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Seattle or Connecticut????(37 posts)

Seattle or Connecticut????vanzutas
Dec 3, 2001 4:43 PM
I am finishing Grad school in a few weeks. I have job offers in Seattle (Mukilteo) and In Torrington Connecticut. they both have there advantages and dissadvantages. The question is this, Where is the riding better. I am interested in racing any and all types of bikes, (road, Mountain, Tri, cross, and or Velo) in that order.

I understand that Seattle rains so road biking can suffer from that. But the mountain biking there is supposed to be pretty good.

I was suprised to hear that there is some good mountain biking in Northwestern connecticut also. The shop I talked to in Connecticut said there are a lot of riders in the area.

Does anyone have any insight on this quandry? I am from Albany NY and have been living in arctic Northern NY for the last 4 years.

The Skiing around Seattle should be far better, Correct?

re: Seattle or Connecticut????Eames
Dec 3, 2001 5:46 PM
Mukilteo would have good access to 2 different major ski areas in under 60 minutes. Not bad.

As far as biking, this hase been answered before, yes it RAINS. Things are wet for about 9 months out of the year. But that's what fenders are for. Most people around here own a set if not a different bike devoted to rain. At least it rarely snows here so that if you are hardy enough you can ride all year long.
re: Seattle or Connecticut????tr
Dec 3, 2001 6:09 PM
I am in Seattle. Yes, it rains, but usually it is not a pouring rain, it is usually a mist or drizzling rain that can be ridden in more often than not. Everyone usually rides a mountain bike or dedicated rain fender bike. I would think in general that our skiing is more accessible and pretty good. You can ski one day and ride the next with no problem, and that is not a exaggeration (sp). This time of year the days are short and a light is needed if you commute by bike, but in the summer you can be out way past 8 very easily. There is a track in redmond if you are interested in track racing and there is one in Portland also and Vancouver is just as close as Portland. Is never hot in the summer (i am from the south), the temp is perfect for riding. Plenty of trails for mountain biking and cyclocross is very active up here.
rain or shine? nmPablo Escobar
Dec 3, 2001 6:09 PM
re: Seattle or Connecticut????zzz
Dec 3, 2001 6:56 PM
Western Washington has river/sea kayaking, skiing, hiking, mountain/rock climbing, good roads to bicycle on, lots of cross and mtb areas, lots of friendly road and mtb riders, the Seattle to Portland ride, great bicycling clubs, a couple of the best custom bicycle builders, the Marymoor Velodrome the site of numerous USCF National Championships, beautiful eye orgasmic scenery and LOTS of rain in the fall/winter/early spring. When the weather is nice it's paradise. When it's not you have to adapt to it. Seattle is a good area for someone your age. Good restaurants, a diverse music scene, art, theater and also a lot of young, athletic and educated people. The San Juan Islands, Cascade Mountains, Vancouver B.C. and Portland Oregon are all close. Sounds like I'm writing copy for the Chamber of Commerce.
Your best bet may be to visit each area and get a feeling for what is there.
then why is the suicide rate so high????? nmPablo Escobar
Dec 3, 2001 7:01 PM
sh!tty Starbucks coffee....[nm]Ahimsa
Dec 3, 2001 7:55 PM
You made me glad that I live in Seattle. I never found....sprockets
Dec 3, 2001 8:45 PM
nearly as much to do anywhere else that I have lived, so close to home, as I have here in Seattle. The downside is that it does have a rainy season. You just cope. It is not nearly as crowded as the northeast, and the winters in town are way milder than the northeast.
re: Seattle or Connecticut????Packfill
Dec 3, 2001 7:26 PM
New England racing is really good and there are a LOTS of riders around. Northwestern Connecticut is a great area for riding. The roads are generally good, and the traffic is mild, outside of the cities. The terrain is hilly rather than mountainous. There are are excellent racing oriented group rides on both Sat and Sunday not far from Torrington. I don't mountain bike but there is lots of that in the area. #2 in the 2001 Nationals mountain bike, expert class, does our Sat road ride and then has his mountain bike group ride on Sunday. Racing season starts in March and is mostly short driving distance. Masters age racing is very strong in the area. Not much interference with rain. Good Luck. Unfortunately I will be moving out of the area, for job reasons, not bike reasons.
Move to ConnecticutHigh Gear
Dec 4, 2001 2:12 AM
New England is a hotbed for cycling, road,crits,MTB and cyclo cross. The varying terrain in CT is great too. Torrington would be a great place for training, lots of hills. If you do decide to move here , I could hook you up with a team. As for skiing, you can't get any better than nearby VT. and NH...well maybe Colorado.
Nearby = 6+ hoursKristin
Dec 4, 2001 7:54 AM
I can vote neither yeah, not neigh on the move. I grew up in Connecticut and its beautiful, but the only riding I've done there was basic Jr. High getting around kinda stuff. Plus I lived on the shore, which is flat. One thing you would get in New England, is a perfect spring. Like clockwork, in Mid-Late April everything blooms at once. But you must be careful! New Englanders are highly suseptable to spring fever--which can lead to ditching (work, school, etc...).

