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  1. #1
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    Sacramento Vs Olympia - If you had to choose

    So I've long been debating on where I want to move to. Initially I was going to bail on my job and just move, the destination of which would have been based entirely on mountain biking. I've decided to stick it out at my job (or try to at least), because they will be expanding to the west coast in 2014. I'd be much better off with a job when I move out that way. By no means do I make good money, but with no degree or skills for that matter, my income would surely get cut in half as I'd probably have to settle for a minimum wage job.

    So the two cities I'm going to have to choose from are Sacramento, Ca and Olympia, Wa. Neither are epic mountain bike spots, but let's keep in mind I'm moving from Houston, Tx, which is a complete shithole and the closest mountain is probably a 15 hour drive away. If I go to Sacramento I'd rather live some place like Auburn if possible and just commute to work. Whether or not that would be a possibility would be based on the location of the job site.

    Here are the pros and cons I have thus far:

    Sacramento (pros):
    -About an hour from Northstar (assuming I'm living in Auburn)
    -At least a handful of local trails to ride on (again, assuming the Auburn area)
    -I will get a cost of living adjustment in my pay, though I don't know how much it will be

    Sacramento (cons):
    -If I have to actually live in Sacramento as opposed to Auburn I really won't have any local trails to ride, and Northstar will be that much farther
    -California's economy
    -Cost of living will probably kick my ass (even despite a pay adjustment)
    -State income tax

    Olympia (pros):
    -Small town
    -I'd be able to drive to BC
    -Whistler is less than 5 hours away by car (according to google maps)
    -Duthie Hill is a couple hours away, maybe less
    -Steven's Pass is about 2.5 hours away
    -Plenty of other great PNW trails all over within somewhat reasonable driving distances
    -I CAN DRIVE TO WHISTLER (oh sorry I had already mentioned that)
    -I'm actually not fond of a lot of sunlight, so the dreary weather and overcast skies won't bother me
    -No state income tax
    -Pot is legal there

    Olympia (cons):
    -Doesn't seem to be any local trails actually in town, I think Capital Forest would be the closest and I don't know if that's considered part of Olympia or not
    -Steven's Pass is 2.5 hours away, I know I listed this as a pro also, but this is a new bike park that isn't all that epic since they only have 4 trails or so, it will be a number of years before the park expands so that is a long drive for what you get. Also their prices are high
    -Rain. I don't mind the overcast skies, but downpours would suck. I've actually heard that although they get a lot of rain it drizzles a lot as opposed to downpours so who knows.

    That's all I can think of at the moment. I'd like to get opinions from people who live or have lived in either city or both. Or anyone familiar with either city. Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by uglyguy2 View Post
    -Rain. I don't mind the overcast skies, but downpours would suck. I've actually heard that although they get a lot of rain it drizzles a lot as opposed to downpours...
    I lived in Spanaway for 6 years, and I agree with the statement.

    If somebody stuck a gun to my head and told me to choose between the two, I'd probably get shot. I'm not fond of either city.

    One thing you didn't mention is sales tax. Olympia is 100 miles from Portland. You can save a chunk of money when you buy big ticket items that don't have to be registered (like a $5k bike, for example)

  3. #3
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    I don't think you could pay me enough to live in CA, so it's an easy decision for me: Olympia!

  4. #4
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    I knew about Oregon not having sales tax. I didn't mention it since I wouldn't be living there. Though put the proximity to Oregon in the pro column, not just for the sales tax thing, but also a lot of good riding there as well.

  5. #5
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    As a former Olympia area resident, I can testify that there is great trails right near town: Capitol Forest is great, Mud Bay has trails and there are a bunch just SE of OLY off of Route 7, 706, 12, and 508. Also don't forget that you have quick access to the Olympic and Kitsap Peninsulas and you would also be 2.15 hours from Port Angeles and the Northwest Cup down hill race trails and all of the cross-country trails in Sequim. Then take the Blackball ferry from Port Angeles and your on Vancouver Island/Victoria. Its a win/win. If you have any other ?'s just ask.

  6. #6
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    Oly hands down IMHO. I lived in Sactown for 6 years. There is great riding in the Sierra foothills and higher. There is also some great riding around the Folsom Lake area too, but not enough to offset having to live there in the hot polluted summers.

    Oly has Capital Forest which is a great riding area. It does get dam muddy in the winter though. There are so many great places to ride in the PNW. If you like DH then you will be right at home in the PNW.
    I ride at ludicrous speed

  7. #7
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    I live and work in cities that are suburbs of Sacramento. If I had the choice between the two, I would Choose Olympia. There are so many reasons NOT to live in this area that have nothing to do with mountain biking at all but will seriously have a bearing on your life that it is not a fair exchange, not worth the sacrifice.

    As far as the riding, since that is a main concern for you: I love the riding opportunities I have in this area, with Auburn and the Sierras not too far away and all the Bay Area goodness the other direction, but adding up all the factors my choice would be Olympia.
    "You're messing with my zen thing, man!"

  8. #8
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    I was leaning towards Olympia anyway, good to hear that seems to be the consensus on here as well so far.

    Archieaxe, how long did you live there? Out of the trails you mentioned, what style of riding would you say they are?

