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Best place to live for cycling in continental U.S.(68 posts)

Best place to live for cycling in continental U.S.Me Dot Org
May 2, 2002 3:50 PM
Having just spent yet another afternoon battling the winds howling over the Golden Gate Bridge (and more police than you could shake a stick at, the Vice Premier of China is visiting)I started thinking about the ideal cycling climate:

1. Temperate: Not too hot in the summer, not too cold in the winter (Sorry, North Dakota).

2. Not too many rainy days (Uh, Pacific Northwest...)

3. Altitude maximum of 4,000 feet. (I could fudge a little here...)

4. Not too windy.

5. Not too humid (Sorry Florida, you were really close there for a while...)

So where is it? Where is cycling Valhalla?
Palo Alto or Boulder (nm)Fred2000
May 2, 2002 4:05 PM
I vote against Boulder...TJeanloz
May 3, 2002 4:11 AM
Boulder may have been great in 1970; but I wasn't born yet, and it ain't a great place to ride now. I spent a few years there, loved everything about the place, but the riding was not all that it is cracked up to be. Rural New England would win if it wasn't covered with snow for 1/3 of the year. As that is the case, I vote for Santa Barbara.
Oh c'mon...Boulder ain't that bad yetColnagoFE
May 3, 2002 6:53 AM
I don't know many places in the US (Southern CA excepted) that have such a great range of flat and mountain riding right out of my back door. And with 300 days a year of sunshine there is plenty of good riding. Nice racing scene too if you are into that. And lots to do other than cycle.

< sarcasm >Then again I could be lying...it really does suck here. It snows all the time and there are no places left to ride. Why would anyone want to live here?< /sarcasm >
Boulder is not bad but don't leave your bike unattended forPack Meat
May 3, 2002 7:11 AM
one second. The stank bros will be all over it like petrulie (sp) on a hippie. Boulder riding is good cause you get the flats (east), the mountains (west) and the farm roads to the north.
agreedlonefrontranger
May 3, 2002 9:20 AM
our friend TJ is merely bitter because he had to sell his Porsche to be able to afford Boston life (ducking).

Not that it's much of a comparison, but Boulder beats the living daylights out of Cincinnati, riding-wise and culture wise. Haven't had anything thrown at me (a weekly experience in OH/IN/KY) or been chased by a dog (a multiple daily experience in OH/IN/KY) since I moved here. Drivers are generally much more aware and tolerant of bikes here than anywhere in the Midwest, and don't even get me started about Kentucky... Yes, you must lock your bike or keep it always in hand when downtown, but isn't that true of any metro area?

This is why I live in Lafayette 10 miles east of there - all the amenities, none of the hassles, and I can have all the Boulder I want anytime I feel like jumping on a bus for 20 minutes. In Lafayette, I can ride to the internet cafe and leave my bike within view but unlocked outside. I know many of the folks who come in on a first-name basis anyways. And our neighbors are way cool. One of them has a kid who outgrew his pretty nice Mongoose 20", and she asked the other day if we had any use for it. Cool- now I gotta dirt-jumping bike!!

For the record, Ft. Wayne Indiana was the freakiest town I ever had the dubious pleasure of racing in. There were drunks and homeless people all over downtown avidly eying any piece of equipment that wasn't nailed down, and some of them were pretty belligerent with the bike racers.
I could never...TJeanloz
May 3, 2002 10:12 AM
I would be in rags on the street corner in Harvard Square before I sold said Porsche.

I am mildly disgruntled that Boulder has better weather. That, I'll give you. Also better looking girls. Also cheaper drinks. If somebody there would pay me a living wage (which seems to be the $250,000 level in Boulder) I would move back in a heartbeat.

I'm not saying it's a bad place, or a bad place to ride- it is reasonably nice; but in the words of Jim Carrey in Liar Liar: "I've had better."

BTW; have you visited my bikes lately? I'm afraid they're getting lonely.
It IS expensive to live here, but so is southern CA (nm)ColnagoFE
May 3, 2002 12:14 PM
I could never...lonefrontranger
May 3, 2002 1:47 PM
Hmm, those dirty dogs - someone in the shop must be spreading rumors again. I could have sworn someone said you were selling the car. Maybe it was Scott who asked Terry if you had sold that car yet when I was in the shop last.