With regard to skiing in nearby Vermont / New Hampshire... keep in mind that it's at least a 4 hour drive from the Windsor/Hartford area to Stowe. I believe that in Seattle, you would be within two hours of skiing.
Nearby = 6+ hourstr
Dec 5, 2001 6:32 PM
About an hour to skiing in seattle. People routinely go up after work and drive back that night.
Seams to be a lot more racing in Connecticut...vanzutas
Dec 4, 2001 6:24 AM
I know that Cross and velo were mentioned in seattle, is there any road racing there?
Plenty of road racing in Pacific NWEric
Dec 4, 2001 9:12 AM
I live in the Vancouver, BC area but I can tell you the road racing scene in the Pacific NW is great. Washington and the Seattle area have a great calendar, plus you are close enough to race in Oregon and BC. If you are willing to drive, you could race every weekend from March 1 to mid-September. Plus, Seattle has an amazing CX scene in the fall.

Some of the big road races in the NW - Tour of Willamette, Columbia Plateau SR, Cascade Cycling Classic (all Oregon), Mutual of Enumclaw SR, Volunteer Park crit, Ballard twilight crit (all Washington), Bastion Square Cycling Grand Prix, Tour of Delta, Tour de White Rock (all British Columbia).
One more thing....Eric
Dec 4, 2001 9:13 AM
Check out for all the NW cycling info you need.
Seams to be a lot more racing in Connecticut...zzz
Dec 4, 2001 12:28 PM
here are a couple of sites that have NW racing info. Since you have a computer try using some search engines and you'll find lots of sites both in Washington and Connecticut that deal with racing!
forget all that. move to austin tx. (nm)aet
Dec 4, 2001 7:02 AM
Know any good routes in the Ti area?Kristin
Dec 4, 2001 7:58 AM
I'm planning a trip out to Ticonderoga for next summer. I am looking for a route to ride up there. I had thought about just taking 74 out to Schroon Lake, but there are too many tight, twisty sections with big trucks and blind spots. Perhaps something through the valley over into Vermont?
VT gets my votedzrider
Dec 4, 2001 8:05 AM
The state roads that I've seen east of Lake Champlain are really nice. We saw them driving to Montreal for the AIDS ride and on the ride itself. If you go north of Burlington and Winooski they're pretty flat. South and east get more mountainous. Rode through Ticonderoga on our honeymoon many years ago. Stay upwind from the paper mills!
I liked the 74 ridevanzutas
Dec 4, 2001 12:21 PM
This summer I did the route from Ti to Schroon and back and I liked it. It was a Sunday afternoon so there weren't too many trucks out. There is a Ferry in Ti that will take you right over to VT. I would like to try the ride from Ti to Lake george village along 9N sometime but there are a lot of tourists and blind corners on that one. Not too many trucks though. Oh and Stay up wind of the papermill.

Paper mill is closed nowKristin
Dec 4, 2001 6:22 PM
Though its been revived in the past. I think IP has pretty much pulled out of Ticonderoga. I figure that the Route 74 tour could be a good challenge for me. My father lives on Chilson Hill (first big climb), so I thought I'd coast down to the Grand Onion, do the big hill and then ride the rollers out to Schroon Lake. (There is a section of Chilson road that is 12%.) Eagle Lake is really nice, where the water is on either side of you. I used to sit on that lake for hours when I had a big problem to work out.
I have Friends and family at the mill....vanzutas
Dec 5, 2001 6:05 AM
I hope the mill isn't closed. I know they were going to cut back but that would not be good if it closed.

When I went down chilson I didn't get up too much speed. there weren't any good steep spots to get up speed. I also suggest riding up the left side of the road because there is a big shoulder on that side but there is nothing on the right. Have fun

I have Friends and family at the mill....Kristin
Dec 5, 2001 7:47 AM
Hmmm...My father just said something about it being closed. Perhaps I heard him wrong.

