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  1. #1
    Senior Member himespau's Avatar
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    The Great Debate: Where to live?

    And so it begins. Over the last couple of days, the wife and I were in a city where we might take new jobs (Louisville, KY, if it matters), and as part of the recruiting visit, our potential employer had a real estate agent spend the day driving us around to see what's available in our price range.

    I currently live in an inner suburb of Boston where we're car free, have easy access to public transit, I'm 4-5 miles from work (so a 20-25 minute bike ride or 45 minute to an hour on the buses/trains), we live near great parks, and can walk to get most stuff we need.

    The city we'd be moving do doesn't appear to have that great of a public transit system (according to some people who live there). The housing in our price range in a similar neighborhood to where we live now (a few miles to work, nice walkable parks, cool shops also in walking distance), well, the houses are on small lots (I've always dreamed that when I finally moved out of apartments I could have my own garden, and it'd be nice for my daughter to have room to play) and the 1.5 story cape cods with slanted ceilings in the second story are challenges when both my wife and I are over 6 ft. And we'd like to have room to expand our family.

    Or we could move out to the suburbs. Growing up in the country, that idea didn't used to sound as ghastly to me as it does now. I mean, you get a lot more house for your money and there's definitely more space to breathe, but not only would we need to get one car we might even end up getting two. And I'm not sure how my environmentally conscious side would feel about putting 40 or so miles a day on a car commuting. And I'd always dreamed of my kid(s) being able to play with others her own age in the neighborhood and walk to school.

    My wife was definitely more impressed by what you get out in the suburbs, but I just have this fear that we'll become "those people" living in the 'burbs and driving everywhere and then the next thing I'll know I'll turn around and we'll have two huge SUVs in the drive that we drive the hundred yards to drop our kid off at the bus stop.

    Not that we're even going to end up taking those jobs for sure.
    Punctuation is important. It's the difference between "I helped my uncle, Jack, off a horse" and "I helped my uncle Jack off a horse"


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    Taco.

    El Coucho

  3. #3
    on by skijor's Avatar
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    I found virtually non-existant public transit during my brief (9 mo) time in SC too. That wouldn't have been a problem if there had been interconnected residential streets with which to avoid the busy roads. But there were not.

    Assess Louisville's infrastructure. Would you be able to urban bike safely? Are there shoulders on city streets? Are there MUPs? The answer to these questions in SC is a resounding NO. Hopefully Louisville has better city planners. Good luck with your decision!

  4. #4
    Found my way <3 2 Ride's Avatar
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    If you are truly committed to living in an environmentally friendly manner, it is possible to do so and still live in the burbs. Transportation is not the only way to be environmentally friendly.

    We are a 1 car household...1 small car that gets good gas mileage. The kids and I drive it the 6.5 miles to school every day (I teach on the same campus that they go to school and we live out of district so busing is not an option.) UA commutes to work by bike. On weekends, I have been known to ride to the shop to "pick up" UA so we can ride home together. We don't have a lot of yard space for a garden, but we have planted a few plants in our "landscaped" area. We avoid using chemicals in and around our house as much as possible. We purchase produce and meat from our CSA rather than the grocery store whenever possible. We have a compost bin and recycle everything we possibly can, so we are a family of 4 that averages 1 garbage bag a week. We have a clothesline in the back yard and hang clothes on it to dry. We own a reel lawnmower and use hand clippers to trim around the edges. I rarely purchase new clothes for any of us, we shop at "Sally's" (Salvation Army). Make smart choices and you can make living in the burbs have less environmental impact.
    When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace. - Jimi Hendrix

    Life is what happens to you while you are busy making other plans. - John Lennon


  5. #5
    BF Avatar Zombie Hunter Jseis's Avatar
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    My wife and I live in rurubia. Big yard, lots of house work, yard work, etc. trade offs but we love it. Big cities are hours away. We are fortunate to live minutes from work. Less choice on transit, but parks, trails, out of doors are over the top. The kids have less job growth opportunity and while ours are fine, most leave. No even close colleges or universities, fewer performing arts, no LBS (nearest is 17 miles). Internet shopping rules. Weekly shopping means driving 25 miles for the Costco, HD type run. Specialist medical is hours away though local emergency med is top notch.


