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  1. #1
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    Moving to Oregon, which would you choose and why....

    I have lived in Eugene (92-94), more recently I have ridden trails in many of the areas we may live, including Portland Fire Trail, Hood River, White Salmon, Sandy, Marys, Mt Ashland, Oakridge, Klamath Falls, and of course Bend.

    I ride everything, rugged, cruisers, DH, even snow, but what I like best is having trails near enough that I can ride after work. Weekends are great for doing epics, drive a few hours, and wear your self out. But most of my rides now, 2-3x week, are after work, 30-60min sprints to clear my head.

    I currently live in single track heaven, Knoxville Tennessee, so moving will be tough, but I sure won't miss the heat and humidity!

    So we're moving West next Spring, it'll either be Oregon or Washington, but I'm focused on Oregon today, not sure what area yet because it depends on where I get a job, but here are the most likely candidates in order or liklihood:

    Salem
    Eugene
    Corvallis
    Ashland

    Which one has the most diveristy of trails
    Which one has the best "after work" ride options?
    Which one has the most potential for future trail development?

    Bend is a small possibility, but I really doubt I'll find a job there, of course if I do then I'll move there! Portland is out of the question, it just has too many people. LeGrande, Klamah, and Hood River are too small, so I won't find a job there.

    So, let's here it, which location fits my riding needs best?

  2. #2
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    I live in Corvallis. You might like it for the McDonald Forest trails to get your after work riding done. However you might also find the politics of trail and forest access a little bothersome. Some searching will find you more details or discussion about that. It's also nice being within striking distance of Marys Peak, Black Rock, McKenzie River, Oakridge, and Bend. There is a local IMBA chapter (Team Dirt) that is working on some new options for purpose-built mountain bike trails, but they are just getting started. If you can find a job here, it's worth checking out, see if it feels right to you.

  3. #3
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    Good choice avoiding Portland, but not because of the population. There is NO SINGLETRACK... ZERO. Ashland is awfully nice.
    Master of Laundry...Lord of Cleaning!

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by poppa#1 View Post
    Good choice avoiding Portland, but not because of the population. There is NO SINGLETRACK... ZERO. Ashland is awfully nice.
    There are lots of singletracks--not very long though, longest is 5ml.-- in city limits, you just have to look. Using Singletracks.com works too!
    Observe, report.

  5. #5
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    What do you do for a living? What job are you looking for?

  6. #6
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    Ooops. Nurse Ben. Ha

    Well if you are a nurse I would look at Bend and any area with good biking first. My wife is a nurse. She found a job pretty fast when we moved here from Portland

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by sketchbook View Post
    What do you do for a living? What job are you looking for?
    I'm an NP with an uncommon specialty, so the job search is not as easy as it would be if I were an RN. Bend would be the first choice, but it's very unlikely.

    No way we'll go to Portland, I like to visit, but living there is a no go. I need more single track than five miles...seriously, why don't you guys have more trail miles??

    Corvallis is nice, we were just there, but it's small enough that I have yet to find any jobs recent past or present. I rode Marys and checked out McDonald. I'll keep looking...

    So what say ye, esp the after work riding on single track, also having an active trail crew and political involvement for expanding access:

    Cottage Grove/Eugene vs Salem vs Ashland/Medford

  8. #8
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    Bend has an outstanding medical infrastructure, far greater than we deserve. With the considerable amount of retirees, as well as a very healthy entrepreneurial sector, an "uncommon specialty" may have more feasibility than you would think. Nothing matches Bend for having abundant and diverse trails available after/before work (well, until the days get too short . . . too soon, I'm afraid). Further, if you consider the size of the Bend/Redmond MSA, it is actually larger than Corvallis on a population basis, and I believe St. Charles is higher rated than the Corvallis hospital.

    Ashland is going to be even smaller than Bend, and even when combined with Medford, it is only similar in size . . . I can't imagine it being any more conducive to supporting "uncommon specialties" than Bend.

    Salem is larger, but you do not have any convenient close-in riding without driving over to Black Rock, but you will not have nearly the diversity of riding that Bend offers. Having lived in both places, if you can, cross this one (Salem) off your list.

    Eugene, again, is larger, but you have to drive a ways to get to good riding.

  9. #9
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    salem sucks. Grew up there

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    Quote Originally Posted by sketchbook View Post
    salem sucks. Grew up there
    I agree.

