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Old 02-17-09, 04:42 PM   #1
Pedalandshift
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Moving to Triangle Area NC

Hey folks,
My wife and I are moving to the Triangle Area this summer. Wife will be working at UNC CH while I will be gainfully unemployed
So far my reconnaissance leaves me with mixed impressions of the road biking scene. CH seems way too crowded. Durham and Hillsborough might be promising. Being from New England I'm used to slow rolling two lane roads, mostly, with little to moderate traffic. We're pretty flexible about where we live, just need to be a reasonable commute away from UNC.

Any thoughts or input are greatly appreciated.

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Old 02-17-09, 05:06 PM   #2
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I left there 15 years ago and thought it was crowded then! I go back to visit friends every so often and am appalled by how much it has changed. That said, there is good riding to the south of town in Chatham County or north above Hillsboro. I'll let those living there now add what they can about details. I see groups of riders out on roads around CH but damn if I would ride out there. I'll be down there in 10 days for a ride in Johnston County east of Raleigh. Coming from Western NC, I just not used to the traffic anymore.
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Old 02-18-09, 12:12 PM   #3
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Depends on the atmosphere you want to live in. Carrboro and Chapel Hill are great culture wise, but crowded traffic wise. I would personally live North of Hillsborough or west of Chapel Hill.

I would also get out of Orange County (go west to Chatham or Alamance) and save some taxes.

I live in Burlington for what it's worth. If I had to pick a place to live and commute to Chapel Hill, I would personally pick Saxapahaw. There's not much there, but kind of cute and there are festivals every week on Saturday there (small farmers market and bands; free and relaxing). Also, I used to live in Cary and Morrisville. I would not want to live there now, and if you went any further south or east it would be a longer commute for your wife. Going north of Raleigh can be ok, but that would be a much longer commute. I have never lived around Durham, and have only ridden around there two or three time, so I don't have much info on it other than I don't want to live there.

FYI, if you can live in Burlington or Alamance County or such, you have a much shorter drive to the mountains than if you lived in the Triangle area itself; 3 hours to Asheville is much more tempting than 4 hours.
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Old 02-18-09, 08:05 PM   #4
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I'm in Durham and work at UNC. There are two different express buses to take from Durham to Chapel Hill which are nice for those who don't want to pay too much for parking on campus. I also do a little bit of bike commuting when I'm not in a hurry. I lived Chapel Hill for a bit, but found it a bit too undergrad dominated and not super interesting, but since leaving have found some better places. Durham just seemed a bit more interesting and city-like.

As far as the road biking, It takes about 15 minutes to get to some pretty quiet riding roads from where I live. The one thing I miss is a few good hills. There is a bike co-op which is a good place to meet nice folks. They are more the tinkerer/singlespeeders than the road bikers. There seems to be more of a roadie culture in Chapel Hill.
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Old 02-18-09, 08:40 PM   #5
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my bf lives in RDU and we've found better mountain biking than roadbiking in the area. The couple of times we've riden in the triangle, the traffic was horrid and the groups had almost no respect for the rules of the roadway. You may want to check out the mountain bike scene when you move down here.
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Old 02-18-09, 08:41 PM   #6
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4hr drive to WNC isn't bad. regularly made from clayton.
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Old 02-18-09, 08:42 PM   #7
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my bf lives in RDU and we've found better mountain biking than roadbiking in the area. The couple of times we've riden in the triangle, the traffic was horrid and the groups had almost no respect for the rules of the roadway. You may want to check out the mountain bike scene when you move down here.
come to johnston county to ride. flat roads, low traffic (depending on where you ride). of course, when BWNC was here in december, he thought the traffic was heavy and i thought it was normal.
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Old 02-18-09, 10:58 PM   #8
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come to johnston county to ride. flat roads, low traffic (depending on where you ride). of course, when BWNC was here in december, he thought the traffic was heavy and i thought it was normal.
It was only heavy around Clayton but once out onto the country roads it was quite nice. I'm coming back down there soon to ride again am I not? I need some flat roads to ride every now and then.
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Old 02-19-09, 08:10 AM   #9
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It was only heavy around Clayton but once out onto the country roads it was quite nice. I'm coming back down there soon to ride again am I not? I need some flat roads to ride every now and then.
well, yea, you are coming back down to ride next week. it'll be great having you down here to pull me around for the FBT.
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Old 02-19-09, 11:33 AM   #10
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Clayton would be a horrible commute to Chapel Hill. I grew up in Durham County. It's changed alot, and I'm not comfortable riding on the roads where I rode regularly in the 80s. There are too many shopping centers and subdivisions with associated traffic that have crept up. I used to ride down past Jordan Lake quite a bit, and that's still very nice, but getting there can be dicey at times.

South of Chapel Hill in Chatham County has grown extensively and there's lots of traffic now, although it used to be very quiet.

Saxapawhaw and the surrounding area west of Chapel Hill would be a good place to consider if you don't mind being a bit isolated. Hillsborough is nice, too, and has a downtown with at least one coffee shop last time I was there. The traffic is light and there are some gentle rolling hills.

