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Old 06-07-05, 04:19 PM   #1
markman
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Best affordable places to live for cycling

I just returned from a trip to Colorado and New Mexico and after having some really nice weather and good cycling I wish we had never left there 7 years ago due to employment opportunities. Our desire has always been to return to the West or Southwest at some point in the future. Now that both my wife and I are into cycling we are wondering what towns have good weather, are affordable, and have a bicycle friendly attitude/ride options. We'd like to buy land w/in the next year or two and build a small house a few years after that. We need to start investigating possible areas now in order to be ready.

What are everyone else's experiences and suggestions?
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Old 06-07-05, 04:30 PM   #2
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- college/university towns?

- i'm on the peninsula on the Gulf coast of Florida... nice bike trail system (about to double in the next year or so)... i like being able to ride along the top beach in the world (Ft. DeSoto), but i'll also take a sunset ride along Treasure Island, or a quiet ride through the pines/palms...

- but for everyday living? probably Amsterdam?

:-)

p.s. FWIW, i lived in SF in the late 70s and never had a car... a double touring bike got me from Sausalito to Market from my apartment at Bush and Leavenworth just fine...
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Old 06-07-05, 04:38 PM   #3
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Wow, I personally like Arizona but given a choice of towns, Flagstaff if I was more into mountain biking, but since I am into road these days, Tucson seems like it has a lot of really nice biking. I currently live in Mesa and don't have any complaints about the cycling around here either as I have my choice of perfect hilly, flats, or a good mix of both on rides right outside my front door. If things get too hot in the summer you can always put the bike on a rack and within an hour or two be in cool pines and enjoying cool weather. I myself love the early summer mornings in the desert for road cycling.
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Old 06-07-05, 06:11 PM   #4
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Check out Farmington, NM. GREAT bike shops with supportive owners & workers. Interesting terrain. Friendly place. I've only visited there on work, but it's a place I'd like to live!
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Old 06-07-05, 06:23 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Paul L.
Wow, I personally like Arizona but given a choice of towns, Flagstaff if I was more into mountain biking, but since I am into road these days, Tucson seems like it has a lot of really nice biking. I currently live in Mesa and don't have any complaints about the cycling around here either as I have my choice of perfect hilly, flats, or a good mix of both on rides right outside my front door. If things get too hot in the summer you can always put the bike on a rack and within an hour or two be in cool pines and enjoying cool weather. I myself love the early summer mornings in the desert for road cycling.
Where are those pines?
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Old 06-07-05, 09:11 PM   #6
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Funny you mention Farmington. My wife was born and raised there and we were there just last week! It's actually one of the areas we're looking at. Housing is still fairly reasonable and it is close to the mountains around Durango, CO. The only problem with Farmington is that there are still some red-neck, close minded types, but definitely less than 20 years ago when I first visited.
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Old 06-08-05, 05:22 AM   #7
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Just returned from an exploratory trip to Oregon
Most civilized place to live and ride, IMO. Drivers courteous, stopped at YELLOW lites. for peds crossing roads, bike lanes everywhere, reasonable rents, and food costs. Downtown Portland an enjoyable place, but it was Bend Or, that really attracted me.Making my plans to move out there in October
And coffee????????? Here in SOFLA the standard for it is 7-11, brown colored water,thought I had died and gone to coffee heaven out thtere
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Old 06-08-05, 08:06 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by markman
Funny you mention Farmington...there are still some red-neck, close minded types, but definitely less than 20 years ago when I first visited.
Farmington, in my experience, is absolutely wonderful. Since I'm from the South, Farmington seems like an oasis of liberalism, but that's just my experience. It is close to the mountains, has high altitude for increased aerobic benefit, and has not one, but two GREAT bike shops. The friendliness of the people, the wonderful restaurants, the inexpensive real estate, and the convenience of Colorado without the Colorado prices and attitudes make Farmington seem like a WONDERFUL place to me. Good luck!
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Old 06-08-05, 06:13 PM   #9
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Darn. I was going to say Spain, Italy, or Switzerland.

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Old 06-09-05, 03:35 AM   #10
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Darn. I was going to say Spain, Italy, or Switzerland.

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You would say that but it's still France.
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Old 06-09-05, 12:07 PM   #11
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You would say that but it's still France.
No, it's not.

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Old 06-09-05, 12:19 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Travelinguyrt
Just returned from an exploratory trip to Oregon
Most civilized place to live and ride, IMO. Drivers courteous, stopped at YELLOW lites. for peds crossing roads, bike lanes everywhere, reasonable rents, and food costs. Downtown Portland an enjoyable place, but it was Bend Or, that really attracted me.Making my plans to move out there in October
And coffee????????? Here in SOFLA the standard for it is 7-11, brown colored water,thought I had died and gone to coffee heaven out thtere
After visiting my brother in Oregon I concluded that if you live a clean life, say all your prayers etc. when you die you go to Oregon. Good weather, good biking, great coffee, best bookstore (Powells), and a bar on every corner with a dozen hand/homemade beers for the tasting. The only problem living there would be staying sober enough to live a clean life and say all my prayers.

In regards to rednecks in parts of NM, I think Jeff Foxworthy said it best, "There are rednecks in every state." I've found this to be true, every state i've been to, there are people who think bikes are for six year olds, atv's are for everyone else. The best thing you can do is grin and bare it. They are basically nice people and in the end i've found they aren't any harder to get along with than your average bmw driver.
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Old 06-09-05, 12:57 PM   #13
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Where are those pines?

Flagstaff, Williams, Payson, Pine, Strawberry, Pinetop, Grand Canyon (north and south rims) and Showlow all are located in the largest stand of Ponderosa Pines in the world. It stretches for over a hundred miles on the the Mogollon rim (edge of the Colorado Plateau) going from Williams all the way over into New Mexico averaging in elevation from 6000 - 8500 feet in most places with mountains over 12000 feet in the San Francisco peaks near Flagstaff and near 12000 feet in the White Mountains by Showlow.

The town of Globe an hour east from Phoenix has Pine covered mountains right next to town (8000 foot) and even Tucson has Pine covered peaks (9000 ft?) on the edge of town (since the fire a few years back admittedly there are a few less, but the epic climbs are still there albeit under construction right now).

In any case, Pine Forests are abundant in the higher elevations in Arizona. Flagstaff, Showlow, Williams, and Tucson all have Ski Areas, Tucson's is the most southern in the US. The largest are at Flagstaff and Showlow.

(technically the rims of the grand canyon aren't in the continuous stand of ponderosas but both rims are forested with the north rim more so being a thousand feet higher than the south due to fault lines).

The Chiricahua mountains on the mexican border are also forested on top incidentally, almost forgot those. Lots of forest in Arizona actualy (most people just think it is all desert and there is plenty of that too admittedly).
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