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  1. #1
    bill nyecycles the sci guy's Avatar
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    It's official, I'm moving to Houston. Where should I live, bike, explore, go, eat, do

    Wife got her job offer. We're going! Her job will be in west Houston, and I'm hoping to get into a school to teach around there, or in Katy as well.

    If anyone has ANY info about the western Houston area such as places to live (apartments to start, can't buy house yet), good neighborhoods, bad neighborhoods, where is good biking, etc etc, we'd be super appreciative!
    emphasis on places to live. as we'll be making the move rather quickly.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Senior Member texbiker's Avatar
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    I can't speak to the living places but if you are looking for road bike information I have to plug my website. There are several clubs in the west side: Houston Bicycle Club, NorthWest Cycling Club, Houston Cycling Club on Meetup.com. For mountain biking GHORBA.org has lots of information.

  3. #3
    bill nyecycles the sci guy's Avatar
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    west is good. that's where she will be working. and hopefully me too. so thats where we plan on trying to find a place to live.

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    A lot can depend where you want to be in relation to jobs to deal with traffic. Are you looking straight out west like Katy, or northwest (Cypress) southwest (Sugar Land)? Or not so far out in the suburbs?

    If you're talking Katy area there's lots of riders going west towards Fulshear area on the weekends. Other places are George Bush/Terry Hershey park if you want to run MUPs.

  5. #5
    Senior Member George's Avatar
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    A lot of riders here ride to Fulshear and branch out from there. If I were you I would look around Cinco Ranch, for a place to live. 2 bedroom apartments go for around $850 to $1000 a month. You'll have to drive around as there are to many to list. Maybe a realtor could show you some. Anyhow great place to ride and live. There are a lot of new people here, from all over the country.
    George

  6. #6
    Uber Goober StephenH's Avatar
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    The Houston randonneuring routes generally start in Brookshire and go west or north from there, if that helps any. Be prepared for major humidity with heat, I don't know how it compares to Tennessee, though, so you may be good there. But figure a Camelbak's probably a good idea for anything over 20 miles.
    "be careful this rando stuff is addictive and dan's the 'pusher'."

  7. #7
    Senior Member AusTexMurf's Avatar
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    Central as you can.
    I like The Heights the best, now.
    Or,
    Washington Ave ?

  8. #8
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    Like most major cities these days, Houston has terrible traffic, when you say West I assume you're talking Energy Corridor. So you have many options; Memorial - central West, closer in, older homes, lovely mature neighborhoods, typically a little more expensive; Cypress - NorthWest, newer master-planned communities, good schools, longer drive; Sugarland - SouthEast, otherwise see Cypress; Cinco Ranch/Katy - West, otherwise same as Cypress & Sugarland. All have good options for apartments, lost of housing at various price points and generally good schools.

    As people have said above, the roads around Fulshear are probably the best cycling on the West side that's close to Houston and rideable from Katy/Cinco. For better riding on the West/NorthWest side you'll have to drive around an hour plus to places like - Chappell Hill, New Ulm, Fayetteville, etc. There are weekend and weekday rides from many of the bikeshops, which is always a good way to meet people and discover cycling routes, or better still join a club. I ride with SouthWest Cycling, which works for me, but you have plenty of options.

  9. #9
    bill nyecycles the sci guy's Avatar
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    yes we will be living in the energy corridor area. her place of work is cardinal west of houston, right off the outer loop. we're hoping to find an apartment right around there to start out with, and get the lay of the land.

    i applied to work in Katy, hopefully someone will give me an interview. It's more suburban there, right? Less packed and layered apartments and concrete jungle around every corner?

  10. #10
    Senior Member rebel1916's Avatar
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    Many people say, that the worst thing about Texas is Texans. They are wrong. And mean spirited. The worst thing about Texas is Houston.

  11. #11
    bill nyecycles the sci guy's Avatar
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    sweet can't wait to live there...


    (care to elaborate as to why? is it really worse than Dallas/Irving/Ft Worth?)

  12. #12
    Senior Member rebel1916's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by the sci guy View Post
    sweet can't wait to live there...


    (care to elaborate as to why? is it really worse than Dallas/Irving/Ft Worth?)
    I haven't been there for a while, but it is hot, flat, sprawling, segregated, oil is king, and Sugarland.

    Houston and Austin are the only places I've spent anytime in, in texas. I spent a few hours in Dallas once on a long layover. I remember only a bar and an expensive cab ride.

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    As many have said, if she is working in the Energy Corridor, you want to be off of I-10 somewhere. Forget about 290...it is about to be under construction for the next ten years and your wife will hate you if you make her drive on it or near it to get to work. Since you said apartments to begin with...take a look around Eldridge and Briarforest...there are some decent apartments there and you can get onto the Terry Hershey trail and go west through George Bush Park to Fry Road for about a 28 mile round trip without having to worry about traffic. It is also convenient to the Energy Corridor and is only about a 15 minute drive from places further west where you can park and ride in the Katy/Brookshire/Fulshear area.