    This "those people" thought?. At the end of the day we all wipe with TP and flush. Larger econ forces upending local ecomies are being driven by cost effective ocean/rail shipping and world labor choices. Get used to it. Our local power comes 80% from hydro, the rest from coal, nukes, wind, natural gas. Rural areas does mean more driving for some. Fact of life. I own land that fixes annual carbon for 4-5 households. I eat more food because I bike. Most bikes are made overseas. You can drive yourself crazy trying to adding it all up, then becoming a speeding globetrotting adventure junkie Prius driving chest thumping sustainable crowing hypocrite. I'd love solar powered high speed rail but it's not coming to my town. SUV's evolve smaller and more efficient so don't sweat it. It's nice to work local but you gotta do what's right for your family and controlling transportation costs is just one of many costs. I evolved from a 120 mi RT commute to telecommuting. Worked for me.
    Last edited by Jseis; 05-27-12 at 09:35 AM. Reason: Clarify
    Amerika, Land of the Very Brief.

  6. #6
    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by <3 2 Ride View Post
    If you are truly committed to living in an environmentally friendly manner, it is possible to do so and still live in the burbs. Transportation is not the only way to be environmentally friendly.

    We are a 1 car household...1 small car that gets good gas mileage. The kids and I drive it the 6.5 miles to school every day (I teach on the same campus that they go to school and we live out of district so busing is not an option.) UA commutes to work by bike. On weekends, I have been known to ride to the shop to "pick up" UA so we can ride home together. We don't have a lot of yard space for a garden, but we have planted a few plants in our "landscaped" area. We avoid using chemicals in and around our house as much as possible. We purchase produce and meat from our CSA rather than the grocery store whenever possible. We have a compost bin and recycle everything we possibly can, so we are a family of 4 that averages 1 garbage bag a week. We have a clothesline in the back yard and hang clothes on it to dry. We own a reel lawnmower and use hand clippers to trim around the edges. I rarely purchase new clothes for any of us, we shop at "Sally's" (Salvation Army). Make smart choices and you can make living in the burbs have less environmental impact.
    This^

    We run bikes whenever we can, rather than our Explorer. We both have utility trailers, too.

    Mine


    and my wife's

    on light duty due to illness; please contact my assistants for forum issues. They are Siu Blue Wind, or CbadRider or the other 3 star folk. I am currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes. I am making good progress, happily.


    . “He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”- Fredrick Nietzsche

    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." - Immanuel Kant

  7. #7
    BF Avatar Zombie Hunter Jseis's Avatar
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    I golf, not very sustainable but this works! Ball bearing wheels on the cart would help.

    188364_1911956960506_1289347000_31608803_7388670_n.jpg
    Amerika, Land of the Very Brief.

  8. #8
    Senior Member himespau's Avatar
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    It's not that there's anything inherently wrong with (or bad about) living in the suburbs, it's just in choosing how you live, I guess. I guess there are trade offs wherever one chooses to live. Just trying to figure how to fit everything I want and I don't think it's possible to get it all.
    Punctuation is important. It's the difference between "I helped my uncle, Jack, off a horse" and "I helped my uncle Jack off a horse"


  9. #9
    Banned Indy_Rider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Stormcrowe View Post
    This^

    We run bikes whenever we can, rather than our Explorer. We both have utility trailers, too.
    We also use a trailer for grocery runs, but I can do it all with one.



    I've upgrade the tires since that pic was taken. Now running on 16" tires, also added a second piece of conduit on the hitch swing to stiffen it up.



    Even an Electrical Engineer from Purdue can do some Mechanical design. That trailer cost me around $30, which explains some of the roughness. First objective was to see how cheaply I could build one with the tools I have.

  10. #10
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    Having lived in the butt end of nowhere before, I can say that all you really need is a small car to do the various trips you need to do.
    Get a detachable bike rack for the car and if you need to carry really large stuff, consider renting a van or truck. Alternatively, have large furniture or objects delivered to your house. The cost of delivery for large objects once in a while is far cheaper than trying to own a massive van or truck that will fit everything for a long time. Most hardware stores or even some furniture stores also have by-the-hour rentals available.