We're actually stopping by Terry's tonight on the way over to play some poker with another of the LVC guys, so I'll give a run through the garage and say hi to the bikes for you.

I'm doing ok on $32K a year here, but then I've got low standards. As long as the Colnagos are happy and the DSL works, everything else is superfluous.
re: Davis, California?cyclopathic
May 2, 2002 4:23 PM
though you can cycle Mid-Atlantic all year around East Coast is humid in summer from Florida to Maine is all bad..

for MTB I'd go to Flagstaff, if smell of fresh powder cheers you up head for Utah or Colorado.

Out of US Spain and Italy are great; France is very bike friendly country if you don't object french
Its kind of flat in Davis...mwood
May 2, 2002 6:12 PM
although the town is very supportive of cyclists and has a cycling "heriatage".
I'd say the Bay Area (Northern California), once you get out of the major cities/congested areas (like out to Northern Marin County, the parts of Contra Costa which cozy up to Mt. Diablo, the Peninsula from Woodside to Los Gatos), is pretty darn good. You've good size hills of 3000-4000' with both roads and networks of trails (for us sacreligous mtb'ers) all over the place. (Of course, I'm more than a little prejudiced (Bay Area born and raised))!
Its kind of flat in Davis...SnowBlind
May 3, 2002 7:00 AM
Davis is NOT cyclist friendly!
It is pedestrian on a bike friendly.
You MUST ride on a cycle path where provided, and they are of the worst kind, theft rate is very high, AND...
they have a local law making its way through the city counsel to BAN clipless pedals!
Ban clippless pedals? Why? How? (nm)Kristin
May 3, 2002 8:11 AM
Ban clippless pedals? Why? How? (nm)twotired
May 3, 2002 1:08 PM
Not true. I'm the Univ. of Calif. Davis Bicycle Coordinator and a long-time Davis resident and daily cyclist. No such "law" has ever been proposed. Nor are there any "mandatory bike path" laws in Davis (or the entire state of Calif. as far as I know).
Washington DC without a doubt.MB1
May 2, 2002 4:43 PM
I've lived and/or ridden all over the US. Eugene OR, Davis CA, Boulder CO, sure they are all nice. But for a nice allround mix of riding and living I'll stick with DC.
MB1 showed me great places to ride ...Humma Hah
May 2, 2002 5:45 PM
... just miles from my garage door, that I never even suspected existed around here. I'd lived here for over 20 years, and never really looked closely at the riding opportunities. I'd gotten burned by bad conditions in Fairfax County, and let that kill my cycling habits.

Now, while there are still more roads that are distinctly cycling-unfriendly than I found in San Diego, I know there are plenty that are fine, some that are stunningly good, I think the scenery is better, and I enjoy the challenge of changing seasons, even winter.
DC is goodpmf1
May 3, 2002 5:49 AM
There is a nice system of bike paths allowing an easy, carfree commute from the suburbs into town. You can also ride these paths out into the country and hit some relatively empty and scenic roads. I've bought two huses in the burbs since moving here, and proximity to the bike path has always been a factor.

There is lots of diversity here too. I can climb Skyline Drive one day and be out on the complete flats of the Eastern Shore the next. For a big metro area, the biking is suprisingly good.
There is some excellent riding around DC (nm)Gregory Taylor
May 3, 2002 5:56 AM
San Diegospeedisgood
May 2, 2002 4:50 PM
at least from what I hear. I live in Cleveland, which is kinda like bizzaro-San Diego, which means cold, wet, overcast, 8-month long wintersprings. At least it teaches us to appreciate the summers when they get here!
Its pretty good ...Humma Hah
May 2, 2002 5:40 PM
... the roads are wide and I've seen worse maintenance. There are very few places you can't get to by bike, many with bike lanes or paths. All but about 12 days a year are fine for riding: if anything, the weather is BOORING!

There's varied terrain, from flat to 6000+ ft mountains.

Downside: no Virginian will ever consider it "pretty". Too dry, not enough trees, and I like having seasons.

Coming back from San Diego, I vowed to keep riding, and in doing so I discovered some areas nearby where the riding is superb. I credit San Diego with getting me back on a bike, but I could have done it back here in my home state.
Yes, it is...dsc
May 2, 2002 7:58 PM
Pedaling out of my driveway, I can head north and be in the avocado groves in minutes - great scenery and plenty of steep, twisting canyon roads. Or head west and hit the coast - fast, flat and plenty of other roadies and tri-types to mix it up with.

