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Thread: Where to move??

  1. #1
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    Where to move??

    I live in Oregon right now, but the wife is moving us back east to be near family. We could use a little more sun and a little less rain, too. She said as long as we're within 6 hours driving distance of her parents in Philly, I can pick the town.

    Priorities are:
    -lots of good riding nearby, within 1/2 hour ideally
    -within an hour of a good sized lake to keep a 25ft sailboat
    -we don't like big cities but having at least a few decent restaurants and breweries would be nice

    We're deciding between Charlottesville and Roanoke right now. Thought about Harrisonburg, too. I've never been to these places. What are your thoughts or any other recommendations??
    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Sounds like an excuse for you to take a vacation. C'ville and Roanoke both have big city traffic problems, although I think they still feel like small towns. Harrisonburg isn't a big city. It's closer to really good riding, but further from your good sized lake I think. Roanoke has it's charms. A buddy of mine has bar/pub and a biscuit joint and a barbecue place there, you can eat and drink well just on that, plus Carvins Cove is right there for riding. C'ville would be the cultural winner of the three, it's a great place in spite of the recent news coverage. There's a fair amount of good riding there, plus a day trip over the mountain to the great stuff outside the 'Burg is easy to pull off on the weekend. The reality of the area you're looking at there is that it's really an unsung mecca of east coast riding.

    Each of the cities you're looking at has a different feel. All of them have good riding. The lake might rule Harrisonburg out. From a personal standpoint, that's the best riding. C'ville is the best culturally. Roanoke may offer better cost of living and easier to find a place outside of town, but convenient.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cotharyus View Post
    Sounds like an excuse for you to take a vacation. C'ville and Roanoke both have big city traffic problems, although I think they still feel like small towns. Harrisonburg isn't a big city. It's closer to really good riding, but further from your good sized lake I think. Roanoke has it's charms. A buddy of mine has bar/pub and a biscuit joint and a barbecue place there, you can eat and drink well just on that, plus Carvins Cove is right there for riding. C'ville would be the cultural winner of the three, it's a great place in spite of the recent news coverage. There's a fair amount of good riding there, plus a day trip over the mountain to the great stuff outside the 'Burg is easy to pull off on the weekend. The reality of the area you're looking at there is that it's really an unsung mecca of east coast riding.

    Each of the cities you're looking at has a different feel. All of them have good riding. The lake might rule Harrisonburg out. From a personal standpoint, that's the best riding. C'ville is the best culturally. Roanoke may offer better cost of living and easier to find a place outside of town, but convenient.
    Nailed it. Cville is a beautiful place, but will always rely on the University. December (winter break) and May through mid August are awesome as the traffic is greatly reduced. I will say, Cville traffic is absolutely atrocious around rush hour. Sounds crazy as it's a small town, but students driving along with rush hour makes for a pretty sloppy commute. Real estate is also surprisingly expensive (especially when compared to Roanoke).
    I live in Northern VA and am considering relocating to Roanoke in the near future. Real estate there is still manageable, Smith Mtn Lake is bad ass, and riding there is legit. Not to mention the new Ballast Point Brewery is about as good as it gets. One other nice thing about Roanoke, is that this fall they are starting daily Amtrak service to DC. I know you can drive to Philly, but having the option to hop on Amtrak to Union Station and then have your pick of any train on the hour interval to Philly is pretty awesome. Roanoke definitely approaching a big boom.

  4. #4
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    Closer to Philly, Frederick, MD area has some great trails and just an hour away from DC or Baltimore.

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    Bahaha, I just moved here from Washington state last October.... Sorry buddy, but it rains like a mfer out here. Granted I'm in Virginia Beach, so it might be different than C-ville and Roanoke, but I doubt it's much different. AND the big difference between rain in Virginia vs rain in the PNW is when it rains here, IT RAINS! In the PNW, I could mountain bike at least 6 days a week, that IS NOT THE CASE HERE. Again, take this for what its worth since I am about 2hrs drive from the places you're talking about, but I miss the PNW and its lack of rain haha.