    One thing I didn't mention, the Sac location will open at the beginning of the year, the Oly location not until the end of the year. So the plan so far is for me to go to Sac when it opens, but only until the Oly location opens and then I'd go there. The point of which is to get the hell out of Texas as quick as possible because life sucks ass here.

  9. #9
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    Olympia would be my choice as well, and I say that as a lifelong Californian. If I didn't have so much family nearby, job, house, kids, etc I would probably migrate to the Pacific Northwest. There are some beautiful places in California, but Sacramento isn't one of them. This state is a mess and it's only getting worse. If you like lots of illogical rules, high taxes, traffic, high gas prices, and more you might love it here. Whatever cost of living adjustment they give you won't be enough.

    I would probably give my right nut to live within driving distance of Whistler.

  10. #10
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    How would you guys say the cost of living in Oly compares to Sacramento? Houston is one of the cheapest places to live in the US so I know either way it'll be higher for me. I always hear the west coast in general is pricey.

  11. #11
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    Olympia, for the beer first of all and for the riding. Archieaxe mentioned Capitol forest one of the best places in the state to ride. Green Mountain on the peninsula, all the trails along highway 410 on the way to Crystal Mtn. past Crystal on to Nachez area, the trails down at Whites pass. Tiger Mtn. Yes it does rain alot but you learn how to ride in mud. It never gets above 90 around here so you drink less water cause your not frying in the 104 degree heat. Green is a better color than brown. The only reason to live in the Sac is for the Sacramento Mile Flat Track race at the fairgrounds once a year.

  12. #12
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    Without reading everything stated in this thread I would say Oly. I return home every summer to Washington to bike Cap Forest with my brother. (I now live in Wisconsin.). I miss Washington every single day. I have not lived in Oly; I was born and raised in Spokane and did my undergrad in Seattle. My parents and brother have lived in Oly for some time now and I have visited a lot. It is a small town it has great culture. And how small can it be when it is close to Seattle.

    I never owned a rain jacket or umbrella in Seattle and only got soaked once. The drizzle can be constant but in Oly my bother bikes Cap Forest all year round.

    The cost of living is pretty cheap there. Good coffee and beer every where.

    Good luck with your decision and move.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by uglyguy2 View Post
    How would you guys say the cost of living in Oly compares to Sacramento? Houston is one of the cheapest places to live in the US so I know either way it'll be higher for me. I always hear the west coast in general is pricey.
    I live in roseville about 20 miles east of downtown sac and 15miles west of auburn. Housing is pretty cheap compared to So Cal or SF bay area. Does get hot in the summer but temps drop 10-15 degrees just an hour east. You didnt mention downeiville in your "pros". About 1 1/2 hours away. Plus plenty of riding in Tahoe area. Dont know anything about Olympia so cant help you there.

  14. #14
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    No contest. The surrounding area of Seattle and the Sound is thousands of times over better than Sacramento. Lots of generally happy people, good quality of life, investment in city, infrastructure, aesthetics, and most importantly, trails. There is so much diversity up there, in every way: Sea, land, trails, food, etc.

    I fly into that area all the time with my job. It's great and you'll regret not doing it IMO. One of the best places to live in the country IMO. I grew up in NorCal, but it feels like you are constantly fighting the huge population, poor condition of infrastructure, increasing regulation and taxes that don't seem to go back into the community, hot summers, long way to the mountains for summer riding to cool off (fighting traffic), no real trails until you get to coastal or foothill mountains, etc.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by knl2stl View Post
    ...Good coffee and beer every where..
    One of very few things I miss about living in Seattle suburb. Miserable winter = Lots of good dark beer.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by uglyguy2 View Post
    I knew about Oregon not having sales tax. I didn't mention it since I wouldn't be living there. Though put the proximity to Oregon in the pro column, not just for the sales tax thing, but also a lot of good riding there as well.
    Yeah, but they won't let you pump your own fuel and there's a "runner-guy" going between all the gas pumps, taking the pump nozzle out, putting it in, taking it out, putting it back, etc. It's the most ridiculous thing you'll see if you've never experienced it. You just have to sit there for a few minutes and watch the insanity before deciding to participate in it.

    Deal breaker for Oregon IMO.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  17. #17
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    WA all the way!

  18. #18
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    Really don't know a whole lot about SAC but what little I do, I know it's not really where I want to be. I hear good things about Auburn but in the end, CA is just god dam expensive and crowded - it shows with the amount of trail user conflict threads around here.

    Oly is a great town IMO. Maybe not MTB nirvana, but it's a great size and a lot of fun. A little on the flower child side of things, but in the end its all good.I'd much prefer that to gangs, crime and whatever. I've spent a lot of time in the NW and I can say that the whole 'rain' thing is blown way out of proportion while the whole 'gray' things is NOT. In other words, less rain than you would expect but dam is it damp and grey for a long time! On the flip side, temps are pretty moderate. As a desert dweller, I think it would be tough to not see the sun much.

    So in the end? Assuming compensation is similar I'd head to Oly.

  19. #19
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    I grew up and lived in San Diego for 23 years. Moved up to SW Washington 19 years ago and would never think of going back. Come on up and get ready for plenty of rain.

