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Utility Cycling Want to haul groceries, beer, maybe even your kids? You don't have to live car free to put your bike to use as a workhorse. Here's the place to share and learn about the bicycle as a utility vehicle.

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Old 04-30-06, 04:58 PM   #26
sfcrossrider
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian_1
Not a new topic, but just inquiring here:
If you had to name one or two of your favorite places to live a lifestyle based upon the following criteria, what places would you choose?
1.bike friendly
2.weather friendly
3.least volume of motor vehicle traffic
4.cultural activities
5.access to creative shopping and diverse places to eat out
6.culturally diverse populace
7.diverse housing stock of moderate cost homes and/or rentals
8.average to above average air quality

Corrected 6. Thank you for pointing out the error and yes, it was stupid as it originally read!

San Francisco.

I've lived in Austin, New York City, and Houston (not as bad as you would think) and San Francisco is WITH OUT A DOUBT THE BEST.

1. Bike friendly? Home of C-Mass baby.
2. Weather. It's fall year round. This gets strange in the summer when it's 56, but you deal.
3. Nor-Cal is the birth place of the mountain bike.
4. Parks, parks, and did I say parks.
5. I also surf and we got that in spades (if you've got the wetsuit and the upper body for it).
6. Hills that would make a CAT2 racer puke.
7. The city is seven miles by seven miles. Makes for a quick bike ride, if you can take the hills.
8. Culture? F^&*ing please.
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Old 05-01-06, 01:52 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BearsPaw
I don't know about diverse, but if the OP meant approximately equal numbers of males and females, read this:

http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/...cb01cn181.html

Alaska has 107 males for every female and Philly has 86 males for every female.
I don't think so. From the web site:"..male-female
ratio (the number who were male times 100 divided by the number who were
female) ..."

100 means equal numbers of men and women, >100 means more men than women, <100 means fewer men than women. So your post should read "Alaska has 107 males for every 100 females and Philly has 86 males for every 100 females." shouldn't it?
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Old 05-01-06, 03:03 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian_1
Not a new topic, but just inquiring here:
If you had to name one or two of your favorite places to live a lifestyle based upon the following criteria, what places would you choose?
1.bike friendly
2.weather friendly
3.least volume of motor vehicle traffic
4.cultural activities
5.access to creative shopping and diverse places to eat out
6.culturally diverse populace
7.diverse housing stock of moderate cost homes and/or rentals
8.average to above average air quality

Corrected 6. Thank you for pointing out the error and yes, it was stupid as it originally read!
um...madison, wi.

very bike friendly. lots of cyclists, bike paths, routes, good roads, commuters, and a couple of excellent bike shops.

weather...well, that depends on what you like. we've got 5 seasons (or two, depending on who is doing the counting). it gets hot, humid, cold, snowy and everything in between. variety is good, right?

motor traffic. not bad compared to bigger cities, but getting worse all of the time.

cultural activities. decent music scene, a couple of nice small museums, and the university to keep the rest humming alone at a low drone. low key.

shopping/eating out. i'm not qualified to comment on the shopping, but there are quite a few very good restaurants and a couple great ones. more all of the time. all casual.

culturally diverse. um...not really. still mostly white, but getting more diverse all of the time. slowly.

diverse housing stock, etc. excellent in this regard. lots of affordable houses to buy and lots of decent rentals -- but you can also drop some major cash on a downtown highrise condo, if that's your thing.

air quality. excellent compared with places like chicago -- not as good when compared to places like bend, OR. we have traffic and humidity and the two sometimes make an evil combination.
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Old 05-02-06, 01:29 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian_1
Not a new topic, but just inquiring here:
If you had to name one or two of your favorite places to live a lifestyle based upon the following criteria, what places would you choose?
1.bike friendly
2.weather friendly
3.least volume of motor vehicle traffic
4.cultural activities
5.access to creative shopping and diverse places to eat out
6.culturally diverse populace
7.diverse housing stock of moderate cost homes and/or rentals
8.average to above average air quality
well, if you're looking to get out of the USP (united states of paranoia) might i suggest vancouver, bc, canada?

1. yes. new bike lanes just installed in downtown core. we got greenways and dedicated bike routes traversing a good portion of the lower mainland (= the city and the burbs) lots of trails in the nearby mountains too.
2. rarely gets below 0
3. not bad, but unfortunately like many other cities, getting worse. but no problem for us cyclists, rigth?
4. pacific rim baby
5. man, i feel like the minority in this city (yah, i'm a whiteboy)
6. see #'s 4 & 5
7. okay, so the housing market is a bit crazy these days with the run-up to the 2010 olympics, but you can find cheap housing if you look or are willing to share.
8. you can only see smog on the really, really hot days.

i love vancouver, it's a pretty rad city.
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Old 05-02-06, 02:17 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by b-ride
well, if you're looking to get out of the USP (united states of paranoia) might i suggest vancouver, bc, canada?

