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What is the best city to live and ride a bike in the U.S.?(26 posts)

What is the best city to live and ride a bike in the U.S.?billygoat
Aug 4, 2001 9:25 PM
Right now I live in Orlando, Florida and it is not bike friendly at all. Also the racing is very limited. I am considering moving to a more bicycle friendly place that is also nice to live in. When I say nice to live in is a place where there are plenty of bookstores, bike stores and you don't have to drive an hour to get to a mall. Also a place that is reasonably warm for most of the year. I hate cold weather riding. Of course a dry area would help too. As far as bike friendly, I mean a place where I can ride right out of my front door into roads that I won't be scared to ride in, a place where cyclists are respected, a place that has plenty of good racing, a place with plenty of hilly terrain(I love climbing). Is there such a place that any of you know of? The closest I have seen is Berkeley,Ca. I was there a few months ago and there seemed to be a lot of respect for cyclists. The only thing is that I don't know if there is any good riding there(hills,racing,nice weather)So I ask you all, where is the best place to live in the United States if your first love is riding your bike? Thanks all for your responses.
Sandy Eggo, CAgrzy mnky
Aug 4, 2001 9:34 PM
Year round average temp. is 74 F. Winter is what they call it when they get sprinkles a few times in a month. Lots of triathletes call this area home for the year round training possibilities. Personally I prefer Santa Cruz - way more wacky and radical. Hills like you wouldn't believe (careful what you wish for) and more racer/ex-racers than one can imagine. the good thing about winter in SC is that it forces you to either go surfing or skiing in the bounty that the Pacific storms bring slamming into the area. The cost of housing is unfuggenbeleivable, making SD a whole lot more tollerable.
I agree!Ti
Aug 4, 2001 9:51 PM
Great weather (altough humid compared to Colorado) and great places to ride. You can ride up the 101 and then hit the hills and valleys and then back to the flats and finish w/ a margarita and fish burrito! You can alos get a formidible job there as well.

I love Santa Cruz but I would say that the job market is not nearly as good.

You can also ride year round in Denver but you will have to dress for the occasion.
Sandy Eggo, CAJohnG
Aug 5, 2001 11:00 AM
I grew up in north county and cry every time I go back..... not because I miss it but because the whole area is toast now. :(

The future looks very bleak for So Ca.
Sure did the trick for me!Humma Hah
Aug 5, 2001 3:46 PM
Bicycle heaven! Good on-road or off.
Sacramento valley, just ask anyone who lives here! NMcycleguy
Aug 4, 2001 9:40 PM
re: What is the best city to live and ride a bike in the U.S.?Ginz
Aug 4, 2001 9:50 PM
Mountain Bike Magazine, June 2000 included an article on this very subject... the best places to live and ride in the U.S. The article addressed issues such as local economy, bike-friendly government, access to trails, and even culture. Cities making the list included Denver, CO, Boise, ID, Burlington, VT, and other obscurities...

Pick up a copy.

re: What is the best city to live and ride a bike in the U.S.?Ti
Aug 4, 2001 9:56 PM
Check out what I had to say in the post below "road rage".

There is some great places to ride in Denver. Mount Evans (14,000+ elev), Trail ridge Road, All the canyons, Platte trail, Vail Pass, Lookout Mtn. etc..

Not to mention the mountain biking!
re: What is the best city to live and ride a bike in the U.S.?Lazy
Aug 5, 2001 8:21 AM
Colorado is a great place to ride. Lot's of racing and lot's of mountains. I don't know that I'd say the drivers around here are more friendly than anywhere else though.

