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Any Richmond VA area folks here?

Old 03-06-15, 12:33 PM
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Any Richmond VA area folks here?

Well the family and I are looking else where to plant our roots. Southern Oregon just isn't working for us and my wife has friends in the Richmond area. I'm pretty open and actually had the U.P. of Michigan but jobs are pretty scarce and my wife isn't too keen to the 13 months of winter. lol. I'm actually going through my stable and trying(hair pulling) to decide which is getting the cut.

I realize they still get snow but not the blistering cold like the upper Midwest does. I'm not too picky but the scorching heat, low paying jobs and overpriced housing just doesn't tickle my fancies. I found a couple of metal fab related positions since I went back to college three years ago for welding and metal fab. My wife works from home so it's not an issue for her and Richmond is her idea anyways.

When I think of the south I think of very humid summers and mild winters. Now living in Wisconsin for 33 years frigid temps are not an issue nor are humid summers so much. After living in Southern Oregon close to three years I actually miss having four seasons. I've rode more this past winter then I did all summer if that says much. You can't really call it winter as we didn't get a single snow fall this year on the valley floor.

I know Richmond held one of the somewhat recent NAHBS so it must have some bicycle culture there. Sorry if that sounded very ignorant but I've never been to the east coast before. lol. The wife and kids are big beach people and the coast doesn't look too much of a drive.

If everything works out and no setbacks then we're thinking possibly as soon as July.
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Old 03-06-15, 12:50 PM
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Hi, Henry III. I haven't lived in Richmond since '75 (that's last century) but I grew up there and most of my family is still there and I usually get down there every year. I can't speak to current social conditions other than they seem economically good. Haven't biked there since I left, alas. The weather isn't as hot as you might think, but the east coast has its "features" such as humidity. Here in Boston it isn't all that different in summer but the summer is longer in Richmond. Spring and fall are longer in Richmond too; here they are short and intense most years. My impression is that rural roads in Virginia don't necessarily have the widest shoulders for biking, but someone local can probably address that better than I.
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Old 03-06-15, 12:52 PM
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Hello from Richmond! I've lived here since third grade, leaving for military, travel after that and a few short stays elsewhere. Settled here with a local girl since '85. Snow on the ground right now, our third one this season. That is unusual for this area. Normally we get one "good" snowfall per winter. Summers can be miserable, frequently with long stretches of what I like to call "triple 95" weather; 95 degrees with 95% humidity here along I-95. Spring and fall are usually lengthy and very nice. My bride and I always planned to move away when we reached retirement, probably to someplace with less miserable summers. We always said we'd trade a lot of heat for a little more cold, but now that trade does not seem as attractive. Also, we moved after being in the same house for 26 years and the new place should keep us entertained until the end.

The city has a terrific river location at the falls of the James River (class V rapids within the city limits) and great river parks. Outside Magazine had us as the #1 River Town in a recent poll. In truth, Richmond has finally become the kind of place we always wanted to move to when we were younger. The town has caught up. Not a bad locale, really. We're two hours from the beach, two hours from the mountains, two hours from D.C. and two from North Carolina, if you want to escape in that direction.

Bike culture is growing. I worked in shops here and cycling seems to have taken off since I got out of the business (ahead of the curve, right?), and there are more shops these days. The UCI World Roads will be here September 19-27 and it is a big deal, but 95% of the populace has no clue it's coming and will only regard it as an intrusion on their commute: "What bike race? You mean Harleys?"

We did host one of the NAHBS, the first one, I think. I'm not as deeply involved in local cycling as many are, so I'm sure a more qualified local cycling advocate will pipe up.

PM me with any questions, and I'd be happy to speak with you on the phone if you like.

Stephen

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Old 03-06-15, 01:19 PM
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I have lived in the Greater Richmond area since 1989. I moved from North Texas and the RVA weather is better than what I grew up with. There are others on this board that will probably respond when they see the thread. In that time the city has really transformed itself in a positive way. We have had a rough winter the last month, but no different than most places in the USA. For outside activities/things to do, Richmond is routinely voted in the top 5 in the country. Active bike community and some big time events coming to town. The best part is RVA's location. If you want something different for the day, just hop in the car and drive an hour or two. Mountains to the west, ocean/beach to the east and DC to the north. History is everywhere, and accessible by bike. I think you will enjoy the area/city. Did I mention the World Cycling Championships that are coming this fall? You might also post the same question on the road forum.