    WITH THAT BEING SAID, I've driven through Charlottesville twice, now, and despite current events occupying the news, it seems like a really nice town. Very pretty, with nice hills all around it, and it's close to Shenandoah which seems legit! I probably wouldn't hate VA so much if I lived there, haha. Additionally, it's closer to Brevard/Asheville, North Carolina compared to other areas that would meet your criteria, and Brevard/Asheville is one of the few areas on the East Coast that'll even compare to the riding that was/is available in Oregon.

    Another area worth considering are towns near Patapsco Valley State Park(PSVP) in MD. PSVP is SW of Baltimore and offers a lot of good trails (huuuuuge network) that I drive to from Virginia all the time to ride.
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  6. #6
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    Rain is not an issue further inland.
    But if large lake for your sail boat is a requirement, Smith Mt. Lake is near Roanoke.

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    Thanks for all the replies, I really appreciate the info.

    I love the Brevard/Asheville area. Lived in central NC for a few years and spent a lot of time out there. That was high on my list, but I think it's too long of a drive from Philly for the wife, and I think it would be a longer drive to get to a good lake for sailing.

    Leaning towards Roanoke right now. Sounds like there's no perfect option, but it would be a good balance between everything I'm looking for. Plus, just yesterday I found a decent job opening there I'm checking out.

  8. #8
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    In Charlottesville, you can see the mountains (Blue Ridge) but it's not a 'mountain' town. Charlottesville is a wonderful town. Great vibe. Great food. Great wine. Great beer. You get a lot of cool things (concerts, etc.) that come into town because of the University.

    Down side to Roanoke is that it's fairly isolated. The nearest large airport is Charlotte. The upside to Roanoke is that it's fairly isolated... ie: the hell away from NoVA. I'd argue that Roanoke has better/closer riding than C'ville.

    SWVA has a completely different feel than central VA.
    I like 'em long, low, slack and playful

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    Bucks county PA? Lake Nockamixon you got New Hope, Doylestown etc for cities/towns nearby. Your 45 minutes from Philly & there is TONS of varied riding around. Winters are grey but I & everybody I knew rode year round when I lived back that way.

    Nothing beats the Cascades imo. The trick is to live a short drive from the dry side.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strafer View Post
    Closer to Philly, Frederick, MD area has some great trails and just an hour away from DC or Baltimore.
    Frederick. Awesome riding, small city with good restaurants and lots of breweries. For the sailboat, you've got the entire Chesapeake Bay , much of it an hour away.

    We checked out Roanoke as an option a dozen years ago before settling on Frederick. Cool town as well, just didn't have a lot of job options. We've been back several times since, still like it and could live there, but I wouldn't trade it for Frederick.
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  11. #11
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    Roanoke has great riding in close proximity. Pretty hard to beat it, really.

    That said, it's still in the south. If you have a good tan, ride with others.

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  12. #12
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    Damn I'd love to move. I have no marketable job skills though so finding a decent job for me is nearly impossibly. That's what I get for being stupid when I was younger and not doing something with my life. F@ck me.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by t-rock34 View Post
    I live in Oregon right now, but the wife is moving us back east to be near family. We could use a little more sun and a little less rain, too. She said as long as we're within 6 hours driving distance of her parents in Philly, I can pick the town.

    Priorities are:
    -lots of good riding nearby, within 1/2 hour ideally
    -within an hour of a good sized lake to keep a 25ft sailboat
    -we don't like big cities but having at least a few decent restaurants and breweries would be nice

    We're deciding between Charlottesville and Roanoke right now. Thought about Harrisonburg, too. I've never been to these places. What are your thoughts or any other recommendations??
    Thanks!
    Sounds like you need a road trip. I am a big fan of Roanoke, but really anywhere west of the Blue Ridge that has national forest has great riding. Roanoke has Carvin's Cove, 40-ish miles of singletrack that is right outside of town and poised to grow to 70 some miles over time. Within an hour and a half there is probably 200 miles of backcountry trails in the GW /Jefferson National Forest and Douthat State Park. And then there is West Virginia riding, which looks a lot like the northwest with Spruce forest, rocks and mud. Large lakes close by are Smith Mountain Lake, Claytor Lake, Lake Philpott, and Lake Moomaw. If you want small town take a gander at Clifton Forge. It is kind of a depressed area, but the riding and scenery are incredible.

