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  1. #1
    Senior Member Seattle Forrest's Avatar
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    Ideal place to live as a cyclist...?

    Suppose you could live anywhere you'd like in your city, but you found it lacking, and decided to invent a new part of town. What would it be like?

    I'm going to be moving next month, but I haven't decided where. It might even just be to a different apartment in the same building. But I'm very indecisive, weighing my options, and realizing that I could (in theory) do better as a cyclist. To the west is water, and to the east is a freeway, midway a pretty steep hill; I don't like climbing until I'm warmed up. So all of my rides start on one of two roads. That's kind of boring after a couple years...

    It's a weird question, but what are the qualities of a good apartment for a cyclist? What are the things that make you feel like you have it good, and what would rather change?
    Don't believe everything you think.

  2. #2
    LET'S ROLL 1nterceptor's Avatar
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    Seems to me that to the west is where you should be

  3. #3
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    Depends on your circumstances. When I was commuting by bike I regarded the distance from work as important. More than ten miles was good, because that way I could get in >20 miles on the bike without really taking much time out of my day - I'd have been travelling anyway. The longest regular commute I ever did was 29 miles each way. That was at the outer limits of practicability, because it was hilly and the round trip took close to four hours. So if you're working, I'd be looking in a circular area between 10 and 20 miles from work.

    Then there's access to good riding country when you're not commuting. I would want to be able to get into decent cycling country without spending too long riding on unsuitable roads - freeways, other arterial roads and so on. So that would take my search to areas 10-20 miles away from work in a direction that gave quick and easy access by bike to territory in which I'd enjoy cycling. That territory would involve some hills, only moderate traffic, and the opportunity to do a variety of routes.
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

  4. #4
    Starting over CraigB's Avatar
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    I heard some statistic the other day that most people in the US (by a sizable majority) go west when they move, whether it's only a block or two, across town, or across the country. It was kind of strange.
    Craig in Indy

  5. #5
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    I just read that Austin, TX has a great cycling community and is relatively wide open, consistent weather temps, and mostly flat. Looked fun - and Austin is trying to pull off a Formula One race which will increase its international exposure greatly.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Wogster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
    Suppose you could live anywhere you'd like in your city, but you found it lacking, and decided to invent a new part of town. What would it be like?

    I'm going to be moving next month, but I haven't decided where. It might even just be to a different apartment in the same building. But I'm very indecisive, weighing my options, and realizing that I could (in theory) do better as a cyclist. To the west is water, and to the east is a freeway, midway a pretty steep hill; I don't like climbing until I'm warmed up. So all of my rides start on one of two roads. That's kind of boring after a couple years...

    It's a weird question, but what are the qualities of a good apartment for a cyclist? What are the things that make you feel like you have it good, and what would rather change?
    First, you want to look for an apartment that is reasonably close to work and shopping without needing to use arterial roads (unless they have bike lanes) or freeways for everything. Rural access would also be nice. Secure, protected bicycle parking is also a requirement. Rural access for longer distance rides is also nice. It's one thing I hated with Toronto, you have to ride 50km just to get out of the city. Now I can leave my house and am at the town line in about 2 minutes, within 3 I am far out in the country, nice for distance....

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
    It's a weird question, but what are the qualities of a good apartment for a cyclist?
    Outside your personal living space, wide doors and common hallways. First floor. Few outside steps. If it's an elevator buidling, large elevators with wide doors. Inside your personal living space, an area to store your bike(s) that doesn't require you to maneuver around it/them to get by. When I rented, these were things I looked for when seeing places. I looked for the same when house shopping.
    "I've wanted you to succeed, but watching you find excuse after excuse after excuse and then laugh it off as the loveable, quirky, chubby guy is getting old."--Ill.Clyde

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    For me it would be a mobius strip style topography where everywhere I wanted to go (including home) was always downhill. Being the only person in a hundred miles would be nice as well! ;-)

  9. #9
    Senior Member dbikingman's Avatar
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    there are two considerations. The first is simply for doing your regular rides. The second is if you are considering using the bike as a commuter for work and errands.

    1. Easy access to any local riding trails in your case think Burke Gilman trail. A variety (flat, hilly, road, trails) of rides that you can start from your front door as opposed to having to drive to the start of a ride.

    2. I'd like to have a reasonable ride to work. Reasonable is up to the individual. I like to have grocery store that is relatively close a couple miles with no hills to go over. The reason I would want a relatively flat ride to the grocery store is it would be more likely I'd ride to the store. There are days when your legs are tired from a hard ride and having to ride up hills might discourage you from riding. I would like my commute to work around 10 miles or less. Here again something you can do easily. If you want more it is easy to add to your ride. Being able to commute and run errands would allow you to use a car less and justify more bike schwag.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Seattle Forrest's Avatar
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    Thanks, folks - lots to think about.

    I commute to work by bike, but not every day; it's about 4.5 miles, and mostly up hill going in, and down hill coming home. That's convenient enough, and I could easily do more. It's also up hill to the grocery store, which means down hill once I'm weighed down ... but this involves a water crossing, and it's easiest by far over a bridge I don't like. Now, I'm on the ground floor, which means I can finish my rides at my front door; my commuter bike is about 35 lbs with a few basics in the panniers, so it's really, really nice not to carry it up or down stairs to start a ride.

    Would it bother you folks if all your rides began on one of two roads? I can push my bike a block up the hill to Eastlake ( no big hills until I warm up ), and head north; my first side route departs in about 2/3 mile, and the next turn is about 1/2 mile further. Or I can ride south from the front door, but it's about 1.5 mile until I get any variety this way. The trade-off is that my kayak is tied up to a private dock in the back "yard," and a nice west-facing view, which is occasionally sunny.
    Don't believe everything you think.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Pinyon's Avatar
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    It depends a lot on what kind of riding you do. I live about 4 miles from work, with only two basic routes that I can take to go straight there. That does not bother me.

