Want to leave Bay Area. Where to go?
Not me (right now) but this could be a very good topic based on recent events and conversation. For one reason or another, many want/have to leave the SF Bay Area. Others can get a pile of cash too if they leave.
The hard part is where should one go exactly? What city and state? Talk about:
- 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.
California?s skyrocketing housing costs, taxes prompt exodus of residents ? The Mercury News
One-third ponder leaving Bay Area amid costs, congestion - SFGate
The only place I've ever considered if I left the Bay Area is not that far away. Grass Valley/Nevada City is really appealing to me. Beyond that, I love the Truckee area. Not sure how'd I'd "winter" though.
If I left that state and money was assured, I'd consider Utah and/or Wyoming.
The bicycle is a curious vehicle. Its passenger is its engine. ~ John Howard
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.
Originally Posted by chuckha62
Fc i always see that house on side of 280N, is that your place?
Ah, the Flintstone house. Was better in its beige phase imho.
I'd seriously consider moving to Reno at this point. Decent job market, cost of living is relatively tolerable, but the mtb community is off the hook. I get a great vibe every time I ride Peavine.
Austin. No one has heard of it yet.
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Sacramento is a budding market, i moved herr from santa cruz county in '03 for school, with the thought of moving back.. fast forward met my wife, married, bought a house, had kids.. and now i have no intentions/wants of moving back, even considering the help we would get in raising our daughters. Cost of living out here is so much lower than the bay or santa cruz.
Sacramento has enough of a big city feel for me, without really being a huge city (population ~470k) a river runs through the city which gives it a nice anti concrete jungle vibe. I can go from my house to river trail in about 2 minutes, i can go from my house to midtown in about 15 minutes.
its close enough to the bay or sierras that a day trip is possible.
city of trees! seriously, trees everywhere..
only real drawback are hot summers
i like it here
high marks for everything in the list except jobs and cost of living. jobs are low paying relative to cost of living.
Denver metro has a very high quality of life if you can take the weather. Great mountain biking close by (available more than you'd think- snow usually melts quickly and doesn't build up). The tech job market is OK but not great (which ultimately made me move here). There's beer everywhere and a very good food scene in the city of Denver (but NOT the burbs). Housing isn't cheap, but it's cheaper than here.
The biggest downside is the weather which is volitile to say the least. Wind storms, snow storms, heavy thunderstorms, hail, extended periods of high temps, and even the occassional tornado are all on the table. It's also extremely dry; there's almost no humidity in the air ever. Which means you go around shocking yourself and drinking water constantly
Much lower on the list of downsides- you will go through a lot more tires on your bike. Those rocky trails will completely wear out a couple rear tires a year.
What would be really handy is... What are the DOWNSIDES? What has been the hardest to stomach.
Honesty is best.
I lived in Ashland, OR for 5 years. Loved it there! Year round riding out your front door, tons of great riding a few hours drive. Gets a touch of snow in the winter but pretty warm in the summer. Your got Mt Ashland for ski/snowboarding in the winter. Great small town community. 10/10
Denver is terrible. Every part of it. Don't move here.
Someone needs to give the full lowdown on Bend, Oregon. I have 4 friends that relocated there. They're still there too.
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Truckee or somewhere in Tahoe. It has all the points that fc lists except for proximity to main airport (I wouldn't consider Reno as such). But who wants to go elsewhere when you live there?
MTB obviously is awesome. And if you can't ride in winter you can always sky.
I'm getting pretty close to packing it up here in the Bay Area and heading out to the Denver-ish area. I end up out there for work on a semi-regular basis and I'm falling in love with all the Front Range has to offer. I know I'd have a hard time leaving the weather of the Bay behind, and that might just be the biggest thing keeping me here. I've looked at going up north to Seattle or heading back down to SoCal but COL and the job base are limiting factors with those two vs Denver where I'd be with the same employer.
The stoke factor is high in Colorado, I worked with a few engineers there who ride and we ended up chatting about riding for hours. I really really hope I can devote some time to checking out the mountains the next time I'm there.