Also, with the exception of the occasional jerks, the drivers in San Diego are at least aware of cyclists, and are generally tolerant, if not considerate, of us.

-Debi
ExceptChaz_cycles
May 3, 2002 4:02 PM
Except for the one that hit me.
No contest: Houston, TX (nm)Doc
May 2, 2002 5:05 PM
Really?mickey-mac
May 2, 2002 6:18 PM
I was in Houston just once, but it appeared to be flat as a pancake in all directions. The roads didn't seem to be in very good shape, and the weather was miserable. What did I miss?
Only during winterTig
May 2, 2002 6:50 PM
I think Doc was pulling your leg! We all must make the best of what we are given.

However, in the winter while others are stuck in their basements on trainers, we are riding in relative comfort. I don't even own a trainer and only one pair of long tights. Knickers are the usual fare for most cool season rides. The payback is during summer, which lasts from May through September, and sometimes longer. It was in the low 90's today!

The roads are in decent shape if you get out of the city. One of my favorite rides puts me in the farmland just a few miles from my door. It happens to pass the location of that huge explosion and fire at Third Coast Industries that was on the national news yesterday.

Austin is by far the best place to ride in Texas. I'd place it in the top 10 for the US.
Ditto.. Austin is best in Texas (nm)Dave Hickey
May 3, 2002 3:36 AM
What Lance thinks...heloise
May 3, 2002 3:58 AM
Quote:
Here's the complete excerpt about Lance Armstrong's remarks about cycling in Austin, from the Austin American-Statesman, 8-4-01:

On Friday, he met with members of the congressional Bike Caucus in Washington, lamenting Austin's lightning growth and traffic problems.
"A city like Austin is growing so much, cycling is ruined there," he told U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Austin, and other members of the group. "In just 10 years -- ruined. A place like Boulder, Colorado, is just ruined, also."

It's no surprise that Armstrong feels this way, given that a redneck tried to run him over with his truck in 1998.

End Quote.

If I had to move back to Texas I'd try to live in the Davis Mountains area...Alpine or Fort Davis. Although at 5000 feet it might be a bit too "high" for some people(personally I like a little altitude).
Lance still lives and rides in AustinDave Hickey
May 3, 2002 4:06 AM
The only problem with the Davis Mountains or Big Bend area is where do you work? There is nothing for hundreds of miles. Great for cycling but not so great for making a living. West of Austin has some great areas for cycling. Even in the Dallas/Ft Worth area, I can ride 7 miles from my house and be on country roads.
werk...heloise
May 3, 2002 4:12 AM
is highly over rated ;)

seriously...I thought these were sort of "dream" locations. Obviously far West Texas works best for the retired/self-employed.

Did Lance buy/build another house in Austin? since I don't live there anymore i really don't keep track. I thought they were spending more time in France these days.
not France Spaincyclopathic
May 3, 2002 4:45 AM
he spends much time in Catalunya. I've been there really nice roads are full with pros training.. Cheaper then France and great riding. Bonus: french police cannot raid your house on drug charges.
werk...Dave Hickey
May 3, 2002 5:46 AM
He has two houses. One is on Lake Travis in Austin and the other is in Spain. Have you ever ridden the Davis mountains? I've always wanted to.
Lake AUSTIN not Lake travislancezneighbor
May 3, 2002 7:05 PM
Lances bought a new place on Lake Austin (further west than where he lived before) not on Lake Travis. He has a large chunk of land there complete with a mountain bike trail but I don't believe there is a house there.
No basements for mesalmonwheel
May 3, 2002 12:18 PM
When you live in cold areas, its best to live with the cold. I prefer to think of the winter not as a bad time for cycling, but a time for a different kind of cycling. It's also the only time of year it is possible to ride the multi use trails as they are absent of....well....other people. Fresh powder on abike with my own trail that's riding.

