I searched for a bike forum to see if I'm the only one out here who lives somewhere that feels too dangerous and unconducive to road bike. I was born and raised in upstate rural New York State. While the season was limited to non-winter months, road biking was super! Drivers respected bikes and the roads accomodated us with wide shoulders. The land scape was rural and beautiful and a combination of hilly to mountainous. Most recently I lived in a town north of Albany NY (not my favorite part of the state--but like all upstate, great for road biking) There were also rails-to-trails that were super for getting in shape each season before hitting the hills again. I also enjoyed the short trip to Vermont, which is another fantasitic and bike friendly state--and truly gorgeous too.
Now I live in Asheville, NC. A very desirable and popular place to live. The season for biking is all year (although it's too hot in the summer for my northern blood). But the roads and drivers are not accomodating at all (in my opinion). The roads have little to no shoulders, they are curvy and have many blind turns, people drive incredibly fast on them, and there is a section of the population who really don't have the patience for bikes. A friend of mine some years back even had someone in a pick up truck toss a can at him. I am desperate and miss road biking more every day. Mountain biking is huge here, so I tried to replace my road biking with the mt. biking on easier trails and gated forest service roads. But I just don't enjoy it that much--it makes me miss road biking all the more.
I guess I'm writing for a couple reasons: 1. To see if anyone out there is experiencing something similar and how perhaps they found a solution. 2. To find out what states and towns are considered the most accomodating and most beautiful places to live if you love to road bike. One I have in mind is Burlington VT. ON the west coast I've heard Eugene Or is great. But, I'm not sure I can just pick up and move . . . ?
I guess my desire is to be able to go out my front door and ride every night if I want. Perhaps being able to ride for 30-60 minutes on week days and then do 30+ mile loops on the weekends. All the while having a safe road and caring drivers.
I have a good job, I own a house, and live in what is considered one of the most desirable places in the Eastern United states--but I"m down right miserable=--because I don't feel safe enough to hit the roads here!
Who knows, maybe a fellow Ashevillian is out there and will think I'm crazy--??? I'd love to hear from them too--basically I am screeming for HELP!!!!
Hope to here from fellow ride lovers