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  1. #1
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    If you were to move out of the bay area, where would you go?

    I am so sick of the bs in Marin. When I first moved here 15 years ago, I got really involved in activism, and thought it would change. After a while, I just accepted that we would just poach everything, and not care. A handful of years ago, my in-laws moved to NW Arkansas. I told my wife no way in hell would I ever move there. We go down there every year or two, and holy crap! It has changed. They have built about 150 miles of high quality bike purpose singletrack, plus a couple bike parks. Stuff we in Marin can only dream of. Still not sure, it would be my first choice, but... I do think it is currently the most bike friendly town in the country. Where do you think are the best places to be a mountain biker, preferably in the US?
    If white is the "new black", then thanks but I'll stick with the old black...

  2. #2
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    You might want to check out this thread.
    Want to leave Bay Area. Where to go?

  3. #3
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    That thread has huge amounts of great information about great places to live other than here. My personal favorite is still the Reno area, but that's just me.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by marinrider View Post
    I am so sick of the bs in Marin. When I first moved here 15 years ago, I got really involved in activism, and thought it would change. After a while, I just accepted that we would just poach everything, and not care. A handful of years ago, my in-laws moved to NW Arkansas. I told my wife no way in hell would I ever move there. We go down there every year or two, and holy crap! It has changed. They have built about 150 miles of high quality bike purpose singletrack, plus a couple bike parks. Stuff we in Marin can only dream of. Still not sure, it would be my first choice, but... I do think it is currently the most bike friendly town in the country. Where do you think are the best places to be a mountain biker, preferably in the US?
    You're talking about the worst case and best case scenario in the US... Marin and NW Arkansas. The economic and political powers in the area could not be more different as far as the viewpoint towards mountain biking.

    NW Arkansas will get done in the next month what will take Marin 10 years to bicker about. The rest of the country falls somewhere in the middle in terms of mountain bike development.

    Other cool areas seeing growth are
    Bellingham, WA
    Bend, OR ... most of Oregon
    Tahoe, CA
    Durango, CO
    Asheville, NC

    The big question for us West Coast folk is how much can we deal with a real cold winter?
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by fc View Post

    The big question for us West Coast folk is how much can we deal with a real cold winter?
    Wurds.
    Wait whuuut, who did he tell you that!?!?....

  6. #6
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    A cold winter is for suckers.
    Friends don't let friends ride e-"bikes" on dirt.

    Nature is not a sidewalk.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirtvert View Post
    A cold winter is for suckers.
    A cold winter keeps the suckers out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fc View Post
    Other cool areas seeing growth are
    Bellingham, WA
    Bend, OR ... most of Oregon
    Tahoe, CA
    Durango, CO
    Asheville, NC
    Out of curiosity, what kind of growth are you referring to here?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by JayPee View Post
    Out of curiosity, what kind of growth are you referring to here?
    Oh, trail growth and bike community growth.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JayPee View Post
    Out of curiosity, what kind of growth are you referring to here?
    True, here is the list of state growth.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...on_growth_rate

    As far as new trails? I know Eagle, Colorado is building trail like mad - i.e. Fruita style building like what happened in the 1990's by Troy R. and company. Replacing sidewalks with singeltrack type of stuff. This is an up and coming spot which has desert sagebrush all the way to high country elevations from downtown. It's got a pretty cool vibe, and just 20 minutes from Beaver Creek and 30-ish from Vail. On the western side you have Glenwood/Aspen in under an hour and 90 minutes further is Grand Junction/ Fruita. And Moab is a super easy 3 hour, 30 minute drive. It's about as central to the most amazing riding I've ever been in anywhere in the country. So Eagle, CO should be on the list.

    https://www.outsideonline.com/193058...rack-sidewalks

    https://www.mtbproject.com/directory/8012337/eagle

    MOAB/Park City also have a ton of new trails being built, but you can't buy cold beer in the state run liquor store except for a local brewpub which is really inconvenient. Deal breaker for me. Priorities, right? Utah seems a bit backwards, but fun to visit.

    Idaho has a ton of spots with mentioning too.

