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  1. #101
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    Quote Originally Posted by Empty_Beer View Post
    We entertained the idea of leaving El Dorado Hills for no other reason than a change of scenery, and we did some research and exploring last year. Some goals were less suburbia, a little more rural but not too far from conveniences, good trail network that can be ridden from the house, and not live in snow all winter. Near a lake or river or pond would be good too.

    Groveland: too remote and the trail infrastructure just isn't there yet
    Twain Harte: still too remote and small and Sonora wasn't appealing even though it is closer to Pinecrest
    Nevada City: Loved it, met most criteria, just couldn't find the right place for our budget
    Redding: Super appealing to me but couldn't the girl past the heat. I think Redding (the area) will be Bay Area-ized soon enough
    Grand Junction, CO was on the list but we didn't make it out there for a visit. I hope I don't regret it
    Boise: Fit lots of criteria and closer to the girl's folks, but never got around to looking seriously.
    Ashland: Spent a week there several years ago and liked it but didn't fall in love with it (didn't ride much when there though)
    Mendo: Compelling but not in the cards

    Ended up moving a mile from our old house when the "right" property suddenly popped up and we got it. Now I just plan on making EDH trails great again. :-)
    Many reports in one!! Very well done. Where do you live now? Auburn?
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  2. #102
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    If I wasn't a skier I'd be all over the Mendocino area...

  3. #103
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    Quote Originally Posted by fc View Post
    Many reports in one!! Very well done. Where do you live now? Auburn?
    Escaped Bay Area in '99 and landed in El Dorado Hills. Staying in El Dorado Hills. Found our "forever home"... however long forever is.

  4. #104
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    Different people are looking for different things, and they'll find them in different places. When you arrive at the place you think you want to be, you'll know it. Just make sure you know what it's like throughout the year: costs, weather, climate, length (and economic depression) of the mud season (if any), educational opportunities, culture, crowding in the busy season, etc. All can -and often do- change one's opinion of a place after a few months. Some places you visit on a nice day in the early fall may suck for you in mid summer or in January...

    I've lived in Boulder (17 years), Steamboat (2 years), Aspen (1 year), Leadville (2 years), Breckenridge/Frisco (1 year), Vail/Edwards/Avon (8 years), Grand Junction (2 years, and where I graduated from high school), Tahoe (2years on both the North and South Shore), Durango (4 years), Santa Rosa (2 years), Monterey (3 years), and in SF and Marin for the past 7 years. With family living in Ashland and Joseph Oregon for the past 15 years, I've spent a lot of time in both towns and the areas in between, including a usual stopover in Bend, and with many years of shoulder season time off (perk of working in ski towns) I've visited just about every "cool" town west of the Rockies. Every one of these places has something worthy of living there for, or they wouldn't be worth spending any time in.

    I'll soon return to my house in Durango with my family for good because it has at least a little bit of all of what the other's have to offer when many of them are lacking in one way or another: diversity of economy, population size, level of education and educational opportunities, diversity of riding, food/music/art, opportunities for skiing and river sports (other passions), and just general livability. Durango is superior for the life we chose to live. But to each their own.

    From a riding standpoint, hands down, Durango offers the most diversity of riding within an hour radius than any other town mentioned in this thread: desert slick rock, flowy Fruita style desert trails, super challenging chunk, freeride drops and stunts, and 100's of miles of high alpine single track of superlative quality, and all of this is accessible within an hour's drive time, and at least 60 (and more for those hardcore riders) miles of these great trails are ridable directly from from your front door anywhere in town. Yeah, it snows, but I've also skied in the morning at Purg and been riding in 60 degree weather in the high desert that afternoon, and there's a big fat-bike scene so there's that. The biggest downsides are the slightly higher challenge of flying out of Durango, and the cost of living is above that of the rest of the Western Slope outside of the ski towns (which are far more pricey) but still cheap compared to the Bay Area. These negative —such as they are— are easy to put up with in exchange for all of the other positive attributes and the fact that that difficulty of travel means Durango itself hasn't become insanely expensive like those purely "resort" town economies totally based on high-end tourism. Oh, and lets not forget the 6 excellent breweries, all within riding distance, in a town with 17,000 people in it!

    But again, to each their own...

  5. #105
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    Quote Originally Posted by Turd Fergusen View Post
    What about Arcata? Tell me about living in Arcata. Some friends just bought a house up there and it looks really nice on paper. Not just the biking, which I assume is awesome, but bonuses and pitfalls of local life.
    I lived there for a number of years. It's been a while but I visit fairly often.

    Plusses: not many people. Laid back. Small town. A university to bring in culture. Lots of pot if you're into that. Maybe 100,000 people in the Humboldt bay area... about the same population as Mountain View, but spread out.

    Minuses: rain, lots of rain. Not hard, just often, like every day. "normal" rainfall is about 3-4x the bay area but can be double that some years. If you want to do stuff outdoors you get used to doing it in the rain.
    Not much work except during bud trimming season. University jobs are hard won. If you need something and it's not in the Humboldt area, you're getting it mail ordered or driving to the bay area. It's 6 hours to SF except when the highways are blocked due to slides or snow. I got really familiar with that drive. Three hours to Redding.

    Most people either like it or can't wait to leave. I liked it for a while but between lack of work and it being a little too small and insular, eventually left.

    One of the advantages of the bay area is that even though my work is highly specialized there's a lot of people who need it. I considered moving to Boulder a while back but there's a lot less work for me there.

    Here I can live in the mountains and still be close enough to Silicon Valley to work there without a horrendous commute.

  6. #106
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    Quote Originally Posted by huntermos View Post
    But again, to each their own...
    Yep. Durango is definitely a great little town. I lived in Farmington for 3 months a long time ago. It was winter, so I boarded a little and did some great rides around Cortez. An aside: Chaco Canyon is probably the coolest place most people in this county have never heard of. And the hot springs just east of there are the best I've ever been to. I couldn't live someplace that has a real winter anymore, but I get the appeal!
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  7. #107
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    I left the East Bay and moved to Fort Collins last February. I couldn't afford a home anywhere in the Bay. Haven't regretted it one bit!

  8. #108
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fassn8 View Post
    I'm strongly considering leaving the Bay Area and moving to Boulder or the surrounding area (Longmont, Gunbarrel, Niwot, Louisville, etc.). Cost of living, housing costs, no commuting and overall lifestyle is what I'm in search of. While Boulder is certainly not cheap, the surrounding areas are very affordable relative to our area now.
    Have you seen the prices in Gunbarrel? They're pretty high too last time I checked.

    I left the Bay Area for the Denver metro recently. I've wanted out for a while, but health finally drove me to higher altitudes.

    While I'm still checking out the riding here (there are quite a few trails and bike parks nearby that aren't patrolled by rangers who want to ticket you for smiling on your bike), the weather is a serious drawback if you like your 12 months of summer/spring in the Bay Area. People here now understand why you want out with crap like that.

    It is dry here. Really ****ing dry. You will drink a lot of water (more than you can imagine), use a humidifier to sleep, use a lot of chapstick, and a lot of lotion.

    The weather varies daily, and sometimes in wild swings of 40 degrees and some super strong winds. Haven't been through the hail or snow yet, but if you like predictable weather to schedule your rides, this isn't for you.

    Denver and Boulder, like any other metro, have traffic. Some places are worse than others. However, the pace of life here is much slower and you're not gonna have the greatest selection of Chinese food if that's your thing.

    There are tech jobs here, but you have to look for them. They're not on every block and you can't be so picky on what you want.

    It's cheaper here (most food except seafood for obvious reasons) and more predictable people who aren't every man for himself.

    It's a slower pace, but people here have a really good and honest work ethic. For me, I like the slower pace. I'll come back to California but only as a visitor.

    Some people would really struggle not being near the ocean. I don't have that problem, even though I'm from Florida, some folks would find that a struggle. And winter. Don't forget there is winter here.


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  9. #109
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    @stripes, Thank you for the reply. I'm also from Florida originally. I'm considering starting a new company in Boulder. While areas like Gunbarrel, Louisville, and Niwot are certainly not "cheap", you can get a lot more house for your money compared to San Jose / Los Gatos. I would say our biggest hesitation is that whole winter thing :-)

  10. #110
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    Quote Originally Posted by huntermos View Post

    From a riding standpoint, hands down, Durango offers the most diversity of riding within an hour radius than any other town mentioned in this thread: desert slick rock, flowy Fruita style desert trails, super challenging chunk, freeride drops and stunts, and 100's of miles of high alpine single track of superlative quality, and all of this is accessible within an hour's drive time, and at least 60 (and more for those hardcore riders) miles of these great trails are ridable directly from from your front door anywhere in town. Yeah, it snows, but I've also skied in the morning at Purg and been riding in 60 degree weather in the high desert that afternoon, and there's a big fat-bike scene so there's that. The biggest downsides are the slightly higher challenge of flying out of Durango, and the cost of living is above that of the rest of the Western Slope outside of the ski towns (which are far more pricey) but still cheap compared to the Bay Area. These negative —such as they are— are easy to put up with in exchange for all of the other positive attributes and the fact that that difficulty of travel means Durango itself hasn't become insanely expensive like those purely "resort" town economies totally based on high-end tourism. Oh, and lets not forget the 6 excellent breweries, all within riding distance, in a town with 17,000 people in it!
    What is the (W)ilderness situation there? Durangonians have been very vocal against S.3205. Is there just so much adventurous non-W riding that every mt. biker is placated? Are any RW's or WSA's on the table?