    If you come for a visit post up on here or in Roanoke you can check in on Facebook for 411.
    https://www.facebook.com/roanokeimba/

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    To OP, you should re-check that 6hrs time from Roanoke/Charlottesville to Philly. While technically it can be done, that run up I-95 can be a mo-fo...especially if driving on a Friday (or back on a Sunday evening). I've been locked up from south of D.C. up to B-more on multiple occasions...sometimes it can take >2hrs just to get through that 50mile stretch. Once, from Roanoke, there was a truck accident on the I...6hr stop....b/c there aren't really a ton of exits and you're in the mtns.

    I'd look north...as someone mentioned: Buck's county. You could even go somewhere more north like the Poconos and be close to Jim Thorpe. Or maybe West near Hershey...you'd be close to some riding...a bit farther and you're at Allegrippis and very close to Troegs!

    C-ville and Roanoke have both been great towns during my visits (and I really enjoyed road riding there...never brought a MTB), but just offering some alternatives.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by smartyiak View Post
    To OP, you should re-check that 6hrs time from Roanoke/Charlottesville to Philly. While technically it can be done, that run up I-95 can be a mo-fo...
    Yeah, I meant to mention this. A 6 hour run would be rare. From northern VA to Philly has a lot of problem areas at almost any hour.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strafer View Post
    Closer to Philly, Frederick, MD area has some great trails and just an hour away from DC or Baltimore.
    Not sure what field you're in, but Frederick is going to be a hot spot economically soon. It's got some of the best technical trails. And it's 20-40 minutes from your choice of other trails.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cerberus75 View Post
    Not sure what field you're in, but Frederick is going to be a hot spot economically soon. It's got some of the best technical trails. And it's 20-40 minutes from your choice of other trails.
    What will be fueling this economic engine?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Flat Pedals View Post
    What will be fueling this economic engine?
    Haha. Yeah I'm curious as well. I mean Frederick is cool and all and has a revitalized downtown, but the economy there is not quite there. Majority of the residents commute in.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flat Pedals View Post
    What will be fueling this economic engine?
    Beer
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by riderx View Post
    Beer
    Looks like I might be moving to Fredrick myself!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cotharyus View Post
    Looks like I might be moving to Fredrick myself!
    Lots of breweries here and new ones keep opening. Got to rehydrate after riding!
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    For what its worth, my wife and I are in VB but spotting either Roanoke or Harrisonburg for a move in about 4 years. I need an airport, so that lends itself a bit to Roanoke. I've ridden Harrisonburg quite a bit, and just finished my first epic ride at Carvins.

    Personally I love the town feel of Harrisonburg. Its got that small town college feel, good bike shops, minutes to epic riding, two bike parks within an hour, skiing in the winter, Reddish Knob, great 4wheeling/expedition portal if you are into that thing etc.. I love the water though and it does lack the lake life access that I really would like to have close by. We still love it more.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flat Pedals View Post
    What will be fueling this economic engine?
    Yes plenty of beer. The fuel is grants given for technology jobs to open in the next 2 years. And supply chain for the cancer research facility. I almost left the area, since my job depend on other people moving here and have monet to spend. Now I'm hopeful.

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    Quote Originally Posted by riderx View Post
    Yeah, I meant to mention this. A 6 hour run would be rare. From northern VA to Philly has a lot of problem areas at almost any hour.
    From the Valley, you can skip all of that DC/B-more mess by going through Harrisburg and then cutting over. Nearly the same time from H-burg. Lexington would split the difference between H-burg and Roanoke to get you a little closer to the lake while keeping you under 6hrs to Philly.

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    Oregon is so much better of a place to live than PA/MD/VA... i feel sorry for you my friend...

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    Ehhh, not so sure about that. I've spent time in both locales. Portland/Bend in OR and in Northern VA (but riding all over the Appalachians).

    The riding in OR certainly isn't any better than the Appalachians. We like that secret but some of the goods in Va, WVa, Md and PA are world class. And barring July-Sept in OR the weather is much better in mid atlantic.

    I could do without the city gridlock from Philly to DC but with work from home options these days the commuting issue is largely avoidable.

