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  1. #1
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    Possible Relocation Charlotte or ?

    I have a job offer that will take me to the East Coast for the next 12 to 18 months (longer if I want), but my wife and I have never lived outside of California. I have to be near a major airport so places like Brevard are out. Charlotte is where we seem to be focused right now, but is there anywhere else that people would recommend? How is the riding in the Charlotte area? Am I just going to be spending my weekends in other locations to get riding in? I could also do Nashville, Atlanta, Boston, NY, etc but don't have much interest in the NE. We do have a limitation on schools as well since our daughter is in a dual language program that my wife insists (and I agree with) continuing. This is another thing that is pushing us to Charlotte over Nashville. Any advice would be greatly appreciated and I am happy to hook people up with the goods in San Diego!

  2. #2
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    How major of an airport do you need? as in, direct flights to a particular place? flight frequency, or what?

    as to the riding question - what sort of rider are you? are you the sort that'll make what's closest to you work? or are you the sort to seek out park riding, or long backcountry stuff, or the rowdiest stuff you can get, no matter what?

    I've got nothing on the school side of it. no kids, so not much to say about that.

  3. #3
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    Charlotte has great riding for a major city. Within a 20min drive of Uptown (they call downtown "Uptown" for some reason) you have a dozen or more trail systems and within the greater Char/Meck zone there is over 100 miles of singletrack.

    Most is flat and rooty... more XC but there are dirt jumps being built and more gravity focused stuff in the works. I lived there for many years and never got tired of the riding since you can ride a different trail every weekend for months and months and never double up.

    Plus you have Pisgah and all of western NC a few hours away and the beach is a few hours the other direction.

    Charlotte is also cheaper than Asheville and the airport is larger.

    Can't speak for the schools but Charlotte is a big place and I am sure offers whatever education environment you require in either public or private setting.


    To be honest if I could live anywhere in the Southeast it would probably be Chattanooga. Great riding, fairly cheap living, excellent bike infrastructure. I know quite a few folks who got tired of the expense of living in Asheville (and the crowds) and moved to the 'Noog.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Banjopickin View Post
    To be honest if I could live anywhere in the Southeast it would probably be Chattanooga. Great riding, fairly cheap living, excellent bike infrastructure. I know quite a few folks who got tired of the expense of living in Asheville (and the crowds) and moved to the 'Noog.
    Chattanooga is a nice city and definitely has some nice riding. Some friends of mine got a 2nd place there for awhile because they like the riding so much, before they decided that an RV fit their needs a bit better.

    But I don't think I'd be happy with the midsummer heat there. Nor in Charlotte. I lived in E. TX for a few years and the heat is what really drove me out. I'd be happier with summer temps farther north in the mtns, but my wife DOES like warmth (and absolutely hates cold winters), and AVL is a compromise we can both handle in that regard. I've had my fill of big cities, too, for that matter.

    But for OP, I was wondering about maybe some midsize areas like Greenville/Spartanburg (not as big as Charlotte's airport, but also not just a regional one like Asheville's) or something similar.

  5. #5
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    Nashville has an amazing school system, from what I hear. They treat their teachers really well. They have some good/great biking there and Chatt and Knox isn't that far away.

    You might want to look into something in VA. Not sure where the larger airports are there, but somewhere like lynchburg or similar would be a great place for biking. And close to places like snowshoe (UCI World Cup Race this year!).

    I wouldn't look past Knoxville either. Great local biking with windrock 40ish minutes away.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Salespunk View Post
    I have a job offer that will take me to the East Coast for the next 12 to 18 months (longer if I want), but my wife and I have never lived outside of California. I have to be near a major airport so places like Brevard are out. Charlotte is where we seem to be focused right now, but is there anywhere else that people would recommend? How is the riding in the Charlotte area? Am I just going to be spending my weekends in other locations to get riding in? I could also do Nashville, Atlanta, Boston, NY, etc but don't have much interest in the NE. We do have a limitation on schools as well since our daughter is in a dual language program that my wife insists (and I agree with) continuing. This is another thing that is pushing us to Charlotte over Nashville. Any advice would be greatly appreciated and I am happy to hook people up with the goods in San Diego!
    When you say dual language, what language are you talking about?

    Charlotte has some great "local" MTB trails and as people have mentioned you are not that far from Pisgah or Dupont for longer days. Depending upon your background, I would recommend Charlotte over a place like Nashville in a heartbeat!

    I know you said that you don't want to go to the NE but Philadelphia is a hidden jewel. Rockier and much more technical than anything is the Charlotte area and for that matter, Pisgah/Dupont. Honestly, the local riding within a 1 hour radius of Philadelphia makes the trails around Charlotte look like a bike path. And honestly, a 1-3 hour drive north takes you to trails that are not that much different than Pisgah/Dupont (in elevation).
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  7. #7
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    I'd recommend visiting Charlotte before investing much time or mental energy on a possible relocation there. Personally I would not want to live there.