    Not that Wilderness is the only issue in the world.... I'm just curious what the state of affairs is there.

  11. #111
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    Quote Originally Posted by fc View Post
    Great report. So much intel!

    How bad is the winter in Montana? Seem like a candidate for dual-residence. One there, one in Moab.
    The weather changes from year to year. Summers can be dry and forest fires can make recreating difficult. Winters can be dry and mess up the ski season. It is always dynamic and it is nice to have seasons again after spending two years in California.

    You don't think of extreme cold spells as being "bad" as it is just a part of nature that you adapt to. Waking up to two fresh feet of snow is something I look forward to as it transforms the terrain into a whole new planet to explore... Makes beer taste better too for some reason.
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  12. #112
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    Now we're getting some golden insight. Thanks all. Talk about the local beer too.


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  13. #113
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    Ok I'll play. Grew up in the East Bay...College in Tucson then SF. Graduated and found myself going to Tahoe every weekend—so I moved there. Job in the bike industry then took me to the South Bay. Aptos and then closer to Morgan Hill. I'll pause there and say that IF I had to choose a place to live in the bay area currently it'd be Aptos (putting traffic and all that aside.)

    The south bay was just not our jam, too busy, too much growth, surrounded by people with different priorities and agendas. Jumped ship to Fort Collins which we loved. We went in there however thinking it'd be a big change financially from the Bay. We could afford a nice house in a great neighborhood, a walk from city park, an hour from back country skiing and marginally fun mountain biking out the door (found myself on the gravel bike much much more). Cost of living was pretty much the same, and not wanting to commute, or live in the Denver / Boulder area left the job market rather limited. I probably gained and kept 10-15 lb's just from the "beer culture" there.

    70+ miles of in-town paved bike trails was awesome. We sold one car because we simply did not need two and I commuted year round. Being able to ride care free almost anywhere in town is an incredibly liberating feeling. People, beer, everything was good. Ultimately my job was not what I hoped it to be and we were questioning why we were in Colorado if it were not for the job. Front range is different. It's not a mountain town that's for sure and I think that's what we missed most. In the three years we were in FoCo we saw the traffic and population grow tremendously. CSU seemed to be taking over the town and you could sense the change / growth coming.

    We gambled and moved back to the place that's always had our hearts and checked almost every box on our list. Truckee. We had always talked about Grass Valley and Nevada City but both places really lacked a small town feel sort of central community feel. It's there, but spread out, and the demographics are all over the place. We both work for ourselves and welcome the benefits and short comings of it living in a place like Truckee. We were able to buy and sell a house at profit in Fort Collins in 2 years and let that be our ticket back to California where we found a nice small place with a huge yard in Glenshire. My wife hates the cold, and could care less about skiing - that would be our biggest hangup. Talks of RV's, campers, and trips to visit friends and family either in the desert or in Costa Rica for a month or two at a time are a real possibility now with no kids and the ability to rent and work from anywhere.

    Trails and riding just keep getting better. Truckee and North Tahoe, winter trips to Auburn, and the whole Lost Sierra area is just dialed and less than an hours drive w/ no traffic anywhere. The contentment that comes from living in a place your truly love and are reminded of that every day easily outshines any paycheck, square footage, etc.

    Part changing location, but more importantly, changing of perspective and quality of life.

  14. #114
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    Summer: Mammoth or Tahoe
    Winter: Todos Santos

    For now the Bay Area is nice for me and love my new found community in Niles.
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  15. #115
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    Quote Originally Posted by Empty_Beer View Post
    What is the (W)ilderness situation there? Durangonians have been very vocal against S.3205. Is there just so much adventurous non-W riding that every mt. biker is placated? Are any RW's or WSA's on the table?

    Not that Wilderness is the only issue in the world.... I'm just curious what the state of affairs is there.
    In 2008, when I was still living in Durango, I worked for the environmental non-profit Colorado Wild (I have an MA in Environmental Policy) and was tasked by my boss to put together a policy recommendation to add much of Hermosa Creek and Indian Trail Ridge (where the Colorado Trails runs on it's way to Kennebec Pass) to the Hidden Gems Wilderness Act campaign. This resulted in a pretty tense argument in the middle of the office and of me quitting the job two weeks later. Today, Hermosa Creek is protected from extractive industry while still accessible to bikes, motos (on certain trails), and anyone else that wants to recreate outdoors. Indian Trail Ridge and the Colorado Trail are still legal and accessible as well.

    The area around Durango has the largest Wilderness Area in the State —the Weminuche— which is an incredible landscape of 13 and 14 thousand foot peaks, lakes, knife ridges, canyons, and steep valleys. Very little of it is rideable unless your last name is Macaskill or Rey, and most residents in the area love having it nearby, frequently access to climb, backpack, hunt, hike, and ski and have no desire or need to ride into it.

    There's also the 1000's of square miles of alpine landscapes with 100's of miles of quality trails to ride, plus 100's more down low that are all bike legal, well maintained, and fun to ride. So yeah, there's plenty of riding to keep everyone happy without needing to access Wilderness, and any attempts to take any of that away are vehemently resisted. The balance between the big W, and the quality and quantity of what is bike legal is excellent.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fc View Post
    Someone needs to give the full lowdown on Bend, Oregon. I have 4 friends that relocated there. They're still there too.
    Severe housing shortage. Rent prices are the highest in Oregon. People are taking rental application fees for rental units they don't even own. People have accepted jobs there and stayed in motels for 6 months until finally giving up and moving on due to the housing shortage. Not much of a business base making jobs scarce and wages low. Highest relative cost of living in Oregon. A general unfriendliness towards outsiders that move there. Yearly fires in the surrounding area that are getting more and more frequent and severe every year limiting the time you would want to spend outside riding quite a bit due to the suffocating smoke. In the middle of a realestate bubble... don't even think of buying there unless you want to loose your shorts.

    But Bend is a great place to live if you enjoy rednecks!

  17. #117
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    Quote Originally Posted by Empty_Beer View Post
    Ended up moving a mile from our old house when the "right" property suddenly popped up and we got it. Now I just plan on making EDH trails great again. :-)
    With as much *****ing as I do about the bay area, it's funny that it's still home. To a great extent home is what you make of it. I ride 5 days a week (mix of paved and unpaved), work for El Corpo, and steal from the rich. Even though the rat race can be oppressive, there are still plenty of ways to live as a margin walker and get away with a balanced lifestyle. I rarely even leave the bay area any more because I can get enough of what I truly need right in my backyard.

    Some people say the traffic is bad. I say don't go to work at 8:00 and come home at 5:00. (Or better yet, ride your bike to work!) Some people say there aren't enough trails. I say get a cross bike and go ride some of the most unpopulated land less than 10 miles from one of the highest population density areas in the country.

  18. #118
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    Quote Originally Posted by huntermos View Post
    In 2008, when I was still living in Durango, I worked for the environmental non-profit Colorado Wild (I have an MA in Environmental Policy) and was tasked by my boss to put together a policy recommendation to add much of Hermosa Creek and Indian Trail Ridge (where the Colorado Trails runs on it's way to Kennebec Pass) to the Hidden Gems Wilderness Act campaign. This resulted in a pretty tense argument in the middle of the office and of me quitting the job two weeks later. Today, Hermosa Creek is protected from extractive industry while still accessible to bikes, motos (on certain trails), and anyone else that wants to recreate outdoors. Indian Trail Ridge and the Colorado Trail are still legal and accessible as well.

    The area around Durango has the largest Wilderness Area in the State —the Weminuche— which is an incredible landscape of 13 and 14 thousand foot peaks, lakes, knife ridges, canyons, and steep valleys. Very little of it is rideable unless your last name is Macaskill or Rey, and most residents in the area love having it nearby, frequently access to climb, backpack, hunt, hike, and ski and have no desire or need to ride into it.

    There's also the 1000's of square miles of alpine landscapes with 100's of miles of quality trails to ride, plus 100's more down low that are all bike legal, well maintained, and fun to ride. So yeah, there's plenty of riding to keep everyone happy without needing to access Wilderness, and any attempts to take any of that away are vehemently resisted. The balance between the big W, and the quality and quantity of what is bike legal is excellent.
    First, nice job challenging your boss on the issue! I'm glad it worked out for mt. biking.

    The thing about the "macaskill/rey" comment is it sounds like the terrain would keep 99.7% of mt. bikers out of the Weminuche (same with many Wilderness areas) if the prohibition ended tomorrow... not that many people find that kind of "ride and hike" fun. So I always wonder why people worry about bikes in such Wilderness. It isn't like the non-Wilderness 14'ers are being overrun with bikes, right? And, should S3205 ever pass as written, the Forest Supervisor for the Weminuche could write up an order that keeps all trails closed to mountain biking... and 99.99% of the surrounding community will be fine with that, given the massive amount of awesome riding available outside of Wilderness.