  20. #20
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    Anywhere in the PNW beats anywhere in Cali any day.
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  21. #21
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    Moving from Houston it won't really matter where you move, you're making the right choice. Houston is a disgusting city. I've lived all over the country and have fallen in love with the PNW. That would be my choice over anyplace else.

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    I live about an hour adn a little east of Sac in the mountains. Over the past years I've really warmed up to Sac. Used to hate going there, but now I enjoy the food/stuff to do, and the break from the snow in winter... That area is hot in the summer, no doubt, but you're used to hot and humid. The rest of the year the weather down that way is pretty nice.

    A nice thing about CA is the diversity of riding, and stuff to do, and the year-round choices- we are spoiled that way. Both in terrain, scenery, and weather. I'm on a day off today, and am staring at deep snow. Skiing or driving down to Auburn for a ride? hmmm. You can do the same in WA too, but the change in climates is more exaggerated in Norcal.

    Lots of great road trips, both riding and not, in Norcal. Not that there is not in WA, but there are lots of posts here to support that.

    Auburn has fun riding and lots of it, especially when linked to other areas. Lots of work going on to blur the lines between foothill and Sierra trail networks. We are not there yet, but are making strides towards the goal.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Svahn View Post

    Auburn has fun riding and lots of it, especially when linked to other areas. Lots of work going on to blur the lines between foothill and Sierra trail networks. We are not there yet, but are making strides towards the goal.
    It's good that it's improving, but I've never felt there's all that much riding in Auburn. Decent riding, yes, and other riding areas not too far away (Nevada City, further up 80, Salmon Falls), yes, but living in AZ for 11 years was a totally different perspective for me. Everything from alpine meadows at 9000' to dry desert less than 1000' and everything in between. The real difference (because CA is even more varied in climate) was that they built trails literally everywhere, continued to build trails, and people rode the trails. AZ trail going across the entire state. Huge endless miles of the BCT system doing nearly the same, and then each little area that could support trails usually had them built like crazy. Sedona (much improved in 10 years), Flagstaff, Prescott, Phoenix(massive riding opportunities in city, few metro-areas compare), White Mountain, Grand Canyon rims, Tucson, etc. All of these with far more miles of trails than Auburn. Living in Prescott, I had forest area on 3 sides of the city, mountains from 5000' to 7979', riding in most seasons was pleasant due to the elevation, sunlight in the winter and generally much less rainy weather, and of course, trails everywhere. Easy to put in 30 miles of riding and 5000+ of climbing/descending without having to ride the same trail, or to keep it to a certain area, then ride a different area the next day, and so on.

    There just seems to be a difference in perspective and fundamental policy as far as trailbuilding/existence. I used to ride Auburn semi-frequently, and it was fun, but after living in AZ I wouldn't say there is "lots" of riding. You can connect to FH, which is nice and stretches out the miles significantly, so that's a good benefit, but given all the terrain in the area, I'd expect decent trails paralleling highway 80 up to the HITG area, North and South trails connecting FHD to that trail system. A far greater network of trails heading up and down BOTH sides of the confluence area, the ability to climb/ride to totally different climates due to distance and elevation, and so on.

    If we were talking about the riding opportunities around Tahoe, then it'd be a little different I think. Much bigger/more epic stuff available in closer proximity to the lake, sure you have to deal with the seasons to a much greater extent, but I think it'd make more sense there. Maybe Downieville as well, fairly decent number of trails and elevation there with some other stuff not too far away.

    I think you're statement that progress is being made is good. I've noticed this over the years, and while slow, I'd agree. I've been to several mtb "meccas" and wouldn't rate Auburn on the same level. It's a good riding area for Sac-towners, no doubt, but I'd never move there because of Auburn.
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  24. #24
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    Good job!

    Don't forget the OP is comparing wages as well. You need to consider that Washington enjoys NO INCOME TAX. So figure comparatively with CA that you will be making at least 10% more in wages combined with a cheaper cost of living.
    "Prollyisnotprobably"

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    Olympia is a great town. Capitol Forest is close, but muddy in winter. It rains, but seldom is there a downpour. If you're cool with overcast, you will make it through the winter. East of the Cascades are some great trails and dry conditions. The Puget Sound region's natural beauty is unparalleled. I live in Tacoma, and during the gray winter, I have longed for sunnier climates. I have been offered positions, elsewhere, but I have yet to find anywhere that can surpass the PNW. Now if cost of living and real estate prices were not a consideration, that might be different.
    jW

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    Oh yeah, Evergreen State College is in Oly, so that adds a big hippy element and vibe to downtown Oly. To me college/hippy/artsy has a positive impact on the culture.
    jW

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    I also believe there are some nice trails near Longview, Wa, about an hour from Olympia. If you can put up with gray and drizzle, I say it's a no brainer.

  28. #28
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    Some places on the Olympic Pen are in "rain shadows", like Sequim. Doesn't rain nearly as much there.
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  29. #29
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    Well could be a change of plans here since I just found out that I got ****ed (second year running) on my raise. Not really feeling like sticking it out any longer.

    Pretty sure I like the sound of Washington as a place to call home. Although if I could pick any city I don't think Olympia would be it simply for the fact that there are no trails in town.