Please don't disagree with me I need to believe this to stay sane and live here: )
Nothing(nm)Doc
May 4, 2002 8:38 AM
IMHO Houston is a festering boil on the buttocks of the USA.Pack Meat
May 3, 2002 7:06 AM
I hate that city with a ripe passion. 90 deg and 90 % humidity. Rednecks and Texans around every corner. Cockroachs the size of large poodles, oh, I guess I already mentioned the Texans. Christians up to your eyeballs. Urban sprawl that has the added benefit of no zoning. Here's a concept for ya'll, create business districts and industrial parks. I HATE HOUSTON. I have been to almost every major city in the US so this opinion is informed.

Love and kisses.
Pack Meat
bwaahaahaa!lonefrontranger
May 3, 2002 9:27 AM
PM, you are a poet of rare angst. And for the record, I wholeheartedly agree.

Just don't ever mention it to my SO, because he's a real honest-to-gawd down-home Houston momma's boy. I had to practically wring his (red) neck to get him to move to CO. Now I can't get him off the snowboard in the winter and he waxes poetic about the joys of MTBing in alpine summer meadows, blah, blah, blah.

Boulder is about as close to bike heaven as I can figure out.
bwaahaahaa!lonefrontranger
May 3, 2002 6:42 PM
The bugs are the right size, but I would say that many Christans think Houston is a new Sodom. The heat is good in the winter, when I go back for the holidays, I only pack shorts. But Mom lives in Galveston, so the traffic is not. I would not ride in Houston proper for less than Bill Gates kinda money.

LFR-SO
(JEMC)
sounds like the weather got to ya!Tig
May 3, 2002 12:08 PM
I hate Houston itself, and for many of the same reasons. I'm glad I don't actually live IN it. I refuse to, in fact. I live in Clear Lake, which is like a resort town in comparison. Living near the water somehow changes the attitudes of the residents. It feels much more like Cali than Texas, but the people still have Southern hospitality.

Christians? Here?! LOL I guess you didn't spend much time here. Try Tulsa for a few years and Houston will look like hell!

The hot weather taxes your heart and endurance, but I use that to my advantage. If you can cut it here, go racing somewhere else on a hot day (for them) and you can kick their butts! The juniors from here that raced nationals in Florida last year did great.
Thanks, allMe Dot Org
May 2, 2002 7:37 PM
Most of the time I don't complain about Northern California. It's just that San Francisco is smack in the middle of the air duct for California's Central Valley. Anyone who lives here knows the drill: 3 or more days of heat in the Central Valley will cause a low pressure area, which sucks the marine air off the coast.

Other than that, it's pretty close. I love going just a little ways inland. (Palo Alto is very nice, I used to live next door in Menlo Park.) My sister used to live in Fallbrook (Northern San Diego County) and that would also make my short list of great places to cycle.

I used to live in Provo, and I could see how Southern Utah could be nice cycling country, even if you don't have a Mountain Bike.

I've always been partial to high desert climates. I wonder if anyone likes Taos, Santa Fe, Sedona, someplace like that. (Are they too windy? I never lived there, just visited).
Thanks, allgtx
May 3, 2002 7:36 AM
the GG bridge is annoying sometimes--crosswinds, tourists, etc.--but the riding from SF is great. However, all the good road rides are 50+ miles (you might consider moving to Fairfax). If you don't have a mtb, you should consider getting one--the Headlands and Tam are fantastic, especially on weekdays--no cars, no people. Just you and the bobcats.
Funny you should mention FairfaxMe Dot Org
May 3, 2002 8:53 AM
That's usually my turnaround spot (Grab a cup of coffee at Fairfix Cafe near Fairfax Bolinas Road). On the weekends it's out to Lagunitas, or if I'm really feeling frisky, up the backside of Tam.

In my mind, my ride really begins at the foot of Camino Alto (The road that connects Marin to Larkspur). That's where the wind ususally dies down and I take off my arm warmers.

If I could swing a job in Marin, I would love to live in the Fairfax area.

As far as the GG Bridge - well, I just don't think about making time when it is crowded with tourists. The last thing in the world they are thinking about is bicycle traffic. You make yourself crazy if you try to make time there...
bobcats...Wannabe
May 3, 2002 1:21 PM
hmmm, pretty sure that was a dead bobcat I saw on the side of the road this morning...