    I gotta get out to Durango sooner than later to check it out!

    Sorry for the tangent... but thanks for the insight!!

  19. #119
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    Quote Originally Posted by Empty_Beer View Post
    First, nice job challenging your boss on the issue! I'm glad it worked out for mt. biking.
    It's protected now because a diverse group of stakeholders, including some Tea-Party leaning lawmakers, got together and hammered out an agreement that everyone but the most extreme environmental activist can agree with. But those types would like it if only they were allowed to go there. Like any interest group, there are those on the extreme fringe, and I consider myself a pretty strong environmental advocate...

    Quote Originally Posted by Empty_Beer View Post
    The thing about the "macaskill/rey" comment is it sounds like the terrain would keep 99.7% of mt. bikers out of the Weminuche (same with many Wilderness areas) if the prohibition ended tomorrow... not that many people find that kind of "ride and hike" fun. So I always wonder why people worry about bikes in such Wilderness. It isn't like the non-Wilderness 14'ers are being overrun with bikes, right? And, should S3205 ever pass as written, the Forest Supervisor for the Weminuche could write up an order that keeps all trails closed to mountain biking.
    The edges of the Weminuche can get pretty hammered, and it would be really easy to get too far back on a bike and get in trouble for those with little skill/knowledge, especially from Missionary Ridge which is bike accessible. It's really rough country, and IMO, I'm perfectly fine that bikes aren't allowed in all of it except maybe the Colorado Trail corridor on the northern edge, and even that section would require a lot of HAB. I'd guess that if S3205 passes, the USFS wouldn't open any of it up to bikes anyway.

    Quote Originally Posted by Empty_Beer View Post
    I gotta get out to Durango sooner than later to check it out!

    Sorry for the tangent... but thanks for the insight!!
    We still rent our place out to friends and family, at least until we move back next September. A few of the SBTS crew (R&M, G&H) have stayed there and a few may be going back out again next summer, so there's your chance!

    And, yeah, sorry for the derail.

    Back to the thread.

  20. #120
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    Quote Originally Posted by huntermos View Post
    Different people are looking for different things, and they'll find them in different places. When you arrive at the place you think you want to be, you'll know it. Just make sure you know what it's like throughout the year: costs, weather, climate, length (and economic depression) of the mud season (if any), educational opportunities, culture, crowding in the busy season, etc. All can -and often do- change one's opinion of a place after a few months. Some places you visit on a nice day in the early fall may suck for you in mid summer or in January...

    I've lived in Boulder (17 years), Steamboat (2 years), Aspen (1 year), Leadville (2 years), Breckenridge/Frisco (1 year), Vail/Edwards/Avon (8 years), Grand Junction (2 years, and where I graduated from high school), Tahoe (2years on both the North and South Shore), Durango (4 years), Santa Rosa (2 years), Monterey (3 years), and in SF and Marin for the past 7 years. With family living in Ashland and Joseph Oregon for the past 15 years, I've spent a lot of time in both towns and the areas in between, including a usual stopover in Bend, and with many years of shoulder season time off (perk of working in ski towns) I've visited just about every "cool" town west of the Rockies. Every one of these places has something worthy of living there for, or they wouldn't be worth spending any time in.

    I'll soon return to my house in Durango with my family for good because it has at least a little bit of all of what the other's have to offer when many of them are lacking in one way or another: diversity of economy, population size, level of education and educational opportunities, diversity of riding, food/music/art, opportunities for skiing and river sports (other passions), and just general livability. Durango is superior for the life we chose to live. But to each their own.

    From a riding standpoint, hands down, Durango offers the most diversity of riding within an hour radius than any other town mentioned in this thread: desert slick rock, flowy Fruita style desert trails, super challenging chunk, freeride drops and stunts, and 100's of miles of high alpine single track of superlative quality, and all of this is accessible within an hour's drive time, and at least 60 (and more for those hardcore riders) miles of these great trails are ridable directly from from your front door anywhere in town. Yeah, it snows, but I've also skied in the morning at Purg and been riding in 60 degree weather in the high desert that afternoon, and there's a big fat-bike scene so there's that. The biggest downsides are the slightly higher challenge of flying out of Durango, and the cost of living is above that of the rest of the Western Slope outside of the ski towns (which are far more pricey) but still cheap compared to the Bay Area. These negative —such as they are— are easy to put up with in exchange for all of the other positive attributes and the fact that that difficulty of travel means Durango itself hasn't become insanely expensive like those purely "resort" town economies totally based on high-end tourism. Oh, and lets not forget the 6 excellent breweries, all within riding distance, in a town with 17,000 people in it!

    But again, to each their own...
    Durango is a great spot and I would be very open to moving there if there were more jobs and better flights (still have a lot of family traffic back to east coast).

    Have you ridden Steamboat lately? The riding has improved significantly in the last 5+ years. Enough to sway us from Crested Butte when we bought our mountain condo. No regrets (although I still love CB...just don't like the 2.5 month summers).

  21. #121
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    I'm surprised nobody has mentioned San Luis Obispo. Great little college town, good surf, good riding (and getting better all the time). Lack of jobs is a limiting factor though.
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  22. #122
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirtvert View Post
    I'm surprised nobody has mentioned San Luis Obispo. Great little college town, good surf, good riding (and getting better all the time). Lack of jobs is a limiting factor though.
    Absolutely!!! Let's get the scoop on that please!! Maybe if my kids go there, I can spy on them.

    Maybe live in Grover Beach or Avila Beach.
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  23. #123
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    Been following this thread for awhile with keen interest. I would love to live in a place like Ashland or Bend (visited/rode both and love them), but what I do for a living pretty much ensures that I'm tied to living in a major metropolitan area. So, barring a complete career change, what are thoughts on trying to still MTB in places like Portland (pretty much Sandy Ridge?), Seattle, Denver, LA, et al.?

    As much as I'm over the Bay Area, at least I can still sneak in rides at places like Joaquin Miller before work. Is there anywhere else "big city" wise like that?

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    Home is where job is. There is so much career opportunities right here in the Bay Area that only a couple of other places could come even close.

    If you are in tech Austin is a possibility, but their summers are HOT; Orange County/San Diego is another option, cheap housing (relative to here). Seattle? Too much rain. I don't even want to mention Boston here...

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    I'm a Bay Area native and there's a huge variety of lifestyles and even COL within the greater Bay Area. Been living in Santa Cruz (city) for the last five years; sure it's pricey compared to Bend or Austin, but walk or ride downtown in 5 minutes, ride to singletrack in 15, see factory test riders on those trails, 45 minutes to San Jose airport to fly anywhere, 90 minutes to SF or 2-1/2 hours to San Luis Obispo, commutable to any Silicon Valley tech job, and much cheaper than most of the Peninsula, Los Gatos, etc. Living here feels much different than anyplace I've been in the Bay Area, and no matter how many times you've visited, it can't prepare you for calling it home.

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    Portland Oregon is very bike friendly

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    Quote Originally Posted by Daholla77 View Post
    Portland Oregon is very bike friendly

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    So what kind of MTB trails do they have in the city?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    So what kind of MTB trails do they have in the city?
    Forest Park right on the outskirts

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  29. #129
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daholla77 View Post
    Forest Park right on the outskirts

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    Not to far from the Oregon zoo

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  30. #130
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    Quote Originally Posted by dman_mb1 View Post
    I'm a Bay Area native and there's a huge variety of lifestyles and even COL within the greater Bay Area. Been living in Santa Cruz (city) for the last five years; sure it's pricey compared to Bend or Austin, but walk or ride downtown in 5 minutes, ride to singletrack in 15, see factory test riders on those trails, 45 minutes to San Jose airport to fly anywhere, 90 minutes to SF or 2-1/2 hours to San Luis Obispo, commutable to any Silicon Valley tech job, and much cheaper than most of the Peninsula, Los Gatos, etc. Living here feels much different than anyplace I've been in the Bay Area, and no matter how many times you've visited, it can't prepare you for calling it home.
    Very good!!! Santa Cruz is really not like the Bay Area since it has good trails and a better vibe. It's specially good if you can isolate yourself and just go to the Peninsula say... Once a month.

    Half Moon Bay has a similar vibe. But man do the road ever get slammed on weekends.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daholla77 View Post
    Portland Oregon is very bike friendly

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    Huh?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    So what kind of MTB trails do they have in the city?
    None. Forest park is gravel road. They are breaking ground on the first mtb park in Portland in a green space area that was occupied by 1000's of surly homeless camps a month ago. Portland is light years behind Seattle here, but we've caught up in being an overpriced congested sell out.
    It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.

  33. #133
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    Just putting this here..

