What factors make for a mountain bike-friendly town?

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    • #205944

      What do you guys think: what factors make for a mountain bike-friendly town/destination? Obviously excellent trails… but what else? Amenities? Specific types of trails? Certain quantity?

      (This question idea comes via the Singletracks Facebook Page.)

    • #205951

      1. As you approach the town you’ll see a big welcome sign featuring mountain bikers…
      2. When you go to the information centre you’ll see a display featuring their mountain bike trails.
      3. The people at the information centre will be informative and have free brochures with good information on local trails.
      4. There will be an extensive visitor friendly mountain bike park with a large parking area, toilets, showers and bike wash-down pad.
      5. The mountain bike park should have not only competitive trails but a good range of kids/family trails. That’s very important for the feel-good factor.
      5. There will have to be at least one two day grade 2 trail with scenic/historic/heritage interest. That’s to appeal to casual recreational riders. They’ll want shuttles, bike hire, accommodation and to so – a full tourist package. That’s important. The town will feel positive to mountain bikers if they make lots of money out of them. And these mountain bikers tend to be middle aged respectable folk with families.
      6. The town should have some kind of annual bike festival based around an important race that will drag in lots of participants and their families. The festival idea means that the motels will stay fill for two or three days instead of one and there will be more free spending party people. Bikers will have more fun too.
      A town like this will have a positive mountain bike buzz about it. I know a few and you will too.

    • #205952

      I think when the locals are accepting is a big one for me. Nobody likes getting flipped off or run off the road by townies on the way to the trailhead. That brings up another point, easy access to the trails from town. Here in the midwest, we don’t have too many ride centers but two that stand out are Cuyuna Lakes near Ironton and Crosby, MN and  Copper Harbor, MI. Both have easy access to trails from town, campgrounds and resorts that are adjacent to the trails, friendly and helpful locals, and plenty of other outdoor fun to be had. I almost forgot the most important factor. Beer. Copper Harbor is home to Brickside Brewery, a small but great place to catch up with fellow “mountain” bikers after a long day of riding. Cuyuna Brewing Company is set to open in a few days in Crosby. A bonus factor is having a shop in town. These guys and gals are a great resource for finding the best trails to ride, especially if your time is limited. Plus, if you need a part or a fix, you’re set!

    • #205953

      Here is a study that my city council did to try to make adelaide an international mountain biking destination. Warning its a long read but interesting:


    • #205964

      I would say a MTB town should have a place where you can pitch a tent or park your vehicle and sleep in it. It doesn’t need to be fancy at all, just a flat dry spot to stay the night. When I travel, I prefer to put the expenses of accommodations toward a longer stay, a better demo/rental, or even another trip in the not too distant future. This would be a great option for thrifty adventurers.

    • #205966

      I agree with Nick. My first concern is that there is a reasonable campground close to town. I like down-to-earth places like Moab was in the 90’s. I don’t like high-zoot Ski towns like Park City.

    • #206016

      First and foremost, quality, quantity and variety of trails (personally, I don’t care if there’s a bike park–to me, I go to destinations for their uniqueness and I find that out on the trails, not in parks).  If a place has all that, I can get by happily without any other amenities.  I’m there to ride . . . everything else is fluff.

      It probably won’t be necessary, but it can be a lifesaver if there’s a good bike shop with plenty of stock on parts that may break and enough wrenches so they can turn around a busted bike in a short amount of time; also well stocked on goodies you may have forgotten.  Quality rentals is also a big plus in case your bike goes hard broke or if you want to try a different rig on the local trails.  Two or more quality shops is even better.

      Hotels that don’t care if you store your rig in your room.  Bonus points for those places that have a bike wash area.

    • #206018

      John is right: a mountain-bike-friendly town needs to have trails where we’re allowed to ride. The only mountain-bike-unfriendly towns I can think of are those where mountain bikers are actively being discriminated against (Marin County, CA comes to mind). Otherwise, anywhere I can ride without getting dirty looks feels friendly to me!

    • #206032

      Friendly bike shops, I may not buy a bike while I am there but if the shop is friendly, I am always good for a few t-shirts, maybe a pair of gloves or socks. Not huge items but I suspect like most guys traveling to bike, I already have a ton of gear. Kinda remote, quiet campsites are a must. I don’t mind paying a few bucks but having a little section of the woods all to myself is a must. Life is busy, when I travel, I need to unwind, I need to see the stars at night, I don’t want to hear your generator, which in my opinion is the worst piece of camping equipment ever invented! Friendly shop, cool local place to get some grub, wide selection of “well marked” trails. Some dog friendly places to hike or bike. I have been going to Moab since the early 90’s and have seen a ton of changes, a lot of the “old” trails were taken over by side by sides but the new trail systems just for bikes, even though they are engineered don’t look or feel like it. I always have a great time in Moab, Poison Spider is always super friendly and I have a collection of their t-shirts and socks and a few hats and tools going back many years. Milts Diner is exactly what I want sometimes…a little salt, a burger and a large shake! . Lots of Open BLM land, yup, I am going a little further out now to find peace and quiet but I am never disappointed. Moab to me seems pretty darn friendly. I love the addition of the bike park right in town where my son can try stuff while my wife and I drink our morning Joe. I am sure there are problems I don’t see in Moab but from my once a year, week long adventure, it seems pretty close to ideal. Even the kooky fossil shop on the edge of town is a treat!

    • #206037

      For me a good vegan food restaurant is a huge plus. Well, once we’ve got the good, easily accessible trails covered. So is a bike shop that is not only stocked, but also has good local knowledge that they’re willing to share. Nothing worse than showing up in a MTB mecca and hitting the local shop with the stoke level on 11 only to be met by apathetic employees who have nothing but snark to offer.

      Oh, and a chill local hang that brews some good IPA or imperial stout where folks like to chat with one another.

    • #206039

      Lots of quality trails, safe parking, and a good place to camp close by if traveling. A good local brewery is a plus and some good places to eat near by.

    • #206041

      a brewery nearby never hurts

    • #206309

      Lots of mountain bike riders……all the other stuff will follow.

    • #206636

      Vegan food? Oh my. Can’t say I’ve ever met any non-meat eating mountain bikers.  To answer Greg’s question: a community with mountian bike lovin people who build awesome trails with awesome beer and good grub you can coast to at the end of an epic ride like my home town, Helena, MT.
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    • #206638

      Vegan food? Oh my. Can’t say I’ve ever met any non-meat eating mountain bikers.  To answer Greg’s question: a community with mountian bike lovin people who build awesome trails with awesome beer and good grub you can coast to at the end of an epic ride like my home town, Helena, MT. And we have a cool pizza joint next door to the brewery with a vegan pizza choice or two.
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    • #206639

      1. Trails for all skill levels.

      2. Hotels that allow you to bring your bike inside.

      3. Great food (not chains) for those starving after a day of riding.

      4. Friendly bike shop that can fix/address issues quickly for a visitor on a time constraint.

      5. Locals willing to share info on where to ride, eat, etc.

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