Here are some info links you can check out.

Sports Backers | Powering an Active RVA

Richmond Area Bicycling Association | When it comes to cycling, RABA has something for everyone?

Richmond 2015

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Old 03-06-15, 02:03 PM
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I don't live in Richmond, but I stayed at a Holiday Inn there once.

Seriously, I have friends there and visit from time-to-time. I would place it on my short list of places where I would relocate, if I were relocating.

BTW - Richmond has a good art museum and arboretum.
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Old 03-06-15, 02:07 PM
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I've lived in Richmond most of my life. Like most cities, Richmond has something for everyone and a few places where you might not want to buy a house. For the past three decades I've been in Short Pump (a quiet suburb on the western edge of the Richmond area). I used to ride with RABA. My wife and I have been looking for a better place to retire to but haven't found anything that meets her expectations. I can't give any job market advice since I'm retired and haven't had to look for a job in many years. A lot of new houses are being built and sold, which suggests that the jobs are out there. Road riding is good if you stay off the fast roads. City streets are also pleasant to ride. Sorry to say there are still a few drivers around here who don't think bicycles belong on public roads.

I also take advantage of the whitewater rapids through Richmond. I advise going with a group and taking the training class, and learning to roll, if you intend to try the downtown section (Hollywood, the Levee, Second Break, and Pipeline).
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Old 03-06-15, 07:58 PM
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The cycling scene here is pretty decent here with quite a few framebuilders and UBI is here also. Just tired of the heat(from about May-September it rained maybe twice each year we've been here) so it's extremely dry and then come forest fires, smoke lingers in the valley. You don't hear about it as much as California's problem but we're just twenty miles north of the border but don't have the water restrictions and fines. There's a big meth prob and crime keeps growing. On a recent story from USA Today we ranked 2nd in the nation where crime in soaring.

Cities where crime is soaring

Mind you it's beautiful around here with Mountains on both sides of us. THere's a lot of Cali money here in the valley which raised housing prices with people selling their housing in the Bay area and getting something here for the fraction of the cost. Overall we're just tired and don't see ever affording a house here.

I would love to get my wife near her really good friend who lives in Chesterfield which is on the outskirts. I'm not a big city, artsy fartsy, hipster type of guy so living directly in Richmond where the action is not my goal. To get a farm house in the woods where your next neighbor is a mile away would be awesome. lol.
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Old 03-06-15, 08:46 PM
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I moved here after college in 1989 and my wife and I are here to stay. Richmond is a great town and if you want to live in the sticks, look at Hanover County or eastern Henrico. Chesterfield is fine but I don't do much riding there. RABA is a great club with rides for all shapes and sizes of riders from racers to C pace casual rides.

The beach is easy to get to and the heat is no big deal. I'd rather deal with a few 95+ days every year than the extreme cold. We typically ride through the winter except for the last few weekends.

The region is growing. I think you'll like it here.
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Old 03-07-15, 07:23 AM
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I actually live in Chesterfield. As far as the cycling goes, it seems that no matter where you live around Richmond, it only takes about 10 minutes until you are out in the rural areas with empty roads. Another good thing about Va cycling is towns and villages are about 10-30 miles apart. Very easy to do long unassisted rides.
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Old 03-07-15, 03:01 PM
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I live 100 miles from Richmond. I'd move there in a heartbeat. Great weather, decent schools, good cycling.

Check into NC, though, if you get a chance.
Lower pay, but lower cost of living, and outstanding roads, good location to rides in VA, SC, DC, TN, mountains and beaches, just like VA.
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Old 03-07-15, 03:28 PM
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Used to live in Richmond, liked it a lot then and still do. I now live in Lynchburg about 2 hours SW in the Blue Ridge.

I used to do RABA rides in Richmond, which was a nice group of people (10'years ago), fairly laid back rides but there is also a decent racing scene, with a weekly crit series and cyclocross series. My long term goal has always been to get back to California, especially after this winter, but Richmond is on the list of places I Would move back to. The town has a good feel to it IMO. I'm more of a "in town" kind of guy, so that's a lot of what I like about Richmond, and can't comment too much on the suburbia there.