    It doesn't hurt to be multi-modal either.
    Food for thought: if you aren't dead by 2050, you and your entire family will be within a few years from starvation. Now that is a cruel gift to leave for your offspring. ;)
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  11. #11
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    I have to say that having lived in the suburbs for most of my adult life, I like it. The interesting thing is that as my wife and I get older and with the kids gone, we keep getting these real estate mailings personally addressed to us encouraging us to live in a condo in downtown Seattle. I worked downtown for 25 years, and the glamour and excitement of downtown city life wore off a long time ago. I like having a yard, and parks, and quiet streets to ride my bicycles and motorcycles starting at my front door. My local grocery store is 0.8 miles away, or a ten minute walk, and two blocks away is a commuter bus line that would take me to downtown Seattle if I still worked there.
    Regards, MillCreek
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  12. #12
    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Indy_Rider View Post
    We also use a trailer for grocery runs, but I can do it all with one.



    I've upgrade the tires since that pic was taken. Now running on 16" tires, also added a second piece of conduit on the hitch swing to stiffen it up.



    Even an Electrical Engineer from Purdue can do some Mechanical design. That trailer cost me around $30, which explains some of the roughness. First objective was to see how cheaply I could build one with the tools I have.
    My trailer has a 160 pound weight limit. The wife's is used primarily when we tour, but can use it for errands as well. It also gives us ability to run independent errands, simultaneously.
    on light duty due to illness; please contact my assistants for forum issues. They are Siu Blue Wind, or CbadRider or the other 3 star folk. I am currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes. I am making good progress, happily.


    . “He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”- Fredrick Nietzsche

    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." - Immanuel Kant

  13. #13
    Senior Member mikeybikes's Avatar
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    How small are the lots? Personally, I would go with the more urban houses. Even if all you get are 6,000 square foot lots, you can still have a reasonable garden. Much smaller, it would be a tight fit but doable.

    If you've been living in an urban neighborhood for a long time, the transition to a more suburban neighborhood can be tough. I've tried it before. Getting used to the distance from amenities is the hardest. I'm glad to be in a more urban location after living in suburbia for a few years while I was attending college. I grew up in a very urban neighborhood.

    The wife and I are looking at buying a house in the neighborhoods surrounding downtown Denver. One neighborhood has houses on lots ranging from 7500 square feet to 12000 square feet. Plenty of room for a garden.
    Last edited by mikeybikes; 05-27-12 at 06:36 PM.
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  14. #14
    Banned Indy_Rider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Stormcrowe View Post
    My trailer has a 160 pound weight limit. The wife's is used primarily when we tour, but can use it for errands as well. It also gives us ability to run independent errands, simultaneously.
    I don't know what the weight limit is, but I know 1000lbs exceeds it. Of course that isn't much fun to pull either. Moved a load of bricks two blocks, made it to the drive way before the trailer gave out. Now that was a freaking work out. I've had three kids in it with no problem though.

    Groceries, full weeks worth of grocery, 3 cases of pop, 12 pack of beer and a 50lb bag of dog food, no problem. It's great fun doing grocery runs like that.

    And I found for the ultimate in weird looks, go to the gas station and get gas for the mower. People give you the strangest looks when you are at the pump with a bicycle getting gas.

  15. #15
    Senior Member himespau's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeybikes View Post
    How small are the lots? Personally, I would go with the more urban houses. Even if all you get are 6,000 square foot lots, you can still have a reasonable garden. Much smaller, it would be a tight fit but doable.

    If you've been living in an urban neighborhood for a long time, the transition to a more suburban neighborhood can be tough. I've tried it before. Getting used to the distance from amenities is the hardest. I'm glad to be in a more urban location after living in suburbia for a few years while I was attending college. I grew up in a very urban neighborhood.

    The wife and I are looking at buying a house in the neighborhoods surrounding downtown Denver. One neighborhood has houses on lots ranging from 7500 square feet to 12000 square feet. Plenty of room for a garden.

    Yeah, 6000 is at the middle to the upper end of the lot sizes we saw in the more urban setting. Though it seems that we may have been using a lower upper limit than we really needed to. Maybe if we boost our price range up a bit, we might see a better variety. Growing up 10 miles outside of a 10,000 person town on a 10 acre lot surrounded by more woods I never thought I'd even consider lots that small, but I look at some modern suburban subdivisions where the original owners had a choice of one of 3 models in beige, taupe, or light brown and the uniformity just beats down at me. I like the character of some of these 100 year old brick houses in urban areas, but the upkeep (and small size) scares me a bit.
    Punctuation is important. It's the difference between "I helped my uncle, Jack, off a horse" and "I helped my uncle Jack off a horse"


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    Quote Originally Posted by himespau View Post
    we'll become "those people" living in the 'burbs and driving everywhere and then the next thing I'll know I'll turn around and we'll have two huge SUVs in the drive that we drive the hundred yards to drop our kid off at the bus stop.
    My wife and I are becoming "those people" and it's not so bad. It really isn't.

