What is the best place in the U.S. for a cyclist to live?



tamman2000

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Aug 3, 2004
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Well it fails on the weather requirements, but I am going to toss the finger lakes region of NY into the ring anyway.

There are lots of roads that are well maintained but lack traffic, and many of the roads that do have traffic have enough shoulder to put in another lane. There are tons of great hills, and the views from the top are amaizing...

And on top of all the good riding, it is CHEAP compaired to most of the other places mentioned.
 

nrhorwitz

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Sep 17, 2004
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You can always look at some places in bay area that are cheaper than what you guys were talking about (i.e. Half Moon Bay, Old La Honda, Hayward, San Leandro, Concord, Pittsburg). All of them are in bay area but they have some places that are cheaper than the ones in marin county.
 

p38lightning

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Apr 19, 2004
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Tucson has much to recommend it. An externsive network of bike paths, excellent well paved foothill roads and Mt passes, excellent dirt road and fire trails for Mt bikers. Mostly sunny days, but with very hot summers, and general dry climate (as in your steel frame will not have rust problems).

Job market sucks though!
 

Telegram Sam

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Jul 14, 2004
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jitteringjr said:
Ok I know the type, never heard the name though.
The weather isn't that nice IMHO. There has got to be better alternatives. I guess they is why I am asking the question.
The weather isn't that nice in California? How do you figure?
 

jitteringjr

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Sep 2, 2003
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Telegram Sam said:
The weather isn't that nice in California? How do you figure?

Previously...
jitteringjr said:
Bummer, I was hoping it was more reasonable up there. My wife has a good friend that bought a house there in Sunnyvale in the bay area a year or two ago for $575K with only 1100 ft2 and 2 bedrooms. Upon hearing that price, I did a search here in Richmond at that price range and found a 4000 ft2 house with a 3 car garage 5 bedrooms and a pool. Hmmm, gee Mansion or shack which one do I choose? My house now is almost 3000 ft2. So I could sell it and go out there only to struggle in making payments on a tiny town house or something. It would be different if salaries in the area reflected the cost of living, but they are only marginally higher and in no way make up for the difference in housing pricing.

Thats why. To be more clear, no weather pattern is worth (to me) living like a poor college kid again for the next ten years while I make up the difference in cost of living. I suppose I could cash in my investments to make up for it, but then no weather pattern is worth (to me) adding 15 years before I can retire.

One of my high school buddies moved to California. He is way more successful in his career than I am, yet he works much longer hours and he still struggles to make ends meet in a dinky little house, while I have a house twice the size of his and go out to eat all the time and still manage to invest 20% of my salary towards retirement.

jitteringjr said:
The weather isn't that nice IMHO.

My wife grew up in California; I have friends there; I go there all the time. It is a beautiful place. I love it, but the weather isn't worth the sacrifice in the wallet.
 

SF_Vitus

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Sep 20, 2004
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The Bay Area!! You can live in Marin, Sonoma, San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley, etc. Once you're here, you can have so many options for riding. Flat, hilly, or extremely hilly. You just can't beat the ride over the Golden Gate Bridge!
 

nrhorwitz

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Sep 17, 2004
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jitteringjr said:
Previously...


One of my high school buddies moved to California. He is way more successful in his career than I am, yet he works much longer hours and he still struggles to make ends meet in a dinky little house, while I have a house twice the size of his and go out to eat all the time and still manage to invest 20% of my salary towards retirement.
.
Ask him how much the return he'd get on his dlinky little house in 10-15 years from now and you may realize it's a good retirement investment also.
 

Telegram Sam

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Jul 14, 2004
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SF_Vitus said:
The Bay Area!! You can live in Marin, Sonoma, San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley, etc. Once you're here, you can have so many options for riding. Flat, hilly, or extremely hilly. You just can't beat the ride over the Golden Gate Bridge!
Sure you can...with the descent of death into Sausalito!!! lol
 

Telegram Sam

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nrhorwitz said:
Ask him how much the return he'd get on his dlinky little house in 10-15 years from now and you may realize it's a good retirement investment also.
Yeah- with well over 200K in three years on mine...I'm thankful I bought in California for sure...wait until they put in the Golf Course- they'll be begging me to bulldoze it!
But then again- I'm 31. I plan to be here for quite a while and who knows what will happen in that time
 

jitteringjr

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nrhorwitz said:
Ask him how much the return he'd get on his dlinky little house in 10-15 years from now and you may realize it's a good retirement investment also.