If you do Chilson Hill again, heres a little variation. Turn Left onto Middle Chilson Rd (first left). This will wind around a bit and is more scenic than Rte 74. After about 2 miles, you'll come to the Upper Bullrock road. The hill is very short but amazingly steep. (Logging trucks sometimes go up backwards so they don't stall. I've driven my mustang up it sideways in snow.) You can follow Bullrock back for only about a mile before the pavement ends. If you choose to ride further, you can climb a logging road up to a nice summit. When you come back out to Middle Chilson Rd, just turn left. It spits you back onto Rte 74 again.
Connecticut opinionUncleMoe
Dec 4, 2001 8:55 AM
I Moved to San Diego from Connecticut (Northeast Corner) about 8 years ago. I can tell you I miss the Mountain Biking, the the year round riding weather I get in San Diego makes up for it.

Connecticut has lots of fun singletrack. Just about every town has a park with trails it seems. I had about 8 different riding options within a 20-30 minute drive. Usually I took the trail one mile down the road at Mansfield Hollow State Park. At that time, MTB were pretty much allowed everywhere. Not sure if that is still the case.

Beware long winters (Dec - April) and nasty humidity in the summer. Great to play in, but going to work in two feet of snow or putting on a suit in 90 degree humid weather blows.

Not sure Seattle rain is any better though.
The area around Torrington, CT is beeeauuutiful. Goodbill
Dec 4, 2001 3:07 PM
climbs, nice vistas, uncrowded roads, only been yelled at from p/u trucks a couple of times, never been run off the road. My sis/bro-in-laws live near there, and I think that it's the best road riding I've experienced. Don't know much about the organized scene or MTB riding (only visit up there).
I also will offer this non-cycling consideration. That part of CT has been sort of depressed economically for a generation or two (or three), but something seems to be happening up there. I can't say that it'll ever compare to Seattle (almost certainly won't), but maybe Seattle has been through its high growth period, and maybe you'll be getting into something that's coming instead of on a plateau or declining by going to CT.
I think it's a wonderful area.
Really? CT is finally recovering from the great depression?Kristin
Dec 4, 2001 6:29 PM
That's good news. I know this isn't cycling related...but what makes you say that? One of the reasons I didn't return to New England after my internship was that I couldn't make squat there compared to Chicago. Plus, the businesses in the Hartford area seem to be totally corrupted. I associate this with the many A+ best insurance companies that reside in Hartford. The work ethic in that area is just depressing.
Nod to Connecticut, BUT.....Wheels
Dec 4, 2001 3:17 PM
I've been to Seattle several times and would love to live there for a while. However, if your main thrust is cycling and skiing (in that order), I'd opt for Connecticut.

Every weekend from March 1 to December 31, you can find a road, cross, or MTB race less than 3 hours from Torrington. You've got lower VT, NH, Boston area, western MA, the very eastern edge of NY area to choose from. I can name at least 10 races right now that fit that category consisting of both cross and road. New England is considered one of the best places for amature competitive cycling.

As you know, skiing is pretty good in the East if the winter is decent. I grew up on the east coast and did my skiing in the Adirondaks, lower VT, and now NH. When I finished grad school, I moved to Salt Lake City. Now instead of wasting my time on day trips to local ski resorts, I take a trip out west and ski the real stuff. Skiing in the Cascades and Whistler (Seattle Area) is good, but typically it's heavy wet powder.

If you've never been out west, and you're young and single, I'd take roll of the dice and move to Seattle and experience another part of this great nation. I grew up an east coast boy, and rolled the dice and took my first job in Salt Lake. Best thing I ever did. Opened up a whole world of new experiences, scenery, and friendships. If you don't like Seattle, you can always move back.

Good Luck.

No Brainergrzy
Dec 4, 2001 4:21 PM
Take it from a born and raised Massachusetts boy - the west coast blows everything on the east coast away. CT is just a bedroom state for SUV driving yuppies that work in Manhattan. Well, *maybe* there's more to it than that, but not much.

It is hard to describe the difference to someone who hasn't seen both sides. Everything on the west is done on a grande scale - yeah skiing is OK in *Northern* New England, but for the same drive time you can be skiing at Whistler Blackcomb or Mt. Baker (where they recieived 100' of snow a few years ago). Essentially you can do anything in Seattle that you could do in CT, but the season is longer and there aren't as many New Yorkers to deal with. The city of Seattle is far nicer than most any grubby eastern city that you care to compare it to. If you crave an adventure then head west - you can always go back.

