Best US cycling training location?

A light bike doesn't replace good fitness.

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jpanspac
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by jpanspac

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wasfast
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by wasfast

Based on your last reply, San Diego would tick the boxes. You can do Palomar for a long elevated climb although not "Colorado" high. I live in North County and it's nearly ALL hills. My metric is 1000 feet of climbing per 10 miles. You get the option to go to the beach in very short order or go east to the desert.

I moved here after 50 years of riding in Oregon (Willamette Valley and Portland/Vancouver). The scenery isn't as the same but the weather is so nice for year round riding.

I can't imagine tolerating the heat for riding in AZ. My Mom lives in Phoenix. They had months of days over 100F this year.

hurricanejosh
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by hurricanejosh

flipflopper wrote:What are some specific cool cities in the bay area that would be cool to live in, both as far as riding and cool cities?


Mill Valley or Fairfax are nicely positioned for good riding in all directions. if you want to be closer to the big hills to the east, maybe Alameda or Fremont?

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WMW
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by WMW

wasfast wrote:Based on your last reply, San Diego would tick the boxes. You can do Palomar for a long elevated climb although not "Colorado" high. I live in North County and it's nearly ALL hills. My metric is 1000 feet of climbing per 10 miles. You get the option to go to the beach in very short order or go east to the desert.


I was in Temecula for 3 years in the early 90s... it would be tough to beat for year round. Not sure what the traffic is like now, but there were many nicely paved roads winding though the avocado groves and estates. Lots of good 100 mile loops and routes and good climbing.

Most parts of S CA near the coast have a great climate and good riding... even right around LA. I couldn't stand Phoenix. Tucson is a bit better.
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WMW
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by WMW

flipflopper wrote:-Decently dry/mild winter
-Decent cycling + cycling support community (local races, good massage therapists, coaches, etc)
-Good mountain climbs nearby
-And if possible, at altitude

I can't really find any place that satisfies all these criteria. Being located in California would be ideal, maybe like Sausalito, Berkely, or in San Diego area.... but these areas are obviously all at sea level.

I'd prefer being up high. But when I look at Boulder, CO, or Tahoe, CA, both these places are getting about a foot a month of snow in the winter! So I'm trying to find a decent town in southern california (i.e. santa monica area, big bear lake area, mt. palomar area) but I haven't really found anything so far. I've never biked in any of these places before, so if anyone knows a great spot please enlighten me, thanks :)

EDIT:

Lake Arrowhead, CA. Looks legit? Any thoughts?

I also like the idea of Boulder, just wondering how icy is gets there.


I've been all over the west. The mountain areas of CA... even the southern ones.... typically get a lot of rain and snow in winter. You do not want Lake Arrowhead or anywhere nearby. Too cold rainy and snowy in winter, and too much smog in summer.

The higher elevations of S AZ and S NM have the mildest year round climates in the west outside the coastal areas. If you want mountains, that is the place to go. Tucson is nice in the winter and has some awesome climbs near. Too hot in summer for me though. Prescott AZ is worth a look for sure.

If you aren't adverse to small town living, try Silver City, NM (10k population) at 6k ft with mountains to the north (which hosts an awesome race "Tour of the Gila" every year). Average high in Jan is 53, in July 89. Generally dry and sunny with most rain coming as afternoon summer showers. Bisbee or Sierra Vista AZ are worth a look also, though you will be missing the long climbs. Albuquerque is good if you desire more population. The east side of the mountains are at higher elevation and easy to get to, and there is an awesome HC climb to Sandia Peak.

CO is ok in spots but the climate a bit more harsh... plus air pollution around Denver-Boulder.

I live in Ruidoso NM at 7k ft. Nice climate and riding here (50 in Jan, 82 in July), but you will have a tough time finding anyone to ride with except me.

Good page for climate normals in the west: http://www.wrcc.dri.edu/Climsum.html
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eric
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by eric

In the Bay area there are a lot of residential areas near climbs. The western side of the cities in silicon valley/peninsula (mountain view, saratoga, cupertino, san jose, los gatos, redwood city, palo alto) are all close to climbs. In the east bay, the eastern side of oakland and berkeley are close to (or on) climbs. And you can go further east to Walnut creek or north/south of there and be close to Mount Diablo.

Generally the hillier areas are more expensive, until you get far enough back in the mountains where it gets cheaper again. Some of those areas are not great for cycling. Where I live there aren't that many roads and none are flat or even close to it. So if I want an easy or recovery ride I have to drive into town first.

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djconnel
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by djconnel

Too much rain here in winter: other suggestions (Tuscon, San Diego) are better.

Hawaii is also an option.

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WMW
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by WMW

Definitely not Kauai... too few roads and too much traffic. I doubt Oahu is that great either because of high population density. The Kona (drier) side of the big island has bad air when the volcano is going off.

Maui might be good... definitely a killer climb, but you won't be living at altitude. IMO Hawaii is always too hot and humid... something I dislike. And there was one period on Kauai of about 50 days where it rained every day.
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prebsy
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by prebsy

Santa Cruz CA gets my vote

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jmilliron
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by jmilliron

Santa Cruz is especially rad if you also do mountain biking.

