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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What is the best state to move to for a full time professional cyclist? I've been told that Colorado near Boulder is fantastic and has a diverse topography that would be perfect for a professional athlete. Arizona has also seemed to be a great area for training, with it's mild winter temperatures and diverse desert landscape. Can anyone here give some input or personal experiences about either states? Can any residents of Colorado or Arizona on this forum provide some insight or advice
 

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bigtex said:
What is the best state to move to for a full time professional cyclist? I've been told that Colorado near Boulder is fantastic and has a diverse topography that would be perfect for a professional athlete. Arizona has also seemed to be a great area for training, with it's mild winter temperatures and diverse desert landscape. Can anyone here give some input or personal experiences about either states? Can any residents of Colorado or Arizona on this forum provide some insight or advice
I'd vote for Tucson. Year-around riding. You have plenty of endless flat road training. You have Mt. Lemmon, which climbs to 9000 ft. Kitt Peak is shorter but steeper. There's plenty of mountain biking for cross training. The cost of living is very low. You have plenty of pro riders and hammerfests to train with. There are a couple pro-level personal training facilities. You have plenty of races. You have plenty of bike shops. Traffic isn't insane like Phoenix. You can get a cheap education at Pima Community College or University of Arizona. You can hop across the border to get all the pharmacy needs in Mexico.
 

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My vote would be for Boulder.
Lots of rides out your door. Drivers actualy yield for bikers.
Lots of great shops.
300 days of sunshine per year (Not enough snow to keep you off the bike)
full racing calendar often in easy driving distance.
Several solid local/national teams
Good coaching resources
Boulder center for sports medicine
Great beer
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
How bad are the winters in Boulder? Is the snowfall enough to keep you off the road for a few months and make you do alternate activities, or is it only for a short period of time during the year?
It seems to be close between Arizona and Colorado...can anyone comment on the cost of living in Colorado compared to Arizona?
 

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Contrary to the popular myth, the Denver metro area, Boulder included, gets very little snow. Our winters average about 45 - 50 for the high while lows can be in the upper teens. That's not to say that it doesn't get cold here. When an Artic front drops in you may have 3 - 4 day of highs on the teens and lows that are below zero. For the most part though, you can ride year round.

As far as cost of living, you may want to check out this link I found on Google.

http://www.homefair.com/homefair/calc/salcalc.html
 

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In the new Bicycling magazine they have rides from famous American racers. From looking at their routes, and where they live, there does not seem to be a best place to live. Lance was Austin, Hincapie is SC, Landis is Cali (I think), etc. But check out the article, it was interesting.
 

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Another vote for San Diego.

I won't say sun all year, but we do get incredibly little rain. Beyond that, there is varied terrain (don't listen to the guys on $5k bikes who ride up and down the coast all the time), particularly if you go inland... yes, even climbing, and as someone else mentioned, the cycling scene is very active here. I've heard that many pro's come out this way to train during the off-season, but haven't met any yet (probably wouldn't recognize most of them if they did too).
 

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Tucson versus Boulder

I moved from the Boulder area (Erie) to Tucson (Oro Valley) about 2 years ago. The cost of living (housing) is probably equal now given the sky rocketing house prices in Tucson over the last couple of years although it seems to have slowed now.
The summers in Tucson are pretty brutal, you need to be on the bike early in the summer and back no later than about 10 am, so if you want to put in a 5 hour ride, better be a morning person!
I rode in Boulder pretty much year round as I do here. I still commute by bicycle every day even in the summer. When I leave work at 5 pm I ride slowly and drink a lot as it can be well into the 100's, but I wouldn't want to be going out for a training ride.
I would say terrain/shops/groups would again be pretty equal between the two. I say you couldn't go wrong choosing either, which is pretty evident if you look at the number of pros who choose to call Boulder/Tucson home. Perhaps the best thing would be to have homes in both places and spend the winters here and summers in CO.
Boulder has better restaurants IMHO, but as a pro you will only be eating measured cups of pasta anyway I would assume.
if you need some specific information you are welcome to PM me.
 

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Be like Horner or Klasna

bigtex said:
What is the best state to move to for a full time professional cyclist? I've been told that Colorado near Boulder is fantastic and has a diverse topography that would be perfect for a professional athlete. Arizona has also seemed to be a great area for training, with it's mild winter temperatures and diverse desert landscape. Can anyone here give some input or personal experiences about either states? Can any residents of Colorado or Arizona on this forum provide some insight or advice
At some point in their careers, both of these guys gave up on fixed-address living and had RVs. They would live in various places through the season. It sounds ridiculous, especially with the price of gas right now but if one could afford to, it would be a great way to see some country and ride some different roads. I think Horner used to winter around San Diego but make his way up to Oregon later in the season when it would dry out. I think he now has a house in Bend, plus a Euro base in Spain.

I have no experience with being a pro or living in the USA (I am Canadian), but there does seem to be a few more pros living in the Carolinas these days. And in interviews, Nathan O'Neill has raved about Georgia and that is where he has made his North American base. For a pro, one also has to consider the travel factor to races - how close is the airport, and does it have major carrier service to reduce the number of connections when traveling (a VERY important consideration).
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thanks for all the insightful and helpful opinions and experiences. I've been told the Boulder area is just awesome for training many times. Tucson doesn't seem to have as many opportunities to go climbing as Colorado in general has......although spending the winter in Tucson and the rest of the season in Colorado sounds like a good plan. I'd prefer a more mountainous area, at altitude....any other suggestions or comments???
 
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