I'm in Santa Rosa, recently got a good job in town. I had been commuting the Bay Area for the last 6-8 years basically. Housing prices are lower than the rest of Bay Area, by a lot. Mountain bike riding is really good. I live 5 minutes from Annadel, by bike. Wine Culture, Beer culture, weed culture, hippy culture...all exist in the area. Schools are really good.
The Bad: It took me a while to find a good job for me, in the area. I'm a Mechanical Engineer. There aren't any as many options in Sonoma County. If you are in tech, there are only a handful of solid companies, and they are more established, which is good and bad. Economy is not really growing and not really collapsing at the moment.
I moved here when I was younger, and there is not as much going on as the city..go figure. Getting to the Sierras is a hassle. It seems to add another hour coming and going. No real DH trails, not that the Bay Area has much.
if you are a mech.E, there used to be a few startups in petaluma that needed MechEs. if staying in SR, your options are relatively limited. one thing you might want to look at is getting a gig teaching basic math, physics, etc at SRJC (pay cut, but you get 4 months off a year).
Originally Posted by the.vault
94 Specialized Rockhopper
I left California for the Pacific Northwest - everything you're looking for up here.
No I'm not going to spend 3 hours going down your list and typing and posting pics, but as long as you stay out of Seattle proper you're good.
Bay Area mountain biking (and I did it for years and years) is garbage compared to the PNW, and a number of other places like Co for instance. Down in Santa Cruz it was good, and I loved Saratoga Gap, but riding up here is epic.
Just have to get used to less sun, that's the only downside.
Upside is that I'm comfortable outside more or less 365 - maybe one week a year where it's uncomfortably hot where I'm at.
Having lived in the SLC, UT area for 20 years, my wife and I decided to leave for a smaller community somewhere. Real estate prices were really high when we sold due to the impending 2002 Olympics. With the freshly garnered profits we bought just outside of Bend, OR in 1996.
Originally Posted by fc
In the late 1970's, I had spent time doing summer ski race camps there when the population was well under 15K. The town was cute as a button and the outer area was not built up yet. We bought a home on 7 acres between Bend and Sisters. Our home had a full view of the Three Sisters and 54K acres of BLM land off our back deck. Perfect for riding and exploring. Summers were great except for the fact that at any given time you could wake to freezing temps and by noon be over 90°. Tough on the tomatoes! Then, the wind would come up like clock work every afternoon. Winters were mostly dry (high Desert) and gray. Wind still played at our psyche daily. It finally did me in.
The trail system around Bend has improved dramatically since we left in 1999. But, Bend has been discovered - BIG TIME! The trails get really loose by mid-July. Lots of dust! Although, the best trail in my estimation was: Tumalo Falls to the Flagline trail loop which is only open after August 15th (Elk calving). A 24 mile loop w/ over 4,000' of elevation gain.
Bend is a great community for younger, athletic folks who seem to be running or biking all the time. But, bring lots of $$$$$$ for real estate. BTW: If you like skiing move to Colorado or Utah. Bachelor has typical Sierra cement like conditions. Growing up in Vermont, I loved ice, but as I got older and having skied in the SLC area (Snowbird and Alta), nothing beats that snow. Champagne powder!
On the downside: Bend grew so fast that it lost much of its original charm. In 1996, the population was 27K when we first arrived and 3 years later had grown near of 70K (partly due to Microsoft early buy-outs). The city flat out sold its soul to the developers. Redmond was a dump back then but affordable plus, had a big meth issue. Again, we sold with a great return. It afforded us a chance to move south.
We are now in the Mendocino area and I truly feel at home after 17 years here! Winters are mild enough to ride all year round (I don't miss snow anymore. Although I still constantly dream about it). There is an extensive trail system (150 miles) here coupled with an amazingly supportive biking community. Cost of living is high (could be the weed?) with real estate prices on the rise again. Good for us though. But if you sell in the Bay area, houses here can be picked up with your pocket change. Health care here is a problem with a poorly run hospital just barely out of bankruptcy with an older group of medical professionals looking to retire. We do have one new family practitioner whose husband owned the Velo City Cycle shop in Winters. They love it here. Plus, Myke is one hell of a bike mechanic too! Things are looking even better!