    I guess it depends on you are looking weather-wise. In many parts of Colorado you can still buy a 3,500 sq/ft house with a 20,000 sq/ft lot and 3-car garage for under $500K and ride to killer trails. That same house might be $300K in Texas and Arizona (with a pool) and $1.2M+ in Marin/Norcal I would assume. Personally I like change of seasons and snow sports in the winter. Drive 3-4 hours in any direction from Eagle Colorado as an example and you can ride just about anything depending on the surrounding weather conditions.

  11. #11
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    I moved to Ashland from Marin after living in Marin my whole life. Ive been here for 3 months, and the quality of my life has skyrocketed. We originally were gonna rent our house in Marin for a year to make sure we liked it. We knew 6 weeks in we were never going back and sold the place in Marin. Wherever you decide on, pull the plug. Get out of Marin. The place is toxic, and getting worse. Life has improved on every front after leaving. Here, the rangers wave at you as you speed by at 30mph on a singletrack straightaway. Unreal whats going on in Marin right now. Especially when you experience the other side.

  12. #12
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    ^^ We felt like that after visiting for two weeks! It's like a real-life Mayberry, huh?

    (if Mayberry had ripping singletrack)

    The biggest problem in town seemed to be keeping the deer out of your garden.
    Friends don't let friends ride e-"bikes" on dirt.

    Nature is not a sidewalk.

  13. #13
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    Orange County. Weather, food, major airports, mountain biking and golf.

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    Quote Originally Posted by normarin View Post
    Get out of Marin. The place is toxic, and getting worse.
    Even beyond the MTB situation it's really changed. The overall vibe in Marin is not what is used to be, my wife is a teacher in "Me Valley", you should hear the stories she comes home with...
    People have major entitlement/affluenza issues here. I never thought I could/would even consider leaving, but have been seeing the light lately traveling to other places, etc.

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    Moved from Brentwood (Pleasant Hill/Walnut Creek before that) to Boise. Fantastic riding, and the road isn't bad either, but definitely not better than the East Bay, unfortunately. But the MTB here is leaps better than anything I ever rode in CA near the Bay Area.

    Oh, and it is CHEAP. I am a realtor up here, a huge percentage of new arrivals are either from CA or AZ, but people are coming from all around the country.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by garcia View Post
    Moved from Brentwood (Pleasant Hill/Walnut Creek before that) to Boise. Fantastic riding, and the road isn't bad either, but definitely not better than the East Bay, unfortunately. But the MTB here is leaps better than anything I ever rode in CA near the Bay Area.

    Oh, and it is CHEAP. I am a realtor up here, a huge percentage of new arrivals are either from CA or AZ, but people are coming from all around the country.
    Shhhhhhhh... Don't tell anyone.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by flipnidaho View Post
    Shhhhhhhh... Don't tell anyone.
    Haha, we pop up on the top or near the top of every "best place to live in the US" list that comes out it seems, unfortunately the secret is out...

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by normarin View Post
    I moved to Ashland from Marin after living in Marin ...... Unreal whats going on in Marin right now. Especially when you experience the other side.
    ...especially when you experience the other side.


    That's the key statement right there. That's why I seem like I'm sooo anti-midpen. I don't want to be overly negative but once you've travelled around and seen trails around the country and the world, one just gets mad that we're treated like cockroaches here in the Bay Area.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by aliikane View Post
    Orange County. Weather, food, major airports, mountain biking and golf.
    Da hell???
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by garcia View Post
    Haha, we pop up on the top or near the top of every "best place to live in the US" list that comes out it seems, unfortunately the secret is out...
    If you don't mind the winter, want to be able to ski, golf, mountain bike, rock climb and flyfish all on the same day within 1 hours drive, want a house that's paid for, have a trailhead in your backyard that leads to 200 miles of singletrack and unlimited gravel riding, you really can't go wrong with Boise. You gotta love climbing though

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by fc View Post
    Da hell???
    This ^^

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirtvert View Post
    ^^ We felt like that after visiting for two weeks! It's like a real-life Mayberry, huh?

    (if Mayberry had ripping singletrack)

    The biggest problem in town seemed to be keeping the deer out of your garden.
    Are you referring to Ashland?