    The Riverside Inn in Dville is for sale...
    Nevada County Real Estate 20160163 206 Commercial Street Downieville California

  34. #134
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    Quote Originally Posted by fc View Post
    From friend:

    Kenny Roberts:
    Made the move two years ago to Bend and so glad I'm gonna drink a beer to celebrate! It was the third time I left California in my life. accessibility and quality of mountain biking available - Great riding out the front door.
    - outdoor and other nature activities - hiking, fishing, skiing, kayaking and pretty much everythiing else - oh yeah an beer drinking
    - weather or how bad is it compared to the Bay Area - We get snow and cold in the winter so not optimal for wimpy Bay Area People
    - beauty of the area - Unbelievable
    - jobs, jobs and cost of living - There are jobs but it's still just a small city. Bring a good one with you, create one or work in the service industry
    - quality of people and of culture, education and racial tolerance - very high!!
    - traffic and access to transportation and airports - There is no traffic and the regional airport is 30 mins away
    - good affordable food? Burrito? Beeeeer? - Food is very affordable - beer is gushing from fountains!
    - Growing economy or collapsing? Growing economy - supposedly one of the fastet in the country although it's still small city (80k)
    - infrastructure and climate for raising kids - excellent
    I'll assume that's KR Jr? He's actually married to my wife's cousin. I didn't go to the wedding so I've never actually met him but my wife brought me back an autographed poster as a consolation prize.

    Anyway, I'll have to agree to disagree with Kenny on several points. I've been to Bend every other year as part of an Oregon trip for a while and like others above have said, Bend may have been great at one time but that time has passed. The biggest issue for me personally is how "trendy" everything has to be when it comes to food. Trendy definitely does NOT equate to affordable, just the opposite actually. The other big one is the traffic for a city that size is horrendous. Much worse that where I live in San Diego County. They have roundabouts all over to reduce traffic but nobody knows how to drive in them so traffic actually backs up 10 cars long. It takes 3-4 cycles to get thru some intersections due to all the signals.

    Keep in mind also that Kenny has more $$ than he could ever spend so his experiences will not mirror those of the average Joe with a family.

    On the flip side, the area is beautiful. The people are nice (though not "hot" if you get my gist) and there are plenty of outdoor activities to keep you busy for a lifetime. The #1 bonus up there is definitely for beer drinkers. That place is off the hook for those folks.
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  35. #135
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tyrone Shoelaces View Post
    Just putting this here..

    The Riverside Inn in Dville is for sale...
    Nevada County Real Estate 20160163 206 Commercial Street Downieville California
    We noticed that on the last trip. It's just those darn winters there.
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  36. #136
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    Quote Originally Posted by k2rider1964 View Post
    I'll assume that's KR Jr? He's actually married to my wife's cousin. I didn't go to the wedding so I've never actually met him but my wife brought me back an autographed poster as a consolation prize.

    Anyway, I'll have to agree to disagree with Kenny on several points. I've been to Bend every other year as part of an Oregon trip for a while and like others above have said, Bend may have been great at one time but that time has passed. The biggest issue for me personally is how "trendy" everything has to be when it comes to food. Trendy definitely does NOT equate to affordable, just the opposite actually. The other big one is the traffic for a city that size is horrendous. Much worse that where I live in San Diego County. They have roundabouts all over to reduce traffic but nobody knows how to drive in them so traffic actually backs up 10 cars long. It takes 3-4 cycles to get thru some intersections due to all the signals.

    Keep in mind also that Kenny has more $$ than he could ever spend so his experiences will not mirror those of the average Joe with a family.

    On the flip side, the area is beautiful. The people are nice (though not "hot" if you get my gist) and there are plenty of outdoor activities to keep you busy for a lifetime. The #1 bonus up there is definitely for beer drinkers. That place is off the hook for those folks.
    Good feedback. This is a different Kenny Roberts. He runs SQ Labs and Syntace USA and used to live in Grand Junction then Oakland.
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  37. #137
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    Quote Originally Posted by dman_mb1 View Post
    I'm a Bay Area native and there's a huge variety of lifestyles and even COL within the greater Bay Area. Been living in Santa Cruz (city) for the last five years; sure it's pricey compared to Bend or Austin, but walk or ride downtown in 5 minutes, ride to singletrack in 15, see factory test riders on those trails, 45 minutes to San Jose airport to fly anywhere, 90 minutes to SF or 2-1/2 hours to San Luis Obispo, commutable to any Silicon Valley tech job, and much cheaper than most of the Peninsula, Los Gatos, etc. Living here feels much different than anyplace I've been in the Bay Area, and no matter how many times you've visited, it can't prepare you for calling it home.
    But...the heroin. I lived there way back in 1980-1986. It was more special pre-quake. Now, it makes me sad to see the SJ strip-mall influence and the junkie kids. Not to mention the prices! I cannot honestly think of anywhere to go that isn't overpriced or unrideable.

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    IPA will save America

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    Quote Originally Posted by fc View Post
    Very good!!! Santa Cruz is really not like the Bay Area since it has good trails and a better vibe. It's specially good if you can isolate yourself and just go to the Peninsula say... Once a month.

    Half Moon Bay has a similar vibe. But man do the road ever get slammed on weekends.
    Live on Kings Mountain.
    Skeggs is here.
    Purisima too. Can bike through there to Half Moon Bay.
    Tiny mountain community that supports our school and fire station by holding an annual art fair.

    30 minutes to San Francisco city limit. 25 min to Palo Alto. <20 min to Caltrain.

    We are in the Midpen district, so you get to vote for a board member (or run yourself).






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    This one is not for winter wimps... Bozeman, Montana.

    Bozeman usually makes the best small town lists in the US. Great area for outdoor activities. Population of 50,000, Montana State University (my son attends), surrounded by wilderness. World class fishing is considered the best in the US (Madison, Gallatin, Jefferson, Yellowstone rivers), fly-fishing heaven. Also voted one of the best ski towns in America. The largest ski area in the country is a fifty minute drive (Big Sky), although most locals ski at Bridger Bowl 20 minutes away and much cheaper. Rocky mountain powder, 'nuff said.

    Mountain biking... pretty much pick any direction and you will hit mountains with endless miles of trails. Not necessarily riding from town unless you live on the outskirts. Yes it gets damn cold in the winter, but it's a dry cold. Lol!

    I'm a Bay Area native, lived in Boulder CO for 6 years, but moved back to the Bay Area 25 years ago. Would never move back to Denver/Boulder, but seriously considering Bozeman now that my son lives there. Drawbacks are jobs and cultural activities which are both limited, although we're self-employed and could make it work. Restaurant, beer, & bar scene are surprisingly excellent. Incredible amount of local craft brews. Many of the old timers lament about growth, but it's all good imho.

    Lots of pickups and Subaru Outbacks, very laid back vibe for the most part, and very safe. Airport is a ten minute drive from town. It is considered the gateway to Yellowstone National Park (1.5 hours away). Bozeman is obviously not undiscovered, but I think the remoteness and jobs are what have kept growth in check. Housing is considered expensive for Montana, but dirt cheap by Bay Area standards.

    My son is a freshman at MSU who lives in the dorms. Every dorm has ski lockers and a gun cleaning room. He checks his rifles at the dorm's front desk. Can you imagine any California school with a policy like that? That's Montana.

    Considering Bend, Oregon too as I have two brothers that live there - one has lived there for twenty years, the other moved to Bend two years ago. They both like it, but neither mtn bikes or skis. I've ski'd in Oregon and it sucks, makes Sierra cement look good. Have not mtb'd near Bend, but it looks promising. Still leaning toward Bozeman as Montana just blows me away every time I'm there.

    “I’m in love with Montana. For other states I have admiration, respect, recognition, even some affection. But with Montana it is love. And it’s difficult to analyze love when you’re in it.” ― John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley: In Search of America.

  41. #141
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fiendbear View Post
    This one is not for winter wimps... Bozeman, Montana.
    But they make bikes for that

    Wherever I end up next, I know I have to be able to do winter-biking there, as in fat-biking on snow trails. It's just too much fun.
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  42. #142
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    If you ride in Bozeman, you'll do some driving. We see loads of early and late season Bozeman riders in Helena looking for dry trails. The riding in Bozo is good, but the summer is short and there aren't many quick options close to town.

  43. #143
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    Quote Originally Posted by fc View Post
    I'm extremely skeptical of studies like this unless they reveal the raw data and a long-time historical comparison using the same methods.

  44. #144
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    https://www.entrepreneur.com/slideshow/284202

    Interesting. According to those metrics we are doing just fine. San Jose and Fremont in top 5 cities with least amount of family (divorce rates), health, and financial (credit score) stress.

  45. #145
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    Quote Originally Posted by Axe View Post
    https://www.entrepreneur.com/slideshow/284202

    Interesting. According to those metrics we are doing just fine. San Jose and Fremont in top 5 cities with least amount of family (divorce rates), health, and financial (credit score) stress.
    My health (particularly my lungs) and financial stress are much improved since I left.

    Each to their own. A collective survey doesn't tell each individual what would be ideal.

