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Old 11-11-04, 11:54 AM   #1
mjw16
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Southwest mountain biking vacation

I'm thinking of taking a week off, probably sometime in January or February, to spend some time mountain biking in Arizona or California and want to know if I'm approaching it the right way. I was in Tucson several years ago and regret not having had the time to check out the local trails. After doing some research, and being unfamiliar with the area, I'm wondering if I should pursue a guided mountain bike trip or go it alone? I'm interested in daily excurions from my hotel to multiple, nearby trails over the course of several days, to be ridden at my pace. I'm not sure if a guided trip lends itself to that kind of fleixibility, I also don't want to sell myself short and miss out on some great trails because I lack local knowledge. Should I count on contacting or meeting up with local riders or groups during the week in order to take advantage of their familiarity with the trails? I'm also not necassarily interested in epic rides, rather 2-5 hour trips consisting of technical single track and aggressive XC-type riding that I can do in the morning and still have the rest of the day to do other things. What would forum members recommend in terms of: 1) finding an affordable way of riding trails out west, 2) having the flexibility to ride when and where I want, and 3) still maintain a degree of safety if the trails are in secluded areas?

Thanks as always.
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Old 11-11-04, 12:47 PM   #2
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1. Check online. You can find great hotel and transportation rates. Only site I can remember off the top of my head right now is Orbitz

2.
  1. Try to hook up with some forum members.
  2. Try to hook up with the local bike club.
  3. GOOGLE for trails. You can find tons of maps online if you poke around.
  4. Maybe try to hook up with these when they arent doing a womens only camp.
  5. Look for a flexible mountain biking tour guide! Doesnt seem too far fetched.

3.
  1. Carry a cell phone.
  2. Never ride alone.
  3. The all mighty camelbak. Hydrate or die?
  4. Snake bite kit... Just in case.
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Old 11-11-04, 06:01 PM   #3
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Traveloicty is a good alternative to Orbitz, actually. I've found Orbitz is cheaper sometimes, Travelocity cheaper other times. As far as meeting other riders, why not just post on the forums that you'd like to meet up with some riders in those areas. I'm sure some people on here would be more than happy to go out riding with you and show you around some of the great trails.
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Old 11-11-04, 07:50 PM   #4
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I think contacting other members who live there may well be the best idea. I think I'll also look into local group rides as well. Some of the tours of Slickrock, Utah look pretty cool, however, they're not running in the winter it seems.
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Old 11-11-04, 08:23 PM   #5
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were are you planning on going in cali??? im from socal...

AN6
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Old 11-11-04, 08:26 PM   #6
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Dude, FORGET AZ and CA, you need Moab Utah. Do a google search. MTB Heavan, cheap rooms, more riding than you need.
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Old 11-11-04, 08:44 PM   #7
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i live in los angeles but i went to college in tucson and spent the better part of most schooldays riding the endless trails and singletracks around the city. it was so cool to leave the apt. and be in the middle of the desert in only a couple miles..
my wife and i are looking at a trip to sedona az. next year sometime. looks like a great area too.
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Old 11-11-04, 08:51 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BurlySurly
Dude, FORGET AZ and CA, you need Moab Utah. Do a google search. MTB Heavan, cheap rooms, more riding than you need.
...and weather that can be dicey at that time of year, with snow on Porc and the higher areas. Even snow on lower stuff like Slickrock as well.

The weather is more reliable and the riding is still fantastic around Tucson and Phoenix.
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Old 11-13-04, 09:19 AM   #9
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Moab - Schmoab, Az rocks too. I live in So AZ and I have tons of trails to choose from. There are trails for all level riders in all of AZ. The best part is that they can be ridden year round. Yes it gets cold, if you think 40 degrees during the day is cold, but we have cold and sunny days. Very little rain or snow in our parts. Can't say much about So Cal though, I have had enough to do here. By the way, yes I went to Moab. Great riding, I liked their trails but I will just stay here and ride.
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Old 11-14-04, 08:27 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BurlySurly
Dude, FORGET AZ and CA, you need Moab Utah. Do a google search. MTB Heavan, cheap rooms, more riding than you need.
Ah yes, Moab in January:









There are lots of great trail options in Arizona and Southern California. Several years a go I had business that would take me on a driving trip from Austin, TX to San Francisco every February. I would hit lots of trail in AZ and So Cal en route.

If you have just a week, I would recommend choosing one area and milking it for all it is worth.

Cosmic Ray's guide to riding in Arizona is a good one.
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Old 11-14-04, 06:43 PM   #11
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wow.. Moab looks absolutely beautiful in January... tons of snow.. more than we get here.
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Old 11-14-04, 07:22 PM   #12
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Sorry to derail a bit, but how is Moab in late March. I have been thinking about going there over spring break?
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Old 11-14-04, 08:07 PM   #13
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dude you think that is "tons of snow" come up to toronto for a weekend in like january.....we have a ton of snow...so much fun to paly in too....
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Old 11-15-04, 12:33 PM   #14
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hey, check out utahmountainbiking.com

I just came back from a week in St. George (saw the first day of RedBull). There are many great trails in the area for all levels of riders. Gooseberry Mesa is great trail by the way... but check the site, it has a lot helpful info...

peace.
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