Southern WI wouldn't be too bad if not for these darn winters! Ours should be over soon! :)

Andy
Southern California...Breakfast
May 2, 2002 8:19 PM
...Ventura County to be exact. Why? Because the weather allows for 12 months of riding, not too hot, not too cold.
You can ride up the coast to Santa Barbara and beyond, or south down to Malibu on PCH. The mountains in S.B. where Lance trains or the in Santa Monica Mtns., Carpenteria, Ojai, Thousand Oaks, Agoura Hills.

Mountain biking in the Santa Monicas, Ojai, L.A area, Big Bear and Santa Clarita, San Bernadino, San Gabriels. Heck, I've even ridden MTB on Santa Cruz Island in the Pacific Ocean (incredible!)

Need I say more?
re: Best place to live for cycling in continental U.S.netso
May 3, 2002 4:16 AM
I love Florida, particularly central and northern Florida. I can ride 12 months out of the year. I like the rail-to-trail system it is in great spots in Florida.
North Carolina is pretty nicetarwheel
May 3, 2002 4:24 AM
We've got our share of traffic problems, but once you get out on the back roads, NC is a great place to ride. Lots of varied terrain -- mountains in the west, rolling terrain in the piedmont, flat along the coast. The weather is fantastic for cycling -- spring and fall are best, but you can ride right through the winter with a little extra gear, and the summer heat isn't bad if you get out early. You won't find many bike lanes for commuting, though.
North Carolina is pretty niceheloise
May 3, 2002 4:34 AM
I agree. I love the area around Boone. Good off-road opportunities in Pisgah too! Lucky you.
2nd North Carolina is pretty nicefastfinish
May 3, 2002 4:36 AM
I second North Carolina. The cities are not bike friendly but the there is still miles and miles of roads outside of the major metro areas that are great. The moutains are awsome, we have the Blue Ridge Parkway and you can go on endless rides by starting on one place on the parkway and then looping back to your starting destination.
North Carolina is pretty niceGalibier
May 3, 2002 5:14 AM
I lived (and rode) for four years in Palo Alto, then six years in Santa Rosa (Sonoma County), California. I now live in the Southeast, and have to say that, IMO, the Asheville/Boone area of North Carolina edges out Northern California as a great place to ride. While the weather is not as reliable in North Carolina, the roads, terrain, mountains, and scenic beauty are sublime.
You're right...North Carolina is pretty nicemadstork
May 3, 2002 6:22 AM
I live in the Piedmont region. Drove 3 hours last weekend to Marion, rode up Mt. Mitchell. Had several thoughts while riding (and suffering!) on how lucky I am to live and ride here.
Lance in North Carolinafastfinish
May 3, 2002 4:42 AM
North Carolina mountains (Boone Area) is where Lance came with Bob Roll in 1998 to "find himself again on the bike" after his first return to the euro peleton after cancer was unsuccessful. From what a read about his couple of weeks there he thought it was a wonderful place to ride and train and said it was one of the best he had ever found in the US.
Nothing Beats The OzarksArkansasRyder
May 3, 2002 5:04 AM
It offers everything. Mild climate in the winter with lite snow most years so you can ride in the winter. Long steep climbs over and over. Good challenging curvy roads to downhills on. Then you don't have to go far to get flat either because the great plains meet this Ozarks. Us in the Ozarks have it made. It is some good riding.
FresnoDougSloan
May 3, 2002 5:22 AM
1. It's hot in summer, but not in the mornings; besides, heat is better than cold any day; dry, though; winters are 40's and 50's at worst.

2. Rain? What's that?

3. Riding altitudes from 100 feet to 9,300 feet -- you choose.

4. Mild wind.

5. Only humid in winter.

Add to that, bike lanes, and did I say sunshine? Lots of events close by, too.
FresnoRubberbandman
May 3, 2002 8:07 AM
Fresno is just plain hot in the summer.

You forgot to mention the wonderful valley air. Didn't an orginization recently release their list of worst air quality cities? And didn't Fresno have the pleasure of being in the top ten? Included were Bakersfield, Visialia and maybe a third city in the Fresno area.