    I was looking at relocating there from NYC with a long term girlfriend. Wanting to get out of NYC that was one of the places she could go with her firm. Long story short no way, she stayed in the city and I moved on to greener pastures. At the time my brother lived in Greensboro, my folks in Asheville and I still knew there was no way I could be happy in Charlotte. Some excellent food there though.
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  8. #8
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    Metro Nashville schools are not good and the current Director and his cronies seem to be pieces of shit. South of town is better and the private schools are great. There are a good amount of trail systems but nothing that is worth driving to ride from another area.

  9. #9
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    I've seen your posts in other boards and I think I have an idea of the type of riding you are looking for. I think the riding you are more likely to associate with is going to be further to the west in NC than Charlotte, but Charlotte is probably the closest you'll get with a big airport. I have to admit that I have only done limited riding in Charlotte, but, again based on your other posts, you'll probably find it a bit more XC-ish than what you are used to.

    Personally, I'd choose living in Charlotte over Atlanta. I've lived in Atlanta and there is riding there, but even the riding in the N GA mountains is kindof 'meh' IMO and will probably be a bit boring compared to what you are used to. It's remote, difficult to access, far away from the city, and the trails are mostly very similar in character. There is good stuff up there, don't get me wrong, you don't get near the variety or mileage that you get here in WNC, you also don't have the bike parks in as close proximity.

    Where we are here, we have access to super flowy trails (DuPont, Bent Creek, Kitsuma, etc), 'intermediate' technical trails (Black Mountain, hatchery stuff, N Mills, etc), and much more advanced stuff (parts of Bennett, Pilot, Farlow, etc). You also have other riding areas that are smaller (Weed Patch, etc) and bike parks (Windrock, Bailey, Beech, Sugar). You would also be within weekend driving distance to VA (Harrisonburg is rad) and TN, all of which have their own character as well.

    You don't get that level of variety in just our area alone anywhere in GA, but especially not the other areas within short/moderate driving distance. You'll be a few hours drive from those places, but most of Brevard is day trip territory from Charlotte IMO and definitely makes for a great weekend. If you have a spouse or SO that doesn't ride, then there is other stuff to do in the area, as well.

    If you are in sales (assuming your username reflects your career) and need to travel often, then Charlotte is probably your closest bet to being near year round, mountain riding. It's about 2 hours away or so from Pisgah/DuPont and the Asheville area stuff.

    I had to make a similar decision, I work from home and own a business, I often get called away to work onsite. We chose to live in Asheville and I'd just deal with the 2 hour drive to Charlotte when I had to fly or deal with the connecting flights, but I'm not in sales and I travel for work maybe once a month, at most.

    So I can't comment on Charlotte riding outside of the few trails I've ridden, I can comment on Atlanta and WNC. I think that, given the stuff I've seen you post about what you ride now, I'd try to be as close to Brevard or WNC as possible if you plan on living in the SE, and I'd avoid Atlanta unless absolutely necessary.

  10. #10
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    As others have amply said, Charlotte is pretty great for having multiple urban xc trail systems, many of which can be linked together via greenway. I think you would also find a fairly friendly riding community and that lots of folks go to the other Pisgah (Wilson Creek area) more often than Brevard. It's closer and in many ways more technical- but not well-mapped/signed etc. If you move there, meet some folks and get you some.

    I don't even take my bike with me when going to ATL to visit family.

  11. #11
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    You seem to have ruled Asheville and GSP totally out. Are you positive they are too small for your needs? If you are prioritizing riding then you're going to want to be west of Charlotte. If you really need a MAJOR airport then Charlotte will be much better for riding and general livability than Atlanta.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Brown View Post
    I don't even take my bike with me when going to ATL to visit family.
    I love spinning the fixie on the bike paths down there. Don't get that chance in the mountains often.

  13. #13
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    Greenville South Carolina is really growing and has a nice airport. I visit my cousin who lives there often. He flys every week for his job. Greenville has very good riding especially at Paris Mountain. When I go to visit we can be at DuPont in 45 minutes and Pisgah Brevard area in around an hour drive. Not bad at all. I usually visit for 4-5 days and we drive to Brevard and Asheville area everyday to ride. Check out this cool rejuvenated city!