    Would I be able to find a job there? I work in a warehouse. I figure I'd need to make 16/hr minimum to survive. That's about what I make here and I'm by no means living the good life.

    I sure love the idea of getting out of shithole Texas sooner rather than later. Although I'm scared to death of having to start all the way over in a brand new, unfamiliar place.

  30. #30
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    I live in Sacto, and really like it here, but WA is WA, and there is no contest if you like nature, cool temps, nice folks, wild animals that don't live in the zoo, etc.

    But Sacto is very liveable, very liveable....

    mudhen
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  31. #31
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    do it and dont look back. if u dont u will sit there (in texas) & constantly wonder, what if.....WA is calling u, can u hear it?

  32. #32
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    I have never lived in WA, but I have lived north of Sac in Wheatland. It was a nice place, but I was 14 and didn't mtn. bike yet. North of Sacramento is a nice area, more rural, quiter etc.

    That said, as an adult, I would never choose to live in CA. Cost of living, home prices, bass ackwards laws and the like have made that a state I will never live in. Too bad, because my wife always talks about wanting to live by the beach.

    frog

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    I don't know. I really love from Placerville over to Tahoe. I've lived in Oregon all of my life, and would love to get some more sun/snow and less dreary ass days. Plus riding, snowshoeing, and 4-wheeling is all real close to Sac. And there's IN and Out.

    Although I'm not sure I could deal with the bureaucracy and high-everything fees.

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    Here is my two cents on it as if your a single guy with no strings attached. The trails and variety of weather conditions favor California hands down! From Sacramento you have countless trails in El Dorado County, Placer County, Tahoe, Marin, Santa Cruz area and don't forget about Downieville! Everything is from 45min to 2 hrs. Cost of living is nothing compared to SF or LA so putting Sacramento in that range is foolish. I have been to WA and the Pacific Northwest area and the social aspect is much better in Cali. Its more diverse and you get variety, let along more riding days a year. Aside from riding, California girls are much easier on the eyes and there is more to do during downtime.
    Quality of life favors California!

  35. #35
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    So where is THE place to live in Washington state according to you Washington guys? And try not to show bias to your own town just because you live there. Is there one area that stands above the rest as far as mountain biking goes?

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    Quote Originally Posted by uglyguy2 View Post
    So where is THE place to live in Washington state according to you Washington guys? And try not to show bias to your own town just because you live there. Is there one area that stands above the rest as far as mountain biking goes?
    If I could live anywhere in WA, it would likely be Bellingham. Good size, cool town, temperate weather, good riding, close to skiing and close to whistler.

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    Sacramento summers are similar to Houston in that they are hot, humid and high in mosquitoes. Aren't many cities in CA I like less. Now SF, SD, Santa Cruz, Arcata are great places but all are expensive.
    There's way more than Whistler near Washington, just be close to Crystal Mountain or Mt Baker.
    But tour CA when you can. There are thousands of great places on and near the coast and in the Sierras, Shasta and much more.
    Besides WA just legalized it.
    If you do move there, embrace merino wool and get a quality cycling rain jacket.
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    [QUOTE=abegold;10074326]Sacramento summers are similar to Houston in that they are hot, humid and high in mosquitoes.QUOTE]

    Uh....no. Nice try.
    Sacramento summers are nothing at all like Houston. It's absolutely not humid at all and I've never seen a mosquito in the 20 years I've lived here. I lived two years in Miami before that. Now that's a summer you want to avoid at all costs.

  39. #39
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    Well, any place other then Houston

    would be quality in life increase. In either place you could continue your education while you worked.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jwind View Post
    If I could live anywhere in WA, it would likely be Bellingham. Good size, cool town, temperate weather, good riding, close to skiing and close to whistler.
    Bellingham? Sold.

    Can someone hook me up with a job in Bellingham?

    I have a truck and will shuttle. I don't drink beer but I will buy you some. I will let you smoke some of my weed as soon as I legally purchase some. And oh yeah, girls will run screaming from me and flock to you. It's good to have an ugly guy around.

    So yeah. A job.. please.. anyone?

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by zgroove View Post
    Here is my two cents on it as if your a single guy with no strings attached. The trails and variety of weather conditions favor California hands down! From Sacramento you have countless trails in El Dorado County, Placer County, Tahoe, Marin, Santa Cruz area and don't forget about Downieville! Everything is from 45min to 2 hrs. Cost of living is nothing compared to SF or LA so putting Sacramento in that range is foolish. I have been to WA and the Pacific Northwest area and the social aspect is much better in Cali. Its more diverse and you get variety, let along more riding days a year. Aside from riding, California girls are much easier on the eyes and there is more to do during downtime.
    Quality of life favors California!
    Um, your ideas about cost of living are suspect. Sure, Sac is cheaper than SanFran or Beverly Hills, but it's also more expensive, especially in many suburbs, than other parts of the US. You need to get outside of CA and experience this.
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  42. #42
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    I would prefer Olympia. But of course it's up to you in the end.
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  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    No contest. The surrounding area of Seattle and the Sound is thousands of times over better than Sacramento.
    The Sound is a thousand times better than the Northern/Central Sierras? Wow ...