    Then ya, pretty much thats what its like. There are 15 kids on our street between the ages of 2-8, and I have 2 girls 3,4. They just cruise around the neighborhood in a pack like when we used to grow up. Schools are great, downtown has cool shops, everyone is about keeping things local and healthy, but not in a pretentious way. More in a community way. Not to mention Shasta, Cascades, Coast, all within 2-3 hours at the most. i could go on and on. Obviously long term review will take a few years, but so far I feel like its paradise.

    Everyone keeps apologizing that the winter has been so bad here, but Novato has more rainfall than Ashland this year, AND Ashland trails drain the day-of so I've been on the bike more than I would have in Marin this year.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by rglsr View Post
    Even beyond the MTB situation it's really changed. The overall vibe in Marin is not what is used to be, my wife is a teacher in "Me Valley", you should hear the stories she comes home with...
    People have major entitlement/affluenza issues here. I never thought I could/would even consider leaving, but have been seeing the light lately traveling to other places, etc.
    Yep. Its not just the biking stuff. We decided we wanted to raise our girls somewhere other than Marin for exactly what you are writing about. It will always be home, but I was able to make peace with leaving and don't miss it now. Now I just get to go visit my parents and in laws and not have to deal with the day to day living there

  24. #24
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    Thanks all for the replies, and I am working my way through the hundreds of replies on that other thread too. I wish I had figured this out years ago... Now I got roots I gotta dig up. In addition to great riding, I need to find a place where there are good engineering jobs, and good schools.
    If white is the "new black", then thanks but I'll stick with the old black...

  25. #25
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    From what I've read you could probably throw a dart on the map and find a better MTB vibe I've been to Asheville in the middle of winter and it was fantastic. Cool temps are much easier to deal with than heat. I live on Vancouver Island, but my Brother lives in WA, and yea it's wet, but the riding is life changing.
    I got some bad ideas in my head.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by marinrider View Post
    I need to find a place where there are good engineering jobs, and good schools.
    This is where the search starts to narrow considerably. We can all sit here and name the coolest mountain towns in the U.S. but when you have kids and need a job things get a bit more tricky. I'm not saying it can't be done, just that it's more difficult.

    Ashland would be high on my list of places to live outside of CA, but you're pretty isolated in terms of access to an actual city with Portland 5 hours away. That's not a deal breaker for some people but for others it is.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Travis Bickle View Post
    From what I've read you could probably throw a dart on the map and find a better MTB vibe I've been to Asheville in the middle of winter and it was fantastic. Cool temps are much easier to deal with than heat. I live on Vancouver Island, but my Brother lives in WA, and yea it's wet, but the riding is life changing.
    Really, I've heard Asheville, NC has way harsher winters than Oregon....
    Wait whuuut, who did he tell you that!?!?....

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by JMac47 View Post
    Really, I've heard Asheville, NC has way harsher winters than Oregon....
    Probably depends on where you are in OR. I don't think Asheville's winters are all that bad.

  29. #29
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    Twice around Christmas and New Years, and it was great.
    I got some bad ideas in my head.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carl Hungus View Post
    This is where the search starts to narrow considerably. We can all sit here and name the coolest mountain towns in the U.S. but when you have kids and need a job things get a bit more tricky. I'm not saying it can't be done, just that it's more difficult.

    Ashland would be high on my list of places to live outside of CA, but you're pretty isolated in terms of access to an actual city with Portland 5 hours away. That's not a deal breaker for some people but for others it is.
    Kids... spouse... extended family.... that's when it gets a big monkey wrench.

    The general rule with high salaries and these mountain bike towns is.... "better take your income/job with you."
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    Quote Originally Posted by rglsr View Post
    Even beyond the MTB situation it's really changed. The overall vibe in Marin is not what is used to be, my wife is a teacher in "Me Valley", you should hear the stories she comes home with...
    People have major entitlement/affluenza issues here. I never thought I could/would even consider leaving, but have been seeing the light lately traveling to other places, etc.
    Heh, I work for the school district as well and would likely have similar stories.