RB
mountainsDougSloan
May 3, 2002 8:50 AM
It's actually fairly rare that it's bad, and nonetheless we are right at the foot of mountains. Head up and you are over the hot or bad air in no time. It never bothers me. Also, for me, bring on the heat! I love it.
What's 106 F Between Friends?grzy
May 3, 2002 8:52 AM
Then there's the beautiful sun drenched winters in the Central Valley. Can you spell F-O-G and massive pile-ups on the highways?
again, mountainsDougSloan
May 3, 2002 9:09 AM
The fog is bad maybe 10 days a year, and even then usually only first thing in the morning or late at night. Frequently, even if fog is bad, it's localized. Almost all the wrecks because of it occur in a single 10 mile stretch of highway close to the Kings River. Again, ride 10 minutes toward the mountains and you are above it.

Even 106 degree days have 55 degree mornings and cooler evenings. The temp drops about 4 degrees for every 1,000 feet elevation gain, too.

You coastal folks just don't acclimate, as it's 60 degrees almost every day of the year, there.

Ok, done defending.

Yes, Santa Cruz is an extremely nice place to ride. You don't have a Climb to Kaiser, though. :-)
again, mountainsskibert
May 3, 2002 10:12 AM
Fresno is one of the worst places I have ever rode. The Drivers hate bikers, I've had many honk, swerve, or yell stuff at me just because they dont like anyone sharing their road. And Fresno is flat. The mountains might be in Fresno county but not Fresno, You have to at least go 30 miles out to hit a hill, and I dont have time for 60-80 mile rides every day. And I know many people that have developed ashma from living in the crapy air.
2nd Fresno, but Santa Barbara is hard to beat alsoMorgan
May 3, 2002 8:58 AM
I have lived in upstate NY and grew up in South Louisiana, both nice places but its hard to beat Fresno, (Central CA area) for riding you have the Sierra's and Yosemite out your back door. Mountain biking is also very good. Then there is Santa Barbara area, the Solvang century is a must do just because the area is so beautiful.
Fresno: Top 10 for ozone-polluted metro areas in US<nm>PdxMark
May 3, 2002 9:25 AM
Portland, OR, if you don't mind a little rain.Miklos
May 3, 2002 6:40 AM
Portland, Oregon has a lot to offer cyclists. First, lets address the weather. It is drier here than some make it out to be. Most of us natives like to tell tall tales to keep the population under control. You can ride all winter long as there are very few days that it freezes and usually about four days with snow that melts by noon. But it does rain from mid October to mid June, but there are many nice days inbetween there.

The city is very bicycle friendly. There are lots of bike paths and when you do ride the roads, drivers are considerate. There are a lot of cyclists in the area so everyone is used to seeing them on the road. Due to the large cycling population, there are lots of bike shops, who's locations are listed on the cycling maps in case you encounter problems on a ride.

The available terrain is greatly varied. Portland lies in the Willamette Valley near the Columbia River. Just to the west there is the Coast Range hills, then the Oregon Coast. Just to the East, you have the Cascade Mountains with Mt Hood, Mt Adams, Mt Jefferson and Mt St Helens close by. Beyond the Cascades is the high desert area. Going east along the Columbia river is the Columbia River Gorge, which like the rest of the areas around here, offers stunning scenery.

There is an organized event almost every single weekend from mid April to late October, with many weekends having to choose from multiple events. Some great road rides on Mt St Helens, some over Mt Hood, some go from Portland to the coast. There is even a winery that organizes a "Oregon Wine Country Tour" for every Sunday in August. The sag wagon picks up all of the wine you buy along the way. Some rides are almost all flat, some have over 10000 feet in 80 miles.
One thing that stays consistant is the great scenery. The rain we do get keeps everything nice and green.

Along with endless road opportunities, the MTB'ing is excellent. There is Forest Park right next to down town with many miles of good trails, some very steep. There is also many other forms of recreation to enjoy. In the Gorge, there is world class wind surfing, you can ski into late summer and early fall on Mt Hood. Lots of great hiking, boating, snowmobiling, fishing and hunting. Plus there is the coast close by. A great cycling area should have more to offer than just great cycling.

I don't know much about the local racing scene, but I do know they have weekly crits at PIR. There is the Alpenrose Velodrome also.

For after the ride or when the work is all done and you need to reward youself, the local brew pubs are second to none.