    On the other hand, Cinco Ranch also has some decent apartments and depending on where you pick, you might be able to ride from your door to the Fulshear area roads with only moderate traffic. The downside is it will be a longer commute for your wife (but not alot longer). Bike Barn in Katy has quite a few group rides, and they at least used to have a set of route maps on the wall in the shop...haven't been there in a while, so I am not sure if they still do.

  14. #14
    bill nyecycles the sci guy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by txags92 View Post
    As many have said, if she is working in the Energy Corridor, you want to be off of I-10 somewhere. Forget about 290...it is about to be under construction for the next ten years and your wife will hate you if you make her drive on it or near it to get to work. Since you said apartments to begin with...take a look around Eldridge and Briarforest...there are some decent apartments there and you can get onto the Terry Hershey trail and go west through George Bush Park to Fry Road for about a 28 mile round trip without having to worry about traffic. It is also convenient to the Energy Corridor and is only about a 15 minute drive from places further west where you can park and ride in the Katy/Brookshire/Fulshear area.

    On the other hand, Cinco Ranch also has some decent apartments and depending on where you pick, you might be able to ride from your door to the Fulshear area roads with only moderate traffic. The downside is it will be a longer commute for your wife (but not alot longer). Bike Barn in Katy has quite a few group rides, and they at least used to have a set of route maps on the wall in the shop...haven't been there in a while, so I am not sure if they still do.
    glad i checked this forum tonight! haha thanks!
    We are looking in that entire area from between the outer loop and george bush park (the whole westchase, memorial, briar forest, eldridge section). Basically anything south of I-10 to the Westpark Tollway.
    We're trying to find some house/condo/townhouse to rent instead of a straight up apartment, but the pickings are slim, and houston is apparently way more expensive that i was anticipating.
    i've already made note of the terry hershey/buffalo bayou trail that goes up and down both sides and towards GB park. can't wait to hit that. (where would be public places to park to start from if we don't get a property real close by?)

    there is a house in the west lake village area of katy we are considering - honestly, what would her commute be like going from there to the briarforest area? how is I-10 in the morning/afternoon? I've heard is suicide inducingly terrible. Truth? So-so? We're trying to keep her commute <20 minutes.

    Thanks for the info, and please share any other tips/knowledge you have! we're moving sight unseen from Knoxville, so we literally are just going to show up and say - we're here!

  15. #15
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    The area south of I-10 between Westheimer and I-10, and between Fry and Beltway 8 can be pretty expensive to find a house/townhouse in. North of I-10 can be cheaper and you can find some good neighborhoods, but there are also a few areas you don't really want to live in as well, so look carefully. If you are looking at houses to rent, I would look in the Cinco Ranch area. Also, keep in mind that the energy corridor is just very hot for real estate right now, because there is alot of hiring going on. So the prices you see there may not reflect the rest of town. If you can accept a longer commute, you might find more for your money elsewhere in town.

    Honestly, how bad the commute is really depends on what road you get on I-10 at and which road you are exiting at and what time you are driving. Obviously the worst traffic is from about 7-8am and 5-6pm, and certain areas can be very slow. If you can work a flexible schedule and come in at 830 or 9 and leave at 6, you miss alot of traffic. Same goes for going and leaving early.

    I commute from Barker Cypress at West Little York down to Eldridge at Enclave, and if I leave at 730, it will take me 45-60 minutes, with most of the traffic occurring on Barker Cypress before I get to I-10. If I leave at 8, I can get there in about 30 minutes. The worst traffic on I-10 is from Highway 6 to just after Eldridge inbound and from Kirkwood to Eldridge outbound. So it her commute will allow her to avoid those areas at peak rush hour times, traffic won't be a big deal. Even at peak times, it is just slow...not anything super stressful or anything.

    As for the trails, there are several places to park and then ride the trail. There are parking lots at BW8 north of Briar Forest, Memorial between Eldridge and Hwy 6, along Hwy 6 north of Briar Forest (2 lots), and you can park at the Constable's annex just east of I-10 and Barker Cypress. There is also a lot down in George Bush Park that can be accessed from the south off of Westheimer Parkway near the gun range. If you are on a road bike and want to cruise, the George Bush Park section of the trail from Hwy 6 to Fry road is where you want to be. It is more open, smoother, and less crowded with walkers, joggers, and people walking pets and kids. If you park at the lot at Briar Forest and Hwy 6 and ride the trail out to Fry Road and back, it is a little short of a 25 mile round trip. The section east of Hwy 6 to beltway 8 is curvier, more wooded, and the pavement has more cracks and uneven areas in it. It also gets alot more traffic from joggers and folks walking kids and pets, so you end up slowing down alot. There is also a great area for mountain biking along that section too.

    Good luck and welcome to Houston!

  16. #16
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    Oh, and without more specifics, I can't say the specific commute from Westlake Village...where along Briar Forest will she be going? If it is at Eldridge and Briar Forest, you would probably be looking at around 20-30 minutes non peak and maybe 30-40 mins peak depending on how far north you are from I-10.