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  14. #14
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    I'll jump in with another vote for Greenville SC. I have lived here 26 years and love it - downtown is awesome - lots to do, great restaurants, and a fast growing beer industry but still retains a good small town feel. Local riding (Paris, Pleasant Ridge) are fun and close and most of Pisgah as well as Dupont and Bent Creek are accessible within an hour or so. Cost of living is still pretty good, too. GSP is easy to fly out of and competitively priced compared to Atlanta and Charlotte. Definitely give it a visit before making a decision.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ride-beer-rinse-repeat View Post
    GSP is easy to fly out of and competitively priced compared to Atlanta and Charlotte. Definitely give it a visit before making a decision.
    The only thing that really convinces me to choose the Charlotte airport over GSP is how a flight is routed. For example, I'm looking to fly my grandmother out for a visit this year, and she STRONGLY prefers direct flights if possible. The only direct flight even possible is going to be to Charlotte. Though honestly, the prospect of 2 4+hr round trips to ferry her to Charlotte and back sucks, so I might have her make a connection for a flight to the AVL airport.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    The only thing that really convinces me to choose the Charlotte airport over GSP is how a flight is routed. For example, I'm looking to fly my grandmother out for a visit this year, and she STRONGLY prefers direct flights if possible. The only direct flight even possible is going to be to Charlotte. Though honestly, the prospect of 2 4+hr round trips to ferry her to Charlotte and back sucks, so I might have her make a connection for a flight to the AVL airport.
    If you do make the drive, take your bike and hit Hickory Park on your way back up I-40. Its a badass trail right off the interstate.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Banjopickin View Post
    If you do make the drive, take your bike and hit Hickory Park on your way back up I-40. Its a badass trail right off the interstate.
    I-40? From where I live, it's typically quicker to get to the Charlotte airport via I-26 and 74. Just pulling it up on Google puts the difference at abt 20min right now. Of course, with the way 26 can get between my house and Hendo, I suppose that there are enough times that I-40 would be quicker.

  18. #18
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    GSP is a no go for anyone that travels for work on a near regular basis. If you have to take connecting flights to get anywhere outside of major hubs or cities, it adds a lot of time and variability to your day to day. GSP is easier than AVL and has more routes, but it's nothing like CLT or ATL.

    If I were 50% or more travel, then I'd end up having the same restrictions.

  19. #19
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    Just throwing it out there ... I lived in North County (Cardiff, Encinitas, etc.) most of my life but moved to Raleigh in 2006. I'm an 1.5hr away from the beach, and 3.5hrs away from Pisgah. 45mins from me, San Lee has all kinds of gnar. Closer are many singletrack trails with different levels of difficulty. Mostly I ride bandit trails straight from my house - which is 10mins away from an Int'l airport. Also, there's actually a few legit mexstaurants that are my gotos. Can't help w/schools cuz I have no kids.
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    I'm in a similar situation in that I have an opportunity to leave South Florida, which I hate, to take a job in Charlotte. I love the Charlotte area and have vacationed there several times - Lake Norman, the US National Whitewater Center, breweries, and so much more, keep me coming back to that area. The riding isn't Pisgah, but it's still 100x better than the trails we have down here. The only thing holding me back is the fact that I'd be leaving my parents alone down here, so I'm currently torn.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by matt.s67 View Post
    I'm in a similar situation in that I have an opportunity to leave South Florida, which I hate, to take a job in Charlotte. I love the Charlotte area and have vacationed there several times - Lake Norman, the US National Whitewater Center, breweries, and so much more, keep me coming back to that area. The riding isn't Pisgah, but it's still 100x better than the trails we have down here. The only thing holding me back is the fact that I'd be leaving my parents alone down here, so I'm currently torn.
    My parents were glad for me to leave the state where they live because now they don't feel like I'm holding them down to Indiana. They want to move south. My dad wants Florida (for the scuba diving) and my mom doesn't want to have any of that. She'd prefer somewhere in the Carolinas.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by matt.s67 View Post
    I'm in a similar situation in that I have an opportunity to leave South Florida, which I hate, to take a job in Charlotte. I love the Charlotte area and have vacationed there several times - Lake Norman, the US National Whitewater Center, breweries, and so much more, keep me coming back to that area. The riding isn't Pisgah, but it's still 100x better than the trails we have down here. The only thing holding me back is the fact that I'd be leaving my parents alone down here, so I'm currently torn.
    Are they old? Do they need you there? Otherwise, Itís your life, man. Live it!


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    Quote Originally Posted by mbmb65 View Post
    Are they old? Do they need you there? Otherwise, Itís your life, man. Live it!


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    They're 70 and 69 years old. They could definitely get by without me, but we do help each other quite a bit.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by matt.s67 View Post
    They're 70 and 69 years old. They could definitely get by without me, but we do help each other quite a bit.
    Thatís pretty young, and if theyíre healthy, why not make the move? You can always go back.


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  25. #25
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    SP....I wouldn't rule out the East Coast so quickly. I've never ridden there but seems like I'm always seeing cool looking trails on links from Singletracks, YouTube, etc...Who couldn't like riding this? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=llu-SIazXBM
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  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by matt.s67 View Post
    They're 70 and 69 years old. They could definitely get by without me, but we do help each other quite a bit.
    Do it now. They will need you when they are closer to 80 so do it now.
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