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  1. #1
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    If you could choose anywhere in your area to live.

    Where would it be?

    The wife and I will be moving there in May. We have recommendations from some friends, family, realtors, and such...but none of them get it when I tell them I need to be near good trails. I love basically all types riding as long as it's on dirt, but am looking to focus mainly on DH/AM in the future. In my area (the mid-atlantic), I 've been starved of anything but XC for several years now, and anything within an hour or two is mellow enough for most on a SS rigid bike.

    Any opinions are welcome(as long as I agree with them:roll eyes, and here are a few things I'm looking for. I also realize there may be way too many options, so maybe places not to live?

    -Somewhere between suburbia and small-town feel. I realized that every place has bad neighborhoods, and don't want to live surrounded by snooty rich people either.

    -Hopefully a good riding area within a 10-15 minute drive from home. And epic riding within 1-2 hours, although it seems this ones in the bag.

    -I also rock climb, and hope to buy a dirt bike and do some woods riding. 2.5 hours to the nearest off-road trails here was not cutting it, so I gave it up for the time being.

    -I work in the bike industry(mechanic), so most likely will be working closer to the city, but am willing to drive up to an hour if I can come home everyday to the above things mentioned.

    -The wife and I combined make about 100K yearly. She works from home.

    Thanks in advance,

    -C

  2. #2
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    Sorry, forgot to mention Seattle is the city.

  3. #3
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    Issaquah, north bend, Renton highlands. Anywhere near I-90 and you can get to places like Duthie in 15 min or so. Check out Evergreen.org for the trail info.
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  4. #4
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    I would highly suggest anywhere in Eastern Washington. The commute to Seattle would be a killer though.
    Do you know where in Seattle you will be working? The commute across town during rush hour, especially if the Mariners or Seahawks are in town, will take you over an hour.

  5. #5
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    Wow, she must make bank if you are a bike mechanic... Peripheral areas like East King County and North King, South Snohomish as well as SE King too. Too many opions to get detailed about specific neighborhoods.

    Those are your best bets for dirt rides out the door like I have.
    Legal throttle twisting is closer if you live on the south end of town with Capitol Forest and Tahuya, etc.

    Like I tell everyone who asks this question, come out for a few days and drive around and see what you like. Our opinions don't really mean squat and shouldn't be the basis for where you both choose to live... Heck, you may actually like being in the city.

  6. #6
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    Don't buy right away, even consider a mtonth to month. A few miles can be the difference between loving the quality of life and recreation opportunities or wanting to gouge your eyes out in crippling traffic.

    I know before we moved out here we had some ideas of possible commutes, which upon seeing how it really is out here, the range narrowed and the price went up. Luckily the housing ,arket has cooled some since 2006 so you will be in better shape.

  7. #7
    Dream Design Dig Repeat
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    I agree with the above posts. Highly recommend renting for 6 months or a year. Even within a city (Issaquah, Bellevue, Renton or Seattle) it's a very different feel neighborhood by neighborhood.

    I'd start your look in the Issaquah area, but it really depends on where you'll be commuting to.

    The one good rule to follow is be close to I-90 for easy trail access if you want to be near Seattle.
    Issaquah & Seattle real estate agent. Buy or sell a home with me and I donate $500 to Evergreen MTB Alliance
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  8. #8
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    For Distance to Riding on West Side in order: Issaquah, Sammamish, Snoqualmie, Maple Valley, Fall City, Woodinville, Renton, Snohomish/Monroe

    Eastside: Leavenworth, Wenatchee, Cle Elum/Roslyn. Assume Spokane and Methow are too far.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by cesper View Post
    Sorry, forgot to mention Seattle is the city.
    Why Seattle? Are your jobs that location dependent?
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by cesper View Post
    -I also rock climb, and hope to buy a dirt bike and do some woods riding. 2.5 hours to the nearest off-road trails here was not cutting it, so I gave it up for the time being.
    The best climbing gym on the east side is at Crossroads Mall; the rock outdoors is most accessible from I-90. That plus MTBing suggests Issaquah or Bellevue east of 405.

    Dirt biking is mostly either all the way to the Teanaway or in the far opposite direction to Tahuya, both ~2 hours. So probably no dirt bike for you.

    Not to worry too much about snooty rich kids or bad neighborhoods in those areas, it's mostly a big suburban middle.

  11. #11
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    -The wife and I combined make about 100K yearly. She works from home.

    That will probably be your biggest deciding factor. I would highly recommend renting at first somewhere in Issaquah/Sammamish/Redmond/Bellevue area to get a feel for the place as well as the cost of living.

  12. #12
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    Work from home, bike mechanic. Bellingham sounds like a better fit, though the bike mechanic market might be saturated

  13. #13
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    I live in Snoqualmie and love it. Anywhere in a 30 mile range is perfect for you.
    Today I will gladly share my experience and advice, for there are no sweeter words than "I told you so."

  14. #14
    Daniel the Dog
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    I would live in Sedona, St. George, Fruita, or Moab. Screw Seattle and the rain, congestion, and people.

  15. #15
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    a word from soggy bottom

    Quote Originally Posted by Jaybo View Post
    I would live in Sedona, St. George, Fruita, or Moab. Screw Seattle and the rain, congestion, and people.
    Give me rain over the 3-4 months to months of beating sun. Plus all those tourist towns have congestion, and people too. So many motor home, no thanks.

    Seattle has the longest riding season then anywhere, if you don't melt like the wicked witch of the west!
    Epic trails get built in the Northwest by epic people!

    Sustainable quality trails please.