Now, about the pizza and IPAs...! I'm heading to Piaci for an evening out...
You're new at this, keeping Valley Kooks from moving to Colorado, aren't you?
Originally Posted by PricklyPete
Originally Posted by PricklyPete
Don't move to Seattle either unless you want to deal with all the same issues related to housing, plus a truncated riding season. The trails also suck.
that last part is definitely not true...
$80,000 median: Income gain in Seattle far outpaces other cities | The Seattle Times
It is getting more and more crowded here and COL is going up (for housing), but there is a ton of trails at your fingertips. Feel free to hit me up for riding location tips if you make it back.
Originally Posted by rho
I am plotting Marin -> Tahoe by late spring. So long MCL, adios Footpeople! Hi bears.
Did the Bay Area --> Sac Metro move last year. Never looked back. Only downside is the food sucks in Sacramento area when compared to Bay Area. I still have nightmares about riding the BART but they are becoming less frequent.
Summer in Whistler BC, and another "summer" in Queenstown New Zealand.
You're a stronger person than me, weather-wise. I grew up in the bay, but spent a few years in Davis/Sacramento for school and job. My first summer (2006) it was over 110 degrees for most of July. And in 2008 the whole state caught on fire, so the air quality was...thick. Very happy to be back somewhere that 85 degrees is a heat wave and 45 degrees is a cold snap.
Originally Posted by duderidesabike
I'm east of the metro area at about 1700 feet elevation in the Sierra Foothills. Heat and air quality issues are less of an issue.
Originally Posted by AKD
Personally would not want to live in Sac proper.
ALL of my friends living in Bend that relocated from Norcal wish they were in Norcal but can't afford back in. They all say the same thing. Bend is super cool but kind of a monoculture and after about a decade they crave something different. Big Town, but isolated.
Reno is cool, my folks live there but there is actually not much riding without a drive. Peavine is fun and there are a ton of trail on it, but my Reno buddies go into this weird Peavine preservation mode because it is the only game in Town. (I.E. they don't ride it when other places are snow free because they WILL be riding it all of the time other parts of the year. It is cool to have such a vast trail network in a city though. People always talk about cheapness and cost of living in Reno, but a part that is left out is that Reno is pretty groovy to. Lotsa good eats, music, events, weirdness.
Originally Posted by fc
I left 11 months ago, and I don't regret it for a second. I now own a beautiful home, I can pedal to work everyday on SINGLE TRACK in just about an hour. I am a five minute pedal from the largest city park in the country South Mountain Preserve. Every trail here is legal. Schools are amazing, the NICA leauge is incredibly strong. Its the 5th largest metro area in the US so there is plenty to do.
Phoenix is awesome, YES it gets hot but AM rides keep me riding year round, and rain is never an issue.
And if you want to escape the heat, San Diego and LA are a 5 hour drive, Sedona is 2 hours, and flagstaff is about 2 hours.
The cost of living is over 30% less expensive. I don't miss the bay area even a little. I walked in after a month here, looked at my wife and told her, "I finally feel like upper middle class!"
If I had no family or if I weren't close to them, I would move to Scotland for at least part of the year. Beautiful country, friendly people, and great riding. Also much easier and cheaper to get to Europe.
If I had to stay in the US:
- Boulder, Colorado but only for the summers.
- Humboldt, if finding a job weren't a problem
- Austin, TX but that is less about riding
- Appalachia if I didn't have to deal with other people
That whole forested area in Alpine/Calaveras/Amador/etc. Counties is beautiful. I would have said that myself, but I am close enough as is. The winters aren't terrible, especially in Truckee and Tahoe because you can always go west or east to get out of it if the roads are open. In Mammoth, we are a lot more constrained. We are surrounded by the Owens Valley which is beautiful, but there isn't much "civilization" or stuff to do when all of the seasonal roads are closed except going to LA, Vegas or Reno all of which are a significant drive. Though, we aren't as busy in town. I've heard Tahoe is becoming an extension of the Bay Area. Count me out of that.