1. yes. new bike lanes just installed in downtown core. we got greenways and dedicated bike routes traversing a good portion of the lower mainland (= the city and the burbs) lots of trails in the nearby mountains too.
2. rarely gets below 32
3. not bad, but unfortunately like many other cities, getting worse. but no problem for us cyclists, rigth?
4. pacific rim baby
5. man, i feel like the minority in this city (yah, i'm a whiteboy)
6. see #'s 4 & 5
7. okay, so the housing market is a bit crazy these days with the run-up to the 2010 olympics, but you can find cheap housing if you look or are willing to share.
8. you can only see smog on the really, really hot days.

i love vancouver, it's a pretty rad city.
I've only been there a couple of times, but I'd thrown in a vote for Victoria, too... if you want something a little smaller, warmer, and drier.
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Old 05-04-06, 07:17 PM   #31
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i live in monterey california, the site of the sea otter classic, i love it here because i can ride my bike to school and work and most people here are very very bike friendly, where i used to live, people would yell out mean stuff to bikers, but here, i ride everyday and dont hear a thing, this place, i think is perfect for the average bicycler
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Old 05-04-06, 08:34 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by literocola
Anywhere Colorado, Hands down.
Boulder, Durango, Cherry Creek, Highlands Ranch, Colorado Springs, Glenwood Springs, Steamboat, Brekenridge, Vail, Aspen....
Got yall beat, I'll never leave this place.. born and raised Colorado native.
Don't forget Grand Junction!

Most any commute in the valley is fairly flat.
Winter is mild, not nuch snow. Summer not too broiling hot for a desert area.
We ride year round.
Great road riding with climbs out of the valley. Super mtn biking.
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Old 05-04-06, 08:47 PM   #33
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Toronto:

1.bike friendly
+++++
2.weather friendly
++ (three months of ice on the road)
3.least volume of motor vehicle traffic
++++ (lots of alternate streets)
4.cultural activities
+++++
5.access to creative shopping and diverse places to eat out
+++++
6.culturally diverse populace
+++++ (one of the world's most racially/ethnically diverse cities)
7.diverse housing stock of moderate cost homes and/or rentals
++ (well, at least it's a lot cheaper than New York!)
8.average to above average air quality
+++

I'll add one more factoid: safest large city in North America.
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Old 05-04-06, 11:20 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by kf5nd
yeah, but how does Boulder rate for item 7 ? A score of -100,000 ?
Rentals aren't too bad in Boulder. I had a cheap apartment on the edge of the University, with boulder creek trail, 2 bus lines and a grocery store on my doorstep. Boulder is OK for bikes, but hell for car traffic.

My favorite bike town was Amherst, MA. Small enough to get EVERYWHERE easily by bike, and an excellent bus system for such a small town. Finding a job there...now that's the hard part.
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Old 05-04-06, 11:25 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by literocola
Anywhere Colorado, Hands down.
I can think of some poor bike places in Colorado. Woodland Park and Green Mountain Falls. Aurora. Golden. Manitou. Whatever that sprawl is on the south end of the Denver burbs. Co-Springs has a lot of sprawl.
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Old 05-04-06, 11:39 PM   #36
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It's been mentioned in pasing several times already, but my vote is Davis, CA. Heck, the city logo is a high-wheeler.

http://www.city.davis.ca.us/topic/bicycles.cfm

It's a shame I didn't get into cycling until long after I graduated.
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Old 05-05-06, 07:39 AM   #37
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I'll vote for portland as 1st
Just about any place in CO as a second. Housing isn't cheap, but there are jobs, and the average MUT and bike routes exceed all the other places I've been. Huge access to rec activities, but CO is a lil shy on 'high culture' more like mtn culture and hardly 'diverse' ethnically (whitebred or of Mexican decent are the 2 groups with tiny pockets of others.)
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Old 05-05-06, 01:15 PM   #38
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My experience.

East Bay across from San Francisco is great for spectacular road biking, but commuting is tough with all the hills, climate is perfect, drivers are ok.

Madison Wisconsin. When I was last there many years ago, it was the most bicycle friendly town I've been in. Drivers great, commutes are easy. The weather is not that bad. I got used to riding very comfortably down to about 15 degrees. Even commuted in -20 degree weather, but luckily, not too many of those days.

