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  1. #1
    poetic license suspended
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    hello seattle. here i come.

    hello seattle. i'm moving to seattle at the end of oct. with my girl and our three y.o. son. i was wondering if anyone has any tips on cheap livin', bike commutin', bike shops (not bike dealers). i want to find somewhere close to downtown (within 10 miles) since i ride bikes exclusively. thanks in advance....

  2. #2
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    Cheap livin eh? What do you consider cheap? Everything here is going to be insanely expenseive here compared to Tampa Bay. Prices have skyrocketed over the last few years with so many people moving here (myself included). Decent apartments are $1,000/mo minimum. I spent a year on Mercer Island at Shorewood Heights. 2 BR 800 sf apartment cost $1,200/mo. but it's in the best school district in the state and in the middle of everything and incredibly bike friendly (bike lane on I-90).

    Regarding bike shops, I reccomend Gerk's Alpine Hut in Redmond or Alpine Hut downtown. The two used to be owned by the same person but Gerk's was sold. I have more experience with Gerk's personally (since being sold) but both are owned by good, ethical people who will take care of you.
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    Personal Mountaineering Website: AlpineTarn.com

  3. #3
    stringbreaker stringbreaker's Avatar
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    Depends on where you want to be. Are you working in Seattle or in one of the suburbs? Eastside of Lake Washington or where ever. If you are flexible you may want to consider Pierce County to the south . HOusing is a bit less and if you are working in Seattle and have the right hours you can ride the Commuter train.

  4. #4
    Hardrocker
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    I went to Gerk's Alpine Hut too, they're good people, with good service. Don't know what you're into, but if you are of the mtb persuasion:

    http://trailheadrevolution.com/wiki/...itle=Main_Page

    this is a pretty comprehensive list of trails in the area.

  5. #5
    the greatest swindle srsly's Avatar
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    you want cheap? don't move to seattle i rent a condo in Sand Point and while it isn't cheap it's nicer than anything you'll get closer to downtown for the same money. also like mercer island it is a nice area and has a decent school district. the Burke-Gilman trail also runs through Sand Point so i have an awesome 10mi commute to my office downtown. are you looking to buy or rent when you get here? if you're buying you may be in for a shock. i'm looking to buy right now and the only places in my range are 10 miles or more from downtown. no big deal, 10 miles is nothin

    as far as bike shops... There are a ton.
    Aaron's in West Seattle - he's a really nice guy
    Wright Bros in Fremont - you can buy a membership to their co-op and use an open shop area for a $15 lifetime membership fee
    Velo on capitol hill - they sell bikes but they're mostly "vintage"
    Recycled Cycles - they sell new bikes but this is the place to go for used parts and such

    then there's the local supershop, Gregg's, and we have a Performance.

    Good luck with the move and don't be a stranger! seattle has a really great cycling community that is very active when it's not raining (and pretty active when it is).
    when it burns you know it's working
    srsly

  6. #6
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    hello.

    well, as others have mentioned, seattle isn't a cheap town but the quality of life is pretty awesome. i moved here a little over a year ago from austin and rent is much higher BUT my utilities are next to nothing. i went from spending $100+/month to spending about $20-25/month. if you live central, you can easily get around by bus/bike/feet.

    neighborhoods i'd recommend as far as good commuter places AND stuff to do: capitol hill (probably the hardest hood to find a cheap space), central district (some parts can be a bit sketchy), fremont (burke gilman bike trail), ballard (further out but cool place on the gilman trail), university (gilman trail), and wallingford (only so-so bus routes but cool area). georgetown is also worth checking out (earlier stage gentrification; easy bike ride downtown and to west seattle).

    biking links:
    http://www.metrokc.gov/kcdot/roads/bike/map.cfm (king county bike maps)
    http://www.thebikery.org/
    http://www.recycledcycles.com/ (lots of bikes, accessories and used parts)
    http://www.cityofseattle.net/parks/B...an/bgtrail.htm

  7. #7
    poetic license suspended
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    hello again.
    thanks for all the tips. the bike coop sounds cool. we don't have anything like that here in fl. these days i commute 32 (hot, sweaty) miles round trip to work. i'm looking forward to cooler weather and a shorter ride. we've been looking at the ballard/green lake/fremontish area... or maybe around interbay and the park? my son does love riding his fixie... okay, tricycle. thanks again!

