Moving Southeast (GA, SC or NC)
Have an opertunaty to move to the Southeast - I am in independant business owner (Film/Video/Photo) and my target market is Small/Medium businesses - so I am fairly flexible in were I can go. I'm currently in Colorado Springs (17years) and do well in a city like this. I have been looking at GA (North Outskirts of Atlanta) but also South and North Carolina.
With all that said, my next objective is Mountan Biking! I live and breathe cycling, I have an XC as my primary rig, but also have a gravity rig for the shuttles and lifts. I have a road bike and ride on the roads for fitness only and have been known to take my BMX to the local skate park for some concrete fun.
I know that I am not going to find mountains like I have here, but I am looking for your options on the scene in your area.
Asheville, NC or Chattanooga, TN. Plenty of riding from either location. Biggest pro from where you are coming from is year round riding.
This is a link to a google map with lots of the trails in the area to give you a better idea of the options you have for riding. Year round riding is definitely a plus!.
Depends on how big a market you're after, but I'd go Asheville NC or Greenville SC. You'd have to pay me a ton of money to go anywhere near Atlanta. 2¢
Originally Posted by d365
Atlanta traffic sucks, great mountain bike parks, big creek, blanket creek, ect...... but over crowed on the weekends.
Out of your 3 choices I would definitely look towards NC.
Hi, Chris, I've been living in Chattanooga for 10.5 years. [sorry for the long post here, I have an opinion on this one]
Honestly I can't believe you would even consider moving if you lived in CS and were being successful. If you are moving for business reasons then I understand but not if you are moving for lifestyle or riding. That borders on "senseless" to me. Have you ever ridden in the Southeast? That would be my recommendation - come down here and ride before moving, (not in Sept/Oct when it is perfect).
First of all, don't let people oversell the year-round riding. That usually is only "sort of true" - due to rain and ice on the mountains. The Southern Appalachians get 50 - 60 inches of rain a year, even more in the high elevations. That means you will be riding the mud, freeze-thaw conditions, and making the local trail builders mad, not to mention that your bike will require quadruple the maintenance. Or you just don't ride much (which is what I do). If you are good at bike maintenance and don't mind the cold you might ride a little more than I do but I'm suspecting you will be underwhelmed. I think this year I rode about twice a month for 4 months, if that. You could accomplish the same thing out west by driving to the desert . . . or just moving to the desert instead. People in AZ easily ride all year, low elevation in the winter, high elevation in the summer. You won't do that in the Southeast.
Secondly, I hope you don't mind tree roots because that is pretty much how every trail here ends up. I know there is tech in CO because I have ridden a good bit there but the scale of it is not the same. I have ridden most of the local trail systems in CS btw. My observation is that trail out there is generally vastly smoother than here (and that is an understatement). Trails here are usually only smooth for a year or two after they open and then turn into root corduroy. Sometimes that process takes only a few weeks. There are plenty of rocks in the Rockies (har, har) but one simply does not find miles of smooth singletrack here as exists out there, unto hundreds of miles of singletrack. People will tell a trail is smooth and you will ride it and think you got on the wrong trail or something. Also mud, see previous paragraph. There is always mud here. I rode the other day and threw up clouds of dust, which stuck very nicely to my bike because it was wet from having rolled through wet spots. It's wet even when it's dry. The consolation prize is that we probably have thousands of miles of forest service road.
Thirdly, the air quality is terrible, especially in Chattanooga. This is partially due to the geography (we have thermal air inversions here) and partially due to the climate (see the aforementioned comments about humidity and rain). I have developed asthma, which is a very common fate for people that exercise outdoors around here. You will absolutely find yourself struggling in the humidity of summer, sucking in warm moisture laden air and choking on pollen, mold, etc. If you have asthma, do not move here.
Now don't get me wrong, we do have a LOT of riding around here and I am completely spoiled by the options. You can ride a lot here, for a max 30 min drive I can ride at least 7 trail systems that I can think of, but having ridden in CO and on most of the trail systems within a hundred miles or more of Chattanooga (including much of the Atlanta area trail systems), I can't think of any reason you would want to move here. Uh, racing maybe? I think there are winter races here. I do not race.
I also have to mention that the South will probably be a bit different than what you are used to. I know CS is pretty much Tea Party central but if you are not very, very conservative (like supporting slavery), then you may be offended by some of the attitudes. People will always be polite to your face though. Southern hospitality is a real thing, just be aware of the whole thing with the Civil War never having ended here. If I had not grown up with it I would have had a much more difficult time and it still brings me down sometimes. Just be aware. If you are already conservative you probably won't blink at it. If you are African-American, I would recommend against moving here. Unless you are African-American and in the Tea Party I guess.
I realize this sounds pretty negative, so I do want to clarify that the area is probably better for riding than anywhere east of the Mississippi, including the more northern parts of the Appalachians, and the people are very friendly, but still, the illogic of moving from CO to North GA for riding just made me want to clarify a few things. It's good in many ways, including business opportunities, but it will be so different from what you are used to as to defy all description. Above all, considering how important you have said riding is to you, I would not move without coming here, looking around, and riding a lot of trail first.
I moved to the Atlanta area from Boulder. I must say, with 12 years here, after 20 years in Boulder, I like the riding in the Southeast better. Yes there is heat, humidity, bugs, roots and rednecks, but I find the constant up and down riding more enjoyable compared to the "climb for an hour and descend for 15 minutes" type of Colorado ride. You can ride year round in the Atlanta area, the wet and cold just makes it interesting with more options for night riding, which never seemed available in Colorado. I'm not sure about TN or NC for 4 season riding. Roots? yeah there are roots. You develop a different style of riding. I believe there is lift riding in the Northeast if you wanted to continue that. You need snow to have ski areas. We don't get much snow down here so no lifts. But there are some good shuttle style trails in north Georgia and North Carolina.
The "lifestyle" type comment is a real thing. I am by no means a politically conservative person, and the whole "Jesus" stuff does tend to wear on you, but it's a big enough population where you will find like minded people, if that's what you need.
I have to say though, the riding is sweet. The amount of trails that are less than a 3 hour drive from Atlanta is amazing. North of Atlanta alone can take quite a while to ride all the options without going to NC, TN or AL. The clubs are organized and constantly building, and there are so much less trail conflict with hikers and horses than there are in Colorado. The cities around Atlanta seem to be more open to having trails built and the dollars that may come from the trail users. No one seems to hate mountain bikers around here like they do out west.
Don't let the traffic scare you. Yes there are issues, but once you figure out when and where not to be, you can work with it.
I do agree with coming down for a visit, a recon trip. Maybe 2 at different times of the year so you can experience the weather (hot & muggy and cold & muggy). I'm not certain of the demand for your business specifically, but with 5.5 million people in the Atlanta metro area I'm sure there is room for someone with a unique point of view.
Oh, it's also cheaper to live here compared to Colorado.
How can anyone who's been riding as long as I have, be so slow???
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