  27. #27
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    I grew up in and cut my mtb teeth in the tri state area with lots of riding from NC to VT but my back door was PA. Been living in OR now for 11 years (been coming out here for well over 20 years). Wouldn't say the riding is better but certainly different. The try state area has variety locked down no question, but the views, grandeur, open space and adventure belong to the PNW. I've been around pretty good and the Cascades are my favorite ecosystem/geology. Unfortunately where I call home now has completely changed, and not for the better, over the last 4 years especially. I too will be looking to move to the next great place. I'll say this NOWHERE touches the food of the tri state area & that's something I'm reminded of far to often.
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    Within 6 hours drive?

    Crap, you could live as far as Massachusetts.
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    Come to Charlottesville, we've got some great riding here and a fantastic community of mountain bikers. Harrisonburg is also great being so close to the National Forest, but I prefer living in cville to when I lived around Harrisonburg.

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    Harrisonburg gets my vote! The riding is incredible, great bike shops and a solid biking community. It also has some good breweries and places to eat, nice low key feel too. Check this out... https://www.pinkbike.com/news/east-b...-virginia.html

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    Hey all, thanks for the replies and input. We will officially be landing in Roanoke as of February and are stoked to check out all the new riding opportunities around! It's definitely bittersweet to be leaving the PNW, especially with ski season coming on, but it sure makes it easier to hit the road when it's 50 and raining everyday. Looking forward to a little more sunshine. As a bonus, we're taking a 3 week road trip and will spend 2 of those weeks through California and the desert southwest riding everyday!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by t-rock34 View Post
    Hey all, thanks for the replies and input. We will officially be landing in Roanoke as of February and are stoked to check out all the new riding opportunities around! It's definitely bittersweet to be leaving the PNW, especially with ski season coming on, but it sure makes it easier to hit the road when it's 50 and raining everyday. Looking forward to a little more sunshine. As a bonus, we're taking a 3 week road trip and will spend 2 of those weeks through California and the desert southwest riding everyday!!
    Roanoke is 4hrs away from what I consider the best riding on the East Coast. It's worth taking some long weekends to Pisgah NC.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cerberus75 View Post
    Roanoke is 4hrs away from what I consider the best riding on the East Coast. It's worth taking some long weekends to Pisgah NC.
    It's not even an hour to Harrisonburg, which while not as well known (marketed), has just as good if not better trails.

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  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    It's not even an hour to Harrisonburg, which while not as well known (marketed), has just as good if not better trails.

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    Harrisburg is on my list of places to check out. I've heard similar, and I drIve 8hrs to WNC twice a year. Would be nice to have something closer.

    About how many miles of trails does it have?

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by t-rock34 View Post
    Hey all, thanks for the replies and input. We will officially be landing in Roanoke as of February and are stoked to check out all the new riding opportunities around! It's definitely bittersweet to be leaving the PNW, especially with ski season coming on, but it sure makes it easier to hit the road when it's 50 and raining everyday. Looking forward to a little more sunshine. As a bonus, we're taking a 3 week road trip and will spend 2 of those weeks through California and the desert southwest riding everyday!!
    Congrats! It looks like we will be moving down to Roanoke as well in the spring from the DC area. Would be great to get out and ride some!

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    Welcome! Here's a good map to your new go-to riding spot. You'll want to use the Bennett Springs parking lot as your primary access.
    https://www.playroanoke.com/wp-conte...s-Cove-Map.pdf

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by t-rock34 View Post
    Hey all, thanks for the replies and input. We will officially be landing in Roanoke as of February and are stoked to check out all the new riding opportunities around! It's definitely bittersweet to be leaving the PNW, especially with ski season coming on, but it sure makes it easier to hit the road when it's 50 and raining everyday. Looking forward to a little more sunshine. As a bonus, we're taking a 3 week road trip and will spend 2 of those weeks through California and the desert southwest riding everyday!!
    Welcome to the neighborhood. Weather can be crappy that time of year, but it doesn't usually last too long. If it is too wet you just go higher in elevation. If it snows heavy you have to wait about a week for western exposure trails to open up. There are Monday and Tuesday night rides on Mill Mountain if you want to meet some other riders. Enjoy.

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