Miami Florida. Great weather all year round, flat, so commutes are easy. Drivers are the worst I've ever seen. Not that they are negligent, which they are, but many here go out of their way to buzz you, cut you off, pull out in front of you when you have the right of way.
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Old 05-05-06, 01:53 PM   #39
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SF Bay Area, esp. East Bay:

1.bike friendly
++++
2.weather friendly
++++ (you can ride year round, if you can tolerate rain and 40 degrees in the winter)
3.least volume of motor vehicle traffic
+++ (average - can be great or awful, depending on the road, time of day and day of week - wonderful country roads are usually close by)
4.cultural activities
+++++
5.access to creative shopping and diverse places to eat out
+++++ (SF, Oakland, Bekeley, Palo Alto, Marin) ++++ (rest of the area)
6.culturally diverse populace
+++++ (SF proper) ++++ (Oakland/Berkeley) +++ (Further east)
7.diverse housing stock of moderate cost homes and/or rentals
+ (diverse, yes - cheap, fuhgeddabouditt)
8.average to above average air quality
+++

Awesome weather, awesome roads, awesome trails, incredible cultural diversity, mostly civilized and aware drivers. Ungodly housing costs are the one big drawback. Well, that and the massive earthquake that may or may not happen in your lifetime.
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Old 05-05-06, 02:09 PM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kf5nd
yeah, but how does Boulder rate for item 7 ? A score of -100,000 ?
I hear that. My sister was co-owner of the McStain corporation in Boulder and did much of their housing design work. So many people wanted to live there a restriction was put on the amount of building permits. Demand then drove the prices even higher. Kind of like where I live now, north of San Francisco. High scores in all the other areas but if I had not inherited a paid-off house I could not live here.
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Old 10-11-06, 10:57 PM   #41
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19 to 1

Quote:
Originally Posted by attercoppe
Boulder may also score well on age and gender diversity, but racial diversity? Not so much. (Speaking of which, is there really anyplace that doesn't have a diverse gender demographic?)
of course there is - this forum is worldwide! include for starters anywhere where the predominant industry is mining.
northern australia is a classic example.
my bike-heaven would be somewhere in northern china. pity about the air quality...
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Old 10-12-06, 12:07 PM   #42
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OK, here's my rating for Lansing, Michigan (not that anybody cares, although it probably is typical for a medium sized Midwestern city.)

1.bike friendly
+++
Come on, we build cars here! Few bike facilities, but motorists are usually nice. Active cycling groups.

2.weather friendly
+++
It's in the eye of the beholder. If you like the change of seasons, it's great. And we don't get hurricanes, mudslides, volcanoes, earthquakes or alien landings.

3.least volume of motor vehicle traffic
+++++
The only bad traffic is rush hour in the burbs and Spartan home games.

4.cultural activities
++++
It ain't NYC or London, but the university brings in a lot of stuff and there's good community support for the arts.

5.access to creative shopping and diverse places to eat out
++

6.culturally diverse populace
+++++
Again, the university helps a lot

7.diverse housing stock of moderate cost homes and/or rentals
+++++

8.average to above average air quality
- - - -
Like I said, we build cars here.
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Old 10-13-06, 05:56 AM   #43
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Nevis isn't bad

1. Roads are not very well maintained, but lots of trails, lots of bikers and great acceptance.
2. Constant year round low 80s, sun, breeze, short rain showers
3. Mild volume of traffic; not a single traffic light in the country
4. Mostly Caribbean cultural activities
5.Limited shopping, lots (for an island of 11,000) of interesting places to eat
6. Very diverse population
7. Lots of moderately priced places to live. Rent a nice house for 800-100 US, live like me for $400 mo
8. Wonderful air quality

Of course it's not the easiest place to find work.
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Old 10-13-06, 06:03 AM   #44
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If a cyclist's priorities are safety , respect on the Hwy., not being forced off the road by road-ragers, I suggest Europe. In the US, I've had fruit, bottles, curse words and worst of all, being dodged at by cycle hating motorists. THose couple of motorists determinied to make me crash. In fact one friend of mine in California was hit on the backside, while riding by passing punk kids from their car. He had to go to a clinic, he was so bruised. Somehow , he did not loose control. Been riding about Roussillon almost a year now. Has not happend once, so far.
As to weather in the US. Definitely southern, coastal California.
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Old 10-23-06, 01:03 PM   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schiavonec
I'll vote for portland as 1st
Just about any place in CO as a second. Housing isn't cheap, but there are jobs, and the average MUT and bike routes exceed all the other places I've been. Huge access to rec activities, but CO is a lil shy on 'high culture' more like mtn culture and hardly 'diverse' ethnically (whitebred or of Mexican decent are the 2 groups with tiny pockets of others.)
I haven't lived/biked everywhere (has anyone?), but in my experience Portland deserves is ranking as the best overall city for bicycling in the US for about the last 5 years or so. It has a comprehensive network of bike lanes/trails, and it's about the ideal in size (medium-ish) and cultural amenities. Portland is large enough that there is enough 'culture' (restaurants, theaters, music venues, etc), but not so big that it feels like a hectic big city (Seattle is getting to be that way). Here's how I break down Portland overall (10 pont scale):

1.bike friendly
- 10 the most comprehensive system of bike lanes/trails I've ever seen. Very safe/bikable downtown. Great public transit (light rail and buses). Some areas are a little hilly to keep it interesting, but overall it's not too hilly.