  17. #17
    bill nyecycles the sci guy's Avatar
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    this is awesome info, very helpful. thank you! her work is basically just about to the outer loop (rt 8)

    you are definitely way north of where the place in katy was we saw. i have browsed cinco ranch, but mostly the stuff in that and the katy area are above the $1200/month limit we have set. also, getting from cinco ranch to to I-10 looks like a nightmare, and it looks like the only other option would be taking westheimer through the park, and i'm willing to bet that's packed as well...

    i'll be showing your post to the wifey tonight!

  18. #18
    Senior Member dougmc's Avatar
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    If you're looking for a big social ride, Houston has a 2000+ rider lately (so I've heard, anyways) Critical Mass ride on the last Friday of each month.

    It's definitely amateur hour, however, so it might not be your thing. Still, it's something to see ...

  19. #19
    bill nyecycles the sci guy's Avatar
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    lol i'd still call myself an amateur. According to my Garmin I only average about 13-14 mph average on my rides on the greenway. that's for about a 14 mile round trip. I'm not sure I could keep up with a good small ride group yet. i've only been back into biking since march.

  20. #20
    Senior Member dougmc's Avatar
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    Critical Mass is slow. You'd have no problems keeping up. By amateur hour, I mean there's a bunch of people who just don't really know how to ride. But it's very neat seeing bikes everywhere too ...

  21. #21
    Hook 'Em Horns
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    If the traffic on I-10 is really terrible, you can get a toll tag and drive in the HOV lanes even with a single occupant. The section between the 610 loop and Katy was re-done about 6 or 7 years ago and the HOV/Toll lanes are 2 lanes wide along with the freeway being 4-5 lanes wide.

    Houston in general is not the best for riding in town but there's some really great riding just west of the exurbs. Scenic towns and farms, hills to the NW, flat to the SW. Fulshear to El Campo and back is the flattest 200K I have ever done. By contrast, the area around Fayetteville is pretty hilly.

    Yes, it's hot and humid in the summertime, but riding in the early morning is not too unpleasant. I am from Oregon originally but I've been down here in Texas for 24 years, the first few in Houston and the last 21 in Austin. You get used to the heat to some degree. I hated the summer at first but now it's merely inconvenient. I even go ride in the middle of the afternoon on days when it's pushing 100 if that's the only free time I have. Just what I have to do to get a ride in sometimes.

    Fall, winter and spring riding is usually excellent so long as it's not raining. Sometimes it gets really windy when the cold fronts sweep down, but the temperatures are rarely what any northerner would consider "cold".

    There's a large cycling scene in Houston and the local MS150 ride is a big deal, usually sees 11-13K riders. Goes one way to Austin. It's a good time if you don't mind large rides.

  22. #22
    bill nyecycles the sci guy's Avatar
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    i've never done group rides at all before - just getting back into biking earlier this year. but might be something i'd be interested in.
    and I'm originally form syracuse, NY, the lake effect snow capital of the country...so i know allllll about northern cold haha. i'm happy to be rid of the snow. bring on the year-round doing of stuff!

  23. #23
    Senior Member Fangowolf's Avatar
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    Sorry to just be seeing this. I live in Jersey Village (Beltway 8 and 290). Highway 290 is going through a 4 year rebuild phase just FYI. The best place to ride on the west side is Terry Hershey park\George Bush Park. Here is a ride with a strava map of the route. The path is longer than this by another 4 miles or so. http://app.strava.com/activities/69542130

    The last month they have been building a new path connected to our subdivision following the bayou to a large spillway. It looks like around 2 miles around the spillway and its four miles to get there, so we are excited. Call up google maps like you want directions to someplace and click the bicycle icon to see bike routes in Houston.

    BikeMap.jpg

    PS that bike route goes through the energy corridor, and you will get ALOT of house for your money here.
    Last edited by Fangowolf; 07-30-13 at 02:55 PM.

  24. #24
    Senior Member Fangowolf's Avatar
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    GoodJoob txags92. Leave it to an aggie to help out. I'm class of '87 myself.

    SciGuy I grew up in Dallas and have lived here in Houston for 23 years. Houston is a nice place to live. There are some things to be aware of. There are no real zoning laws in Houston. If you buy a house make sure there are no empty lots around the house, you have no idea what can be built there. The best house search engine is har.com http://har.com/ The top three school districts are Katy, CyFair and probaly Kingwood/Humble. My better half works in the Energy corridor. She leaves at 6 AM and it takes her 20 minutes to get there from Jersey Village. If she can get flexible hours it can help with the drives. Tons of good restraunts, that I'm an expert on lol... If you need help with something or an area yell.

  25. #25
    bill nyecycles the sci guy's Avatar
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    aye! I have been using the bicycle function on google maps for a while - it was one of the first things i did when i knew for sure we were heading to houston.
    that square area to the right of GB park is where we will be living - someplace in there. can't wait to bike on there. is it all paved? and where are the best public parking spots since we may not live right near the park?

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