    Sacto proper is not a place I'm crazy about, mostly due to crowds of people (there seem to be people literally everywhere you go in CA!) and it being in California (with all that entails). But drive an hour or 90 minutes east and you're in one of the most beautiful areas in our great country IMO. Year-round riding in the foothills or west toward the coast, amazing summer trails in Downieville and Tahoe areas, plus access to maybe the country's best lift-accessed riding at Northstar? Sounds good to me. And if you ski or board, the quality of resorts in Norcal is great. For scenery and other adventures, go a couple hours north to the Mt. Shasta area, or a couple hours NW to the Redwoods and the beautiful Norcal/So. Oregon coast, or a few hours NE to the Lassen National Forest. Just amazing places. Again, I'm not a big fan of the city of Sacramento itself, but I think its access to amazing outdoor spots is a significant selling point. If I could live as far east in the valley as possible, I'd go for Sacramento myself.

    I grew up in Portland and other spots in the PNW (including 2 yrs in Bellingham -- do you like the smell of fish and wood pulp mixed with mildew?), and let me tell you, if you haven't experienced a PNW winter, you're not missing out. Literally drives people crazy -- when I moved my wife to Oregon from SLC, she would fly back to SLC for a couple weeks in February to get out of the fog (and I would have loved to do the same, but I was stuck in school). Nice places to visit, Seattle is a great city as far as large cities go (haven't spent much time in Olympia), incredible scenery when the fog lifts and you can actually look around. But I would not willingly move back to the PNW again. Gotta have some sun now and then!

    **note - I would far prefer either place over anywhere in Texas, though! As places to live for outdoor recreation go, both are far above average compared to the rest of the country**
    Last edited by Tystevens; 01-16-2013 at 02:04 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    Um, your ideas about cost of living are suspect. Sure, Sac is cheaper than SanFran or Beverly Hills, but it's also more expensive, especially in many suburbs, than other parts of the US. You need to get outside of CA and experience this.
    That's true. Sac is only cheap by Cali standards. But compared to Texas, anywhere on the I-5 corridor is going to have a higher cost of living. Heck, most places are more expensive to live in than Houston (from all the numbers I've seen, at least).
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    Well bashing CA is a long cherished pastime if you live in the US, so I'd strongly suggest visiting both places yourself before making a decision. But if you're not tied to Sacramento, there are many many other places in Cali I would consider first. The thing about cost of living is that sometimes an expensive place is expensive for a reason.
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    Quote Originally Posted by PerfectZero View Post
    Well bashing CA is a long cherished pastime if you live in the US, so I'd strongly suggest visiting both places yourself before making a decision. But if you're not tied to Sacramento, there are many many other places in Cali I would consider first. The thing about cost of living is that sometimes an expensive place is expensive for a reason.
    ^ this.

    Its a big place, Cali. So many options, and cost of living varies widely. Off the beaten path there are some relatively untapped, amazing trail systems in low key, cheaper areas to live. Not that I know anything about that though.

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    Just moved to Sac from Seattle, One word. Sunshine. That burning orb in the sky is amazing: but if your into playin Hackey Sack in the rain Oly could be good too

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    Olympia and Sacramento both suck. Tough call.

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    Good riding right outside of Oly..Plan on rain. Constant rain. Not heavy, just there. Oct to July. Compared to TX, don't take this lightly.
    Seek: Koski Trailmaster. Breezer Series 2 or 3. Cunningham Racer.

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    Bellingham is a cool college town, and close to Vancouver, B.C., which is not far from legendary BC riding. As far as work, you might look at Costco, they purportedly treat their people decent. If gray skies and drizzle (what's not to like?) get you down, you might consider eats of the mountains -- a town like Leavenworth or Wenatchee. They are on the near east side of the Cascades, so the climate is much different. Spokane, Wa is on the eastern border of Washington, and is in beautiful country with a relatively dry climate. It has a few colleges, Gonzaga, Whitworth, Eastern Wa... COL is fairly reasonable, and Montana and Idaho are at your doorstep. The only potential downside is that eastern Wa is doesn't have much cultural diversity, and does have a significant redneck demographic. Some Spokane expats call it Spoklahoma.
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    Quote Originally Posted by J-Dubya61 View Post
    Bellingham is a cool college town, and close to Vancouver, B.C., which is not far from legendary BC riding. As far as work, you might look at Costco, they purportedly treat their people decent. If gray skies and drizzle (what's not to like?) get you down, you might consider eats of the mountains -- a town like Leavenworth or Wenatchee. They are on the near east side of the Cascades, so the climate is much different. Spokane, Wa is on the eastern border of Washington, and is in beautiful country with a relatively dry climate. It has a few colleges, Gonzaga, Whitworth, Eastern Wa... COL is fairly reasonable, and Montana and Idaho are at your doorstep. The only potential downside is that eastern Wa is doesn't have much cultural diversity, and does have a significant redneck demographic. Some Spokane expats call it Spoklahoma.
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    B'Ham is a cool town with some quirky folks. Really fun riding and a great mountain bike culture. Job market can be tough and wages seem to be low compared to other places.
    Last edited by Mikecito; 01-19-2013 at 11:45 PM.