    We used to live in the city before kids. We biked everywhere. It wore off fast. We now live in a 1st-ring suburb that is quite safe, but we have a tiny yard (50 feet wide--all house and garage), so the kids can't run and play all that much. We own a minivan now, which we can't live without. The kids walk to pre-school with mommy. I HATE SUVs, but I am 6'4" and I was forced to drive an SUV the other day, and I get the appeal--first vehicle besides the minivan that didn't hurt my back because I sit and not lay on the floor while driving.

    We always thought we would be city people, but we can't wait to move to the outer 'burbs to have a huge lawn, kids can bike on really, really wide streets, and I can drive further into work to have my only alone time extended a bit. Heck, we might even buy a second minivan so that I can drive without being in pain.

    I still wouldn't drive my kids to the bus stop, though. My preschoolers are already slender and very fit, and I hope to keep it that way.

    So, it's not so bad at all. Our perspectives and preferences change as we grow up. It only bothers me when a 19 year old feels the same way I do in my mid-30s about some things.

  17. #17
    Dirt Bomb sknhgy's Avatar
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    Daniel Boone said his neighbors were too close if he could see the smoke from their chimney. I feel like I should be able to take a leak out in my yard.
    more cops have been killed by donuts than guns in chicago it is a medical fact ask any doctor.

  18. #18
    Royal Grand Exalted Pooba smoke's Avatar
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    interesting comments. i think it just comes down to how you want to live. FWIW, i have a very good friend in lousyville, and he likes it more every day.

    i'm going the opposite direction of most of the people here. i've gotten where i hate suburban hell. i'm in the process of changing cities, and i'm going downtown. i travel for a living, and i've grown to detest the first two days back that i have to spend working on the yard and flowerbeds. i'm sick of home mx. i'm gonna buy concrete and let somebody else take care of the green stuff. i'm also tired of being so far away from a few good restaurants and bars.

    but the bottom line is - you're never gonna find something that's absolutely perfect. maximize what's important to ya, and if you give up on the little things, so what? i spent years researching where i wanted to move to, and didn't find the one place that's perfect in every regard. so i concentrated on what i really wanted and didn't worry about the nice-to-have things that weren't on the top of the list
    'In the end they will lay their freedom at our feet and say to us, "Make us your slaves, but feed us." '

    -Fyodor Dostoevsky's Grand Inquisitor

  19. #19
    Senior Member himespau's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SonataInFSharp View Post
    I HATE SUVs, but I am 6'4" and I was forced to drive an SUV the other day, and I get the appeal--first vehicle besides the minivan that didn't hurt my back because I sit and not lay on the floor while driving.

    I hear you on that. At 6'3 and spending something like 10 hours on planes in the last week (with a baby on my lap no less) and a bad back in general, I get the need for room. And having driven my dad's one ton pickup most of my senior year of high school back in the day (because he worked 45 minutes away but didn't want to get rid of the beast for those times when he needed to haul a load of wood/the boat/whatever so I got to deal with the 10 mpg - but at least I didn't have car/insurance payments), I remember how nice it was to be able to see over things. So yeah, I get the appeal (especially after being car free for the last 3 years and fitting everything we need for the day in the bottom of the baby's stroller before heading to the bus stop), but the gas guzzling and the unnecessariness of the ability to go off road, well, my wife hates the idea of a minivan and they may not be "cool", but at least they get better mileage.
    Punctuation is important. It's the difference between "I helped my uncle, Jack, off a horse" and "I helped my uncle Jack off a horse"


  20. #20
    Banned Indy_Rider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by smoke View Post
    but the bottom line is - you're never gonna find something that's absolutely perfect. maximize what's important to ya, and if you give up on the little things, so what? i spent years researching where i wanted to move to, and didn't find the one place that's perfect in every regard. so i concentrated on what i really wanted and didn't worry about the nice-to-have things that weren't on the top of the list
    Yeap, perfect to me would be no one around for at least a mile, but that ain't happening with out one really ugly commute, so what I have works for me.

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    I sort of like Couches choice of "Taco".

    Have you considered if there are any good taco stands in KennyTucky?
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