Lynchburg has some a few metal fab type industries, so let me know if you need more info about this part of VA.
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Old 03-07-15, 10:10 PM
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Henry, southern Oregon is not exactly jobsville, have you looked around Portland?
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Old 03-08-15, 07:28 PM
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We are from Richmond, VA -- and still here! Lemme know how I can help.
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Old 03-08-15, 07:36 PM
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We actually looked at the PDX area before we moved here but housing is pricey and I'm not a big city type of guy.
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Old 03-08-15, 08:12 PM
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Yeah, housing is getting expensive here, no question.
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Old 03-08-15, 11:19 PM
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If it was just my wife and I and could do a one bedroom I don't think it would be an issue. Though with three other heads a three bedroom in Portland is out of the question in a decent part of town. I cringe when I hear my father in law's commute into town from Hillsboro. Even for what he makes as a electrician in the union the commute would get very old quickly. The traffic we saw when we stayed up there for a few days was unbearable.
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Old 03-09-15, 07:48 AM
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Portland traffic on commute routes is bad during rush hour, especially at choke points like Hwy 26 into downtown. I don't deal with it much, since I live 3 miles from work and ride my bike. if you can stay on surface streets, that helps a lot. Taking the MAX light rail also helps. From Hillsboro, the MAX + bike could be an option. The MAX line down to Milwaukee will open soon, which will open up more MAX + bike commutes. Just browsing around Zillow, I see 3 bdrm houses in the $1400-1800 range south of Milwaukee. Anyway, I know this is completely tangential to your thread, sorry!
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Old 03-09-15, 07:59 AM
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Originally Posted by seypat View Post
I actually live in Chesterfield. As far as the cycling goes, it seems that no matter where you live around Richmond, it only takes about 10 minutes until you are out in the rural areas with empty roads. Another good thing about Va cycling is towns and villages are about 10-30 miles apart. Very easy to do long unassisted rides.
I did a 6 week stint in Richmond area for work, and that was one of the greatest things to me. I rented a bike and left from my hotel and was in rolling countryside before I knew it. It was a fantastic ride, with a stop at the halfway point at a country store/gas station for some fig newtons and water, then roll on home. I spent the better part of that 6 weeks outside doing some land use stuff, and there were a few days of 100+ degree days, but overall I enjoyed it.
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Old 03-09-15, 08:12 AM
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Holy smokes. That's almost triple what we pay. Lol.
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Old 03-09-15, 08:43 AM
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This is just my opinion or observation. I grew up in Silver Spring MD. until I was 13 when we moved to Japan. One of the memories of my childhood was snow and humidity in abundance. Back then the matra was global freezing!

After moving around with the parents to India, (worse humidity ever at 104 F at 4:00AM) and Germany/Austria, I went to a little College in Eastern Washington. Great bike riding location! After graduation from OSU, Corvallis, we (married) moved to Portland and lived there until 2010. I moved to Washington DC with my wife following a year later (Portland - no jobs, DC - Job). My wife is from Albany and her brothers lived in Eugene, Grants pass with there children in Medford. So I am somewhat familiar with the whole Willamette Valley.

Since being here we have been visiting historical locations like Richmond (twice). We like the area. Hannover County is where Patrick Henry practiced law and is a really nice area.

There are a lot of bikes in the DC area. I commute along the George Washington Pkwy, riding by DCA (Reagan National) for about 7 miles.

I really miss the Portland/Oregon weather. The humidity is really hard to acclimate to with the mid to high temperatures. The sun is out more but when it rains, it is nothing like Portland. It is more like being under a waterfall. There are four seasons here. This year has been unusual. Most people have said the summer was unusually good but I was not pleased. Riding home in 95 F temperatures or close is exhausting, especially with 80% plus humidity.

Can't speak to Richmond but if I could, I would consider it a place to live. It still is the capital of the south and is still recovering from the civil war after major destruction from the fire. I am glad to hear that is experiencing growth. I wonder what the economic driver is other than education and government. The capital was designed by Thomas Jefferson while he was in Paris. The model is in the capital building. The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts recently had an exclusive exhibit of China's Forbidden City artifacts. In addition it has other exceptional artifacts from around the world and close to home (Chihuley glass in the pond outside).

In any case, moving to the East Coast is a cultural change experience.

[IMG]P1020614 by superissimo_83, on Flickr[/IMG]
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Old 03-09-15, 08:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Henry III View Post
Holy smokes. That's almost triple what we pay. Lol.
Welcome to new San Francisco [sour face]
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