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  1. #1
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    New question here. Best Place to Live/Ride in Oregon????

    Ok here's the deal. I want out of Michigan... My wife and I both grew up in California finished college in MI, and want a new home. So she's applying for teaching jobs in Oregon, (Roseberg, Lebanon and anything else that she can find.)

    So where is the best place to acess a bunch of trails in Oregon plus close enough to travel to school (to get my MA), and also be a town in which I can do a lot of communting by the way of the bike? I know its a lot to ask for but I can dream big...

    any and all comments are welcome.

  2. #2
    Tree Hugger
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    Quote Originally Posted by Interactive
    Ok here's the deal. I want out of Michigan... My wife and I both grew up in California finished college in MI, and want a new home. So she's applying for teaching jobs in Oregon, (Roseberg, Lebanon and anything else that she can find.)

    So where is the best place to acess a bunch of trails in Oregon plus close enough to travel to school (to get my MA), and also be a town in which I can do a lot of communting by the way of the bike? I know its a lot to ask for but I can dream big...

    any and all comments are welcome.

    Portland, Eugene/Springfield, Bend ( I know there's a college, but not sure if they have graduate programs), and Corvallis all meet your criteria. Portland is a real city, with traffic, and high prices, and culture and good food. Eugene/Springfield is bigger than Corvallis, but both would be called towns back east. Eugene is 150,000 people, and Springfield is like 70,000. Springfield is more redeneck than Eugene, but more affordable housing. Most Springfielders commute into Eugene. Corvallis has better trails accessible from town, but Eugene is closer to Oakridge, and the best trails in the WIlamette NF. Corvallis has less jobs, and more expensive housing. Roseburg, Im not sure about. If there's a college, id be suprised, but it's in a beaustiful, rural area, and would be a great small town to live in if the outdoors is your focus. There is epic MTB, fishing, rafting/kayaking, etc in the Umpqua Valley.

    Good Luck
    I love mankind - it's people I can't stand. ~Charles M. Schulz

  3. #3
    a tight kick sound
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    dude don't forget...

    Hood River!!!!
    If I had no cares in the world I would live and play in hood river for the rest of my days.
    Awesome everthing in/around/near that place.

    Booner

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by boone
    Hood River!!!!
    If I had no cares in the world I would live and play in hood river for the rest of my days.
    Awesome everthing in/around/near that place.

    Booner
    Booner's on to something. It would be a bit difficult to commute to school for that MA at the uni in P-town though, unless your ideal commute is 100+ mi/day. That and the competition for jobs has to be fierce among all the windsurfers.

    An aside, jobs are going to be tough to come by in most of the towns in OR. Many of us are piecing together a living here, but we're here......

  5. #5
    a tight kick sound
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    ooops

    Sorry,
    Yeah Hood river is a little far for the commute
    Unless you really want to go crazy on the bike each morning and night

    OK, my revised opinion
    1) Eugene- U of O has great academics (I'm a grad student there now) + great trails all over. Prolly the best bet in my opinion!
    2) Portland- Bigger city, lots of fun stuff....Universities???? Depends on what you want your MA in.
    3). I don't know of that many other colleges in Oregon...maybe Southern Oregon. I cannot remember exactly where the hell that is though?


    That's better!

    Booners

  6. #6
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    In southern OR, the university (or is it a college??) would be in Ashland, and then there's OIT in Klamath Falls. Someone brought up on this thread earlier that there is a school in Bend, that's in central OR. Again, not sure about the status of graduate study possibilities there. Follow this link to the Oregon University System, http://www.ous.edu/

  7. #7
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    MA in what field? If you're looking at Science/Engineering have her get the Lebanon job, and go to grad school at OSU (easy 20 minute car commute). Live in Corvallis (yes there is affordable housing there, not much but it is there) and the commute to Lebanon in the morning is much easier than commuting into Corvallis in the morning. Plus living in Corvallis you have a decent trailsystem within riding distance from your front door. It's only about a 40 minute drive to Eugene for the things that Corvallis doesn't offer and about 90 minutes to Portland for the things that Eugene doesn't have. For cheap you can catch the Amtrak in Albany and it's only like $12 to catch a ride to Portland with your bike. After teaching in Lebanon for a few years she could hook up with the Corvallis school district for a decent raise and you're all set.

  8. #8
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    We've been in Corvallis since 1999, moving to Prineville (18 miles EA of Redmond, 34 miles, NE from Bend) at the end of the month.

    Depending on what you are studying, OSU could be a good choice. For liberal arts, think U of O in Eugene, for fish & wildlife, forestry, engineering, ag sciences, think OSU.

    Corvallis is an extremely bike friendly town, numerous bike lanes and (as others noted) close access to a pretty good mtb trail system close to town. Also some good advanced riding on Mary's Peak, just out of town (North Ridge Trail). Falls City trail system is a great free ride area, if you are into that kind of thing, about 45 min from Corvallis. It's about 2 hours to the McKenzie River Trail, one of the best you will ride anywhere.