As far as sunshine goes, the only major metro area that gets more days of sunshine in the US is Phoenix. Cost of living in Denver is getting outrageous, and the job market here sucks right now. Consider Ft. Collins or Colorado Springs if your going to move here.
re: What is the best city to live and ride a bike in the U.S.?billygoat
Aug 4, 2001 10:05 PM
I am mostly interested in road riding. Mountain biking would be a plus, not a necessity. I have thought of San Diego before but isn't it a little crowded there for road cycling? I have never been there so I don't have a clue. Thanks for your responses.
What is your def. of best?Ti
Aug 4, 2001 10:15 PM
If high humidity and flats are your thing, then I would recommend Louisiana. If non-crowded, rolling hills are your thing, I would recommend North Dakota. If lack of oxygen and mountains are your thing, I would recommend Colorado. If High temperatures, low humidity and sharing the road with road runners are your thing, I would recommend Texas or Arizona.

Get my point?
To Tibillygoat
Aug 4, 2001 10:38 PM
I explained what best means to me. Re-read my post.
To TiTi
Aug 4, 2001 10:54 PM
I don't need to re-read your post - you mentioned malls and all kinds of stuff. You also talk about warm weather. Well, Colorado has more sunshine days than San Diego (even more than Miami) but San Diego has cloudy-temperate days. So, what do you mean by warm weather? I would rather ride in 50 degree sunshine than 80 degree clouds. Colorado is dry, San Diego is humid. Etc..

Sorry if my tone was sarcastic
Boone, NCrodemiles
Aug 5, 2001 2:53 AM
Boone, NC. If you don't want to believe me, ask Lance. He trained here when he was making his comeback from cancer and loved the area. Challenging terrain, great scenery and good road surfaces stand out. Traffic isn't too bad and is generally polite, particularly on the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Santa Barbara, CA (nm)mike mcmahon
Aug 5, 2001 5:12 AM
Santa Barbara, CAGregJ
Aug 5, 2001 10:29 AM
Santa Barbara has a great cycling community and a good amount of varied training roads. It is also quite scenic and has year around riding weather although it can be chilly and wet in the winter. It is usually not real hot in the summer. The bad news, housing is VERY expensive, and there is hardly any racing here. There are plenty of races within a 2-6 hour drive to keep you busy if you don't mind the travel.
re: What is the best city to live and ride a bike in the U.S.?Cliff Oates
Aug 5, 2001 7:18 AM
Berkeley or the East SF Bay Area is a great place to ride. From Berkeley, you just head East into the Oakland Hills. If you keep heading East you run into my favorite climb: Mount Diablo. I think the Berkeley Bicycling Club is pretty aggressive about racing. Drivers in this area are fairly courteous, too. Berkeley also has close access to effective transit via BART and the Alameda County bus system.

The job market has cooled down a bit with the dot com bust, but talented people can still find plenty of work here. The worst thing about the area is the cost of living, particularly housing. The local papers (SF Chronicle and SJ Mercury) have their classified sections online, so you can check that out easily enough. In terms of weather, the SF Bay moderates the temperatures here and you can ride all winter long if you don't mind getting rained on.

As a 40 year resident of the Bay Area, I can say the quality of life has deteriorated here over the years. There are a LOT of people living in this area now. Traffic sucks all the time, and the roads leading out of the area frequently turn to gridlock on holiday weekends. I can't afford a small house or a townhouse in the town where I live and I have to rent.
Daytona BeachGTrider215
Aug 5, 2001 9:41 AM
I live in daytona beach which is only about an hour away from orlando and i hate orlando its extremely crowded and dont like it. In daytona there are 3 bike shops within 15 miles of each and there are 2 malls and many many bike groups and lots of riders.
Huh?grzy mnky
Aug 5, 2001 10:54 AM
With all due respect you must be kidding. Flat boring straight roads with minimal elevation change and nothing but palm trees and tourists in autos to look at. Having visited every state in the union (except No. Dakota) and lived in FL and a whole lot of other places I think you're missing out.

