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Discussion Starter #1
I'm on the east coast (DC), and I want to go somewhere for some intermediate riding over Thanksgiving (end of Nov/start of Dec).

Criteria:
-Enough variety/options for 3 or 4 full days of riding
-We'll be riding FS bikes with ~130mm front & rear
-Cool weather is okay, but I'd like to keep it above 50/55 degrees
-Driving from DC (~10 hr radius) or flying works (depending on price), but I don't want to fly somewhere and then drive for more than 4 hours.
-We will need to be able to stay somewhere reasonably nearby the trails (30-45min max)
-Interesting terrain would be nice, something different than MD/PA
-Beer options and decent food are a big plus.

Go!
 

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I'm on the east coast (DC), and I want to go somewhere for some intermediate riding over Thanksgiving (end of Nov/start of Dec).

Criteria:
-Enough variety/options for 3 or 4 full days of riding
-We'll be riding FS bikes with ~130mm front & rear
-Cool weather is okay, but I'd like to keep it above 50/55 degrees
-Driving from DC (~10 hr radius) or flying works (depending on price), but I don't want to fly somewhere and then drive for more than 4 hours.
-We will need to be able to stay somewhere reasonably nearby the trails (30-45min max)
-Interesting terrain would be nice, something different than MD/PA
-Beer options and decent food are a big plus.

Go!
So you're asking which riding location people most recently visited? ;)

Have you ridden all the East Coast usual suspects (Stokesville, Roanoke, Pisgah, etc)? Are you interested in bike parks? With this little criteria you'll get a HUGE range of opinions, I'd try to narrow it down some.
 

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No Clue Crew
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Not sure where there's good riding and good weather within 10 hours of your location at that time of year. I'm thinking it's time to fly west. Way west.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
So you're asking which riding location people most recently visited? ;)

Have you ridden all the East Coast usual suspects (Stokesville, Roanoke, Pisgah, etc)? Are you interested in bike parks? With this little criteria you'll get a HUGE range of opinions, I'd try to narrow it down some.
As Blatant put it, I don't think there's going to be good riding in a 10 hr driving distance of DC, so I'm likely looking at something far west (AZ, Cali, New Mexico?) but I know nothing about the temps/qualities/post-riding-fun-stuff/etc.

I'm not looking to fly across the country to go to a jump park, I want miles and fun terrain. My bike nor I am ready for real DH, and I would want something that needs more bike than gravel roads or light XC (~29lb ~130 travel FS bikes). I'm asking because I simply don't know where to focus.
 

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Blue Ridge, GA

https://www.mtbproject.com/directory/8011461/blue-ridge

Brush Cr.-Old Copper Rd.-Ocoee Whitewater Ctr.
Pinhote (this trail is awesome!)-Cohutta
Bull Mt./Jake Mt. (IMBA Epic)
Green Mt.-Stanley Gap-Flat Cr.


High trail return on your travel investment.
Good eats, too.

We did 110 mi. in 4 days. Rented a house on Lake Blue Ridge. Rode to the Green Mt. trailhead.



-F
 

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That time of year trails and riding are great in North East, it's all about the temperature. As you head North or West of DC the temps can vary greatly that time of year so if you're not ok with riding in cooler temps you need to look elsewhere.

I'm in CT and every year some of the best riding is late fall. Singletrack is firm and fast with super traction. Temps vary and can range from 40's to 70's...just dress for it. I'm sure any good singletrack locations within 10hrs of DC are a similar situation.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
That time of year trails and riding are great in North East, it's all about the temperature. As you head North or West of DC the temps can vary greatly that time of year so if you're not ok with riding in cooler temps you need to look elsewhere.

I'm in CT and every year some of the best riding is late fall. Singletrack is firm and fast with super traction. Temps vary and can range from 40's to 70's...just dress for it. I'm sure any good singletrack locations within 10hrs of DC are a similar situation.
Last Thanksgiving I was in Asheville and rode in the Pisgah. It was between 15-40 degrees and super windy with some snow/ice on the ground in the higher places. I loved the area, but I'm looking to avoid that gamble on the weather. If I stayed home, I could plan around the weather for some shorter drives, but it would be nice to get away.
 

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Last Thanksgiving I was in Asheville and rode in the Pisgah. It was between 15-40 degrees and super windy with some snow/ice on the ground in the higher places. I loved the area, but I'm looking to avoid that gamble on the weather. If I stayed home, I could plan around the weather for some shorter drives, but it would be nice to get away.
This is my only concern, but if you stay in Brevard NC and like cold weather you can ride Pisgah and Dupont. Lots of variety. But after October I'd vacation more SW for warmer weather.
 

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I was thinking that would be a good option. Do we stay in Phoenix or head out to somewhere like Sedona/Tuscon/etc?
Phoenix?!?! Hell no.