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    Man I wish someone up there could hook me up with a job, I'm so ready to move and start fresh. I feel like I'm having to put my whole life on hold waiting to move up there with my job in 2014. Mountain biking is literally my one and only passion and I don't even ride here because the trails are so weak and it's really not even mountain biking. Just flat and boring XC trails that you have to pedal your ass off on just to hit 12-15 mph.

    I spend my free time drooling over mtb vids online and day dreaming of shredding sweet mountain single track every day.

    Can't wait for it to become a reality. You guys that live in mountainous regions are so lucky.

  54. #54
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    It's not some impossible dream to move to BHam. It's a college town, so you can find rentals and roommates. Do you have decent job experience? Network and make it happen (if you're a certified IT Engineering tech support badass, send me your resume)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mikecito View Post
    It's not some impossible dream to move to BHam. It's a college town, so you can find rentals and roommates. Do you have decent job experience? Network and make it happen (if you're a certified IT Engineering tech support badass, send me your resume)
    I wouldn't care what town, it wouldn't have to be Bellingham. A couple people mentioned it as a good spot with good trails. Another guy said it smelled like fish and wood pulp or something. All I know is it's close to Canada and Whistler, that's a big enough selling point for me. But Olympia looks nice as well, or anywhere in the Seattle area.

    You must have missed my earlier posts mentioning that I'm a blue collar grunt worker. I appreciate the offer to help anyway.

    I have been at my current job for 5 years, that has to be good for something. I just would NOT want to take a pay cut, moving from an affordable area like Houston to the west coast. I browsed some jobs on CL in the Seattle/Tacoma area and all jobs similar to mine paid less than what I make.

    You're right though, it's not an impossible dream. It's just really scary to leave a stable job and venture off into the unknown to places you've never been and not knowing if you'll be able to find a job making more than 8 bucks an hour. I almost quit my job last year to move to Bend, but decided not to after coming to the realization that I wouldn't be able to find work there. At least nothing paying what I make or anywhere close to it.

    This is just a frustrating situation to be in.

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    Quote Originally Posted by model worker View Post
    Just moved to Sac from Seattle, One word. Sunshine. That burning orb in the sky is amazing: but if your into playin Hackey Sack in the rain Oly could be good too
    I grew up in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, started my MTB frenzy there - I keep a mountain bike there, because I am going to end up back there, folks have land there.

    Living just north of Seattle, I spend a good amount of time pining for the Sierras. There is so much varied trail -hundreds & hundreds of miles. Nothing holds a candle to it here in Washington. Sorry. It is is the nature of the geography, history, relative amount of open State, and Federal land. I also have a love affair with the sun.

    Having said that, I would not move to Sacramento. When I move back, it will be returning to an old gold town for me.

    Good luck in finding a restart; I wholeheartedly agree with centering your life around your favorite leisure!!!


    .

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    uglyguy2, look up J&B Importers and give them a call. Its a bicycle supply warehouse and they "might" have a job. Also try Seattle Bike Supply, same thing. Anyware along the I-5 corridor is a good place to live. Dont know alot of places with trails in town and most of the good ones require a vehicle to get to. There a ton, I mean SH*T TON of warehouse jobs along the I-5 corridor. Look on craigslist.

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    I know nothing of biking around Sacramento, but the number and variety of trails in Washington is great. Something for everyone. The winters can get to be a drag just due to the amount of darkness and rain. I moved here 20+ years ago from San Diego, and I used to tell my old friends back there to picture the 5 minutes in San Diego between when it wasn't raining and when it was raining, you know, that drizzle thing, and then picture living in a place that does that for 3 - 4 days in a row and maybe 11 days out of 14 some stretches in the winter/spring. I tell my brother that rides in the Los Angeles area - if you won't ride in the wet then you won't ride for most of 6 months out of the year in Seattle. On the other hand, the summers here are as nice as anywhere I've ever lived. Then there is the darkness. Seattle is far enough north that in the middle of winter, the sun is rising at 7:58AM and setting at 4:18PM. Along with the thick cloud cover, it is dark when the sun sets and dark for 30 minutes after sunrise. Some people have wintertime depression just because of the darkness. All to say, there is a lot to like about the pacific northwest, but it isn't for everyone. Lately, I've been riding a lot in the 22 - 30 degree range. It's OK so long as you have the proper clothes for it, but when I say it's OK, what I mean is it's still a lot of fun, and the fact that the ground is mostly frozen means the trails that would otherwise be boggy swamps are back in the rotation for a while until things warm up again.

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    I used to live in Oakland and absolutely LOVED it.
    Northern Cali is awesome.
    That being said, it is also expensive.

    If I could afford it, I would move back in a heart beat.

    Of course, I love Western NC just as much and it is half the price.

    Never lived in WA so I can't compare.

  60. #60
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    Oakland is very nice ( I grew up in the Montclair hills) but I sure wouldn't want to live there on blue collar wages. To the OP, check out Samson rope, Blue Sea Systems and Health Techna in Bellingham. Those are some good local companies that have production positions that come up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mikecito View Post
    Oakland is very nice ( I grew up in the Montclair hills) but I sure wouldn't want to live there on blue collar wages.
    I agree

    I lived in Jack London Square and my rent for a 1br was $1639 a month. That was almost 10 years ago.