Come to California and be prepared to be blown away by the diversity. We've got everything you could ever want in Daytona (minus the sticky humidity) and a whole lot more: from mild to wild to simply insane.
road=Emmaus, PA; singletrack=Durango, COclub
Aug 5, 2001 9:46 AM
you can ride daily from Emmaus and never duplicate a loop, then go to the TTown Velodrome on Friday nights. in Durango, you can ride sweet CO singletrack daily until you can't take any more, without having to car-shuttle to the trailheads, and by the time you ride everything, Trails 2000 will have built new trails for ya.
Same goes for anywhere outside of Harrisburg, PA (West Shore)look271
Aug 5, 2001 10:59 AM
I can ride a different loop 5 days a week and not do the same ride 2x. Hills? We've got'em. Rollers? Got'em. Flats? Well, you can find some, but why would you when you can crest a mtn top and view a beautiful valley or the Susquehanna River? We have some great singletrack, too.
And then go about an hour and a half further west.....Mike K
Aug 5, 2001 12:54 PM
And get to the Altoona, State College, Johnstown area. Altoona was named #5 on the Bicycling Magazine's list of best places to ride in the US and this week hosted the biggest proam stage road race in the US (The Tour de Toona).
Great single track - NORBA nationals were held at Tussy Mountain a few years back to. Tons of great riding there.
Peaks up to 3000' and the opportunity to ride up from sea level to the summit.
If you go a little further southwest yet to the Laurel highlands places like Forbes state forest and Laurel Summit state park will get you some of the best MTB in the east - Did Taggert's Traverse in Laurel Summit yesterday - 34 miles of single track, pipe cuts and fire roads with almost 2.5K feet of vertical gain - 6 hours on the bike and one serious kick in the ass!
Great small town feel and cultural events in State College (the home of PSU) and endless choices of rolling flats along miles of corn fields or climbing to the tallest summits in PA. Tons of riders and very little problems with drivers (unless you have a pony tail which seems to throw the rednecks - great to see the look on their faces when they pass you after whistling at you and see your beard :-)....
Why it's DALLAS, TX of course!speeder
Aug 5, 2001 2:40 PM
Yah, right.....what was I thinking moving here from San Francisco? I was part of the exodus, so at least rent is cheap. I did the unthinkable and bought a road bike (lemond zurich) and live on white rock lake. Some nice road rides hear, it could be worse. Never thought I'd turn in to a roadie so quickly, but hey, I've got to ride, so I'll adapt. Tons of roadies here, so my mtb is collecting serious dust. You have to drive at least an hour to hit up any trails.

The heat is a nice touch though!
Why it's DALLAS, TX of course!bugbug
Aug 6, 2001 5:56 AM
I haven't ridden it in a while, not sure if it's still open but Boulder Park is pretty fun, not too challenging for Mt. Bikes, in South Dallas. If you'd like a fun Road Ride with NO traffic, you're welcome to come south and ride in the country with us.
Aug 5, 2001 5:40 PM
I would suggest southern AZ. Sierra Vista is a real nice city. Not too big, but still has a mall, etc. Very modern and friendly city. Lots of new housing construction. Salaries are great in comparison to cost of living. Housing is very reasonable. Awesome year round riding weather (10-15 degrees cooler than Phoenix in summer). A lot of quiet highways in area that connect smaller towns 15 - 30 miles away. Towns such as infamous Tombstone, AZ (where the OK Corral is), and Bisbee (old mining town). It is about an hour away from Tucson (but much cooler than Tucson). Elevation ranges from about 4,500 ft to 5,500 for road riding. Higher if you are doing Mt Bike riding. Oh yeah, lots of great Mt bike riding too!
This place...DINOSAUR
Aug 5, 2001 9:29 PM
I live in the state of nothingness
It's a rather hard place to reach
you will not find it on any map

first you must pay a toll
of sorrow, and despair
mingled with epsisodes
of glee and happiness

spinkled with brief moments
of small thoughts
and life changing decisions
when at the time
required no thinking

some folks never find nothingness
because they look
too hard to find it

nothingness is taking time
to enjoy the simple pleasures of life
and enjoying them while they last

and of not asking for too much
and expecting nothing
in return

nothingness is the state in my mind
where time stands still
and nothing else matters

accept the magical sound
of the wind rusting through
the tree tops
and my tires traveling over the asphalt

Nothingness is that place I reach
only when I am on my bike
that's where I live
It's a nice place to live