    Ben I'd get a job in Bend and enjoy.

  11. #11
    Nat
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    What's your nursing specialty?

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nat View Post
    What's your nursing specialty?
    Looking for a new footman?
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  13. #13
    Nat
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    Quote Originally Posted by shiggy View Post
    Looking for a new footman?
    Who knows? Maybe I know a guy who knows a guy.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by GauchoGreg View Post
    if you consider the size of the Bend/Redmond MSA, it is actually larger than Corvallis on a population basis
    You don't even have to qualify that. According to the 2010 census, the city of Bend by itself is straight-up larger than the city of Corvallis, with about 20k more people. Plus a wonderful trail network that is impeccably maintained.

  15. #15
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    With Bend the problem is the intense competition for available jobs.

  16. #16
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    Ashland hands down. Bend will be good now that they have lift assist riding at Bachelor but to me it's a fricken dust bowl until the fall and sometimes that season is really short before the snow levels drop into the good trails. Both towns are nice resort towns with great microbreweries! The trails are just better in Ashland and they terminate right in the middle of town. Some Bendites will say the same for Phil's trail but it's just NOT the same, trust me.

    Have FUN!

    G MAN
    "There's two shuttles, one to the top and one to the hospital" I LOVE this place!!!

  17. #17
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    Yeah, Bend is a dustbowl, we rode there in June and my wife dumped over a drop and rolled in it, she was coated

    So about Ashland, we rode a couple different loops, can't remember the names; I was following a buddy, but I did notice that they seem to be straight up and straight down.

    In Ashland/Medford, where do you go for cruiser, XC riding?
    How's the riding in the Winter months?

    BTW, I'm not trying to be cryptic on the job description, but this is the world wide web, and I'd just assume stay anonymous, esp if I'm looking for work.

    Okay, Salem is a flush, Portland only has fire lanes, Corvallis is a maybe, so what about Eugene/Cottage Grove? If Eugene trail riding is limited without a drive, is that going to change in time?

    We're also looking in Washington State, I got a job interview up near Olympia next month, it's cooler and cloudier, but the dust is better

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gman086 View Post
    The trails are just better in Ashland and they terminate right in the middle of town. Some Bendites will say the same for Phil's trail but it's just NOT the same, trust me.
    I've never ridden Ashland. What makes the trails better? How is the poison oak over there?

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nurse Ben View Post
    So about Ashland, we rode a couple different loops, can't remember the names; I was following a buddy, but I did notice that they seem to be straight up and straight down.
    Well, yes, that's why I prefer Ashland!
    In Ashland/Medford, where do you go for cruiser, XC riding?
    How's the riding in the Winter months?
    There's supposed to be some good XC type trails on the other side of the valley. Uncle Cliffy on here can give you the rundown. During the winter they get snow up top too (the downhill starts at Mt. Ashland SKI resort.

    Okay, Salem is a flush, Portland only has fire lanes, Corvallis is a maybe, so what about Eugene/Cottage Grove? If Eugene trail riding is limited without a drive, is that going to change in time?

    In my opinion, no. They only have MRT and have to travel as far as us Portlanders to good riding. Funny thing is Portland is in the center of most of the good riding in Oregon, you just have to travel 1-1.5 hours to get to them but they are the most diverse in the Pacific NW. Where else do you have easy access to Mt. Hood, Mt. St. Helens and Mt. Adams? NONE of the other places you list. I don't think I could live in the other towns because they are too one-dimensional!

    We're also looking in Washington State, I got a job interview up near Olympia next month, it's cooler and cloudier, but the dust is better
    Washington State keeps trying to "catch up" with Oregon IMHO. Can they get there? Sure but the best thing now about that state is the proximity to Whistler (though I will say that the southwestern trails near Portland are stellar)

    Have FUN!

    G MAN
    "There's two shuttles, one to the top and one to the hospital" I LOVE this place!!!

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nurse Ben View Post
    Yeah, Bend is a dustbowl, we rode there in June and my wife dumped over a drop and rolled in it, she was coated

    So about Ashland, we rode a couple different loops, can't remember the names; I was following a buddy, but I did notice that they seem to be straight up and straight down.

    In Ashland/Medford, where do you go for cruiser, XC riding?
    How's the riding in the Winter months?

