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  1. #1
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    Where to live in Washington for year round single track?

    We're moving from TN to the PNW. I'm in the middle of a job search, have some possibilities in OR and WA, the key issue for me is single track for after work rides, ie riding close to the town/city where we live.

    I'm a skier, but I can drive for skiing, the riding needs to be available year round. Clearly there are always gonna be days when it's too cold or too wet, but I don't want my trails to be snowed out or have to drive hours to ride in Jan/Feb.

    Where in WA or OR would you live?

  2. #2
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    We already live here....
    But, seriously, you can get all year round riding just about anywhere in WA. But, more so on the mild West side. Less snow days.

  3. #3
    gravity fighter
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    Bellingham and Issaquah should be high on your list.

  4. #4
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    Get some solid riding lights to ride all year after work (it gets dark hear at like 4pm part of the winter) and Issaquah, Fall City, Or Snoqualmie would be a good place to ride from town.

    But first off what kind of riding do you like?
    Epic trails get built in the Northwest by epic people!

    Sustainable quality trails please.

  5. #5
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    Traffic in the Puget Sound and Portland areas sucks.
    Live close to work unless you ride more often than you work.
    For skiing you don't want to have to take the ferries.
    There's a big difference between ripping and skidding. Those who skid don't know how to ride.

  6. #6
    Moist and Delicious
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    Snoqualmie
    Today I will gladly share my experience and advice, for there are no sweeter words than "I told you so."

  7. #7
    Daniel the Dog
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    I strongly recommend you say on the east side of the mountains! The west side is so wet, dark, and gray.

  8. #8
    I should be out riding
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaybo View Post
    I strongly recommend you say on the east side of the mountains! The west side is so wet, dark, and gray.
    What jaybo said. I'd look at Spokane and Wenatchee over Seattle and the wet side.

    Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk 4

  9. #9
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    Bellingham, North Whidbey Island and Anacortes should be on your list.

    Job prospects are a bit more challenging up North but great singletrack, less rain, no traffic and skiing at Baker : )
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  10. #10
    Moist and Delicious
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    I do love Wenatchee (I grew up there), but you have a temperate zone here on the west side that can't be beat, as long as you can stand drizzle and cooler temps. You can't ride the mileage we can over here, when winter comes calling. I can drive less than 45 minutes in any direction (or ride from my home) and get a good 20 miles on singletrack in any season.

    You're welcome.
    Today I will gladly share my experience and advice, for there are no sweeter words than "I told you so."

  11. #11
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    Looking for work in Bellingham, nothing yet...

    What about the Olympic Peninsula, Port Townsend or Port Angeles, are they good enough or will I get bored and need to travel?

    I ride muni, everything from XC to tech stuff, really no different than what bikers like. I also just started riding tandem with my wife, we pretty much ride anything I can talk her into riding

    Bellingham has the kind of riding I like, though it could use more XC... I suppose there is more outside of town.

  12. #12
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    Galbraith alone has a ton of XC - probably the majority of the trails there. And yeah, there are another couple networks nearby.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  13. #13
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    Spokane does not have year around riding unless things are either a)un-usually dry or b)frozen. There is the possibility of fat biking in the snow or cold miserable road biking, but we have good skiing close by. Trainer riding (yuck) and snow sports are pretty much the best way to handle the off season over here.

    Wenatchee, Yakima, or maybe Tricities are better options for having Winter riding nearby. Wenatchee is a cool place and centrally located to all sorts of recreation options.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kyle509 View Post
    Spokane does not have year around riding unless things are either a)un-usually dry or b)frozen. There is the possibility of fat biking in the snow or cold miserable road biking, but we have good skiing close by. Trainer riding (yuck) and snow sports are pretty much the best way to handle the off season over here.

    Wenatchee, Yakima, or maybe Tricities are better options for having Winter riding nearby. Wenatchee is a cool place and centrally located to all sorts of recreation options.
    I agree with this guy. Living on the westside and riding in the rain for most of the year just isn't something I want to do. Wen, Yak, Tri, all are warmer, and much much drier. The summers can be extremely hot, but you dont have near as much rain or snow.

    Spokane you can ride a good 10 months of the year and then some days during the winter when there isnt much snow or too cold. But that is when I am up skiing anyway.

  15. #15
    FM
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    It rains year round here and all the biking trails are one-way, uphill.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nurse Ben View Post
    I'm a skier, but I can drive for skiing
    And you'll need a boat, and a wetsuit.

  16. #16
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    One other consideration for you. East of the Cascades = more conservative; west side = more progressive. Spokane, Wenatchee, Bellingham have smaller city vibe/tighter biking community. Seattle area has, well, Seattle. All have great riding of all kinds close by. The only real exception is Seattle. You have to battle traffic to get to afterwork riding.

    All things considered, I'd choose between Bellingham and Wenatchee (but wife's work has me stuck near Seattle; in which case I'd choose Issaquah/Bellevue with two big hospitals nearby).
    Good Luck.

