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I need to live near scenic, cycling safe, rural roads and bike paths.

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I need to live near scenic, cycling safe, rural roads and bike paths.

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Old 05-18-18, 05:06 PM
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I need to live near scenic, cycling safe, rural roads and bike paths.

I spent most of my life living in highly populated neighborhoods in or near Chicago. Seven months out of the year I could cram four or five thousand miles of riding in, if I was willing to endure the elements and budget the time. Four years ago I relocated to a college town near St. Louis. While the quantity of my cycling didn't increase, the quality improved by an enormous amount. A huge bike trail systems allows me to avoid traffic anytime I want. Hundreds of miles of quiet rural roads allow me to enjoy a huge range of bucolic scenery without needing to use a car to transport the bike. It's been cycling heaven.

A recent career decision requires me to live somewhere near Chicago and Milwaukee again. Initially, I started searching for a home close to the city limits of these two cities.

But I can't go back to dangerous traffic and a serious lack of cycling infrastructure. I think I've found a town between Chicago and Milwaukee that is rural and remote enough that local riding is reasonable safe and pleasant.

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Old 05-18-18, 05:16 PM
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...and, here is a local A&W?
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Old 05-18-18, 05:34 PM
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Originally Posted by McBTC View Post
...and, here is a local A&W?
Probably, there certainly was 40 years ago.
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Old 05-18-18, 06:28 PM
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Good to hear! At least it’s not Toronto where I recently read there have been an extremely number of cyclist and pedestrian deaths recently.
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Old 05-18-18, 06:54 PM
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And good luck with Winter. I understand there is more of that North of Central Indiana. But, rural and remote will probably make up for that.
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Old 05-18-18, 06:57 PM
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There's a lot to be said for a quality cycling infrastructure. Des Moines has a terrific system of bike paths as does the surrounding area. I don't need to deal with cars to get my miles in and I can ride pretty much any direction out of town on a path.
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Old 05-18-18, 08:10 PM
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I've taken to cycling early in the morning before dawn. Even on busy roads the traffic is light, and I've found that cars give you a whole lot more space when they see a bike with flashing lights. Florida is cyclist hell with more than double the national average for biking deaths; biking first thing in the morning is a good way to stay separate from the cars.
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Old 05-18-18, 08:14 PM
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Originally Posted by JanMM View Post
And good luck with Winter. I understand there is more of that North of Central Indiana. But, rural and remote will probably make up for that.
Yes, winter will be longer and colder. I enjoy my smart trainer set before a bigscreen. It's not an improvement over being on the bike outdoors in milder weather, but it's better than being sedentary. If I get cabin fever, I'll have to take up cross country skiing.

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Old 05-18-18, 08:37 PM
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You do live in a pretty ideal place for regular recreational bicycling.
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Old 05-19-18, 04:54 AM
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I feel so lucky to live in Lebanon, CT. It's the town in CT with the greatest % of it's land in farming. We have one blinking traffic light at the town hall. I can go on a 20 mi. ride and see, maybe, 5 cars. All through farmlands. OTOH, we are 10 mins. from UCONN, 20 mins. from the Mohegan Sun and 25 mins. from Hartford. My house is 1 mi. from a rail/trail that stretches about 40 mi. in a North/South direction. Off of that is a spur that takes you 25 miles East toward Hartford. We also have a town green that is 1 mile around. All bordered by Revolution era homes and offices used by George Washington.
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Old 05-19-18, 05:51 AM
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Having done a little cycling in the Chicago burbs it seemed they had a pretty good trail/MUT system. Considerably better than where I live which ironically is a bit of a cycling destination. There is some great road riding in Wisconsin.

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Old 05-19-18, 06:28 AM
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Originally Posted by DeceptivelySlow View Post
Having done a little cycling in the Chicago burbs it seemed that had a pretty good trail/MUT system. Considerably better than where I live which ironically is a bit of a cycling destination. There is some great road riding in Wisconsin.
I used the North Branch Bike Path in Cook County which starts on the north side of Chicago and made access to the North Shore suburbs moderately safe. The Lake Front bike path is very scenic, but severely overpopulated with pedestrians on the weekends. I also got into gravel bike cycling and started using the Des Plaines River Trail about 8 years ago. So cycling in Chicago was possible, but urban cycling is always more hazardous and stressful than empty farm roads.
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Old 05-19-18, 07:49 AM
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I’m lucky to live in a rural area. I just leave the garage on my gravel bike and I’m on gravel some of the county roads are paved then turn to gravel so I ride both right from the garage.
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Old 05-19-18, 08:03 AM
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Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
There's a lot to be said for a quality cycling infrastructure. Des Moines has a terrific system of bike paths as does the surrounding area. I don't need to deal with cars to get my miles in and I can ride pretty much any direction out of town on a path.
+1

Not only is Central trails across Des Moines friggin awesome, there's the the raccoon river valley trail, Neal Smith and high Trestle.
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Old 05-19-18, 12:00 PM
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Definitely a Good choice !!!
The Lower the stress, the better your health.

Hope the commutes are not too stressful.
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Old 05-20-18, 11:14 AM
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Outside of metropolitan areas, when viewing the terrain from an aircraft, what we see is eastern forest with nary a sign of of civilization. On the ground, of course, we see many homes, in places, but on quiet country roads that are great for cycling. From my home in Bristol, a small town, for a radius of more than 50+ miles, there are hundreds of miles of such riding and equally important, motorists are courteous and helpful. As an old sea salt, I like being near water and Bristol is surrounded by water and many rides pass by rivers or bays.