If I were to move back to the area, personally I would look in Durham near downtown (Trinity Park), or in Carrboro (just west of Chapel Hill). But that's just me.
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Old 02-19-09, 11:46 AM   #11
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well, i wasn't sayin move to clayton. i was just commenting on the awesomeness of riding in that area.
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Old 02-19-09, 08:07 PM   #12
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come to johnston county to ride. flat roads, low traffic (depending on where you ride). of course, when BWNC was here in december, he thought the traffic was heavy and i thought it was normal.
Sounds good. I'll believe when I see it, though!
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Old 02-19-09, 08:13 PM   #13
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let me know...come on out and ride, i can promise you it will be low traffic.

hey - come out next saturday (2/28) and ride the frostbite tour with me & Andy. he can pull both of us around the metric route then!!
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Old 02-19-09, 08:15 PM   #14
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oh...gahhh....a metric? I'm SO not in shape for that.
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Old 02-19-09, 08:47 PM   #15
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you'd be fine....Andy is gonna be pulling me around all day. and, it's mostly flat. mostly.
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Old 02-19-09, 08:47 PM   #16
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humph...
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Old 02-19-09, 09:01 PM   #17
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LOL. I'm pulling if you're riding my pace. Might be slower than you're used to.

Edit. Come on out Liz, I'm way out of shape right now too.
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Old 02-20-09, 08:52 AM   #18
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well, i wasn't sayin move to clayton. i was just commenting on the awesomeness of riding in that area.
Yes, but the OP not being familiar with the area could have figured that Clayton would be the perfect place to live, which would not be the case in this situation. So I was clarifying for the OP, not for those of us who know that a Clayton-CH commute would be a horrible situation to be in.
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Old 02-21-09, 07:44 AM   #19
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Hey folks,
My wife and I are moving to the Triangle Area this summer. Wife will be working at UNC CH while I will be gainfully unemployed
So far my reconnaissance leaves me with mixed impressions of the road biking scene. CH seems way too crowded. Durham and Hillsborough might be promising. Being from New England I'm used to slow rolling two lane roads, mostly, with little to moderate traffic. We're pretty flexible about where we live, just need to be a reasonable commute away from UNC.

Any thoughts or input are greatly appreciated.
Welcome to your wife and you to NC. Seriously, plan a weekend this spring/summer to head to the western parts of NC to do some rides. There are a number of organized rides and also miles of roads to make you think you're back in NE on lovely 2 lane rural roads with terrific views. Sometimes climbing to the get to the views can be a challenge but they're well worth the effort. Between BikeWNC and others we can probably put you on some nice roads. I too used to ride in the Triangle area but it was so long ago it was in the days of 3 speed bikes. I can only imagine what the roads are like today.
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Old 02-21-09, 10:54 AM   #20
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Hey jppe, missed you on the Harrisburg ride a couple weeks ago. It was a nice warm day for a ride.

Pedalandshift, does your wife ride? Regardless, we often get a few forum members together for a ride out here in WNC. Lots of climbing if that's what you're into. We're not a fast group but we ride often.
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Old 02-21-09, 07:02 PM   #21
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maybe we could possibly think about putting together another BFSE ride this fall in WNC.....
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Old 02-23-09, 04:35 PM   #22
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Somewhere in this thread, someone posted that the traffic in the Triangle was bad. Someone else posted that all the places they rode in the 80's are now congested.

Well, duh!

Ride from the north edge of Durham, Raleigh, ride north.
Ride from the west side of Chapel Hill or Durham, ride west (avoid Burlington & Graham).
Ride from the south side of Chapel Hill, Apex, Fuquay, ride south.
Ride from the southeast side of Clayton, ride southeast or south or east.
Ride from east side of Raleigh, Zebulon, Knightdale, ride east (avoiding Wake Forest).

No flipping traffic.
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Old 02-23-09, 06:12 PM   #23
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Hey jppe, missed you on the Harrisburg ride a couple weeks ago. It was a nice warm day for a ride.

Pedalandshift, does your wife ride? Regardless, we often get a few forum members together for a ride out here in WNC. Lots of climbing if that's what you're into. We're not a fast group but we ride often.
Well-I was actually there! I don't live that far away and just rode over to the start from my house. I registered, talked to some folks at the front of the part and rolled off a couple minutes ahead of the mass start as I was too lazy to ride to the back of the park. I eased along waiting for the group to come up. I've done that route lots and didn't pay any attention to the signs........I didn't realize they had reversed the direction!! By the time I was back on the route I had about 5 extra miles and was pretty well behind most folks. The last 20 miles kicked me pretty good as we had a pretty good headwind along with some good rollers. I wound up with about 90 miles for the day. Glad you got to come down this way to get in a ride in the flat lands!
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Old 02-23-09, 06:35 PM   #24
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Yes, the Triangle cities proper are quite congested and not really suitable for riding, for the most part. However, if one accepts that they must get out of town a ways, whether they live out there or drive there to ride, then the riding is really nice - in all four directions. I especially like the area North of Durham because there are some hills, and frankly the Northern countryside areas are beautiful. But, the riding is very good in all four quadrants. My advice, live where you and your better half desire but, resign yourself to getting out of town to ride. Nothing wrong with that as its becoming more the norm in today's society as the bigger cities continue to get more congested.

That Harrisburg ride was very nice. And that lead group was very fast. BikeWNC and I almost missed a turn or two ourselves but, we caught it at the last second. We were used to seeing road markings, not small signs stuck up beside the road. We had to get used to this. But it was a great route and just the right amount of distance for this time of year.
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Old 03-08-09, 01:09 AM   #25
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Cary, Cary, Cary

We moved down here a year and a half ago. We lved in Durham then moved to Cary. In my opinion Cary, Apex and North Raleigh are the way to go due to better roads, healthier people and great paved and unpaved trails. Plus if you have or will have kids Wake schools are some of the best in the country.
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