    Certainly you can find cheaper places to live, but you can't find cheap places that are worth living in.

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    Here's some Bellingham action:

    Video: Lars n Bars Epic Winter Edit - Pinkbike

    If weather permits, someone go shred that trail for me since I can't. It looks awesome.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kjlued View Post
    I agree

    I lived in Jack London Square and my rent for a 1br was $1639 a month. That was almost 10 years ago.

    Certainly you can find cheaper places to live, but you can't find cheap places that are worth living in.
    Hmm, the cost of living in a lot of places is better than CA. You really have to get out to know and see this. It's not necessarily dramatically better in WA and OR, but it is better, and the further you get away, the more you see this is true. The Bay Area has it's high points, but it's always seemed to me as if the "hey-day" was back in the 1970s and 1980s. They were putting in BART, lots of building, downtown areas were popular, high speed ferries, etc. Look at it today and it looks run down, places aren't popular anymore, and so on. I still like going there and there's still a lot to draw, but IME, Seattle is everything that SF is, without the drawbacks. Infrastructure seems well planned and it seems like more money goes back into the city, parks, development. There is some pretty good traffic and a bustling downtown, yet it seems to not have the same "feel" as the more run-down places in SF. You have more places, islands, etc, that are very accessible, but not crazy overdeveloped and overpopulated. There is green everywhere and not as much has been paved over and built on. I like the riding places around the bay, but it's hard to get from one spot to another. The Pen/Inlet/Sound area is huge, much bigger than the Bay Area. Due to this, I think you can pick and choose more and get a better balance of what you want. You don't have to be fighting it out in the city, which can be hard to avoid in the Bay Area.

    I'm usually not one for big cities, but the Seattle area is one that I could do.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    Hmm, the cost of living in a lot of places is better than CA.
    I meant cheaper places to live in the Bay Area.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    places aren't popular anymore, and so on.
    Dude have you been to SF at all recently? I like both cities, but my impression of SF from my last visit was completely opposite yours. There's a ton of construction going on downtown, BART is still being expanded, and I could barely get restaurant reservations on weeknights.

    That was a month ago though so I guess it could have changed since then.
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    Quote Originally Posted by grandsalmon View Post
    I grew up in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, started my MTB frenzy there - I keep a mountain bike there, because I am going to end up back there, folks have land there.

    Living just north of Seattle, I spend a good amount of time pining for the Sierras. There is so much varied trail -hundreds & hundreds of miles. Nothing holds a candle to it here in Washington. Sorry. It is is the nature of the geography, history, relative amount of open State, and Federal land. I also have a love affair with the sun.

    Having said that, I would not move to Sacramento. When I move back, it will be returning to an old gold town for me.

    Good luck in finding a restart; I wholeheartedly agree with centering your life around your favorite leisure!!!


    .
    Oregon is as far north in the NW as I'd like to go (heck, I live in gorgeous Bend!), but I sure would not mind living for a spell in the Sierra's! I find them magical.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dirt farmer View Post
    heck, I live in gorgeous Bend!
    You live in Bend? Why are you online and not out shredding the Lair with Carson Storch?!

    Man, if I lived half the places some of you guys do I wouldn't even own a computer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PerfectZero View Post
    Dude have you been to SF at all recently? I like both cities, but my impression of SF from my last visit was completely opposite yours. There's a ton of construction going on downtown, BART is still being expanded, and I could barely get restaurant reservations on weeknights.

    That was a month ago though so I guess it could have changed since then.
    Yep, last year. And to be fair, I'd say Seattle's best time was 1990s and 2000s, but it doesn't seem to have declined much since then. The bay area is neat, I won't deny that. It's just that Seattle seems to have pretty much all the same things, traffic not as bad though, pollution not as bad, if you live in some places in the Bay Area you aren't going to see sun anymore than the Seattle area, lots of amazing resources like fishing, forests, Whistler nearby in Seattle, etc. I've fished extensively in the Bay and Ocean, but the Sound takes it to a new level. To get to the Sierras from the Bay Area is ridiculous, in terms of fighting the traffic, bridge tolls, excessive travel time, etc. I'd say you tend to be more "locked in", and you can get out, but it's just more rare and logistically difficult. In Seattle the mountains are "right there". Forests are "hit and miss" in the Bay Area.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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    Quote Originally Posted by uglyguy2 View Post
    I have been at my current job for 5 years, that has to be good for something. I just would NOT want to take a pay cut, moving from an affordable area like Houston to the west coast. I browsed some jobs on CL in the Seattle/Tacoma area and all jobs similar to mine paid less than what I make.

    You're right though, it's not an impossible dream. It's just really scary to leave a stable job and venture off into the unknown to places you've never been and not knowing if you'll be able to find a job making more than 8 bucks an hour. I almost quit my job last year to move to Bend, but decided not to after coming to the realization that I wouldn't be able to find work there. At least nothing paying what I make or anywhere close to it.

    This is just a frustrating situation to be in.