Originally Posted by chuckha62
If/When it happens, if ever, Oregon, possibly as far North as Castle Rock or across towards Kennewick, WA. Like Widgeontrail I know Ashland/Talent/Phoenix really well. Spent Summers there as a kid and time as an adult. Growing up and climbing from or bombing down from Mohawk St made me love bikes.
NonBike/Work related, Gold Beach Oregon.
Anywhere outside the bay area is an improvement. Frisco sucks, and the cost of living is only a minor factor in that assessment. I hate big cities in general and frisco in particular. (yeah, I know 'frisco' is a demeaning term for the bay area. That I why I use it.)
As far as quality of riding -- you make your own no matter where you are. If you need someone else to make a cool trail system before you can enjoy riding just for the pleasure of riding, then you will never get there.
If you have a good job when you move there, then whether it is a growing job market or not for others is irrelevant. Salaries are less but so is cost of living. So that all balances out. I have many friends that left for L.A. or Frisco, saying they needed a better paying job. Almost all of them returned after a couple years saying despite the great salary, their standard of living was lower because of the cost. Returned here to a lower salary and ended up with a better life.
Many parts of the country have real winters. Not just the occasional one day storms with several days of nice weather inbetween. Earlier Wyoming was mentioned. Are you willing to have below freezing temperatures day and night for weeks on end? A ground covering snowpack that lasts from December to March? Hard to get some good riding under those conditions.
Is the spouse ready for a 2 hour drive one-way to do major shopping? The only restaurants are Jose's Taqueria or Bubba's Bar and Grill? Attending theater or a concert requires an entire weekend to drive and stay overnight in a distant city? The only local town grocery has a fraction of the selection you are used to?
If you are willing to forgo all the conveniences and amenities of a large urban area, and adjust to small town living, then opportunities abound. The rewards are great -- outdoor recreation of all kinds is a walk out the door and down the street. Wildlife in your backyard every day. Quiet at night, and your kids can look at the night sky and understand why it is called the Milky Way. But it does come at a price. You give up a lot to get the rural life. In my case my wife and I both agreed it was the life we wanted and the place to raise a family. Others may make a different choice. But wherever you choose, make the choice with eyes wide open and understand the tradeoffs.
So many trails... so little time...
I think more people should leave Bay Area.
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
Besides Silicon Valley (born and raised) I've lived/worked Sacramento, Grass Valley, and a little time in Nevada and Wyoming. I left Grass Valley with the notion of returning and retiring there. Life got in the way and perceptions change (as do demographics) so I'm quite happy to fade away where I now live in San Benito County.
Most of my neighbors who have cashed out moved to Texas and so far most have stayed put.
Longer-term observation, most acquaintances (a generation or 2 older) who moved out of state (or out of country) to "exotic" locales seem to return to California to die. Families and better heath care I suspect.
My Medicare card became active Oct 1st.
Content here does not officially represent the CA DPR.
Windows 10, destroying humanity one upgrade at a time.
I've never lived in the Bay but enjoy it when I visit. In fact proximity to the Bay is one of the huge perks of living in Truckee. I moved to Truckee from rural Maryland after a stint in the DC metro area, so have some city experience. FWIW I have seen a lot of people move to Truckee over the last 2 decades with this almost overbearing expectation of what living in Truckee should be like, only to either meltdown or be really disappointed. For some it is the bro-brah, others it is the 'tude and oneupmanship, others it is too small and too much of a mono culture. (I don't think Truckee is particularly small).
I often wish we could move just to experience something different, despite the recreation paradise-and like everyone on this Board, I sure like to recreate. But family and friends are here. Anyway, just thought this may relate to people considering smaller locales such as Truckee, Nevada City, Ashland, etc. from a big city. I have a dear friend that loves Nevada City and has lived there for long on a decade, but he says the weird drives him nuts almost daily. But I think he is weird.
Any place that has descent mountain biking is liveable... cause being a mt. biker, you'll almost instantly have lots of new friends if you put yourself out there. The question is if you want to live in snow part time or not, and how far away from an airport can you handle living. Heat? Get a pool or live near a lake or river.
