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Old 06-02-05, 11:06 AM   #1
islenska
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best state for cycling?

Taking all factors into consideration: ie. weather, bike-friendliness, mtb accessibility, road riding, racing, clubs, etc...What's the best state for cycling?
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Old 06-02-05, 11:11 AM   #2
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I wonder how many people have cycled in enough states to really give a complete opinion. Me, I've ridden significant miles in just four states: New York (upstate, Ithaca area); Connecticut (Fairfield County); Illinois (western suburbs of Chicago); and Virginia (Richmond area). Of these, upstate NY and Virginia were my favorites for their scenery, terrain, and lower traffic density. But such roads exist in nearly every state if you know where to find them.
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Old 06-02-05, 11:13 AM   #3
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North Dakota, no hills
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Old 06-02-05, 11:17 AM   #4
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A state of exuberance. If you're riding home from the bar, a state of drunkenness. If you're riding home from the bike shop, a state of poverty.
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Old 06-02-05, 11:43 AM   #5
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Kinda like Arizona myself. Year round cycling. Mountains if you like em, flats too. Drivers are not overly antagonistic (granted we have teenage drivers here just like anywhere else but I haven't had too many troubles with adults over the past 15000 miles). Anyway, I don't have anything to judge against except my time in Japan in which case cycling is vastly superior in terms of Share the Road signs, bike racks and bike lanes and bike culture. Do we have as much bike culture as Seattle or Portland, well no. But we have a lot more sunny days .
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Old 06-02-05, 12:20 PM   #6
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Virginia.
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Old 06-02-05, 12:39 PM   #7
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What ever state you are riding in and having a great time. We are a rather adaptive species, and I bet I can find something spectacular just about anywhere in the country, at the right time of year. Some of my favorites are Colorado, high in the mountains, the Canyonlands of Utah, the Oregon Coast and Pennsylvania's mid section. Places I'm not fond of riding, Florida and Texas.
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Old 06-02-05, 12:42 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by islenska
Taking all factors into consideration: ie. weather, bike-friendliness, mtb accessibility, road riding, racing, clubs, etc...What's the best state for cycling?
Florida - Orlando, Florida was voted the most bike friendly city in the USA.
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Old 06-02-05, 12:42 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by va_cyclist
Virginia.
Must be some great rides in February!
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Old 06-02-05, 12:43 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul L.
Kinda like Arizona myself. Year round cycling. Mountains if you like em, flats too. Drivers are not overly antagonistic (granted we have teenage drivers here just like anywhere else but I haven't had too many troubles with adults over the past 15000 miles). Anyway, I don't have anything to judge against except my time in Japan in which case cycling is vastly superior in terms of Share the Road signs, bike racks and bike lanes and bike culture. Do we have as much bike culture as Seattle or Portland, well no. But we have a lot more sunny days .
Since Arizona is where I live and have my bicycle, I guess that's my best state also. My other adult experience, like yours, was in a foreign country.
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Old 06-02-05, 12:43 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Paul L.
Kinda like Arizona myself. Year round cycling. Mountains if you like em, flats too. Drivers are not overly antagonistic (granted we have teenage drivers here just like anywhere else but I haven't had too many troubles with adults over the past 15000 miles). Anyway, I don't have anything to judge against except my time in Japan in which case cycling is vastly superior in terms of Share the Road signs, bike racks and bike lanes and bike culture. Do we have as much bike culture as Seattle or Portland, well no. But we have a lot more sunny days .
I bet it's fun cycling on those 107 degree days. I know it's dry, and melting bicycle tires is no big deal!
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Old 06-02-05, 12:56 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by islenska
Taking all factors into consideration: ie. weather, bike-friendliness, mtb accessibility, road riding, racing, clubs, etc...What's the best state for cycling?
Oh, that's right. You don't have a British Columbia, do you?

Well, I have it on good authority that Washington State will do almost as well. Mountains, ocean, small, bike-friendly Islands, freshest air you're going to find. Virtually bug-free, too.
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Old 06-02-05, 01:01 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by skydive69
Must be some great rides in February!
There's usually a 1-2 week "thaw" period in VA in February where 60 & 70-degree days are not uncommon. Then it's usually back to winter for another 4 weeks.
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Old 06-02-05, 01:03 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skydive69
Florida - Orlando, Florida was voted the most bike friendly city in the USA.
Really? Seemed like the traffic was pretty crazy down there last time I visited. Lots of tour buses, minivans, campers, etc. Maybe it's bike-friendly because there are no sidewalks.