  8. #8
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    Ballard is Awesome

    I moved to Seattle about two years ago from Santa Cruz, CA, so unlike everyone else who's responded Seattle seems cheap to me! Housing prices are going up all over the area, but my gf and I still rent a decent two-bedroom apartment in Ballard for $875... although that's going up to $950 next month. I've heard that people's rent prices have spiked considerably more in the more trendy neighborhoods like Capitol Hill, Belltown, Queen Anne, Fremont, First Hill and the like (closer to downtown).

    Ballard is awesome. When I first moved here it didn't seem that great and my gf and were talking about moving to Capitol Hill or Queen Anne, but as I've discovered all its nooks and crannies (one word: Besalu, look it up on Yelp.com), I've learned what a great place it is. Getting downtown is easy by either bike, bus or car. Getting just about anywhere else (other than the surrounding neighborhoods) can be difficult by car or bus (it can take 45 minutes in the morning to get to I-5, something that only affects me during ski season), but depending on where you're going the Burke Gilman Trail can make it very easy by bike. Getting to the north by bike can be difficult as there are no trails that go that direction and very few bike lanes.

    I use my bicycle as my primary form of transportation, but my gf and I share a car for when we need it (she's a professional stagehand so she needs a way of getting to the surrounding cities fast when she gets one of those "we need you here 45 minutes ago" calls) and also use the buses which are quite decent (ride the 44 around 12:30 am for an interesting experience). If we didn't have a car we'd probably use Seattle's FlexCar program.

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    Is Charles Hadrann still the guy at Wright Bros? I lived in Seattle over 20 years ago and only went back the first time last summer with the family. It was really different to be there married and with kids as I had neither when I lived there.

    I wanted to do STP but couldn't justify the cost of flying just to do it and didn't have the time to stay.

    I would guess nothing is cheap in Seattle. It wasn't when I lived there either. I lived on Capital Hill the entire 8 years, first at 17th & Republican, then at 15th and Columbia. Funny thing though, my impression of Capital Hill, especially Broadway, was that it got shabby over the years. Maybe it always was and I didn't notice it in my youth, but it didn't appeal to me at all this time around. I live in NYC now and believe me there is plenty of shabby here. And the houses I remember being big around Volunteer Park looked pretty tiny to me now, but maybe its because I bought a 3 story Victorian in Brooklyn in a neighborhood of same.
    Last edited by zacster; 08-12-07 at 07:31 PM.

  10. #10
    the greatest swindle srsly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zacster View Post
    Is Charles Hadrann still the guy at Wright Bros?
    yep he's still there. and he's probably just like you remember him

    and yeah, since the housing market is pretty hot still rent has been going up. and i imagine capitol hill is taking the worst of it; or if not belltown. if you look you'll find something. if i were you i'd come out here and look rather than try craigslist or rental publications. a lot of times decent places just aren't listed.
    when it burns you know it's working
    srsly

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by srsly View Post
    and yeah, since the housing market is pretty hot still rent has been going up. and i imagine capitol hill is taking the worst of it; or if not belltown. if you look you'll find something. if i were you i'd come out here and look rather than try craigslist or rental publications. a lot of times decent places just aren't listed.
    Housing markets are interesting around Seattle/Puget Sound. Seems like Seattle is jumping quite a bit lately, whereas surrounding areas near Seattle are remaining fairly stable and Kitsap's falling and falling - even the places with a *VIEW* aren't selling. You might consider Kitsap. Bainbridge and Bremerton would likely be your best bets - they have ferry terminals leading to the docks downtown in Seattle; Vashon has a passenger-only (with bike room, last I checked) to the same place; Vashon and Port Orchard both have a terminal running to West Seattle. /kitsapwhoring.


    At the very least, I would suggest taking a sidetrip to Kitsap at some point and staying the night somewhere with a view of Seattle.

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    A story about Charles: Back then, probably around 1980, he lived in a loft apt. over the shop (maybe he still does?) He planned a Passover dinner and invited me, I was taking a class from him at the time and hung out around the shop. He (correctly) assumed I was Jewish. When I got there I found a group of mostly non-Jews as I expected and he turns to me and asks me to lead the Passover service! I am not a good practicing Jew and probably knew less than he did. I don't remember what happened next and whether we did any part of the service, but we had a laugh and all enjoyed the meal.