That logic only applies to those people planning on moving to a cheaper place when they retire. Otherwise, they sell the house and buy a retirement home in the same inflated market. Net Return On Investment = Zero
 

nrhorwitz

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Sep 17, 2004
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jitteringjr said:
That logic only applies to those people planning on moving to a cheaper place when they retire. Otherwise, they sell the house and buy a retirement home in the same inflated market. Net Return On Investment = Zero

Not true. There are ways to divert the money generated by the real estate growth to other ways. I'd think you'd have to be living in california to be more creative with your funds. Living in other areas certainly offer you other options to invest your funds but it doesn't necessarily restrict us from being creative.

Then again, we don't need to spend a lot of funds on vacations - we're on permanent vacation here! :D
 

jitteringjr

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nrhorwitz said:
Not true. There are ways to divert the money generated by the real estate growth to other ways. I'd think you'd have to be living in california to be more creative with your funds. Living in other areas certainly offer you other options to invest your funds but it doesn't necessarily restrict us from being creative.

It is completely true. You have to have a place to live and if you choose to live in an inflated real estate market, you pay more for housing. There is no creative about it; the money is already spent. Now if you are talking about using equity to reinvest in other places on a margin, remember that anyone else in the country can invest on margin as well. Therefore, it is not gaining you anything.

Also, it is not just about how much one can make on investments in California. It is about how much more one can make on investments in California than anywhere else in the country. For example, my wife’s parents bought their house just north of Los Angeles for $25,000. They then made improvements costing $15,000 so the total cost of investment was $40,000. 25 years later they sold their house for $450,000 for a return of 10.2%. Sounds like a good investment right? Maybe, but the S&P 500 gained 18.4% during the same period. (That may seem high but we are talking apples and apples because the high inflation of the late 1970’s and early 1980’s affected the housing market and stock market the same. So the return on the real estate is inflated as well.) Likewise, my parents bought their house at about the same time for $40,000 and it was valued 25 years later at $160,000. Their return is 5.7%.

So lets assume that these trends continue for the next 25 years. If I buy a house in California for $500,000, in 25 years I will gain 10.2% for a total of about $5,700,000. However, if I buy the same house in another state it will only cost me $250,000. This leaves another $250,000 to be creative with. Therefore, I invest it in the S&P 500. In 25 years, the house gains 5.7% for a total of about $1,000,000 and the investment gains 18.4% for a total of about $17,000,000. So my total return is $15.4%

That leaves a 5.2% gain just by not living in California. That is over $12,000,000. I say again, "The weather is not that nice."
 

yrbjr

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Sep 16, 2004
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I just want to kick the figurative horse now. I wanted to move back to Cali. but definatly couldn't/wouldn't afford the bay area. I moved 100 miles inland, and homes are still very reasonable. The riding is great, and geographically you have everything equidistant to you. The central valley is exploding though, so your ROI might be better.
 

PeterF

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Sep 13, 2004
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jitteringjr said:
What is the best place in the U.S. for a cyclist to live?

I am looking to move, but where should I move to? I am a roady but I wouldn’t mind buying a mountain bike and hitting some trail from time to time as well.

I would like a combination of good weather and good infrastructure. I would rather ride in 100 degree heat than 40 degree cold and hate riding in the rain and refuse to ride in snow. I also want good infrastructure where it is safe to ride. After almost being killed by a car this is especially important to me. Preferably this place would have good bike trails where one could ride at 20 mph+ and not have to worry about weaving through tons of comfort bikes on 8 mph Sunday strolls.

So lets hear your opinions? Where is cycling nirvana? At least the United States’ version of it.