    Comparing Eugene and Corvallis- bottom line is that "pretty decent" local riding is closer to Corvallis (Mac Forest), "really good" riding is closer to Eugene (MRT, Oakridge area).

    I've been trying to get a clue about riding in the Prineville area, there seem to be some good established trails and huge potential- hundreds of miles of closed logging roads in Ochoco NF that are gradually reverting back to nature and offer great potential for a linked trail system. Or so I hear, haven't checked it out yet.

    Prineville is about 10,000 people but in the fastest growing county in Oregon. After several months of intensive house hunting we can testify that big developers apparently see this area as poised to take off. The number of housing developments and new homes planned is pretty staggering. We were surprised how spendy the houses are. Who the hell is buying them?

    Prineville, while changing fast, is still pretty rustic and I'm not sure I see why it is growing so fast. But I guess compared to the Central Valley in CA it looks pretty good, and prices are still 25% less than Bend. But that's not really saying much.

  9. #9
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    Thanks for all the great input. From the looks of it Oregon has a great Mt Biking community, which is one of the things we’re looking for in a new place of residence.
    I’m looking at getting my MA in the educational field. Depending on time and money I may have to settle for a College that offers Secondary Ed certification, get a job teaching high school English and then continue with the MA.
    So far Eugene and Corvallis are meeting all my requirements. Now finding a job for my wife to make all this possible. (Anybody looking to hire a music teacher with a strings background, lower EL, Middle or High School)?
    Has anybody on this board been to or has ridden in Michigan, how does the trails compare??


    As far as the availability of Jobs, take a look at Michigan, we’re going down hill fast. This state has managed to throw their collective employment eggs into one automotive basket. And the Automotive industry can’t afford the unions and blah blah blah: see Flint, MI.
    We’re in Oakland Co. which is better off than the rest of MI but the over all attitude of the people sucks. Good Mt. Biking (with no Mountains) but good trail network nonetheless. Rant Over.

  10. #10
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    Don't Rule out Portland

    Portland State has a good Ed program and there are a couple of small colleges that offer quality programs (read $$$: Univ. of Portland, Lewis and Clark College).
    I lived in Eugene for 12+ years and got my ride on there. I was afraid when I moved back to Portland I would miss all the awesome trails. I still try and get down there a few times a year for sure, but I was pleasantly surprised to find lots and lots of great stuff close enough. It can depend on what part of the metro area you live. We live in NE Portland so places like Hood River and the southern Washington fruit are easy pickins. But if you were out on the west slope (Beaverton) it could add almost an hour to the drive.

  11. #11
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    I grew up in the detroit area and started mountain biking around '89. I rode mostly in the lower part of the state, but made a couple of trips to the UP to ride before moving out of state. Spent the last 9 years living in Salt Lake and moved to Portland this summer. Compared to Michigan the trails in the west tend to be longer and (obviously) have much more vertical. I've ridden quite a bit of terrain within 2 hours of portland (St. Helens, Hood River), but haven't gotten south yet. Most of the trails up here are non-technical....very smooth pine needle trails that you could get by on a hardtail or singlespeed. Of course there are some great free ride trails in the gorge and south of here.

    My only complaint about portland is that the trails are all an hour away. Great commuter bike-friendly town, but don't expect to ride to the trailhead. From the replies you've gotten, I would check out Eugene or Corvallis. Bend sounds amazing...looking forward to hitting it this summer.

  12. #12
    GO JIMMIE!!
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    I prefer the coast.

    Although I live in the valley.
    My Bike: '03 Specialized HardRock FrankenBike
    My Blog: http://http://kona0197.wordpress.com/

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Interactive
    So far Eugene and Corvallis are meeting all my requirements. Now finding a job for my wife to make all this possible. (Anybody looking to hire a music teacher with a strings background, lower EL, Middle or High School)?
    .
    Ahh.. Music teacher that makes it a bit tougher with all the funding issues often the music program is the first to suffer cutbacks usually right behind shop classes and right before sports programs...

  14. #14
    Daniel the Dog
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    Stay in Michigan!

    Quote Originally Posted by Interactive
    Ok here's the deal. I want out of Michigan... My wife and I both grew up in California finished college in MI, and want a new home. So she's applying for teaching jobs in Oregon, (Roseberg, Lebanon and anything else that she can find.)

    So where is the best place to acess a bunch of trails in Oregon plus close enough to travel to school (to get my MA), and also be a town in which I can do a lot of communting by the way of the bike? I know its a lot to ask for but I can dream big...

    any and all comments are welcome.
    Unless you want to live in tax hell with high housing prices and no jobs.

    Jaybo

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by boone
    Hood River!!!!
    If I had no cares in the world I would live and play in hood river for the rest of my days.
    Awesome everthing in/around/near that place.