2.weather friendly
5 - This is the major problem area. It is rainy/overcast about 7-8 mos/year. However, it's mostly moderate drizzle as opposed to heavy rain, and it rarely snows.

3.least volume of motor vehicle traffic
- I'm not sure about this one. The perimeter freeways can get pretty congested, but this traffic rarely effects downtown. Also with the transit/bike system, it can be easily avoided (by not driving)

4.cultural activities
7 - Overall, the 'culture' in Portland is better than average. Not on the same level as 'major' cities like LA, NYC, or Chi, but better than average.

5.access to creative shopping and diverse places to eat out
8 - Even with it's growth, Portland is still a pretty funky city with lots of unique shops. Diversity of restaurants is very good. Again, not on the same level as the above, but still very good.

6.diverse age and gender demographic
7 - This is just a guess, but I think Portland's dems are comparable to most major cities.

7.diverse housing stock of moderate cost homes and/or rentals
6 - While Portland isn't cheap by a long shot, it's still not bad compared to most other larger cities on the west coast. Housing and rent especially are much less expensive than Seattle.

8.average to above average air quality
9 - Portland is consistently rated as the cleanest major city in the US. The costal jet stream helps keep the air cleaner than most other larger cities.
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Old 11-05-06, 12:08 PM   #46
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If you live downtown in Kahului or maybe Wailuku...Maui Hawaii is a fine place to live for cycling. It is very predictable weather wise...I live in Makawao and have to go down and up Haleakala highway every morning and evening though *sigh*
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Old 11-05-06, 12:27 PM   #47
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I live in Makawao and have to go down and up Haleakala highway every morning and evening...


Quite a climb!
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Old 11-06-06, 02:36 AM   #48
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Quite a climb!
Ya...lotsa days I just feel like turning around and coasting back down again...but then I'd have to come back up.

*sigh* I love the commute downhill but uphill is a bit of a stretch, even for someone as empassioned as I.
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Old 11-06-06, 12:12 PM   #49
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As my name implies, I live in Heidelberg Germany. It is a remarkably bike friendly city, in fact I would say bikes are KING here.

1. Most motorists are bikers themselves and therefore respect the biker, traveling slowly and giving wide berth to most bicylists.
There are bike lanes a-plenty, dedicated both on the street and on the wide sidewalks. Even pedestrians respect the cyclist and a simple ring of ones bell will, in most cases get a quick response from the walkers.

2. Weather is pretty mild in winter dispite the very northern latitude. This region seems to foster a warmer than average temp throughout the winter. Fall begins at the proper time and spring comes equally so. I can ride throughout the winter without difficulty but when weather does prevent one from mounting up, there is the transportation system which is one of the best. Train, bus or tram, you can get anywhere you need to go without much of a problem.

3. Cars are plentyful here but they are so respectful of the cyclist, it hardly matters that they are there. Want to ride with those nasty metel beasts? There are lovely fields and farming areas with dedicated bike roads through them to ride off into the sunset.

4. OH MY! Culture abounds in Heidelberg. Theaters, cafes with music, concert venues, festivals every weekend somewhere within biking distance. Or take a long train ride to Munich, Berlin or Frankfurt. How about Oktoberfest?

5. Eating out is a cultural treasure trove here. It seems each dorf has its own local specialty. Shopping is equal to any in the states along with stores that boast of being in Paris or Rodeo Drive.

6. This is the home of Heidelberg University. Men and women from all over the world come to study here. In the main part of town you can hear ever language of the world spoken.

7. Diverse? yes, but no longer moderate in cost. Heidelberg has become 'desireable' and therefore the costs of a place to stay have risen. It aint cheap here!

8. Air quality is fairly good. We have no major polluting industires and Germany has made a concerted effort to clean air and water with wonderful results.

Can you tell I love my 'home town' of Heidelberg?
Quote:
1.bike friendly
2.weather friendly
3.least volume of motor vehicle traffic
4.cultural activities
5.access to creative shopping and diverse places to eat out
6.culturally diverse populace
7.diverse housing stock of moderate cost homes and/or rentals
8.average to above average air quality
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Old 11-06-06, 01:05 PM   #50
The Figment
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