I'm a Massachusetts boy through and through. The South Shore to be specific. Nothing can compare to the solitude of riding down Jerusalem Road in Cohasset as the sun rises on the horizon with the smell of salt air while watching cruise ships passing in the distance. Or the the long wooded roads of Norwell as you pass 17th century farm houses. Or the sharp rollers of Marshfield Hills on your way back from a loop around Powder Point in Duxbury. The weather can be pretty tough from Dec -March, but that doesn't stop me. Plus there are always people to ride with and plenty of coffee shops for a little jo and a little bragging.
Last year I went on a cycling vacation in Austin TX. Great roads, excellent climate and the Tex Mex was outstanding.
;)
 

PCCA

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Nov 18, 2004
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Salt Lake City/Park City

Why?

Weather-Its a high desert. If its hot in SLC, ride up to PC. Its only 20 miles up the canyon. If is cold in PC, go to Salt Lake. If its cold in both places, drive 3.5 hours to St. George for Arizona like weather. Plus it snows a ton in the winter in the mountains if you like the powder.

Infrasture-Ever hear of the Winter Olympics?

Riding-Mountains, Valleys, High Elevation, Low Elevation-Park City is the only town I know of where you can live above 7000ft and be at 4000 ft in 30 minutes. Home of the USA Cycling National Championships

Mountain Biking-If the 1000 miles of trails in the Wasatch don't grab you. Head south a few miles to Moab, Arches, Zion, ST.George.


I lived in Boulder for 4 years and I will tell you why PC is better?

Boulder traffic is horrific. The town was built for 50K people but they have 100K, not including the nearby towns
Utah is cheap. Buy a house for $200K, not $800K like in Boulder or Marin
Mountains are close. PC is only 30 minutes from SLC. I would have to drive 2 hours to ski in Colorado. I can nordic ski after work on my way home. Can't ski in San Fran.

Hands down its Park City. Over 30 former Olympic athletes live in Park City. Not bad for a town of 8,000. That doesn't include all the pro's who live in the area.
 

Azulene

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Dec 4, 2003
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;) Portland Oregon/Vancouver Wa.

1.Portland has been voted as one of the cycle friendly city in USA.
2.Beautiful scenery, rivers, mountains and volcanoes
3.You have to love hills if you ride here.
4.Larch Mountain 14 mile hill climb in Old Growth forest (Torture 10,000)
5.Alpenrose Velodrome Track
6. Great bicycle shops
7. Micro-Brewers
8. Coffee shops
9. Great bicycle clubs. (Rides everyday of the week)
10. Large fixed gear community
11.Were a BLUE STATE
 

Cyclist14

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Oct 13, 2004
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cheapie said:
charlotte is a pretty city, but about an hour or two east of asheville. asheville is really where the mountains begin. if you want to have great climbs w/in 1-2 hours, charlotte would work. if you want to go out your backdoor, not so much.

but i live in michigan and would LOVE to live in charlotte so don't let me discourage you from looking there.
I live more in the "country area":cool: of Charlotte and I can go out of my front door at 10AM :)D :D when school is out:D :D ) and log a lot of miles on roads were cars are scarce (about 15 cars per hour):D . I enjoy living in charlotte but I would like to see more cyclists on the road:( , the last time I saw one was 15 days ago!!!:eek:
 

Winne

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Jul 30, 2003
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My husband and I asked this question several years ago, when we decided to move from the Atlanta area to a more bicycle-friendly area. We chose Gaineville, Florida,which is designated by the League of American Bicyclists as a Bicycle-Friendly Community. This is a university town, with strong support for cycling and outdoor activities. In town, there are bicycle lanes. Outside town, there are miles of low-traffic roads, including hills (yes hills in Florida!) in the horse country. There is an active bicycle club with varying levels, mountain biking (well, okay, no mountains, but it is challenging), and several nearby rail trails that never seem to be crowded. Yesterday, we rode 30 miles on one of the trails. We saw a buck, a tortoise, 2 other cyclists-and it was 74 degrees.

We also looked seriously at Asheville, NC, because it has a strong cycling community. For us, the winters are too cold, the traffic too intense with too few bike lanes, and for me, the hills too steep. We love cycling in the summer on the Blue Ridge Pkwy-awesome scenery.

We have friends who sold a beautiful home in Atlanta, and moved to a double-wide (for real) in Santa Cruz, CA. For us, it's too cold and windy BUT they ride their bikes almost every day and love it there. So, each to their own paradise. Hope you find yours!