  17. #17
    Dream Design Dig Repeat
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    Wenatchee is a diamond in the rough that is starting to get polished. Huge trail potential in that area, and it already has Sage, Devils/Mission, close to Leavenworth, easy drive to the high-mountain epicness of north Cascades (for 2 months a year). Not really year-round riding, but close to 2 good ski areas and lots of backcountry skiing for all you skinners.

    The town itself has so much potential, but hasn't really had that cool town vibe. Yet. I think it'll happen as demographics are starting to change. Not too many jobs is the problem. I think Wentachee could be one of the best riding towns in the country in 5-10 years. Right Matt&Matt?

    That said, I love big, vibrant cities so I live in Seattle. Lots of good year-round riding here, and Tiger is getting WAYYYYYYY better as we speak. Raging River and Mt. Washington/Olallie coming online in a few years, South Fork Snoqualmie/Hansen Ridge area about to get more trail converted. Lots of good stuff happening here. Live in Seattle if you like the city, and Issaquah or Snoqualmie if you want to be close to the trails. Live in Bellevue to split the difference.
    Issaquah & Seattle real estate agent. Buy or sell a home with me and I donate $500 to Evergreen MTB Alliance
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  18. #18
    Just roll it......
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    Nothing to add here.

    We loved Seattle and our friends, but moved because of the traffic and the simple reality that it took us 30-45 minutes to drive to ride/build on our trails. In reality, we could've moved to Snoqualmie or Issaquah which would've drastically reduced that time and that zone is starting to reach it's potential due to the tenacious efforts of people like Juice, GGluv, and many more.

    It currently takes me 8 minutes to ride the 1.4 miles from my doorstep to Galbraith. Beyond that, I'm currently working on two planning projects (both within riding distance of town) that will increase trail mileage by 65 miles. Tack on the 45+ miles of trail on Galby and you can see where Whatcom County is heading.

    Be advised....when it's really wet, the culture up here is to put the bike down and pick up a shovel.

    EB

  19. #19
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    I dunno Ben, if you're a Nurse who likes to ride Issaquah sounds like a good bet. Swedish just built a brand new hospital there in which case your commute would be...by bicycle. And the MTB riding quantity and quality has improved year over year for the last five years. For skiing, Alpental is only 30 minutes away with some truly incredible terrain and Crystal Mountain is 1.5 hrs away with huge terrain and higher elevation/colder snow. If you need more adrenaline there is Poo Poo point on Tiger Mountain that is a Hang glider/Parapente scene. And then there is Lake Sammamish for summer power boating, or Puget Sound for saltwater sailing, or...

  20. #20
    That Waters Guy
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    Quote Originally Posted by juice View Post
    Not really year-round riding, but close to 2 good ski areas and lots of backcountry skiing for all you sinners.
    Fixed that for you.

    Ancient Lakes is only 45 minutes from Wenatchee, so while you have to drive a bit for year-round riding, it's definitely available. Be aware that "after work rides" in the depths of winter in the PNW requires lights no matter where you live.

    +1 for your Bellevue recommendation, particularly for a nurse. The reverse commute to Swedish in Issaquah is easy, plus you have two hospitals in Bellevue and access to all the downtown hospitals.

    I'd still move to Hood River, Oregon with Wenatchee being a close second if I wanted a small town.
    Rolland

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Sagebrush Slug View Post
    I'd still move to Hood River, Oregon with Wenatchee being a close second if I wanted a small town.
    Hood River is great, although you do have to deal with tourists and us "Shingtongs" during the summer, but there are nice places within riding distance of Post Canyon. You're also only a few hours from Bend.

  22. #22
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    Check out Island Hospital in Anacortes- They seem to be one of the best employers around. A-town has a nice small town vibe- you will want to buy a boat if you live here.

    About 50 miles of trails in town (ACFL) 30 minutes from Ebey and 40 from Galby near Bellingham.
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  23. #23
    That Waters Guy
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    Quote Originally Posted by kasperilio View Post
    "Shingtongs"
    Ok, I'll bite. What's a one of those?
    Rolland

  24. #24
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    I'm a Nurse Practitioner, so jobs are a bit harder to find in smaller towns, so I have been doing a ton of cold calls and trying to stoke some interest. I would have thought the Affordable Care Act would push employers to add providers, but I think they're all waiting for the rush before they hire...

    I'll be out on the Peninsula for an interview, in a couple weeks, having some mixed feeling about being so isolated, not sure if the proximity to the natural will be enough to overcome the clouds and travel time to the big city lights.

    Would you consider PA or PT a decent location for year round riding?

    And yeah, lights are mandatory for after work Winter riding regardless of where I live.

  25. #25
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    I live in Olympia and very much enjoy close proximity to year round riding in Capital forest. That being said, I've been to and have ridden in most of the places discussed in this thread. If I could live anywhere in the state, I'd move to Bellingham in a heartbeat. Quality of trails, cost of living, access to baker, whistler, etc....I feel like that place is a solid option if you can find work there.

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