Another way to look at it is if you love Albany then stick with CT, but if you want something different then go for Seattle. People in Seattle don't let the rain get them down - they get out there and play - constantly. The MTB riding will blow your mind - of that I can assure you and if that doesn't do it, then make a trip to British Columbia/North Vancouver.
Limited PerspectiveKristin
Dec 4, 2001 6:38 PM
It sounds like your familiar with Southeast CT. This is nothing at all like Northwest CT. And never the twain shall meet. I grew up in Groton/New London and was 16 years old before I realized that New York city was only 3 hours away. It could have been on another planet for all I knew. There are no New Yorkers in the Northern portion of the state. Thats to far into the country for them. Too many hicks and not enough tall buildings.
Not Reallygrzy
Dec 4, 2001 7:08 PM
Spent some time out in the Hudson Valley area and made many trips all through CT on the old roads. Maybe they don't have as many people from NYC, but it's still virtually the same as the area around Albany. Fancy restored farm houses for the wealthy and rusing cars in the back yard for those that aren't. CT isn't a bad state, but moving to Seattle is a whole lot bigger change than anything in CT. The change from one end of CT to the other isn't even on the same scale as one end of Washington State to the other. CT is pretty much endless second growth trees hiding old stone walls over rolling hills that used to be farm land, but was to rocky to be very successful. the entire coast line is blocked by Long Island whihc as we all know is full of NY'ers. In Washington State you start with the lush Olympic Peninsula and 8,000' mts, work your way around Seattle with all the bays and water front, then climb up and over the Cascades and descend down the other side into what is essentially a desert where ranches and cowboys abound. You can then follow the mighty Columbia River as Lewis and Clark did all the way back and eventauly end up near Asotria. In the summer you can windsurf your brains out at the Gorge. Head over to the San Juan Islands and catch the Orca migration. Some of the largest spider crabs in the world are pulled from the cold deep waters of the Straights. Even the loggers like their spotted owls - fried.

There is a pretty large crowd of NYC types that make the summer weekend trip to Newport, RI or Cape Cod. You only need to tangle with one of these butt heads to ruin your whole day. Ski season brings out tons of NY folks heading to NE ski areas - some of them break down in between and want you to jump through hoops for them. Most of the locals I've met consider it sport to give NY folks a hard time. So much love.

A simple bike oriented test may illuminate things: what's the highest point in CT? Now what's the highest point in WA state? How long can you reasonably ride a bike in CT vs. WA? What is the longest sustained climb in vertical feet - paved or unpaved?

No offense, but the Groton/new London area is a fairly scruffy place due to the ship yard and the navy submarine base.

I'd counter that it is you who has the limited perspective.
Thanks for making my point...Kristin
Dec 4, 2001 7:52 PM
I've lived all over New England: Nyack, NY; Ticonderoga, NY; Groton, CT; Hartford, CT; Hillsborough, NH and Vergennes, VT. I also come from old money (Phorbes Place...Yale) and yet was raised blue collar. (long, long story.) So I think I have tons of perspective!

Your original comment: "CT is just a bedroom state for SUV driving yuppies that work in Manhattan. Well, *maybe* there's more to it than that, but not much." Is outweighted by your comment: "No offense, but the Groton/new London area is a fairly scruffy place due to the ship yard and the navy submarine base." Proving that CT is not just a place for yuppies from New York. Yes, Groton is a very blue collar town--and its with in the boarder even! But so is a good portion of Connecticut. (Its a well known fact that CT keeps its beaches in Rhode Island).

Of course this is neither here nor there...and very unimportant in the grand scheme of things. And I wouldn't dispute the merits of living out west. Heck, I plan to move to California myself!
Nice try, Kristin, but Rhode Island's beaches are...RhodyRider
Dec 5, 2001 10:42 AM
...still ours! Nutmeggers & New Yorkers are welcome to visit in summer, and in return we happily overcharge (nay, gouge) them for everything. And we don't share our South County short-cuts, either! Ever try to get good directions out of a salty old Swamp Yankee while sporting CT or NY plates on your car?!? Good luck.
That's deepKrill
Dec 5, 2001 11:27 AM
After lurking on this board for many months and reading several of your posts, I've come to the conclusion that you are, quite frankly, a self important gas bag.

