horrible for us long time residents but not as bad as larger cities. The main clog is people living West of the City and driving in to Boise. It is a total cluster Fook, and should be avoided if relocating. Just pay more to live near your job in Boise and avoid that mess it is worth it. I live in Meridian and it was great for 15 years but now challenging to drive in and hit the trails. Rude, aggressive driving is the new Idaho.
The road biking is good, especially South of Boise and Meridian and the climb to the ski area in the Summer is usually good except Saturdays now with rude drivers ( a lot of them are driving up to Bogus Basin to MTB and drive like jerks if you are riding up. It is just more of a rat race than years ago.
You will enjoy it if you don’t pin yourself into cheaper housing and have a commute with traffic and crashes daily. If you want trails live near them and you will have the entire Boise front to ride, the higher you can climb up the less people, most rides are up, over and down. Like above not a lot of super technical, and if it gets too hot head to the ski area to ride or road trip to the mountains on the weekend. It hits 100 in July and August so early riding or late evening is better.

Hope this helps and you should definitely visit and interview if possible.
Thank you for the incredibly relevant information. Just what I was looking for. The job would be close to the airport and I was actually looking at apartments and houses around the Eagle area and west of Boise. I suppose that if I do move out there, I'll have to suck it up and pay a little more to live closer to work and not go too far west. I also dislike rude and aggressive drivers(something KC does not have a shortage of) and traffic. I've got no problem not being able to ride to trails from home because I can't exactly afford a million dollar home at the moment, so I'll have to drive to the trails. I do love desert riding(except the no shade part). I'll have to pay a visit once I get everything confirmed. Thanks again!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I'd agree with all that has been offered above. To go along with the traffic comments, and also because my wife and I try to be "one less car on the road", I really encourage you to live where you work. If you say you are looking at a job in Boise, live in Boise. If it is Meridian, live in Meridian, Nampa, live in Nampa, etc. I work in West Boise, live in NW Boise. For me, it is around a 20 minute bike commute, whether I'm heading into work, or to downtown Boise. The nearest trail-head into the Ridge to Rivers system is only about a mile out my door. We love our location.

As has been mentioned, year-round trail riding is possible, but depending upon the conditions, will be more limited in terms of when and where you can ride. Summer riding in the valley can get hot, as angryoldman stated, but even then, I'm sure riding in 100 degree weather in Boise is more comfortable than riding in mid/upper-80's in KC, with your humidity. I grew up on the East coast, and do not miss the humidity, although, a little more green would be nice here. :)


Best of luck in your search!
I also dislike a long commute to work. But I'd be working at close to the airport and that in itself is further from trails. But if the traffic isn't too crazy going northbound to the trails from the airport area, then I'd add that to the places to live list. The humidity is punishing in KC. You get used to it after a while, but then it gets very, very cold fast when fall hits. So the acclimation to heat and humidity practically gone. Now you have to acclimate to the cold. So I'm never really 'used' to the extreme conditions since it's such a vast difference from season to season.

There is no 'all weather' trail here in KC. Moisture and anything more than 1 inch of rain closes all trail systems affected. This winter has been particularly hard on everyone since it's warmer than normal(but humidity makes it feel a lot colder), but rarely freezes over so the trails are just mush. Just when you think trails are about to dry, we get with with rain or snow which then prevents any trail use. During the winter, we drive 3 hours south to Bentonville on the weekends to do our riding.
 

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There are a lot of good options working near the airport as far as half way to work and half way to the trails, really only 15-25 minutes of pedaling I would guess.
The area called the bench is about half way and there are others in SE Boise you could check out. The North end near most of the trails is more expensive but you can ride to the trails in 10 minutes and ride to work in 25-30
MTB for Boise is personnel preference, a basic 100mm XC bike will be fine or even a hard tail (although not as much fun) will be fine. There a lot of people getting 150mm all mountain bikes but it may be over kill for most of the local trails we use to ride on hard tails with 50 mm forks. Every thing is up, over and down so if you live for the downhill and want to go ride the lifts or shuttle go big travel.
 

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there are also a couple resorts within 2 hours of Boise that run lifts in the summer: Tamarack and Brundage. There is another riding area Called Jug Mtn. that has a good mix of trails, and you just ride up and do laps. There is very little technical riding in the foothills, but there are tons of xc trails around. As far as post-rain/snow riding, it has been about a week since the last rain, and some of the trails are just now okay to ride.
 

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Thanks for the info. I assume the soil and trails there turn in to mush when it's wet like here in KC. I do a lot of frozen trail riding here as well so that's not new to me.

I have real a few articles about Boise and it becoming "the faster growing city in the USA". I've also read that vehicle traffic is pretty bad now. Just how bad is the traffic? Is it just a lot of cars on the freeways but it's moving? Or is it bumper to bumper, LA style traffic?
1/2 of California has moved to Boise in the past couple years.
Traffic is pretty bad, Nampa into downtown in the morning, then the other way after work. 4+ Lanes bumper to bumper barely moving.

I get stuck working in the area a few times a year....I shake my head Everytime I go down there compared to 8 years ago.

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