    BTW, I'm not trying to be cryptic on the job description, but this is the world wide web, and I'd just assume stay anonymous, esp if I'm looking for work.

    Okay, Salem is a flush, Portland only has fire lanes, Corvallis is a maybe, so what about Eugene/Cottage Grove? If Eugene trail riding is limited without a drive, is that going to change in time?

    We're also looking in Washington State, I got a job interview up near Olympia next month, it's cooler and cloudier, but the dust is better
    So best trail accessibilty from town in OR would have to be in this order: Bend, Ashland, Hood River, Corvallis, IMO. Bend is tough to beat with 300+ miles of trails at your fingertips and can almost ride year-round with the addition of Redmond area trails (Cline Butte, Maston and new Redmond trail network) and Horse Ridge east of Bend. Yes, dusty as you experienced come mid-summer especially, but riding is better the higer and more west you go towards the mountains. I personally wouldn't like to live in Bend, just because it always kind of feels crowded and congested to me with tons of people in town and surrounding area come summer with tons of people on the trails, but I always like visiting and riding since I have been going to Central OR every year for vacationing since I was a kid and the riding/climate/terrain is vastly different than on the western Cascade slopes that I am primarily used to. But, I am afraid if I lived there I would ultimately get tired of the same conditions (snow to dust) year after year despite all those miles "out your door". So, basically every town with trails have their pro's and cons, I would shoot for a balance I suppose. Portland, where I live and have lived for almost 40yrs pretty much sucks for mtb as you are well aware, but I just travel east 45-60 min when the weather is bad to ride in the area or to the western slopes of coastal range and cascades when super dry with a couple of places in town to ride when weather isn't too bad (now) to get my by during the week when I don't have time for out of town trip. So as crazy as it sounds and thought I would never ever say this, but might have to pick Portland since it works well for my kids and wife, and more jobs and better pay in my field (health care like you) than other smaller, more trail accessible towns. I am just hoping I can make it to "snowbird" life one day with part-time living in the SW come Nov-Apr here, that would be perfect as summers are pretty awesome here.
    Ride On!

  21. #21
    Daniel the Dog
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    Bend is a giant cat box but the town has great vibes. I really like Ashland a lot! Great weather and nice riding. However, I would strongly recommend Hood River if you can pull it off. But HR has taken some logging hits on some of its trails.

    Olympia is so dank and dark, but the riding at Capitol Forest is sweet.

    I would avoid Portland like the Bubonic Plaque. It sucks big time for mountain biking--as noted.

  22. #22
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    I ride 20 miles a day to and from work in Portland. It's on road and paths, but it keeps me in shape and the money I save in gas justifies the driving on my weekend to where I can find the good riding. Lots of weekends in Oakridge, day trips to Mt Hood and some great trails in SW Washington keeps my mtb stoke alive. The commute miles keep me fit so I get a lot out of those trips.

    Works for me, but obviously there are lots of different views on what works for different individuals.

    The Portland IMBA chapter, Northwest Trail Alliance is growing and making strides. Yes there its a lot of singletrack around Portland and hopefully more and more of it will become accessible in time. But some of us who have been around and witnessed being systematically excluded tend to lose faith. What we need is more people to keep pushing back.

    All that being said, I would probably move to Bend or Hood River given the chance.

    Happy hunting!

  23. #23
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    Take me with you Charlie...
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  24. #24
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    I like Portland and I can appreciate the non mtbiking stuff that a big city can offer, but I am about to be a post kid boomer, ie the clock is ticking, so I am not going to drive to ride.

    I want riding 24/7, close to home, the ideal situation would be to ride from my house to the trails, which I can do now. I am spoiled now, so I'm not wanting to give that up.

    Bend is awesome, but the trails shut down when it's cold. I love to ski, I will ski, but I ride a lot more than I ski.

    I'd rather ride in the rain than ride on a trainer; not that you can ride a muni on a trainer

  25. #25
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    Well, pretty much all of Oregon shuts down in Winter.

    Bend is obviously the least likely to "shut down" since it's drier. There are trails east of town and north of town which can be ridden all year round.

    You can get a fat bike and ride higher elevation snow. Groomed trails and snowmobile trails.

    But most of the riding you will need to drive to. I'd say 15 minute drive to pretty much anywhere you want to ride.

    I don't think there's anywhere in Oregon you will be mountain biking from your doorstep all year around.

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