In your previous post you complain about Manhattan yuppies, yuppie being a term which today infers elitist attitudes and large amounts of discretionary income, further complain about the fancy restored farm houses for the wealthy and then complain that a town is "scruffy" due to the blue collar heritage and environment?! And what makes dealing with a New Yorker any worse that dealing with a Seattlite? Can you say hypocrite? Tell me, do you also stereotype and discriminate based on the color of skin? Seattle is yuppieville, doesn't make it a bad place, and it certainly wouldn't be fair to stereotype its citizens as a bunch of self-concerned Patagucci-wearing trustifarians . New York is older and more diverse and its citizens are unfairly stereotyped as rough and uncaring. Doesn't make it a bad place and I think recent events have proved that wrong.

I have lived on both coasts and both have their own attractions. Given the choice, I would choose somewhere in the Rockies but since that doesn't seem to be an option, it's of little help. My advice would be to move to CT unless your comfortable with long periods of rain and drizzle and the grey skies that go with it .

Grsy, this thread and the one concerning the Wound Up forks indicates to me that you would be better off considering your own motivations and biases in private rather than vomiting them here. I too will take that advice.
...and cold.grzy
Dec 5, 2001 12:51 PM
Hey, everyone's entitled to their opinion and it's worth what you paid for it. Frankly, the original post was asking for opinions and there wasn't much in the way of qualifications. I honestly can't see how CT can hold a candle to the Seattle area from a biking perspective - or any other for that matter. Somehow you seem to indicate that there is some kind of appropriateness for what can/can not be posted. Thanks for your opinion - It'll get filled with all the rest - including mine. What do you mean "self-important" - I'm very important, just ask my minions.

Don't see how acknowledging most New Yorkers as the assholes they are is being a hypocrite. Ask them - they'll readily agree that being an asshole is part of being a true New Yorker - there's been a lot of acknowledgement of that in the press lately. Actually a hypocrite is the feigning of beliefs, feelings, or virutes that one does not hold or posses: insecurity. A good example of which would be your closing line. Dealing with the average New Yorker has never been a plesant experince in my book, but maybe it's just me. To be fair there are lots of nice people in NY and CT - in fact anywhere you care to go. It's the small number of a-holes running around in the mix that really screw things up. The NY area seems to have more than it's share. Maybe if you live in the sticks in CT you'll never have to deal with them, but they seem to make it all throughout the rest of New England - what makes CT so special?

You missed most of my point that much of CT is full of the privaledged blue bloods or nuveau riche (sp?) and the places that aren't like that (i.e. Groton/New London) are pretty nasty like any area immediately around a Navy base(and I've been to enough of them to know). Ultimately the trustafarians are everywhere so that issue is really a wash. I don't really see any aspects of CT that are superior to WA and a lot of things that make it worse.

Good thing there aren't any long periods of rain or drizzle in CT and that the place is immune from North Easters and that the snow, ice and slush clears all by itself (in the spring).

The really nice thing about this country is that you have choices of where to live and that while there is some uniformity there is lots of diversity. I'm not even going to touch the racial discrimination jab - that's a low blow Mr. Rigtheous.
The only thing that is nasty here, are your posts. (Major rant)Kristin
Dec 5, 2001 10:33 PM
To say that Groton is nasty is both rude (to its residents), elitist, inconsiderate and inaccurate. There are plenty of beautiful homes and shoreline in Groton. I'm guessing you've never been to Groton Long Point...or to Mystic. I'm offended by your narrow opinions, rude remarks and need to place everyone into some sort of broad category.

Personally, I grew up in a nice home alongside 100+ acres of pristine woodlands. Nothing nasty at all about that.
Dec 5, 2001 3:42 AM
Disclosure: Don't know much about Seattle but do know it's very nice from opinions of people who've lived there. That includes the opinion of my Dad who is from Northwestern CT and was stationed out there in the Air Force. I bet you'd like it a lot and improve your bike handling in wet weather too. I was born and raised in Connecticut and have lived out west, down south, in Europe and have come to this conclusion; New England is the best place I've ever lived. Of course, that's my opinion. Torrington and Litchfield County are excellent places for riding (mountain, road, or cross) although not as sexy as Seattle. When it comes to skiing, I've never heard of anyone planning a ski trip to Washington state, ever. Colorado, Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, northern New England yes; Seattle no. As for New Yorkers, there are plenty in NW CT and that's a fact. However, there are not as many as in Albany, another fact. The decisive factor for you should be, who has the best chili dogs. In that case I have to vote Torrington and Scarpelli's.
Chili Dogs...
Dec 5, 2001 10:26 AM
Best chili dogs¿¿ Think "Pinks" in West Hollywood