  46. #146
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    How about you just (not FC, but the fictitious unknown) grow a set and move. I am a BA native (born 65) and I knew by ten that my days were numbered. When you no longer know your neighbors you no longer belong. The BA is a slow crashing train wreck and has been for decades. What are you waiting for? Your institutions (EBRPD, et .al.) are so corrupt as to ensure an outcome predetermined and inconsistent with any rational expectation. Get out into the hinterlands, take responsibility for your own future and then reengage and prosper. Most of you will dismiss the advice out of hand.....and suffer for the choice. We have several generations of pussies. I want....I want....I want....but please do not ask me to make any decisions....and last of all please do not hold me accountable for my circumstance.

    And I want a baby's arm holding an apple. ****ing pathetic.
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  47. #147
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    I like it here. I have a affordable to me house, singletrack in back yard, well paying job with a reasonable commute, decent public schools for kids. Weather is great, people around are diverse and educated, there is awesome climbing and skiing within driving distance.
    Why leave?

  48. #148
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    Quote Originally Posted by Axe View Post
    I like it here. I have a affordable to me house, singletrack in back yard, well paying job with a reasonable commute, decent public schools for kids. Weather is great, people around are diverse and educated, there is awesome climbing and skiing within driving distance.
    Why leave?
    Well, to start with, the first word of your first two sentences is "I". Beyond that, have you ever considered it could be better?

    Iffin a person can not see the problems with the BA then I suggest you visit Chicago, or Kansas City, or even Oakland. Then extrapolate.

    I can only repeat myself...so I won't. Please stay put. You wouldn't fit in anyway.
    "It's not that bicycling is so important, it is that everything else is equally unimportant."-Bruce Ohlson.

  49. #149
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    Quote Originally Posted by Turd Fergusen View Post
    What about Arcata? Tell me about living in Arcata. Some friends just bought a house up there and it looks really nice on paper. Not just the biking, which I assume is awesome, but bonuses and pitfalls of local life.

    Upside of Arcata is that I have trails one minute from my house. Downside is that all the best stuff, close to town, is illegal, except Arcata Community forest. Doesn't seem to stop anybody from riding it, but it's a choice. Good legal riding is one-two hours away at Lacks and Paradise Royale.

    Another upside is that it's a college town with lots of entrepreneurs that went to HSU and decided they wanted to stay and start businesses. Downside is that we are ground central for the weed business and that has driven up property values, higher than Sac, less than Marin, but still higher than our above ground economy would justify.

    We have good shops and a solid biking community. Several breweries, including one very good one, Redwood Curtain. Pretty good schools and the same problems with medical care that lots of rural communities have. It can take a long time to get in to see a specialist or an MRI.

    Anyone who lives here would laugh at my understatement if I said it never gets too hot. Lots of fog in the summer. 60 degrees is considered shorts weather. Hot weather is just over the hill, where there are lots of rivers and practically endless open country.

    Whatever the downsides, I never get tired of riding here and it is still my favorite place to ride, even after having been to most of the Wests' hot spots for riding. (Although I love that Ashland is 3.5 hours away and is an easy weekend trip)

  50. #150
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    Quote Originally Posted by JT79 View Post
    I'm extremely skeptical of studies like this unless they reveal the raw data and a long-time historical comparison using the same methods.
    For sure man. I think all it means is the insanity may be slowing down. Rents and Mortgages can't skyrocket forever.
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    They didn't skyrocket forever in 08 either, it crashed - then the process started again - and here we are.

  52. #152
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fiskare View Post
    I can only repeat myself...so I won't. Please stay put. You wouldn't fit in anyway.
    I grew up in a crazy city of ten million plus people, in a country that ceased to exist in front of my eyes. It is just fine around here in comparison, so pardon me for not sharing all the whining.

  53. #153
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    Quote Originally Posted by Axe View Post
    I grew up in a crazy city of ten million plus people, in a country that ceased to exist in front of my eyes. It is just fine around here in comparison, so pardon me for not sharing all the whining.
    It's just fine "in comparison" to a lot places around the world, that doesn't mean others who are making valid observations based on their experiences elsewhere are "whining"

    You have a different perspective based on your own experiences - which is fine.
    Spend some time living somewhere else, gain more experiences, and your perspective might change yet again. Fact of the matter is the BA is a rat race, but it's difficult to see that when you're immersed in it sometimes. It took me moving away to realize some things. 30 years ago I would have told you that I don't want to live anywhere else, but I was younger and ignorant, and it was a different place back then.

    Even places in the East Bay like Fremont that were once quiet and low key if not straight up "lazy" are are now crowded, hectic and suffering from increased crime.
    That drive down the boulevard that once took 10 minutes (wont' even get into 880) can now take an hour. It would take the perspective of having experienced it over that span of time to realize what's been happening.

    No I haven't lived in Darfur on Bengazhi, but I can still see that life is better elsewhere outside the BA. That said if the BA makes you happy, by all means stay. We don't need more people up here anyway.

    There are places in Ca where I would happily live, just not in any of the population centers, and certainly not the BA again.

    I do miss being able to get on the BART train and getting off right at the Coliseum to go to an A's game though. So simple I could do it on a whim after work.

  54. #154
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    Quote Originally Posted by Axe View Post
    I grew up in a crazy city of ten million plus people, in a country that ceased to exist in front of my eyes. It is just fine around here in comparison, so pardon me for not sharing all the whining.
    Every once in a while I need someone to tell me how I should feel. I've never left CA, and sometime I forget there are even other countries. Your story has convinced me to should not talk about my feelings on forums. I am ashamed. And here I was thinking I wanted to improve the life of my wife and daughter, when really I was just being entitled. ...because I was born in America, I guess.

  55. #155
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gambit21 View Post
    It's just fine "in comparison" to a lot places around the world, that doesn't mean others who are making valid observations based on their experiences elsewhere are "whining"

    You have a different perspective based on your own experiences - which is fine.
    Spend some time living somewhere else, gain more experiences, and your perspective might change yet again. Fact of the matter is the BA is a rat race, but it's difficult to see that when you're immersed in it sometimes. It took me moving away to realize some things. 30 years ago I would have told you that I don't want to live anywhere else, but I was younger and ignorant, and it was a different place back then.

    Even places in the East Bay like Fremont that were once quiet and low key if not straight up "lazy" are are now crowded, hectic and suffering from increased crime.
    That drive down the boulevard that once took 10 minutes (wont' even get into 880) can now take an hour. It would take the perspective of having experienced it over that span of time to realize what's been happening.

    No I haven't lived in Darfur on Bengazhi, but I can still see that life is better elsewhere outside the BA. That said if the BA makes you happy, by all means stay. We don't need more people up here anyway.

    There are places in Ca where I would happily live, just not in any of the population centers, and certainly not the BA again.

    I do miss being able to get on the BART train and getting off right at the Coliseum to go to an A's game though. So simple I could do it on a whim after work.
    Absolutely. Get to know other places and gain some perspective. If not, at least listen to others that have a passion for riding.

    I used to absolutely love the Bay Area. But now I get to travel and visit a lot of destinations each year around the US or beyond.

    Still love the Bay Area but now recognize areas where it is lacking. And also realize it is not ideal for many folks.

    So it's ok to discuss and think about options.
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  56. #156
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    Born and raised in the Bay Area (Fremont) with my Mom's side of the family going back several generations in San Francisco. The Bay Area is in my blood. It's what I know. These days however I find it less recognizable with each passing year. Change is inevitable. I don't put a value judgement on what has become of most parts of the Bay, I simply recognize the change.

    Even though I've spent the last 16 years somewhat removed and living around the Monterey Bay (SC, Monterey, back to SC, now in Aptos) I do wonder about the Bay Area's future and it's creeping effect on bordering areas including the one I currently live in. Living near one of the greatest job centers in the world has its positives but it can also bring considerable negatives.

    I've been to most of the places that people have mentioned in this thread and there are definitely a few where I would consider living. Needing to work and/or raising a family complicates things obviously. For us, it will probably be Washington State in 10-15 years. There are some towns I really like up between Seattle and Bellingham. Great outdoor opportunities in every direction and yet still close to a real city.

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    ^^ Similar. I live in Sonoma... which a lot of people don't even consider the bay area (although we locals do). It's kind of difficult to say it's not these days, however, considering how many people live here and work in SF. More traffic, more money, more a-holes. It's frustrating.

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    getting up to wine country out of the bay can be absurd if you don't time it right...Best way is via 2 wheels

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    Quote Originally Posted by Axe View Post
    I like it here. I have a affordable to me house, singletrack in back yard, well paying job with a reasonable commute, decent public schools for kids. Weather is great, people around are diverse and educated, there is awesome climbing and skiing within driving distance.
    Why leave?
    Axe,
    Thanks for speaking your mind. Your story is not unfamiliar to me. Perspective is key. And I owe you a beer, at least. Come to Redding and me and mine will give a great ride. Dinner on me.

    the fisherman
    "It's not that bicycling is so important, it is that everything else is equally unimportant."-Bruce Ohlson.