    Booner

    HOOD RIVER IS FULL - NO VACANCY!

    NAte
    Paco the "Flyin' Finn"

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paco Finn
    HOOD RIVER IS FULL - NO VACANCY!

    NAte
    Yeah, man, go back to Michigan.
    Start off slow & taper off from there.

  17. #17
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    What do you mean by "Tax Hell"???

    MICHIGAN
    Sales Taxes
    State Sales Tax: 6% (food and prescription drugs exempt; home heating fuels are taxed at 4%)
    Gasoline Tax: 34 cents/gallon
    Diesel Fuel Tax: 28.5 cents/gallon
    Gasohol Tax: 34 cents/gallon
    Cigarette Tax: $2.00/pack of 20

    OREGON
    Sales Taxes
    State Sales Tax: None
    Gasoline Tax: * 24 cents/gallon
    Diesel Fuel Tax: * 24 cents/gallon
    Gasohol Tax: * 24 cents/gallon
    (Local fuel taxes may add 1 to 3 cents)
    Cigarette Tax: $1.18/pack of 20

    And as far as Jobs, Michigan isn't doing much better, take a look at my previous.
    If I missing something about the Taxes please let me know.

  18. #18
    Nouveau Retrogrouch SuperModerator
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    Jaybo likes to find fault in everything.

    We do have a state income tax.
    Property taxes are fairly high.
    Costs next to nothing to register a car.
    Housing costs depend on where you are in the state.
    Job market depends on where you are and what you do though is generally down (bring your own!).
    mtbtires.com
    The trouble with common sense is it is no longer common

  19. #19
    Nouveau Retrogrouch SuperModerator
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brandon
    Ahh.. Music teacher that makes it a bit tougher with all the funding issues often the music program is the first to suffer cutbacks usually right behind shop classes and right before sports programs...
    And a strings teacher? Usually means a large school district. Portland, Salem, Eugene...
    mtbtires.com
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  20. #20
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    Shiggy's got it right in both his two prior posts. Finding jobs is usually the biggest issue here, and he's noted Jaybo's predilection accurately.

    Best luck

  21. #21
    Daniel the Dog
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    Boy, you know me, Shiggy.....

    Quote Originally Posted by shiggy
    Jaybo likes to find fault in everything.

    We do have a state income tax.
    Property taxes are fairly high.
    Costs next to nothing to register a car.
    Housing costs depend on where you are in the state.
    Job market depends on where you are and what you do though is generally down (bring your own!).
    Multnomah County has the only county only income tax west of the Mississipi due to Tom Potter and that band of miserable fools running PDX. They want a county only sales tax too. Some of the highest funding for schools in the nation and they are always crying. I would recommend you look for work in Eugene, Salem, Medford, or Bend.

    Jaybo

    PS chalk my attitude up to SAD (seasonal affective disorder). It rains for eight month here...
    Last edited by Jaybo; 02-12-2006 at 07:46 AM.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Interactive
    Has anybody on this board been to or has ridden in Michigan, how does the trails compare??


    Flint, MI.
    .

    Well as a MI native (Yooper) and most of my relatives at one time lived in Flint and worked for GM, you are right - it is an armpit of its former self.

    If you have been to the U.P. then Oregon is similar but on steroids! The hills/mountains have long enough climbs that you appreciate your small chainring as before you may have thought it as useless. The trails are varied, though as more people come out, the more they seem to "dumb" down the trails to match lower skill levels (rant). The only thing I miss besides family are the Great Lakes - but the coast holds its own.

    Nate
    Paco the "Flyin' Finn"

  23. #23
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    COCC in Bend is a community college. While they do have extension campuses for four year degrees, I think the only graduate thing you can do there is an MBA, and I'm not 100 percent sure about that.

    Teaching jobs are few and far between in Central Oregon. While the riding in Bend is awesome, you're probably going to be better off in the valley.

  24. #24
    dusty paw tracks
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oregon
    COCC in Bend is a community college. While they do have extension campuses for four year degrees, I think the only graduate thing you can do there is an MBA, and I'm not 100 percent sure about that.
    i'm a student at OSU Cascades. it offers quite a few undergrad degrees and a few grad degrees. although OSU is the "home" college for the Cascades Campus, it acts as the hub for other colleges to offer their degrees (such as UO, Linfield, etc). there are a lot of options, including a great teaching graduate degree. you can find out all about it here:
    http://www.osucascades.edu/

  25. #25
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    The east side of Portland/Gresham has a couple of schools with the state's better music programs. Reynolds and Barlow, Reynolds especially. Housing prices are a bit lower than Portland proper, too.

    You could live there, easily commute to school, access Hood River, the Coast Range, Mt. Hood etc. for biking.......you get the drift.

    IMO, Bend is over with. Too many people found out what a great place it is, and it just really isn't any more, especially if you have to commute during morning or evening.

    And Paco is right, Hood River is full!

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