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Old 08-16-08, 12:36 PM   #1
12bar
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Seattle Weather

I have been offered a job in the Seattle area and am trying to decide what to do. I live in Florida now and we can ride all year can the same be said for the Seattle area?
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Old 08-16-08, 12:51 PM   #2
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yep but you have to be waterproof

as long as you are not deterred by rain then you can pretty much ride all year round as it does not snow or ice over that much in seattlesville
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Old 08-16-08, 02:47 PM   #3
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Its been in the 90's for the last three days but if you go to www.king5.com and click on the weather you can see it doesn't last too long around here and the humidity level is much less than you are used to in Florida. That said I moved here in 1978 from Ohio where it can get Florida hot and humid and Alaska cold in the Winter. I nearly froze that first winter here because of the rain and while the temps in the winter here are not like Ohio it seemed to me to be colder bacause it was damp and cold (make sense?) Yeah it rains here but when its clear and warm like it has been the last few days it makes you forget all about the rain the other 9 months of the year. Oh yeah and if it isn't raining in the winter its usually cloudy and so that makes it seem pretty dismal. Also being so far north it gets dark around 4:00 pm in the winter and doesn't get full light till 8:00 or so in the morning. Good raingear is essential here. Still thinking about that job offer?
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Old 08-16-08, 03:52 PM   #4
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Yep. Raingear. And fenders, they keep the crud off your back and your face. Unless, of course, you're the crud-lovin' kinda person.

You'll find that the rains here are usually constant drizzles, with some downpours every once in a while. And, it's unusual to have a thunderstorm (thunder/lightening). There is typically one week of 32F (freezing) weather. Last year was atypical, in many ways, but notibly for me the March freeze was a "wtf" moment.
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Old 08-16-08, 04:45 PM   #5
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FL to WA - I'd be concerned about all the other changes more than biking.
gulf stream vs alaskan current
thunderstorms followed by sunshine vs perpetual gray
frequent rain vs frequent drizzle

I'm not knocking the PNW (summers can't be beat, winter skiing close, great people) but it's different.
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Old 08-16-08, 06:21 PM   #6
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for a sure a big change in everything. If you can't handle the grey weather its not the best place. You will lose more sunglasses than you can believe for the simple reason that you might use them for a week or a day and put them somewhere and forget them and have to buy a new pair. I will tell you though that when the sun is glistening off the Sound and the mountain is out its hard to believe most of the year the weather is so crummy. If I didn't have a full time job and bikes and guitars go keep me going in the winter I would stab myself in the forehead with a dull knife. When I retire we will spend at least 3 weeks in Feb. somwhere warm and sunny. Its ok until after the holidays then the realization sets in that its at least 3 months before there will be any kind of improvement. If you ski then you are in luck we have lots of places to ski but then again be prepared for rain at anytime anywhere even in the passes.
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Old 08-16-08, 07:26 PM   #7
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Let's put it this way.

Many of us ride all year around, but we know the value of dressing properly for the weather, and we are not bothered by rain .

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Old 08-16-08, 09:22 PM   #8
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Yes, you can ride all year in Seattle. You just need to dress properly, and you'll benefit from owning a bike with fenders for the winter (or put fenders on in the winter).

The other thing I'd add is that if you like to climb you'll find the terrain here much more varied than in Florida (at least based on my experience in Florida). You can ride in cities, along the coast, on islands, on rolling hills, or up in and around the mountains. I personally think the scenery makes up for the amount of climbing you have to do (or getting a bit wet in the winter).
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Old 08-17-08, 01:48 PM   #9
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another big difference from florida is how early it gets dark here (in the winter) - as early as 4:15 PM or so! but on the positive side, during summer we get sunsets at about 10 PM.

and as others have mentioned, the rain around here is in the misty form instead of heavy. and it lasts for about a week or two instead of a few hours. it can get pretty cold obviously - 30's & rain are interesting to ride in! showers pass jackets are good, and "seal skinz" seem to work well too.

while the winters are a bit tough (for me, as someone from florida), and the water is always cold, it's still a great area to ride/live in.

and as bengeboy mentioned, the terrain is much more interesting!
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Old 08-17-08, 02:06 PM   #10
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I can handle the cold and rain and would look forward to the terrain but I am a little worried about the cloudy and grey for extended periods of time, I really appreciate everyones input.
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Old 08-17-08, 02:30 PM   #11
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I can handle the cold and rain and would look forward to the terrain but I am a little worried about the cloudy and grey for extended periods of time

My personal experience is that this bothers some people a little, some people a lot.

One solution is to get out of the lowland drizzle and go up into the mountains and enjoy the snow during the winter. If it's raining in town (Seattle), that means it's snowy up in the mountains.