    This is a fact that you have to accept if you leave a job here in Texas. Why do you think we’re getting so many more people coming to Texas?

    At least here in Austin I notice the traffic is getting much worse as it’s getting crowded IMHO……….. Unfortunately!

    The best answer for you is to make sure you have money saved up and able to move to afford the necessity that will be needed to pay the bills, fuel and travel for job interviews.

    The only way you are ever going to find out is to
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    [ To get to the Sierras from the Bay Area is ridiculous, in terms of fighting the traffic, bridge tolls, excessive travel time, etc. I'd say you tend to be more "locked in", and you can get out, but it's just more rare and logistically difficult. In Seattle the mountains are "right there". Forests are "hit and miss" in the Bay Area.[/QUOTE]

    It takes me 3.5 hrs to get to Truckee from SF, and it costs me 5 dollars in bridge tolls.I've done it 4x this season. I dont think you really know what you're talking about.

    As far as Sac, if you have the chance to stay there for part of the year then move to Oly, I would say do it. Sac is pretty cool to visit, I have some buds there and hang out there sometimes for a weekend.
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    Wow! Logistically you are "right there" when living in the Bay Area! It just depends when you leave, as with any town. During rush hour or weekends, you need to plan accordingly. I live in San Mateo proper and I can get to choice trails going West on 92 in 20 minutes. Santa Cruz, 1 hour. Marin, 1 hour or less. Sacramento, 1:30 with no traffic. Add 40 minutes to get to Auburn. More than enough dirt for everyone! During the summer, even more riding! When its sunny in Cali, it will be rainy in up North! Check your Farmers Almanac!

  72. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by sfgiantsfan View Post

    It takes me 3.5 hrs to get to Truckee from SF, and it costs me 5 dollars in bridge tolls.I've done it 4x this season. I dont think you really know what you're talking about.
    .
    Yep, ridiculous. If you want to get to someplace like Squaw Valley, Alpine Meadows, Northstar, that's 4hrs or more. When do you wake up, 2 am? I couldn't waste so much of my life, unless there wasn't any better compromise.
    Last edited by Jayem; 01-24-2013 at 06:27 PM.
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  73. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    Yep, ridiculous. If you want to get to someplace like Squaw Valley, Alpine Meadows, Northstar, that's 4hrs or more. When do you wake up, 2 am? I couldn't waste so much of my life, unless there wasn't any better compromise.
    I leave at 0600 and will be on my first chair of the day by 1030. thats is not bad for some of the best skiiing/boarding in the US,

    If I left at 2, I could be squaw at 0530-
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  74. #74
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    Sacramento
    Last edited by enfyre; 01-25-2013 at 03:32 PM. Reason: Wrong forum

  75. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by sfgiantsfan View Post
    I leave at 0600 and will be on my first chair of the day by 1030. thats is not bad for some of the best skiiing/boarding in the US,

    If I left at 2, I could be squaw at 0530-
    You said truckee was 3.5hrs, not Squaw. Last I checked, that's down the road some still. Not to mention parking, getting tix, etc. Come on, I realize you like hitting the mountains, and it's great that California has the coast and mountains, but you also live in the bay area, that's reality. 4hrs is probably a better estimate if 3.5hrs is Truckee. Lets not forget traffic, you are heading up when everyone else is.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  76. #76
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    Hmm, this has become an argument about the bay area for some reason.

    Anywho, I might be moving to Greensboro NC in a couple of months (for work). I would still plan on going to both Sacramento (area) and Olympia as each job location opens. This would be a great way for me to experience lots of different places and ride trails I might not otherwise get a chance to. Greensboro isn't a world class mountain biking zone by any stretch, but they do have a nice urban trail system in town and lots of other great riding around the state and surrounding states that are close enough to drive to on weekends.

    Anything is better than Texas.

  77. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    You said truckee was 3.5hrs, not Squaw. Last I checked, that's down the road some still. Not to mention parking, getting tix, etc. Come on, I realize you like hitting the mountains, and it's great that California has the coast and mountains, but you also live in the bay area, that's reality. 4hrs is probably a better estimate if 3.5hrs is Truckee. Lets not forget traffic, you are heading up when everyone else is.
    I did say if I left at 0200, that would be 3.5 to squaw. The traffic and time it takes to get to squaw from truckee has nothing to do with traffic in the bay area. I can be on a chair in sugar bowl in 3.5 hours too, and I love that mountain.
    I'm sick of all the Irish stereotypes, as soon as I finish this beer I"m punching someone

  78. #78
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    Yo. I have been a Nor Cal resident my whole life. Long time committed MTBer. The riding is pretty good. Your winter options would maybe be a bit better than PNW. Summer PNW rules on Nor Cal. I've been building the first flow trail in the Bay Area. It has opened my eyes to how difficult this is to do in Cali. The opportunities for better trails in the PNW abound. Auburn would be a great choice IMHO. Sac not so much.

    Tamaracho flow trail is the name on MTBR and Facebook. DaveySimon is my handle on MTBR.

  79. #79
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    Thanks for building the flow trail, can't wait to ride it!

    Stay vertical!

  80. #80
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    Dang tapatalk, I thought this thread was on an aviation forum. LOL. Too many forums...

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