Sedona fosho.
 

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Last Thanksgiving I was in Asheville and rode in the Pisgah. It was between 15-40 degrees and super windy with some snow/ice on the ground in the higher places. I loved the area, but I'm looking to avoid that gamble on the weather. If I stayed home, I could plan around the weather for some shorter drives, but it would be nice to get away.
I'd say that for Thanksgiving, that was unusually cold for around here. I miss out on more riding during that time of year because of holiday commitments than the weather.
 

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I'm pretty sure you'll be driving unless you like spending a lot of money on airfare. Thanksgiving is always brutal, but especially so this year due to the 737 Max debacle.
 

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Subscribed. I'm getting a new Ripmo in two weeks and would like to plan a Fall trip.

I was considering Asheville, NC too. Just now looked at average daily temps for late November and see mid 50's highs and low 30s for lows. That's a bit brisk for me - especially camping for a week. In temps like that, get a chill, and I simply can't warm up.

I looked into Bentonville, Arkansas too. But for your dates, temps are similarly low. Brown County, IN. Even colder. Harold?

Maybe I'll go earlier in October? Wanna see other suggestions though. I'm a tag-along on your thread at this point.
 

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I was thinking that would be a good option. Do we stay in Phoenix or head out to somewhere like Sedona/Tuscon/etc?
The Phoenix area has a lot of options!!!

You can go to Sedona as suggested but weather may be an issue and you'll end up driving back down to Phoenix.

Get a rental in the north east valley and ride the McDowells. you will be happy with hundreds of miles of trails from your rental and a close drive to other great areas if you have time.

Sedona and Tucson are 2 hours away. In Phoenix you are 20- 30 minutes away at most for optional riding.
 

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I always giggle when people say this. I live here. I ride in Sedona regularly. Phoenix is better and the weather will be nicer that time of year.
I did a trip a couple years ago, spent a week in scottsdale and phoenix, and 3 weeks in sedona. Scottdale was rad. Sedona got boring because there's no vert, but that first week was incredible and it's a beautiful place. Phoenix is a nasty town, and although you can ride 'big terrain' there, it's not worth flying out to visit. I'd travel to phoenix if i lived 2 hours away though, definitely.
 

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Phoenix?!?! Hell no.


Sedona fosho.
Sedona.....

I lived in western MD and rode the Shed a lot and occasionally Micheaux and Rothrock. I think Georgia and Alabama may be s crap shoot. But with aggressive tires and proper clothing the world is your oyster as long as you’re riding Appalachia ridge lines. Arkansas? Used to live in Indiana - Brown Co heck no.

Airbnb Penn State, DHR2s, and chill with many of the students being gone.


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I always giggle when people say this. I live here. I ride in Sedona regularly. Phoenix is better and the weather will be nicer that time of year.
Another thing about Sedona is Flag being so close. But fires and logging sort of slowed things down.

So if you’re lucky Flag may be open.

The restaurants in neighboring Cottonwood are better than Sedona. Also, I’ve grown to appreciate the dessert beauty of Dead Horse.

Then there’s Black Canyon a little south of Sedona.

Plenty of XC in Phoenix..Good restaurants. It’s not very dangerous. If you’re used to DC/Baltimore, you will be fine. South Mountain will kill you. The riding in Sedona/Flag is better or I would live in Phoenix......

The dessert surrounding Tucson is beautiful and Mt. Lemmon has varied trials.

Fly into Phoenix, check the weather, go to LBS and get trail info, hit the road in a mini van, and use Priceline.

Also being “under tired” can affect your fun factor. I came one year with Ardents on my Following. Then Nobby Nics. On my 429T I’m running a 2.3 DHF DC and a 2.3 Aggressor. Overkill for XC, but not for Sedona and the downs at Flag.




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There's no good riding in Flagstaff at present due to fires; plus it'll be winter on the mountain during the OP's timeframe. I do agree that higher up on Mt. Elden is probably the most fun riding in Arizona.

Tucson is also rad, but again little riding at higher elevations on Mt. Lemmon that time of year.

Phoenix is nasty? OK. It's one of the biggest cities in the country. The OP is from the DC area. I'm also originally from Maryland. DC and Baltimore are, in fact, nasty. Phoenix is a relative breath of fresh air comparatively.

Look, Sedona is cool and a fun place. For a day. Maybe two. But there's no real elevation and you can only stare at red rock formations for so long, unless you're also an amateur geologist.

Phoenix has many more miles, more variety, more elevation gain/loss and the weather at that time will be fantastic. Pick a vacation rental in Central Phoenix or Scottsdale, and you'll be a 20- to 30-minute drive from all major riding destinations in the Valley.
 
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