Thats my vote ;)

Miklos
To each his own I guesssalmonwheel
May 3, 2002 12:26 PM
I lived in Portland for a couple of years and couldn't wait to leave. Too much congestion, and a high cost of living are the big factors. The gorge is beautiflu, but I couldn't even take my kids on wild flower hikes because of the rude mountain bikers (not that mountain bikers are rude, but specifically rude mountain bikers) blasting away down all the easy access trails with complete disregard for the safety of others. Ithink I may have liked Portland a little more if I was younger and without family. Most places (except the lower midwest :)) have multiple forms of recreation within the required driving time of the activities in Portland. But man it really does rain a lot, not heavy but all the time. Hey those last two weeks in July are pretty nice though.

There that should keep them away
Boise, ID but don't tell anyonesmilycook
May 3, 2002 6:54 AM
I think Boise wins since it has mild winters and the summers are not too hot, but it is dry. The IMBA access card gave Idaho an A and Boise has trails right out your door. We have bike paths and lanes and great rural roads and big mountains to climb on the road bike and tons of clubs and races.

Plus we have around 300 days of sun!

Boise is on the top of my list.

Chris
I had a blast riding there... good choice -NMTig
May 3, 2002 11:57 AM
Great for MTB, okay for road bikes (nm)laffeaux
May 6, 2002 3:42 PM
Santa Cruzgrzy
May 3, 2002 8:50 AM
When it's windy you're supposed to go windsurfing or ride in the redwood forrests. C'mon down to the Santa Cruz Mtns. - way better than riding on the crowded roads up around the city and Marin and dealing with all the uptight yuppies in their SUVs. SC is an amazing place for both road and mountain biking with some of the most insane riding I've ever found. Some people like San Loius Obisbo b/c of less people but there aren't many places to get away from the wind when it starts to howl. Santa Cruz is a bike-crazy town for a good reason. We ride all year round 'cept when the skiing or surf gets really good.
You must be high!!mr_spin
May 3, 2002 1:28 PM
Wow, not long ago you ripped Los Gatos and now you suggest Santa Cruz? You must be high!!!

Ever try to actually ride through Santa Cruz? I've been forced to do it a couple of times and it's absolutely nuts. I figure I was lucky to get out alive. It's survivable on the outskirts, but don't come anywhere near the center. The freeway really makes it difficult and unsafe to get from the south side to the north side, and the only decent riding actually IN Santa Cruz proper is on the north side, or maybe a mile or two on Branciforte before you cross the city line. Oh, and that beautiful section of Hwy 9 in Henry Cowell Redwoods, but I'll bet that's beyond the city limits. As far as MTB, the only legal riding is Wilder Ranch, which I'll grant you is absolutely one of the best places to ride in California.

The next town to the south, Soquel is a great cycling town. So is just south of that, in Aptos. Outside Santa Cruz on the north, south, and east is great riding. But Santa Cruz itself? No way. I'd rather ride in San Francisco at rush hour.
Well, I know you've ruled out Florida, but...Gator
May 3, 2002 10:12 AM
Gainesville isn't a bad place to be. Sure, southern California is probably better, but it is INSANELY expensive -- talk to someone who lives there. Anyway Gainesville, unlike most of Florida, is quite hilly and, thanks to fairly strict zoning, is very green and lush. The area is surrounded by rolling country two-lane canopied by giant live oaks through horse ranches and some very pretty small towns. The town itself is a college town with a beautiful campus, nice old neighborhoods, fairly good nightlife and is very affordable.

There is also very good MTBing to be had in Ocala, tons of rivers and clear freshwater springs for rowing and diving. Both the gulf and the ocean are about an hour away, with great fishing, sailing and even surfing.

It's really a terrific place to live -- Money Magazine ranked it the best city in America in 1999 or 2000. And if you MUST have mountains, you can get Pisgah/Nantahala in about eight hours, north Georgia in less.
Lake Placid/Saranac Lake Region, NY StateEJC
May 3, 2002 11:56 AM
The Adirondacks are AMAZING for training and cycling. Here in Lake Placid there are HUGE numbers of athletes, cyclists, triathletes etc...We have the Olympic Training facilities, access to some of North Americas best Sports Med Docs and PT's, and literally hundreds upon hundreds of amazing mountain roads to train on. Wide shoulders, lung-searing climbs, beautiful scenery, and a VERY VERY low cost of living make it fantastic!

The downside? Well...winter, which seems to last forever! Our season for riding and training MAY last up to 7 months (if you are bundled up properly) but the comfortable season is short, at about 5 months. Oh yes...then there are the black flies...

EJC