  32. #32
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    Ashville's a great little town. It's in a beautiful area with awesome forests and mild seasons. But if you drive 30 minutes in any direction you're in Redneckistan. I worked 3 summers at a camp in the Ashville area, then lived for 3 months in a nearby town. I once had a lady tell me "The reason y'all have so much trouble in California is cause you have to beat yer young'uns." And she had one of the few white collar jobs.
    Last edited by dirtvert; 03-21-2017 at 12:41 PM.
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  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by normarin View Post
    Yep. Its not just the biking stuff. We decided we wanted to raise our girls somewhere other than Marin for exactly what you are writing about. It will always be home, but I was able to make peace with leaving and don't miss it now. Now I just get to go visit my parents and in laws and not have to deal with the day to day living there
    Normarin, would you mind sharing what you do for work? I'm in Marin too (grew up in Novato, now live in Fairfax, which is awesome for the most part). While we are happy here, Oregon is such an appealing place to live for us (either Ashland or Hood River for me)

    Besides moving away from our family, the biggest obstacle to relocating to Oregon is the job options for my wife and I (she's a nurse so always better options for her), so just curious what field you work in that you were able to swing escaping to the north.

    Awesome you are loving it!

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    My brother in law lives in Asheville, NC and raves about the biking there. From how he describes the town, it sounds similar to OR or WA mentality, but there's definitely the redneck issue when you get out of town. I haven't gotten a chance to go visit and ride there yet, but it sounds fun. I want to get him to come visit here too, and show him a few of the prime areas here for comparison.

    I grew up in one of the Seattle suburbs, but didn't MTB back then (just f'd around in the woods with our BMXs). I'd love to ditch the rat race here and move back up to anywhere in the PNW, even though we live in a pretty amazing spot (HMB). I don't know how much of that is selective memory about what life was like up there, but it seems like a lot of others share my opinion. What's actually more plausible for us is ending up in Switzerland due to the company my wife works for... I'd be ok with that too, although I have no idea what I'd do for work!

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by flipnidaho View Post
    Shhhhhhhh... Don't tell anyone.
    How's the redneck factor in Boise? Honestly? Given that you're a flip in i da ho.
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  36. #36
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    from the bay area anywhere else is an improvement.

    frisco is just an L.A. suburb, and marin is frisco's ghetto.
    So many trails... so little time...

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    211 days before we leave Marin and move back home to Colorado. 210 days too long...

    When we do get back out there, we'll live in a house that we own that is more than twice the size, three times nicer, and a third the monthly cost of our current 50's era cinderblock rental. There's also virtually no traffic, a lot more outdoor stuff to do within a 30 minute drive, we'll trade a partial view of Highway 101 traffic, a powerline and San Quentin for these ones from my deck, and can access more than 100 miles of excellent LEGAL singletrack (free of Lidar, SMS cameras, hateful old hikers, and pissy MMWD rangers) from a trailhead a mere 250 feet away from the front door.
    If you were to move out of the bay area, where would you go?-img_20150812_195029.jpg
    If you were to move out of the bay area, where would you go?-12494801_10153865226047838_8585501286067880259_n.jpg

    In no way does Marin —or the Bay Area— compare unless you're a diehard surfer or city-phile. But to each their own.

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    I'd go pretty much anywhere else. For mtb access, population density and pretentiousness, the Bay Area blows and Marin is pretty much at the top of that list.

    I'd try to find a job where you can work from home and go live anywhere in the mountains. You'll find a lot more genuine people that care about their community and land managers that encourage use of their land in all different manners. Just pick an elevation that meets your criteria for annual snowfall. I like the snow and enjoy weekday powder days but I don't really want to shovel it in my driveway just to take my kid to school.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by dave54 View Post
    from the bay area anywhere else is an improvement.

    frisco is just an L.A. suburb, and marin is frisco's ghetto.
    I see what you did there to san frannnnn.
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    My wife and I have recently talked about Boise as well. My wife is slightly concerned because our kids are mixed (half Filipino/white) The thought of owning a home with no mortgage payment and escaping the rat race sounds really appealing. We really enjoy where we live (Livermore) but the thought of such financial freedom combined with all the outdoor activities seems almost too good to pass up.

