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--John Crowley wrote--
I have some observations/comments about all this SoCal talk.

Firstly, Denis is right.  There are a ton of outdoor options there, as
there are in northern California, that are very, very close to highly
urbanized areas.  It's part of what makes it an attractive place to
live.  Everyone from elsewhere in North America seems to forget that
when dismissing the place (if you can ignore the conveniences).   I
also had one of my better outdoor experiences, ever, on a mountain
bike in the Cleveland Nat'l Forest in Orange County one day several
years ago.  What is the national image of Orange County?  Probably
nothing like I recall - that I didn't see another person for almost
all of the rugged 22 miles of singletrack (it was a weekday) and rode
a continuous 3000' to 4000' descent at one point (and I regularly ride
over the Golden Gate into the Marin Headlands or onto Mt. Tam and
hardly see another ride, if it's a weeknight or on a winter's
evening).

---End of quote--

My experience was exactly like John's.

When I travel in the warm weather, I try to either bring my mtb or rent one.


My sister and daughter live in Portland OR, and I visit there frequently.
This city has a reputation as being bike friendly.  Why?  I cannot say.
When I went to the coolest bike shop in town, and asked around for some
local single-track, I found that there is one tiny butte that can be ridden,
and anything else involves at least 45 minutes of driving to access.

Further down the coast, my wife's family lives in Orange County.  When we
last went there, we found tons of great riding, and never had to drive more
than 15 minutes.  One place was across the street from the bike shop, and
kept us busy for hours.

Comparing the two cities was easy:  LA wins hands down.

David Merfeld

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