    Mostly because, I ride a lot further than that during a given week. My body was made for hard and unskilled farm labor, but my head is set up to be good at doing things behind a desk. Biking lets me do what I'm good at for a living, while keeping my body calm, sore, and sane.

    At least three days per week, I like to add an extra 2-3 hours of riding to my daily commute (usually on the way to work in the morning). From April through late-October, I add-on rides in the surrounding country-side. From November through early April, I do the equivalent time either in spin class (more afternoons than during bike season), elliptical trainer, etc. at the gym.

    If I were moving in-town here, though? The new place would have to be in a neighborhood with at least one major road leading away from the apartment with a bike lane. I would need an out-of-the-way place to easily store my bike (without getting bike grease and grime all over people or furniture). It would also prefer that it be no more than 10-12 miles from work. If I had to choose, I'd prefer that there be more up-hill on the way home. I almost always carry more weight on the way into work (lunch, extra clothes, etc.), and there is no guarantee that I will have time to take a shower on days when I'm just commuting and/or late-for-work.

    Everything else? Meh.


    Last edited by Pinyon; 11-03-10 at 01:07 PM.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
    Would it bother you folks if all your rides began on one of two roads?
    Every ride, except those on my mountain bike, starts on the same road in the same direction. By changing the later portion of the routes I keep the rides interesting.

  13. #13
    The cat says Merry Xmas Pamestique's Avatar
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    Other than crime, pollution, high taxes, high prices, especially for housing, and did I say taxes... I live in a prefect bike riding area. Out my front door is many many miles of good paved roads with nice bike lanes. Starting in the next city (5 minutes on bike) is an extensive bike path system. I am 5 minutes by car and 3 miles by bike from 3 regional parks and wilderness area where I can mountain bike and just 15 - 30 minutes by car to the Angeles National Forest and Blackstar and Limestone Canyons and Maple Springs. In the Fall, Winter and Spring I can ride up into the hills and in the summer, I can cruise down and along the breach. I actually live in a tourist destination and a cycling mecca... that said... apartment rent not cheap. My Heaven would be same weather, less traffic and cheap rent. Yes I realize its a fantasy!

    Oh yeah should add... I live in a one story 2 bedroom garden style apartment with a nice yard and a garage. No need to haul bikes up stairs and plenty of space to care for them. My road bikes live inside with me and the poor mountain bikes have to live in the garage.

    If I ride from home, there generally is only one way to go until I get to one of the trail systems. Not a problem...
    Last edited by Pamestique; 11-03-10 at 02:04 PM.
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  14. #14
    Senior Member timmythology's Avatar
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    It sounds like you have a few things to consider.

    For housing you should consider shopping, and employment locations, parking if you have a car.

    Can you look at a map, or know the access points for mups?

    I have a house located a few blocks from the spring water corridor, and the 205 mup here in Portland. I also live by a future street that will get converted to a bike boulevard which will take me downtown. My commute is under 9 miles, one way. So I find my self in an ideal location, if I want to ride east, or go downtown. I can ride any milage I want from the door. While I have my basic commute ride. I also have a 20, 30, 40, and 50 mile options.

    Even with all that I still ride down the same road every time I leave, 90% of the time. Us silly people and the habits we love to create: )

    So I would suggest you grab a map and start exploring for what you want in your next home: )
    Last edited by timmythology; 11-05-10 at 01:25 AM. Reason: added something

  15. #15
    Junior Member AK Bat's Avatar
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    Not sure I'd agree with the flat... But overall it is a pretty nice place for most types of riding, and generally bike-friendly.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Pinyon's Avatar
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    The Front Range of Colorado (narrow strip of towns that run north to south of Denver along the edge of the prairie and the Rocky Mountains) is the best place to live for riders that I have ever seen. There is a very large cycling community, with lots of regular people biking to work each day, bike lanes everywhere, and motorists are more tolerant than anywhere else I've lived or even ridden.

    You really have to pay attention in town, but nobody here tries to kill you. Heck, I only get yelled or honked at a couple of times per year.

    No matter where you live in the area, the rural countryside and/or mountain foothills are a short ride from your doorstep. If I ride west of town, in fifteen minutes, I can be riding up through the canyon-like foothills and passing herds of mule deer or elk. If I ride north or east of town, in just 10-15 minutes I can be riding past active horse or cattle ranches.
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  17. #17
    Born Again Pagan irclean's Avatar
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    If I was apartment shopping I would look for a place with a bike storage area; something fenced in with a common padlock to which tenants were given a key after making a deposit. Ideally it would be in an underground parking type of structure where my bike would be sheltered from the elements, but at the same time exposed to ambient temperatures to avoid the warming/freezing cycles that can accompany winter cycling. Of course, there would need to be some bike racks for me to lock my bike to within the storage area; just because I park my bike next to my fellow tenant's doesn't imply blind trust. Failing that I would look for an apartment in a house or a house for rent that had a locked, unheated garage in which I could lock up my bike.

    Having said all that if I had my druthers I'd live in a place without a warming/freezing cycle, that was temperate all year round, only rained while I was sleeping, and where motorists took a back seat to cyclists.
    Gettin' my Fred on.

  18. #18
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    Lol - I bucked the trend. I went east two blocks. I always knew I was out of touch with rest of the world.

  19. #19
    Senior Member irwin7638's Avatar
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    I just moved into a condo which I wouldn't have bought if not for a detached garage where I could store and work on my bikes. I let my car in there sometimes...if I'm not mad at it.

    Marc
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