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by EDRN911 View Post
    My wife and I have recently talked about Boise as well. My wife is slightly concerned because our kids are mixed (half Filipino/white) The thought of owning a home with no mortgage payment and escaping the rat race sounds really appealing. We really enjoy where we live (Livermore) but the thought of such financial freedom combined with all the outdoor activities seems almost too good to pass up.
    Boise is worth visiting. Vibrant downtown that is less than 1 mile away from the trails. I live in the Northend and it is probably the best neighborhood in Boise to live in for a combination of trail access and downtown access. I can walk or ride to downtown just as fast as I can get to the trails.

  42. #42
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    Amazing how fast some people have gone from being condescending a-holes telling me I was way too negative about off road cycling access, to f-this noise I'm outta here.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Davey Simon View Post
    Amazing how fast some people have gone from being condescending a-holes telling me I was way too negative about off road cycling access, to f-this noise I'm outta here.


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    Some people are slow to catch on. Some people still think there's hope for Marin.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fc View Post
    How's the redneck factor in Boise? Honestly? Given that you're a flip in i da ho.
    In Boise itself, you'll be hard pressed to find the redneck factor. Boise itself has become more moderate to left with the influx of folks coming into town compared to the rest of the state (More Berkeley than Stockton but with less hippies and more yuppies and less homeless). Put it this way, I do not fear walking from my house to downtown and back at any time of the day or night. Well, I do fear the occasional elk, moose or mountain lion that roam downtown sometimes but that's why everyone has guns (just half kidding).

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    Quote Originally Posted by beaverbiker View Post
    Some people are slow to catch on. Some people still think there's hope for Marin.
    It's purely about ego. I see a lot of people step into the arena thinking they are smarter than everyone who has come before them. They think their approach is better. Lately it's been the idiots at MCBC. "Let's make friends with the MHC and the MCL." They think that somehow they can ignore the parable of the Scorpion and the Frog. They have made things 10x worse with almost nothing to show for it.


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    i think finding a kickass job is more important to finding kickass singletrack..at least for me. i screwed around too much in life and found myself below the bell-curve as to where i should be in life at that age.

    i moved from Bay area - east bay to---- bay area "fringe" in the form of santa rosa. for the first time in our lives my wife, myself and both of our jobs are in the same damn city. it wasnt cheap, but i plunked down good money and got our house payment small..i'm gonna coast into retirement in 10 years..and then beg my my wife to let us get the hell outta here. i think selling my CA home and buying a non-CA home will put me back on track
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    Quote Originally Posted by flipnidaho View Post
    In Boise itself, you'll be hard pressed to find the redneck factor. Boise itself has become more moderate to left with the influx of folks coming into town compared to the rest of the state (More Berkeley than Stockton but with less hippies and more yuppies and less homeless). Put it this way, I do not fear walking from my house to downtown and back at any time of the day or night. Well, I do fear the occasional elk, moose or mountain lion that roam downtown sometimes but that's why everyone has guns (just half kidding).
    Boise is just like Marin...people shooting dogs on the trails
    Reports of shots fired in Hulls Gulch hiking area in Boise | Idaho Statesman

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Davey Simon View Post
    Amazing how fast some people have gone from being condescending a-holes telling me I was way too negative about off road cycling access, to f-this noise I'm outta here.


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    Did you just call your fellow mountain bikers condescending a-holes?
    IPA will save America

  49. #49
    I'm really diggin it!
    Reputation: Davey Simon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
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    Quote Originally Posted by fc View Post
    Did you just call your fellow mountain bikers condescending a-holes?
    A few individuals who damn well know who they are. Yes.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  50. #50
    Dream it, Do it.
    Reputation: Spectre's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
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    1,267
    Quote Originally Posted by marinrider View Post
    Thanks all for the replies, and I am working my way through the hundreds of replies on that other thread too. I wish I had figured this out years ago... Now I got roots I gotta dig up. In addition to great riding, I need to find a place where there are good engineering jobs, and good schools.
    What kind of engineering? I'm sure that will matter in the choice of where to live.
    Dirt Merchant Bikes
    www.dirtmerchantbikes.com
    Seattle area dealer for Turner Bikes & Cleary Bikes

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