    And also back then I bought my Davidson through the shop, before Bill opened up Elliot Bay with Bob Freeman. I was riding it up until 2 years ago mostly unchanged until I finally bought something new with modern components.

  13. #13
    poetic license suspended
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    what does it cost to ride the ferry, and approximately how long do the rides take? i think it would be nice to be on the olympic side, but i keep a relatively busy schedule, and i don't know if i want to be sitting idle for hours(?) at a time. but i definitely want to go across to ride around the peninsula on the weekends.

  14. #14
    Beer-fueled
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    Quote Originally Posted by roderage View Post
    what does it cost to ride the ferry, and approximately how long do the rides take? i think it would be nice to be on the olympic side, but i keep a relatively busy schedule, and i don't know if i want to be sitting idle for hours(?) at a time. but i definitely want to go across to ride around the peninsula on the weekends.
    Kitsap is the peninsula between the mainland (Seattle) and the Olympic Peninsula. If you live in Bremerton, it's a 1 hour ferry ride (blegh). Ferry info is available here. Bremerton-Seattle is an hour each way, clocks in at $7.70 daily with a bike; Bainbridge and Vashon to/from downtown Seattle are both 35 minutes each way - Bainbridge costs $7.70 daily and Vashon is $9.70 daily. Also note Vashon has NO land connection, so you will automatically be hated by everyone who lives on the Kitsap Peninsula if you ever take the Southworth/Vashon/Fauntleroy ferry, but will have first priority going to the Island, generally.

    If you just want to go riding for long periods on the weekends, you might be better off in North Seattle with weekend jaunts to the Peninsula.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Old_Fart's Avatar
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    Here's a link to the ferries' home page. You should be able to find all pricing and schedule info. The boats go several places and the times are all different. The ferry system here is the most extensive in the US. WSDOT Ferries site

    You can see some of the available housing here by looking at Seattle.craigslist.com or the Seattle Times website.
    Be forewarned; you're not going to get the best deals unless you're really quick and lucky. A lot of the best rentals never get listed. Demand for affordable rent is high and property owners only need to put a sign in the window to get people lining up to rent. Many of the neighborhoods have papers with want ads, too. The West Seattle Herald is one that has rental listings. If you don't have good friends and/or co-workers to help you network and find a cheap place, you might be smart to just get a place for a month or three just so you can get the lay of the land and find a place to stay longer.

    I live in West Seattle near Alki Beach and it takes me a bit over 30 minutes to bike the 10 miles to downtown, mostly along the water, bike trails or lanes the whole way. West Seattle is a nice area and has lots of parks for the young-uns, etc. but is not well connected with the other neighborhoods because of the geography. The North side of town has Ballard, Fremont, Wallingford, the University District, Greenlake, and more, all in a row, so you can get to a lot of stuff easy on a bike. Plus, there must be at least 20 bike shops between Ballard and the U-District. When I sell my condo I'll most likely get a small house in that area.

    Charles and Wright Bros... I just came across my Wright Bros member ship card. I bought it at least 25 years ago and haven't used it since the last time I lived in Fremont more than 20 years ago.

  16. #16
    On my TARDIScycle! KingTermite's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by roderage View Post
    hello seattle. i'm moving to seattle at the end of oct. with my girl and our three y.o. son. i was wondering if anyone has any tips on cheap livin', bike commutin', bike shops (not bike dealers). i want to find somewhere close to downtown (within 10 miles) since i ride bikes exclusively. thanks in advance....
    Gosh...another one?

    I just moved here from TampaBay in May.

    You will find it much more expensive here (living wise), but pay is higher too though, so its a wash. If anything you make out better because outside of rent/mortgage, most other things are not thaaaat much more expensive.

    I was here for a week doing "house hunting" - looking for a house to rent. I had no intention of buying until I "knew" the area. I got pretty lucky to find a decent sized house with fenced back yard for $1300/mo (Bellevue). Seattle might be slightly different (up or down, not sure which).

    As for Bike shops, many people rave about Gregg's cycles. They have 3 shops I think, but their main one (I've never been to) is in Seattle I believe (PM Bekologist for info, he works for Gregg's).
    Quote Originally Posted by coffeecake View Post
    - it's pretty well established that Hitler was an *******.

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