I found that when I moved here that going up into the mountains for some snow-shoeing or skiing makes winter much more bearable....also, if you go east of the mountains, it will be clearer and snowier.
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Old 08-17-08, 02:48 PM   #12
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+1 on the getting out of the lowlands and into the snow.
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Old 08-17-08, 10:09 PM   #13
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I was there 8 years and I couldn't handle the grey. I know some love it though.
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Old 08-18-08, 06:26 AM   #14
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I was there 8 years and I couldn't handle the grey. I know some love it though.
I don't love it but deal with it.
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Old 08-18-08, 08:06 AM   #15
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Moved out here from Miami in 1995, can't wait to get back to Florida. You can make a much better living here, and the people are really cool, but you will never get used to the gray, you just work around it the best way you can, and I commute by bike to work everyday.
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Old 08-18-08, 09:50 AM   #16
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Moved out here from Miami in 1995, can't wait to get back to Florida. You can make a much better living here, and the people are really cool, but you will never get used to the gray, you just work around it the best way you can, and I commute by bike to work everyday.
I think it has a lot to do with what you grew up with, and this is a great example. I grew up in the Seattle area and the cloudy days and such don't bother me at all. I can certainly see how it'd be a huge change for someone from another part of the country though.
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Old 08-18-08, 09:57 AM   #17
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I grew up here and couldn't deal with the grey after 20+ years 6 years in CA and I'm just now getting to the point where I can sorta appreciate occasional rain. Except the wicked thunderstorm saturday night made me wonder if I'd be able to go for my bike ride yesterday

Going up to get some snow every weekend or two is a really good idea though; I never really skiied back when I lived here.
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Old 08-18-08, 11:38 AM   #18
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Tanning beds. Seriously.

If you can't deal with the grey, get yourself to a tanning bed for 5 minutes a few times a week. Or get yourself one of those fancy "lightbox" lamps that crank out full spectrum lighting. When it's grey for 15 straight days at a time, I hit the tanning bed for about 2 minutes a day, 3 days a week.
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Old 08-18-08, 12:32 PM   #19
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i don't think the gray-factor is that bad around here...

i moved up here from 'bama, and before that from key west, FL.

sure i miss the sunny skies in winter, but the summers out here are much more enjoyable than in FL/Bama (not as hot/humid). also, we barely have mosquitos! those things rule FL from what i recall..

anyway it ain't so bad out here! the terrain makes up for any bad weather i think (although if you don't like hills... this might not be the area for you)
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Old 08-18-08, 02:19 PM   #20
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I take St. John's Wort from October until May. I ride year 'round.
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Old 08-18-08, 08:05 PM   #21
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T'would seem to be a trade-off between riding hot, humid, flat terrain in the Florida summers versus riding in cold, gray, wet winters of Washington. If flat terrain is a positive for you and not a negative, then it would seem you'd be better off staying in Florida. The continuous days (sometimes weeks) of not seeing the sun can indeed get to you if you didn't grow up in the Northwest. I have moved away on a couple of occasions and then moved back and have personally experienced the depression that can result from the lack of seeing our star for extended periods of time. I now live up here just during the summer months--when everything is green, the days are long, and the weather is usually terriffic. BTW, it was cloudy and rained all day today.
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Old 08-19-08, 03:53 PM   #22
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There are two downsides, and only these two, to living here: traffic and weather. If you won't commute by car, and if gray skies don't bother you, then Seattle is pretty much THE place to be. However, if you can't stand bumper to bumper traffic, or not seeing the Sun for literally weeks at a time, you will move back after a couple of years...
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Old 08-19-08, 05:33 PM   #23
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I moved a few miles west of Seattle (Bremerton) in March of the late 60's from N Idaho. It literally rained for 40 days straight! Once I bought some rain gear AND realized I didn't have to shovel rain, I was OK.
On the rare occasion that it does snow, it's usually melted the next day.
IF you like to snow ski, it's within about an hour.
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Old 08-19-08, 08:40 PM   #24
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Tanning beds. Seriously.
Interesting, I didn't know that tanning beds did the same thing that a lightbox would. Of course I still dislike having to plan my bike rides between storms (it's August, people!!) but I think the psychological component of the weather was more difficult for me than the practical component.

The weather and the traffic truly are the only real downsides up here. I went for a ride up in the hills this evening and I always forget how beautiful the scenery is.
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Old 08-20-08, 08:42 PM   #25
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I have been offered a job in the Seattle area and am trying to decide what to do. I live in Florida now and we can ride all year can the same be said for the Seattle area?
I ride with a group that rides Tue/Thu night year round when it's dry (I frankly don't want to be involved in group rides if it's wet, nor do the other ride leaders). We generally average one ride per week from Nov-Mar, though some years it's much drier and other years we might not ride for 3 weeks. During the winter, I ride on my trainer or rollers, ski (great way to be outside), play soccer, or do other things that don't involve riding in the rain. If I get about 2 weeks without riding, I'll go out for a ride on my rain bike (which I don't really like). Some people commute year round - I'm close enough to work that it's too easy to drive.

The dark (light at 7AM, dark by 5PM) and grey gets to some people, and doesn't to others.
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