  60. #160
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    Quote Originally Posted by fc View Post

    - accessibility and quality of mountain biking available
    - outdoor and other nature activities
    - other sports available and what are they
    - weather or how bad is it compared to the Bay Area
    - beauty of the area
    - jobs, jobs and cost of living
    - quality of people and of culture, education and racial tolerance
    - traffic and access to transportation and airports
    - good affordable food? Burrito? Beeeeer?
    - Growing economy or collapsing?
    - infrastructure and climate for raising kids

    Let's talk it out. Give us the real scoop. Photos please.
    Here is some info on Fort Collins, Colorado. It's currently booming here, but still affordable compared to what you guys are paying in the bay area. But then again salaries are higher where you are. We do get 4 seasons, and the weather can be hit or miss depending on the year. Fluctuations of 40 degrees or more in 24 hours are not uncommon. Right now it is 78 degrees on October 27th as an example, but in years past we can have snow on Halloween. I've gotten tan lines in January riding in 70 degree weather as well, so go figure.

    As someone else mentioned, you can get around town on bike pretty much everywhere here - and on a paved bike path. We are a family of four and lived a full summer with just one car, and I never had a bike rack on any of my vehicles until I got a truck a few years back. So lots of riding can be done from town.

    Why Fort Collins, CO is one of the Best Places to Live | Fort Collins, CO

    The Cow Town That's Actually Really Cool | Best Places to Live 2016 | Men's Journal

    Fort Collins Facts || City of Fort Collins

    Fort Collins city Colorado QuickFacts from the US Census Bureau

    https://www.buzzfeed.com/awesomer/24...bYe#.oxq8QQ6Aw

    https://www.yelp.com/topic/fort-coll...n-diego-advice

    The pictures were taken about 6-8 miles from my house as the crow flies. If you like beer, there is a ton of selection to "drink local" and many beers were GABF medal winners this year.
    Craft Crawler - Craft Beer and Brewery Directory
    Breweries in Fort Collins, Colorado
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  61. #161
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2melow View Post
    Here is some info on Fort Collins, Colorado. It's currently booming here, but still affordable compared to what you guys are paying in the bay area. But then again salaries are higher where you are. We do get 4 seasons, and the weather can be hit or miss depending on the year. Fluctuations of 40 degrees or more in 24 hours are not uncommon. Right now it is 78 degrees on October 27th as an example, but in years past we can have snow on Halloween. I've gotten tan lines in January riding in 70 degree weather as well, so go figure.

    As someone else mentioned, you can get around town on bike pretty much everywhere here - and on a paved bike path. We are a family of four and lived a full summer with just one car, and I never had a bike rack on any of my vehicles until I got a truck a few years back. So lots of riding can be done from town.

    Why Fort Collins, CO is one of the Best Places to Live | Fort Collins, CO

    The Cow Town That's Actually Really Cool | Best Places to Live 2016 | Men's Journal

    Fort Collins Facts || City of Fort Collins

    Fort Collins city Colorado QuickFacts from the US Census Bureau

    https://www.buzzfeed.com/awesomer/24...bYe#.oxq8QQ6Aw

    https://www.yelp.com/topic/fort-coll...n-diego-advice

    The pictures were taken about 6-8 miles from my house as the crow flies. If you like beer, there is a ton of selection to "drink local" and many beers were GABF medal winners this year.
    Craft Crawler - Craft Beer and Brewery Directory
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    Really awesome info Brett!!
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    So I'll chime in because I really like our little town. I am originally from SoCal and loved the suburbia lifestyle when I was in my twenties, but thankfully moved to Placerville. It was certainly an adjustment, as it's much slower pace of life and many of the people do take some time before they warm up to you. So here are the answers to your questions FC:

    - No real trail system in town, BUT Tahoe, Auburn, Truckee, Downieville and some private local spots are close enough for day trips.
    - Kayaking/river rafting, fishing, hunting, snowboarding/skiing in Tahoe, boating/wakeboarding (no shortage of lakes, I believe 12 within an hour), adult softball (surprisingly this small town has some good ball players), moto/trail riding (Hangtown is close, good local moto trails) & lots of hiking
    - Four seasons, but all fairly mild—Summer (15 days north of 100, mostly 85-95), Spring (gorgeous, some rain in March–May), Fall (awesome), Winter (35-55, with a dusting of snow once or twice a year)
    - I think the rolling hills, Ponderosa Pines, mature Oak trees and small farms are pretty. Not Alaska or Wyoming, but still beautiful.
    - Not many jobs here, but it is the county seat. Homes in my opinion are totally reasonable and many with acreage.
    - Great people! Many country folk (some have a derogatory term for them), but they’ll show up at my home whenever to help with whatever—some of the most genuine people I have ever met. Some excellent schools and some meh. At the good schools every parent and grandparent is involved. Everyone knows everyone and not in too much of a hurry to say hello or chat. It’s pretty laid back with an eclectic mix of people, truly a little of everything.
    - No traffic, except when the flatlanders head to and from Tahoe. An hour from Sacramento airport.
    - Food is pretty good, with new restaurants going in all the time. Three breweries currently (Jack Russell, Placerville, Gold Hill) and two being built in a town of 10-15k.
    - It’s growing with talks of a Costco or Target moving in, but as they say, “when you move to the country you try and shut the door behind you.” Thankfully there won’t be any huge housing developments brought in, but I believe we’re on the cusp of growing.
    - There aren’t any large warehouses with trampolines or hamster mazes for kids, but the outdoor life, which we prefer, is certainly abundant.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jasonamain View Post
    So I'll chime in because I really like our little town. I am originally from SoCal and loved the suburbia lifestyle when I was in my twenties, but thankfully moved to Placerville. It was certainly an adjustment, as it's much slower pace of life and many of the people do take some time before they warm up to you. So here are the answers to your questions FC:
    ...
    That is the golden info bud!!!!
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    Will report back after becoming "local" in another locale. Braaap!

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    I've lived in a few places that are popping up in this discussion:

    Seattle
    Venice Beach
    Salt Lake City
    Fort Collins
    Dolores (near Durango)
    Flagstaff

    Seattle is my hometown. It's really got unbelievable year round road riding (yes, you will need rain gear). The access to trail is really similar to the front range - a lot of people want to ride it and it isn't really out-the-door accessible. You are looking at 1.5 hours on a bad traffic day to get to the bigger trails. The home prices in the area are really high, but the quality of life in the city may make that justifiable. If you are in tech, and good at what you do, you will have a job. No problems with food and beer and Seatac is a big airport. Winter sports are available, but it is the same problem as getting to the epic rides in the summer - you have to deal with bridge traffic and are looking at a long drive in bad traffic. Also, Seattle completely loses its cool when it snows, it can be funny to watch if you aren't stuck on I-5 for 7 hours.

    Venice Beach was surprising for the quality of riding out the door. You can pedal to the Santa Monica mountains from home and as long as you go in the morning or evening, the trails weren't that crowded. Between Seattle and Venice/LA I would actually choose Venice as the location that is more friendly to daily out the door riding after work or in the morning. Obviously, it is expensive, but maybe not as much as you think, and you are dealing with an urban lifestyle, which may or may not be your jam. Food and beer is world class. LAX is a big airport. Winter sports are non-existant. If you can't find a job in LA, you may want to think about your approach.

    Salt Lake City, UT is my favorite place by far. The trail access is incredible - you can ride to Park City on trail from SLC if you live in the right neighborhoods. The snow season is unparalleled, and the food, beer (you are an idiot if you can't find good beer in SLC), neighborhoods and people are great. I think the fear of the LDS church keeps population growth down. which is funny because SLC has been a liberal city for almost 30 years voting wise. There is light rail to the airport and the only traffic is on I-15 during rush hour. Anyone from a real city will find SLC's idea of traffic to be kind of cute. Homes are relatively affordable (based on the places I am comparing SLC to) and generally the neighborhoods are walkable and pleasant. The air is bad - it's really a shame. It's why I didn't move back when I had the opportunity. If I didn't have a little kid I probably would have ignored it, but i just can't look at him and tell him that he got asthma and I got a sick ski season. I still really miss SLC. Tons of jobs, SLC is a booming healthy city.

    Fort Collins, CO is mislabeled as an outdoor city as far as I am concerned. The trails are super crowded, they close the parking lots when they are full and even though they are really close to town, the riding routes are not safe traffic-wise – if you live downtown, you have to drive to most of the trailheads. Winter is harsh in FoCo. Prairie winter, with winds blasting across the plains for months. Everything is icy and the trails are not open unless you are fat biking it. Fire season is also a problem - the air makes it unsafe to ride when the fires are upwind. You are 2-3 hours from the closest skiing, backcountry or resort. Nordic skiing happens if there is enough snow on the ground, but is not reliable. Housing is reasonably priced but really competitive, so the prices will continue to climb. There are 35 breweries in town - I think that this is because of the winters. There are bike paths everywhere. The college is a plus and minus. Lots of cultural stuff for a smaller town, but also lots of redneck boys in their trucks yelling on main street all weekend. Lots of jobs in a lot of industries.