  16. #16
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    Just be close to 90 and you're golden. Straight shot into Seattle in the least congested way. Straight shot to the hills. I moved here a year ago. Love Bellevue, but it really depends on what you want. I agree with the idea of renting and then checking out different areas,

  17. #17
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    Thanks everyone..

    I wish we could go out there for a week any drive around, but I just don't think I'll be able to before the move. Honestly, we like to kinda sorta wing-it sometimes, even though everyone says it's stupid. We're definitely renting first, for a year at most , then hoping to buy after a few years.

    As far as the city-life(traffic congestion and such) , we're coming from the DC area, so basically anything but LA and NY will seem a little less hectic I'm hoping. My wife doesn't really want to be out in the country, but I do, so the burbs is the compromise for us. For the people that recommended other areas in WA., I think near Seattle is still best. If the wife needs to change jobs(graphic design), I guess there are more possibilities there for both of us.

    My past experiences with shops is that the busiest ones have higher turn-over with employees, so better chance for me. Once I'm hired I'm not worried about losing the job too much, as I'm pretty confident in my skills.

    I'm sure there are just a ton of nice places to live, and everyone's criteria is a little different. This whole thing started from my wife's friend trying to get us to move to the west part of the city, but all that says to me is further from the mtns.

  18. #18
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    West Seattle can be cool and funky and you may like it. But, yeah, it's a ways from riding.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Borneo View Post
    West Seattle can be cool and funky and you may like it. But, yeah, it's a ways from riding.
    Unless you're hopping on the Fauntleroy ferry to Kitsap. Parking and traffic into town both suck, though.

    I'd have to say somewhere on the I-90 corridor is your best bet, like has been said before. Bellevue or Issaquah, maybe even Fall City/Snoqualmie/North Bend, although those are getting a bit further out.

  20. #20
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    That's what people were saying. Honestly, I'm a bit of a rekluse. When I'm not riding/climbing/motorcycling, I'm usually in the garage, so nightlife and stuff like that doesn't play a part in where I would be looking anyways.

  21. #21
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    That's good info on your needs. Based on what you said, Issaquah is ideal. The rental market is really tight right now, so there will be competition when trying to rent a place.

    Here's a quick description of a few of the major neighborhoods in Issy:

    1. Old Town near Front Street and Sunset Way. Not a ton of housing, but a village vibe and close to everything. Pedal to Grand Ridge, quick drive to Tokul, Tiger and Seattle.

    2. Klahanie. A planned development that is 25-ish years old. Nice area, very suburban with amenities such as grocery, pedal to Duthie or Grand Ridge.

    3. Issaquah Highlands. A newer planned development started in 1998 with plenty of new construction still happening. It's just now starting to develop a community feel. Pedal to Grand Ridge (up some steep roads) and super easy car access to the trails and Seattle.

    There's lots more around the Issy area, but this is just a taste of what's available. Klahanie and Highlands have lots of housing available. Snoqualmie Ridge is also a great suburban area with close access to trails, but might be a bit further out than your wife is looking for.

    Look on Evergreen Trail Guide to get a feel for where to ride. Go as far and wide as you can on summer weekends, but for local riding spots, here's where you'll spend you time.

    1. Tiger Mountain: Open seasonally April 15 - Oct 15. 2 new trails going in as we speak, so opportunity to help build trails in the off season.

    2. Duthie. It's a park with lots of jump lines, 5.5 miles of xc, and something for everyone.

    3. Grand Ridge. Goes from I-90 to Duthie. 7 mile xc trail each way with lots of climbing. It's actually easier going from Issy to Duthie than the other way.

    4. Tokul E and Tokul W. Private land with plenty of fun trails. The go-to winter spot since it's open year round and drains well.

    There's lots more amazing riding if you go a bit further, but these are the areas that you'll ride most often if you live between Seattle and Snoqualmie. They're the "after work" trail systems.
    Issaquah & Seattle real estate agent. Buy or sell a home with me and I donate $500 to Evergreen MTB Alliance
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  22. #22
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    Nice! Thanks everyone, I have a lot to think about now. Getting excited

  23. #23
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    +1 for Issy old town. Pedal to Duthie via Grand Ridge, right beside the I-90, lots to do for the kids, and pretty decent walk score for a small town.

  24. #24
    Daniel the Dog
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    Hmm

    Quote Originally Posted by mtbty View Post
    Give me rain over the 3-4 months to months of beating sun. Plus all those tourist towns have congestion, and people too. So many motor home, no thanks.

    Seattle has the longest riding season then anywhere, if you don't melt like the wicked witch of the west!
    Really? Each to their own but Seattle weather is miserable for 7 months a year. However, it is a beautiful city but what a freaking cluster of a town. I can handle 4 months of heat for 8 months of awesome weather and better trails then anywhere in the PNW.
    Last edited by Jaybo; 12-21-2012 at 07:19 PM.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaybo View Post
    Really? Each to their own but Seattle weather is miserable for 7 months a year. However, it is a beautiful city but what a freaking cluster of a town. I can handle 4 months of heat for 8 months of awesome weather and better trails then anywhere in the PNW.
    Ever been to detroit, the midwest, etc... during the winter? How bout anchorage, I go there for work all the time. That's miserable. Seattle is mild, couple days ago I went for a roadie ride, today I did a sweet powder day at crystal. 7 months miserable, really? Outside of 3-4 months of rainy winter (and the rain is generally afternoon) it's usually pretty nice.

    I've travelled all over the country and think this area offers a good mix of nice environment, mellow people, plentiful employment, no income tax and year round outdoor activity (if you know how to put on a hat).

    The desert/high desert is nice as well if you like that climate, it's just a matter of balancing your locale with your lifestyle. If you just want to ride and don't care about a traditional career maybe you'll be fine in a tourist town.

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