I wonder if residents of Seattle and Portland got to vote in that poll.
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Old 06-02-05, 01:34 PM   #15
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I also will vote for Arizona, after all it is a dry heat. The winter riding here in Tucson is phenomenal, and even summer riding is great too. I was just up in Flagstaff last weekend and mountain biked through patches of snow. I like that you can drive an hour and be somewhere 25 degrees cooler (or warmer). All the sunny days are nice, and I never freeze in the winter. I got by with just knee warmers, arm warmers, and a cover over the ears this year. Plenty of 5,000+ foot vertical climbs if you are looking for some punishment too, and less air pollutants than CA.

I have also lived in Arkansas and Illinois - not great. Colorado is good too, but the winter limits things a bit.
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Old 06-02-05, 02:16 PM   #16
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New York is pretty bicycle friendly. I've only lived in NY and CA.
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Old 06-02-05, 02:35 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Moto
Really? Seemed like the traffic was pretty crazy down there last time I visited. Lots of tour buses, minivans, campers, etc. Maybe it's bike-friendly because there are no sidewalks.

I wonder if residents of Seattle and Portland got to vote in that poll.
You left out the biggest hazzard of all, senior citizens, last time I rode in Orlando was the closest I've ever come to death, and the pert didn't even realize what had happened. Bike friendly? I wouldn't have guessed that, not even close.
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Old 06-02-05, 02:53 PM   #18
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New York is pretty bicycle friendly. I've only lived in NY and CA.
how is nyc? the thought of cycling there is scary. is it even possible to mtb? what about the pollution?
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Old 06-02-05, 03:01 PM   #19
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You left out the biggest hazzard of all, senior citizens...
uh oh.
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Old 06-02-05, 03:13 PM   #20
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Virginia.


I agree with this one.
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Old 06-02-05, 03:17 PM   #21
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i've only rode in North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Puerto Rico. (and Guadeloupe, Curacao, Uruguay and Italy).

for the US, i'd say Puerto Rico - with my native SC a close second. Texas wasn't bad, but rather uneven in driver temperament. NC and TN are fun for mountain biking, but i've never done any road cycling there.

outside the US - Guadeloupe, hands down. great people, climate, terrain, low traffic density, courteous drivers, etc. Curacao was nice, but real touristy - plus, bikes aren't allowed on the Queen Juliana Bridge. Uruguay is very interesting - but bring a good lock, chain and cable. or two. or more. Italy is Italy - crowded, crazy, hectic and fun.
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Old 06-02-05, 03:25 PM   #22
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My vote is for Illinios. Hundreds of miles of bike paths. Mountain bike trails, bmx tracks, even freestyle parks. There is mountain bike racing, downhill racing, mountain cross, bmx racing, and road racing events.
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Old 06-02-05, 03:48 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skydive69
I bet it's fun cycling on those 107 degree days. I know it's dry, and melting bicycle tires is no big deal!
I read a DOT study on pavement that found that when air temp was about 110 in AZ, pavement surface temp was ~180. We go up to 120 sometimes, 118 is not unusual.

Ditto to Pauls and webists comments on AZ riding - great variety, great scenery, cities try to be bike friendly (although some city riding during certain parts of the day can be unpleasant). I get more friendly driver gestures per week than unfriendly.

But I also don't have much adult experience in other states. I remember from high school riding all over Mass, up into sourthern VT and really enjoyed that as well, but certainly not year round.

Al

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Old 06-02-05, 03:51 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by ngateguy
North Dakota, no hills
As one who has lived and ridden in NoDak, I can tell you that while the terrain is flat (assuming eastern NoDak) and you can easily cruise all day at 20MPH, it does get boring and you really have to watch out for the traffic. Granted there's not much traffic because the population is generally low but some of it is downright hostile and dangerous. Avoid riding through NoDak during the beet harvest in the fall!
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Old 06-02-05, 04:11 PM   #25
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I read a DOT study on pavement that found that when air temp was about 110 in AZ, pavement surface temp was ~180. We go up to 120 sometimes, 118 is not unusual.

Ditto to Pauls and webists comments on AZ riding - great variety, great scenery, cities try to be bike friendly (although some city riding during certain parts of the day can be unpleasant). I get more friendly driver gestures per week than unfriendly.

But I also don't have much adult experience in other states. I remember from high school riding all over Mass, up into sourthern VT and really enjoyed that as well, but certainly not year round.

Al
I'm generally an early morning rider. On a day which might reach 113+ degrees, the 6 am temp is usually around 80 or so. The hottest part of the day seems to be around 3-4:00 PM. It is important to slurp a lot of liquid out here in any season. I live in the southeastern part of the state at about 4600 ft altitude. We come in around 10 degrees cooler than Tucson and often 15-20 cooler than Phoenix.
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