    Dolores, CO is on the cusp of something, I think. Dolores is on the west side of the La Platas at 7000 feet - Durango people generally lift their noses regarding this side of the range, but it is where you will find Phils World, Boggy Draw and Canyons of the Ancients. Between the three, you can ride most of the year. The high country rides are wonderful and Moab is 1.5 hours away. Dolores/Cortez are super Republican rural / oil company with the added political influence of the tribes. These two groups generally don't get along. At Halloween last year I actually saw people in blackface. There is also a small and vocal liberal population, but even that crew can be really libertarian. If you live out of town on your dream property, you can expect to deal with wells or hauling water and will not be able to get high speed internet. If you live in town, you will have to work with your neighbors, who tend to be pretty casual as far as care of their property and pride of place go. You have to drive an hour to Durango to do anything useful - Cortez is growing, but the doctors and hospitals, the bakeries and more are all better in Durango. The Dolores River Brewery is in town and the beer is pretty ok. That said - I have never lived in a more beautiful place. To see bear and elk on your daily rides, to have a Telluride season pass that is easy to make use of (about an hour away), to climb 14ers in your backyard, to discover ruins and artifacts on your evening walk - it's truly special. Homes and farms are dirt cheap. If you have cash you can get a SPREAD and live out your rancher fantasies. If you need a loan, there are no comps, so that can be hard. It is an amazing place to be a DINK with tons of toys. If they get the internet thing figured out, it would be the best place in the country to buy a ranch and work remotely. You fly out of Durango, which is an hour away - see below. Jobs are limited to oil and gas, forest service, etc.

    Durango, CO is on the other side of the La Platas, it has all the same features as far as riding goes, great access, but the cost of living is exponentially more expensive and it is an hour further to Moab. It is getting to where SLC and Fort Collins are more affordable. Beer is great, and the town is really pretty. It is a lot more liberal and a bit less backward than you might encounter on the West side. Flights are not bad - everything connects to Denver, Phoenix or Dallas. It seems to add about 100-150 per flight to get somewhere. I travel a lot for work and it was never an issue. The planes are filled with people from Osprey, pro athletes, oil guys and tourists from Texas. Jobs are limited to tourism and oil and gas for the most part, with some education and hospital stuff thrown in.

    Flagstaff, AZ is still on the Colorado Plateau, on the opposite side of the Navajo reservation from Dolores/Cortez. It seems to be the SLC of Arizona. Homes are affordable, but prices are going up. There is skiing in town at Snowbowl, but it isn't world class by any means. The riding access in town is really really good, extensive and of very high quality (it reminds me of Park City, if Park City had any technical trails) and Sedona is 23 miles away. Trails are not crowded. You fly out of Phoenix, which is about 2-2.5 hours away. Food is great and there are a lot of really good breweries in town. Work is tougher, I think. You can work for NAU, or for the service industry (Flag is the gateway to the Grand Canyon for a lot of tourists), or remotely or for oil and gas. There is a truck stop feel to Flag sometimes, like people are transient, but the community of long term locals is strong. Politically, Flagstaff is pretty liberal.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirtvert View Post
    I'm surprised nobody has mentioned San Luis Obispo. Great little college town, good surf, good riding (and getting better all the time). Lack of jobs is a limiting factor though.
    I love SLO, but lack of good medical and lack of jobs and lack of a good size airport had it a no-go

  67. #167
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    Chuky, great write up. Thanks for taking the time to describe those areas. I've never been to most (just SLC and Moab).

  68. #168
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    Quote Originally Posted by hoolie View Post
    Chuky, great write up. Thanks for taking the time to describe those areas. I've never been to most (just SLC and Moab).
    Yep. Thank you for taking the time.
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    I've never understood the hype for Bend. Not once can I recall ever seeing pics or a trip report that showed great backcountry riding, high alpine riding, or killer views. Lots of fun singletrack, sure, but to me that screams after work ride not destination.

  70. #170
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    Quote Originally Posted by evdog View Post
    I've never understood the hype for Bend. Not once can I recall ever seeing pics or a trip report that showed great backcountry riding, high alpine riding, or killer views. Lots of fun singletrack, sure, but to me that screams after work ride not destination.
    It's pretty legit. I think their legal singletrack options are about 5-10x that of the Bay Area's.

    Definitely need a guide on the first few trips to get the lay of the land and the big trails. Otherwise, folks get stuck in Phil's Trails for a while.

    Bachelor to Bend
    Tumalo Falls
    Smith Rock

    are some of the things I remember.

    Anyway, that whole place just lives, breathes and eats mountain bike.
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    Bend doesn't look too bad to me...


  72. #172
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    Traffic Alert! It's Monday morning, I have day off, but traffic is gridlocked everywhere! So lame. Grew up here, so it's a bad experience to see the Bay Area change this much. This thread at home on couch AFTER a ride, or in your office when you can't ride is one thing. But I'm stuck in Oakland at 7am on a special day off, bike is prepped, gear bag is packed, eating breakfast and looking at traffic maps to see where I can get to. Plan was Annadel today at 9:30, but demoralizing traffic is going to send me to Illegal North Marin trails, Monday not many hikers to nag at me. Haha. Bastards! Yes, I am tired of the traffic/cost of living/liberalism utopia. But the weather is fantastic.

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    [QUOTE=Yes, I am tired of the traffic/cost of living/liberalism utopia. But the weather is fantastic.[/QUOTE]

    Ditto

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    Great thread as I am exactly in this position. I love the urban benefits here with so much nature in my backyard. But I am sick of the intense people, the traffic, and the prices.

    The career is the most challenging part. I'm an MBA type who is good for big corporations but useless for small companies. My employer stopped allowing telecommute. Would need to do something radical to make small town work.

    Denver is on my radar but it's not really IN the mountains. Would love to be able to ride (or run or hike) out my door.

    Or I could stay here and move to Santa Cruz or HMB. But it's not much cheaper...

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    Finally made it happen. Closing on a house in North Tahoe this Friday. BYEBYE Bay Area. So long Marin HOA. Time to learn about bears and avalanches.

  76. #176
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    Nice! Where abouts?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Truckee Trash View Post
    Nice! Where abouts?
    Just off 267 up above Kings Beach. MP and all sorts of good stuff right out the back door. Can't wait

  78. #178
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joshmj View Post
    Great thread as I am exactly in this position. I love the urban benefits here with so much nature in my backyard. But I am sick of the intense people, the traffic, and the prices.

    The career is the most challenging part. I'm an MBA type who is good for big corporations but useless for small companies. My employer stopped allowing telecommute. Would need to do something radical to make small town work.

    Denver is on my radar but it's not really IN the mountains. Would love to be able to ride (or run or hike) out my door.

    Or I could stay here and move to Santa Cruz or HMB. But it's not much cheaper...
    3 months in to living in the Denver metro after escaping San Jose. Now working remote but DTC has plenty of work, so does Broomfield and Boulder. Plus there are other remote jobs. I expect more as the Bay Area becomes less and less affordable for just about everyone.

    While Denver isn't in the mountains, the trails here are so much better than what's in the Bay Area. There are at least 4 bike parks nearby from me (prolly more), a trail out my front door around a lake (easy but still awesome to have that), a ridiculous amount within driving distance, and that doesn't even include resort riding or mountain riding. There's also an indoor bike park with a foam pit.

    I'm 1/2 way between both Denver and Boulder--which affords me a lot of benefit for both biking and general fun to do (downtown Denver is pretty awesome as is LoHi that I've explored so far).

    I'm 60 minutes driving from Trestle as opposed to 4 hours from Northstar. 4 hours driving is fruita and grand junction, and 5 from Moab. You can ride most of the year here, where if I lived in the mountains I would have to take up a snow sport. I'm still working on figuring out what to do in winter, but right now it's looking like fat biking because my knees aren't digging the snowboard stance. Also, I don't generally like cold.

    But on the front range, the snow isn't a constant thing. It snows, then its just gone after a couple of warm days. It doesn't stick around. Except March--March is the snowiest month, and February is the coldest. April is generally good but May has its share of suck. But spring is when you go to grand junction and fruita so you can bike almost year round here--if you can handle the cold.

    Sick of it here? The airport is 45 minutes from my house. You can get away almost anywhere direct.

  79. #179
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    Quote Originally Posted by chuky View Post
    I've lived in a few places that are popping up in .....
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    Thanks Stripes. Sounds pretty awesome.
    I visited in October. We were pretty excited about your area, like Louisville. People seem more friendly and laid back than Bay Area. It would be pretty sweet to get a weekend cabin or condo in the mountains, so you can have it all

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joshmj View Post
    Thanks Stripes. Sounds pretty awesome.
    I visited in October. We were pretty excited about your area, like Louisville. People seem more friendly and laid back than Bay Area. It would be pretty sweet to get a weekend cabin or condo in the mountains, so you can have it all
    We live about 10 min south of Louisville/Superior, so feel free to PM me if you have specific questions.

    People here are much more laid back and friendly. My husband was out shoveling snow, and I went out to help him a couple of weeks ago. He said not to bother, because one of the neighbors was already out helping us. Also, for the most part, people are pretty welcoming here as long as you don't try to make it like California at 5000 ft. Also, people here are in really good shape for the most part, and you don't have that hypercompetitive attitude that's been so prevalent in the Bay Area the past few years. I think it's mainly because people here get that if you're not paying attention the weather or the wildlife can kill you--so people try to make it more cooperative.