Love living near Palo Alto.
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prebsy
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by prebsy

jmilliron wrote:Santa Cruz is especially rad if you also do mountain biking.

Love living near Palo Alto.


I did a training camp in Santa Cruz last winter and people were shocked when I told them I came there to ride ROAD bikes. It really is a great area to ride, there are so many good long climbs plus highway 1 8)

RyanH
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by RyanH

As prend mentioned, LA is a surprisingly good place to be based out of. Depending on what you are looking for, there's a big community based out of the west side or east side (by Pasadena area).

On the west side, you have PCH and a lot of great climbs through SMM. On the east side, there's a plethora of very long climbs through the San Gabriel Mountains. For example, the 39 to the 2 route is a 27mi, 6K foot climb (total elevation for the day will be close to 10K feet.

If you're looking for competitive group training rides, the selection is really hard to beat:
  • Montrose (Pasadena area) - 50-100 people each Saturday with a highly competitive group (we average 25-30mph)
  • Nichols (Mid-City) - 20-40 people on Sunday duke it out over a 12mi stretch of Mulholland. Probably one of the most difficult rides since there's absolutely no rest for 40 minutes.
  • Simi Ride (Thousand Oaks area) - Saturday - Large group of 50+ and attracts a lot of Cat 1's or occaisional pros (ride length increases over off-season to a final length of 60 or 70 miles)
  • NOW Ride (Santa Monica) Saturday - 20+ people up PCH to Trancas (basically a 20mi paceline)
  • La Tuna Ride (Starts at Griffith Park up through La Tuna Canyon) - Sunday not sure of size
  • Angeles Crest Ride (Pasadena) on Wednesday - Group of 5-10 up Angeles crest
I'm sure there's a lot more that I'm missing but there's no shortage of highly competitive group training rides that will challenge most Cat 1's.

Also, as far as racing, I think we are one of the few areas where you are able to choose between at least 6 races each month from January to September (crit heavy, though).

I'm in Downtown, so I'm sort of in the middle of everything. It's a 15mi ride to Santa Monica and about 10 to Pasadena. Getting to either means traveling through the heart of LA, which kind of sucks, but there's streets that are better than others.
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WMW
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by WMW

There is some great riding and weather around LA, but I couldn't advocate most of it as ideal simply because of the abysmal smog in the inland areas. That's a big deal to me.
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seanblurr
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by seanblurr

Can't beat the Bay Area. Lovely riding around Mt. Diablo (I'm from Walnut Creek) and the Oakland hills.
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MoPho
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by MoPho

RyanH wrote:As prend mentioned, LA is a surprisingly good place to be based out of. Depending on what you are looking for, there's a big community based out of the west side or east side (by Pasadena area).

On the west side, you have PCH and a lot of great climbs through SMM. On the east side, there's a plethora of very long climbs through the San Gabriel Mountains. For example, the 39 to the 2 route is a 27mi, 6K foot climb (total elevation for the day will be close to 10K feet.

If you're looking for competitive group training rides, the selection is really hard to beat:
  • Montrose (Pasadena area) - 50-100 people each Saturday with a highly competitive group (we average 25-30mph)
  • Nichols (Mid-City) - 20-40 people on Sunday duke it out over a 12mi stretch of Mulholland. Probably one of the most difficult rides since there's absolutely no rest for 40 minutes.
  • Simi Ride (Thousand Oaks area) - Saturday - Large group of 50+ and attracts a lot of Cat 1's or occaisional pros (ride length increases over off-season to a final length of 60 or 70 miles)
  • NOW Ride (Santa Monica) Saturday - 20+ people up PCH to Trancas (basically a 20mi paceline)
  • La Tuna Ride (Starts at Griffith Park up through La Tuna Canyon) - Sunday not sure of size
  • Angeles Crest Ride (Pasadena) on Wednesday - Group of 5-10 up Angeles crest
I'm sure there's a lot more that I'm missing but there's no shortage of highly competitive group training rides that will challenge most Cat 1's.

Also, as far as racing, I think we are one of the few areas where you are able to choose between at least 6 races each month from January to September (crit heavy, though).

I'm in Downtown, so I'm sort of in the middle of everything. It's a 15mi ride to Santa Monica and about 10 to Pasadena. Getting to either means traveling through the heart of LA, which kind of sucks, but there's streets that are better than others.



Add:
New Pier Ride - Twice weekly, world famous competitive crit type riding around LAX
Donut ride - hilly, large group, fast- Palos Verdes
Kettle ride- manhattan beach up to PCH and then some split off into the mountains.

Lots of rides around the west side and south bay

Best reason for LA is that there is some of the top riders in the country here to train with


WMW wrote:There is some great riding and weather around LA, but I couldn't advocate most of it as ideal simply because of the abysmal smog in the inland areas. That's a big deal to me.



What smog? I ain't seen no smog :noidea:

You have to go pretty far inland for that, stick to the coastal mountains and it's a non issue


seanblurr wrote:Can't beat the Bay Area. Lovely riding around Mt. Diablo (I'm from Walnut Creek) and the Oakland hills.


Cool, I am moving to Lafayette in a few weeks

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