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Old 02-09-14, 04:54 PM   #1
leicanthrope
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Considering a move to Eureka / Arcata - thoughts on the area?

There's a chance that I might end up relocating to the Eureka / Arcata area sometime later this year, and I was curious as to the experiences of any of the local cyclists that might already be up there. What is the "bike culture" up there like, how friendly / psychotic are the drivers on average, etc.?

Thanks,
Chris
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Old 02-09-14, 06:35 PM   #2
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I don't get up there very often, but from what I remember drivers are generally courteous. The main problem is that roads are sparse, the roads that do exist are narrow, and there are a lot of big trucks using the roads (logging trucks and other commercial trucks, etc).
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Old 02-10-14, 04:42 PM   #3
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Someone asked this same question a few years back and got some useful responses. Try the search function to see if you can dredge it up. (This is meant to be helpful, not snarky.)

I have limited experience, but I'll pass on my thoughts.

1) To the extent that the logging industry is still going, watch out for logging trucks. They go like the proverbial bats out of hell. Not surprising, since they are mostly paid by the run.

2) Do not under any circumstances go on anything that is not a paved road, or at least a significant dirt road. Pot is still the biggest cash crop in the area and there are still way too many illicit pot farms in the backcountry (and not-so-backcountry) over which the entrepreneurs are, shall we say, extremely proprietary. I'm not a mountain biker, but I would think this would put a serious crimp on the style of any single-track fans.

3) Not a ton of paved roads compared to the Bay Area, but what is there offers stunning scenery. It can also offer the aforementioned logging trucks, tourist traffic, or both.

4) The drivers on the whole are not nasty, but can be blissfully unaware. Winnebagoes especially fit this category. The truckers have gotten better over the years, but the winds they create can still be scary as hell on the narrow roads.

5) Arcata is a pretty hip college town, so my guess is that the cycling cultue scene is best there.

6) The economy is not been kind to the North Coast for many years now (a big reason why marijuana is such a big cash crop). Significant portions of all of the towns can be surprisingly seedy as a result. Not Skid Row seedy, but definity down-at-the-heel seedy. Silicon Valley this ain't.

7) I hope you don't mind fog and drizzle.
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Old 02-11-14, 12:24 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bikingshearer View Post
Someone asked this same question a few years back and got some useful responses. Try the search function to see if you can dredge it up. (This is meant to be helpful, not snarky.)

I have limited experience, but I'll pass on my thoughts.

1) To the extent that the logging industry is still going, watch out for logging trucks. They go like the proverbial bats out of hell. Not surprising, since they are mostly paid by the run.

2) Do not under any circumstances go on anything that is not a paved road, or at least a significant dirt road. Pot is still the biggest cash crop in the area and there are still way too many illicit pot farms in the backcountry (and not-so-backcountry) over which the entrepreneurs are, shall we say, extremely proprietary. I'm not a mountain biker, but I would think this would put a serious crimp on the style of any single-track fans.

3) Not a ton of paved roads compared to the Bay Area, but what is there offers stunning scenery. It can also offer the aforementioned logging trucks, tourist traffic, or both.

4) The drivers on the whole are not nasty, but can be blissfully unaware. Winnebagoes especially fit this category. The truckers have gotten better over the years, but the winds they create can still be scary as hell on the narrow roads.

5) Arcata is a pretty hip college town, so my guess is that the cycling cultue scene is best there.

6) The economy is not been kind to the North Coast for many years now (a big reason why marijuana is such a big cash crop). Significant portions of all of the towns can be surprisingly seedy as a result. Not Skid Row seedy, but definity down-at-the-heel seedy. Silicon Valley this ain't.

7) I hope you don't mind fog and drizzle.
Damn, this is one helpful and insightful post! I don't even think I could come up with as much jam packed info if I had to describe the area I have lived in my whole life.
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Old 02-15-14, 09:36 AM   #5
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Samoa Cookhouse, yeah!

Purty woods, yaeh!

CSU puts a speck of Progressive in the northern wasteland, yeah!

Purty beaches, yeah!


Go visit for a few weeks first.
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Old 02-16-14, 11:07 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bikingshearer View Post

...2) Do not under any circumstances go on anything that is not a paved road, or at least a significant dirt road. Pot is still the biggest cash crop in the area and there are still way too many illicit pot farms in the backcountry (and not-so-backcountry) over which the entrepreneurs are, shall we say, extremely proprietary. I'm not a mountain biker, but I would think this would put a serious crimp on the style of any single-track fans...
While this is the normal advice I receive from northcoast law enforcement, my experiences in the pot-growing areas of the northcoast are totally different. The pot growers seem to see cyclists as partners in crime more than as potential snitches. I've been offered generous hospitality by them on several occasions. That said, it only takes one misunderstanding with a nervous armed person or one misstep into a booby trap to ruin your day. Still, I'd rather take my chances on the unpaved roads than with the motorists of Humboldt and Del Norte Counties.

All in all, there isn't much of a cycling scene in Humboldt. If you want to ride with other riders and have events close by, stay where you are. If you can handle riding solo and traveling to the events you want to ride in, then you may enjoy it. I always enjoyed the relative solitude of the Lost Coast, but it's not everyone's cup of tea.
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Old 02-21-14, 02:43 AM   #7
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I lived and rode in Humboldt (Trinidad) for 37 years. All the comments you've gotten about drippy weather, limited roads, etc. ring true to me. It's a sparsely populated, not very rich area; there's less of all things, good and bad so naturally, there's less bicycling too. However, when I moved to the Rocky Mountains in 2008 there were 6 good bike shops spread from Arcata to Fortuna and a friendly cycling organization that held weekly road rides, informal Sunday rides and occasional races. (links below)

http://bigfootbicycle.org/

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Bigfo...34910753202763

If you move there say hi to Adventure's Edge owner Larry Goldberg for me (if he's still there) and tell him my wife and I are still riding the Long Haul Truckers and Crosschecks his shop hand built for us and they are still great bikes.

Ron Kokish
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