    Don't get me wrong--I miss my friends in California, and it's hard to get up for a bike ride and not call BigLarry and ask him where our ride will be. That said, I can breathe here (main reason for moving), and I'm feeling a lot better and not always sick like I was in San Jose. Other benefits are abound, but the riding here, even on the Front Range, is nice. And in all honesty, most of the trail users (both runners and riders) tend to be really cool. Haven't run into many horses here yet, but everyone has a dog or two It's even more dog friendly than the Bay Area.. probably closer to Carmel as far as dog friendliness (if that's critical to you).

    I live exactly halfway between Denver and Boulder. I thought I would spend more time in Boulder, but I've found that Denver is far more fun and has a lot more, but I haven't spent much time in Boulder yet. Boulder has feels more like Berkeley, where Denver feels more like SF did 20 years ago.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JT79 View Post
    ^^ Similar. I live in Sonoma... which a lot of people don't even consider the bay area (although we locals do). It's kind of difficult to say it's not these days, however, considering how many people live here and work in SF. More traffic, more money, more a-holes. It's frustrating.
    i just moved to Sonoma County. as a newb, it doesnt feel like the bay area i just left. i like it here. my commute is tiny, and only 40 mins on a bike with most of it being on some trail system. when i go back to walnut creek to visit, i'm blown away with how much the area changed in such a short time.

    this is an interesting thread.

    but i kept my head about me in buying a house and got one i could afford. i'm okay here. good friends, good job, and the love of a good woman.
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    I own a house in that exact spot. I lived in Tahoe for 25 years. I now rent that house and have moved. In my opinion Tahoe is ruined and over run by gappers from the Bay and developers trying to make money. Traffic, crowds and urbanization are a real problem.

  84. #184
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    Quote Originally Posted by stealman View Post
    I own a house in that exact spot. I lived in Tahoe for 25 years. I now rent that house and have moved. In my opinion Tahoe is ruined and over run by gappers from the Bay and developers trying to make money. Traffic, crowds and urbanization are a real problem.
    Some would call that progress! Sacramento went through the same thing in the late 90's......a lot of bay area bleed over. Now you drive through Folsom it looks like Cupetino. Most long term residence couldn't afford their house today. The entire attitude of the Sacramento area has changed for the worse. Once a year I use to like riding around Lake Tahoe but do that now on a sunny day in July and you will be run off the road or sucking fumes from all the cars.

  85. #185
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    Quote Originally Posted by stealman View Post
    I own a house in that exact spot. I lived in Tahoe for 25 years. I now rent that house and have moved. In my opinion Tahoe is ruined and over run by gappers from the Bay and developers trying to make money. Traffic, crowds and urbanization are a real problem.
    Well, yes. What is the alternative then? Should I have stayed at home with kids instead of skiing for last three weeks?

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    Interesting thread as I'm looking at these decisions....bay area native and currently live and work in the east bay.
    Luckily, I have a good job and a mortgage I can afford and my commute at 25 mins is reasonable by BA standards. I will be retiring in 7 years and looking to purchase my retirement home in the next couple of years.
    I love Tahoe but not sure I can deal with all the people and it's really not affordable anymore. Looking at the foothills and would really like to get a small house on a big chunk of land.
    Really like the Hwy 88 corridor as it's still somewhat affordable and you're close to good skiing/snowshoeing in the winter and riding/hiking/fishing in the summer.
    Concerns are access to medical care, dining/nightlife options if we decide to go out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Axe View Post
    Well, yes. What is the alternative then? Should I have stayed at home with kids instead of skiing for last three weeks?
    Nope but you shoulda stayed today and went skiing. Just saying

  88. #188
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Svahn View Post
    Nope but you shoulda stayed today and went skiing. Just saying
    Don't rub it in. . 8 hours on 80 this night to get to office today. What kind of bastards schedule customer meetings on 3rd?

    And now they say next weekend big one will be as rain again?

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    I am going with the all snow forecast for this weekend. I like it better. Just wish it wasn't for 8K feet...

    It is odd that it is almost 20 years to the date of the big floods and we are headed for the exact same scenario. Hopefully it'll cool off or head north or south.

    Quote Originally Posted by Axe View Post
    Don't rub it in. . 8 hours on 80 this night to get to office today. What kind of bastards schedule customer meetings on 3rd?

    And now they say next weekend big one will be as rain again?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joshmj View Post
    ...Or I could stay here and move to Santa Cruz or HMB...
    Or somewhere in between.

    The Santa Cruz mountains and the Coastside are curiously uncrowded considering their proximity to San Francisco.

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    Quote Originally Posted by stealman View Post
    I own a house in that exact spot. I lived in Tahoe for 25 years. I now rent that house and have moved. In my opinion Tahoe is ruined and over run by gappers from the Bay and developers trying to make money. Traffic, crowds and urbanization are a real problem.
    Guess I'm part of the problem then. Sorry I have been spending a significant amount of my free time around Tahoe for the last 5 years though, and to me it's almost trivially easy to avoid the "crowds". Basically if you're willing to climb over a rock or get your knees dirty 99.999% of the people disappear. All a matter of perspective I guess...

  92. #192
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    Quote Originally Posted by fc View Post
    Give us some details about these areas. They sound really intriguing but I don't know squat about them aside from the random mention or drive by.
    Francis Nevada City is an old gold rush town. If youve ever been through Jackson, Amador, Sonora the town has a similar look and feel. The surrounding areas are foothills then it gets into some bigger mtn areas, about 30 min south of Dville. GV is adjacent and also an old mining town/city. Great outdoorsy areas with plenty of sporting options with good trails of course. I would recommend this area, Auburn, Folsom, Granite Bay, El Dorado Hills for anyone considering relocating. Im in Cameron Park and im in those areas often. CP isnt much, its a community built around a small airport. Has all the things you need except clothing and big box stores. Close to mtns and not far from ocean. Lots of BA transplants in EDH. Im minutes away from some solid riding, 45 to Auburn, hour + Tahoe. Rivers, lakes, history and proximity.

  93. #193
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    Quote Originally Posted by fc View Post
    What would be really handy is... What are the DOWNSIDES? What has been the hardest to stomach.

    Honesty is best.
    Folsom area getting crowded and getting worse. EDH keeps building. CP has some riff raff, too many high density units, couple trailer parks. Pockets of really nice homes and acreage if you want space. Shingle Springs and Placerville you start getting into some back country stuff, some unknowns. Lots of wine close to Placerville. EDH Folsom Pville all have breweries.

    Downside is alot of what you might think. But it isnt that bad. Occasional pot grow busts, meth, thieving. Pville can get congested for those coming and going to Tahoe, Apple Hill. No prostitution or high murder rate. Great schools this way. Lots of blue ribbon. I love it up here. I left West Sac to live here.

  94. #194
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    Foothills are where it's at.

  95. #195
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Svahn View Post
    I am going with the all snow forecast for this weekend. I like it better. Just wish it wasn't for 8K feet...
    So.. it looks like all rain, copious amounts, under 9K all weekend.

    :/

  96. #196
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    Quote Originally Posted by Axe View Post
    So.. it looks like all rain, copious amounts, under 9K all weekend.

    :/
    9k? Wash all the white away?
    IPA will save America

  97. #197
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    https://opensnow.com/dailysnow/tahoe

    Sent from my Nexus 6P using Tapatalk
    Faster is not always better, but it's always more fun

  98. #198
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    Quote Originally Posted by chuky View Post
    I've lived in a few places that are popping up in this discussion:

    Fort Collins

    Fort Collins, CO is mislabeled as an outdoor city as far as I am concerned. The trails are super crowded, they close the parking lots when they are full and even though they are really close to town, the riding routes are not safe traffic-wise – if you live downtown, you have to drive to most of the trailheads. Winter is harsh in FoCo. Prairie winter, with winds blasting across the plains for months. Everything is icy and the trails are not open unless you are fat biking it. Fire season is also a problem - the air makes it unsafe to ride when the fires are upwind. You are 2-3 hours from the closest skiing, backcountry or resort. Nordic skiing happens if there is enough snow on the ground, but is not reliable. Housing is reasonably priced but really competitive, so the prices will continue to climb. There are 35 breweries in town - I think that this is because of the winters. There are bike paths everywhere. The college is a plus and minus. Lots of cultural stuff for a smaller town, but also lots of redneck boys in their trucks yelling on main street all weekend. Lots of jobs in a lot of industries.
    I'm going to re-post this so no more Californians and Texans move to Fort Collins.

    Death from Below.

  99. #199
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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    I'm going to re-post this so no more Californians and Texans move to Fort Collins.

    You live in FoCo?

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    Contemplating Plumas or Sierra County. The local telecom there is putting in fiber and point to point wifi. Pretty, has rivers and lakes near by and decent outdoor options. Downside is job options, I currently work full time at home so less of an issue.

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