Bay Area resident from 1970 to 1999 (minus college years). Sierra foothills since 1999. I'd never go back to the Bay Area to live, and I don't know any of the many expatriates who would. With the ridiculous traffic, I don't even want to visit friends and family in the Bay Area if I can avoid it.
Quality of life.
Originally Posted by hairylegs
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Banned for showing Boobies.
I have a buddy in Bend, been there for at least 10 years now. He says that a common joke is: Poverty with a view. It can be expensive by local income standards to live, and housing can be expensive for the same reason, unless you're willing to go to Redmond next door which is largely regarded as unappealing.
If you can figure out the income problem (telecommute to tech job here?) he and his family have carved out an active outdoor life for themselves which I really envy. Winter biking options dwindle, but do exist if you dress for it. And there are other things to do in all that nearby snow.
I live in Nevada City, actually between Grass Valley and Nevada City and have a trail 1/2 mile from my house. I love it here. Trails are improving too. I'm 30 minutes from Foresthill Divide Loop. I lived in Redding for 7 years and my daughter still lives there. So, I go up about once a month and visit. I love the trails there. The best variety I've seen. I've thought of retiring there. The Summer heat is brutal but, tolerable. The city itself kinda sucks. I also lived in Chico, Trails were okay, the town though, is fun year round.
I'm always fascinated by people who MTB but don't ski, or vice-versa. They are so, so similar I just can't even fathom liking one but not the other... especially once you factor in backcountry skiing in the winter and earning your turns.
Anyway, Truckee is rad and not too small IMO... but the real estate prices have shot way up over the past few years. Getting close to 2006 levels. Still cheap compared to most of the bay, of course. Comparable to Santa Rosa, I'd say.
Woah this Denver place sounds great. And tech jobs with ping pong tables. Maybe we should all move there.
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What is this magical area of the PNW that is better than the birth and residing place of the soul of mountain biking?
Originally Posted by Gambit21
Not to knock anywhere else, but there is a reason so much of the industry is based here and it's not coincidence.
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Bellingham, I'm guessing, if we're talking south of the Canadian border. At least that's what I hear. And history doesn't mean much when you consider the current state of Marin. Even if you want to keep it in the state, Tahoe is way better than the bay area and it's not even close.
Originally Posted by DriverB
And BC is better than Tahoe. What's your point?
Originally Posted by JT79
My point is, the mountains of Santa Cruz to Marin are the home of the sport like it or not. I'm sure the PNW is peachy but don't tell me it's "garbage". You either have no idea what you are talking about or can't ride anyway.
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I think you're confusing me for someone else. I never said the bay area was garbage, that was Gambit21. However, I can admit that there's some better riding up in the PNW, that's all. I live 10 minutes from Annadel and love the hell out of that place - works for me. And Marin has great stuff too, especially the foot people's turf. ;-) Hero dirt on the way with this storm right now.
Originally Posted by DriverB
Not the Bay area but planning on leaving Portland OR by March. 111 people move to the Portland zip code a week and that does not include the other 15 or so zipcodes that make it a city. Any semblance that once made the city cool is long gone...thanks California!
I love the van life & have spent a significant portion of the last 20 years traveling around recreating. It seems everywhere desirable for the outdoor enthusiast is growing gangbusters as of late.
I'm currently considering several locals to relocate and not having an easy time picking one. I was all but set on Oakridge OR but now that the rains are back I'm considering places with a longer season....a much longer season.
Places I'm considering-
Right now Brevard is the top of my list. Land/ housing prices are the lowest of anywhere I would consider living. A long if not year round season. Access to awesome local riding & jumping off point to GA,TN, AR, WV. So tons of riding & the trail building/ riding scene in AR is really impressive, maybe the best in the states cutrently. Iwill certainly miss the the Cascades & not sure I can leave them...ah decisions.
One final note, you can have Bend.
Edit-- that's 111 people moving to Portland zip every day
Last edited by WHALENARD; 10-16-2016 at 03:03 PM.
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