I grew up in an agricultural area. While I did work in Manhattan for a time, I'm much happier in a small town where I can ride anywhere with no fear and normal caution.
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Old 05-20-18, 11:15 AM
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Is Madison close enough to Chicago and Milwaukee for your purposes? It's become quite a bike friendly town, with a network of bike paths, and reasonable access to rural roads. Lots of commuters ride through the winter, including myself.
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Old 05-20-18, 01:26 PM
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I roll out of my condo complex, around the corner, and I'm on the Cape Cod Rail Trail. Currently 22 miles long, from Dennis to Wellfleet, with connection to the Old Colony Rail Trail to Chatham. This summer / fall the Bass River Bridge section should be paved, extending the trail to Yarmouth in the west. Shortly, three more miles will be added to the north. Bike paths here on the Cape have a ton of popular support - they're a major attraction.
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Old 05-20-18, 01:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Gresp15C View Post
Is Madison close enough to Chicago and Milwaukee for your purposes? It's become quite a bike friendly town, with a network of bike paths, and reasonable access to rural roads. Lots of commuters ride through the winter, including myself.
I would love to be in Madison. I've done the Dairyland Dare several times and the Horribly Hilly. The local culture is also more vibrant than most Midwestern communities with the University and State Capital. However, I really need to be within a 90 minute drive to O'Hare, so Madison is too far west. I'm house hunting in an general area between Racine and Lake Geneva. Local cycling there is almost as good as the Madison area.

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Old 05-20-18, 06:23 PM
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The South is ready to welcome all of you as soon as you are ready.

Y'all come down.


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Old 05-21-18, 09:18 AM
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Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
The South is ready to welcome all of you as soon as you are ready.

Y'all come down.
No, no, no! Any more people and it'll be just like cycling in Chicago!

It's really awful down South. Too hot in the summer-- really, when our low is 80F and there's dew on the grass, the days start out hot and humid, and it just gets worse as the day goes on. You'll be dripping with sweat if you're on the bike between 10:00 in the morning and 7:00 at night. After you get used to the heat, it's too cold to ride in the winter. There's only 3 weeks of nice weather in the spring, when the pollen is driving everyone inside, and 2 weeks in the fall, when the defoliants for the cotton drive everyone to the mall. And after the heat of the summer, it's too cold to ride in the winter. We may not have blizzards, but we have tornados and hurricanes to make up for it.

No, you'll be happier if you don't move South.
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Old 05-21-18, 10:39 AM
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Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
No, no, no! Any more people and it'll be just like cycling in Chicago!

It's really awful down South. Too hot in the summer-- really, when our low is 80F and there's dew on the grass, the days start out hot and humid, and it just gets worse as the day goes on. You'll be dripping with sweat if you're on the bike between 10:00 in the morning and 7:00 at night. After you get used to the heat, it's too cold to ride in the winter. There's only 3 weeks of nice weather in the spring, when the pollen is driving everyone inside, and 2 weeks in the fall, when the defoliants for the cotton drive everyone to the mall. And after the heat of the summer, it's too cold to ride in the winter. We may not have blizzards, but we have tornados and hurricanes to make up for it.

No, you'll be happier if you don't move South.
LoL.

Typical southern hospitality.

You are welcome and we love you if you don't say too much and don't stay too long.


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Old 05-21-18, 01:05 PM
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Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
LoL.
You are welcome and we love you if you don't say too much and don't stay too long.
-Tim-
Yo Tim, i lived in Biloxi, Ms. for about 10 years. I liked living there and there was plenty of water on the Gulf Coast. I even raced on a sail boat week-ends with a fine group of guys. I've been missing the place and my sailing mates and thinking about moving back. Sure it was hot but even a northerner can get used to it. Anyway, boat races take only a few hours and we could then retire to the air conditioned yacht club bar and tell lies to each outer. I wish here and now to state before the world that Southern boys and tell some of the finest lies I've heard.
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Old 05-21-18, 09:10 PM
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I live north of Atlanta. It one was country, but now urban sprawl has changed that. The once quite country roads are still narrow, just now crammed with very impatient drivers who are very offended by my presence on a bike.
After way too many close calls, I driver an hour either north or east to find the quite roads once again. I've recently gotten into gravel riding - I see very few cars that way. But lots & lots of pit bulls! That seems to be the dog of choice where leash laws are either non-existent or not enforced.

I wish the local planners or highway departments would understand bicycles. Where there's a 2' paved section to the right of the white line (rare indeed), they often run rumble strips right though the middle of it. It's like paving an interstate with speed bumps. Yeah - thanks for that. It doesn't even need to be a full-on marked bike lane - just give me a chance not to be in the traffic lane & I'll take it. Everyone will be happy - especially the cars.
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Old 05-21-18, 09:28 PM
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Originally Posted by berner View Post
Yo Tim, i lived in Biloxi, Ms. for about 10 years. I liked living there and there was plenty of water on the Gulf Coast. I even raced on a sail boat week-ends with a fine group of guys. I've been missing the place and my sailing mates and thinking about moving back. Sure it was hot but even a northerner can get used to it. Anyway, boat races take only a few hours and we could then retire to the air conditioned yacht club bar and tell lies to each outer. I wish here and now to state before the world that Southern boys and tell some of the finest lies I've heard.
This makes me want to switch to boating.


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