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Thinking about moving to Tennessee

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Thinking about moving to Tennessee

Old 05-20-19, 05:08 PM
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MNHarv
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Thinking about moving to Tennessee

How is the bicycling there? I've really only passed through although I always felt like I could make Tennessee home. Next January I'll spend a week there and hope to get a better picture of the place I could very easily move to (without a second thought really). The people there have been friendly and open every time I passed though that lovely state. So what's it like from a bicyclist's perspective?
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Old 05-20-19, 05:47 PM
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It's a wide and diverse state, geographically.
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Old 05-20-19, 08:56 PM
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Originally Posted by MNHarv View Post
How is the bicycling there? I've really only passed through although I always felt like I could make Tennessee home. Next January I'll spend a week there and hope to get a better picture of the place I could very easily move to (without a second thought really). The people there have been friendly and open every time I passed though that lovely state. So what's it like from a bicyclist's perspective?
It's terrible here. Everything sucks including the cycling. Over-hyped, overrated, and now over populated. Especially Nashville.

My best advice is DON'T COME HERE, you will absolutely hate it. Worst place in the world to live. Do yourself a favor, man...Stay away!
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Old 05-20-19, 09:18 PM
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I grew up in Nashville - I wouldn’t go back. A few friends who have lived there their entire lives love it. Memphis used to be even worse.

Of the dozen or so relatives & friends in middle Tenn, none ride bikes - not at all.
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Old 05-20-19, 09:43 PM
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Georgia's where it's at.

They don't sing songs about Tennessee.

Y'all come down.
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Old 05-20-19, 09:55 PM
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Retired and moved here from Indiana four years ago. Love it! In White county (halfway between Nashville and Knoxville) the country roads are great, the larger ones have five feet of pavement beyond the white stripes and potholes are rare. All the bike shops hold weekly or more beginner, mid -level and hard core rides of 5 thru 50 miles. The three nearest here also maintain several off-road trails and so do about half the state parks. Sad that you will be visiting during the worst of winter (lasts about 6 weeks) but I've always managed to get some weekly riding in even then since it often hits above 50 degrees during that stretch. You can reach a half-dozen or more parks within 60 minutes from just about anywhere in the state. And zero entrance or use fees! But I agree with the others. Avoid the large cities if you can. Nightmare traffic and gridlocked daily.

Did a (LBS escorted) 5, 15 or 20 mile today with a dozen local riders at 6pm. We were passed by only two cars and two opposite direction.
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Old 05-20-19, 10:32 PM
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We had the same thoughts as you a few years ago. We experienced Nashville, Memphis, Chattanooga, and Little Rock. All were good biking cities and on that basis we could have selected any of them.

If we had to make a decision today,. I expect our choice would be Chattanooga, Nashville, Little Rock, and Memphis. Then we would take a closer look at the financials and make a final decision.

We had our bikes and stayed at least a week in each city. We mostly bike commuted when we arrived. And tried to talk to locals as much as possible.

We had other life changes since that trip but Tennessee remains an alternative depending on how things move along for us. Good luck.
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Old 05-20-19, 10:59 PM
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All Your Ex's , Live in Texas ?





...

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Old 05-21-19, 08:49 AM
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Concise answer: it depends.

What are you looking for?

Mountain biking? I've heard they have some good places in Cherokee NF in the east, but I left before MTB got big.

You want to ride a choice of 25 mile loops of connected, grade separated bike paths? Or a 50 mile Rails-Trails conversion? Forget it. (Go to Virginia for the rail-trail.)

Get out of town and put together a century, 200k or better brevet on scenic, low traffic, nice country roads? Something you can ride (with proper clothing) 10-12 months a year on clear pavement? Come on down!

Tennessee has been 4-laning its U.S. highways for a while, so many of them have wide shoulders and good sightlines; at least until you get to the county line and it falls back to the old two lane highway, or the part that was widened earlier but no shoulders added. There's a good network of state and county roads that usually lets you get off the main highway and skip traffic, at least outside of the mountains where you've only got one road -- kind of like Wyoming, but with steeper grades.

You'll run into the 1% of jerks who think a bicyclist should stay in the parking lot, and some owners don't control their dogs well. (The better class of dogs are well controlled, it's too expensive to replace one that runs out in the road and gets run over!) But if you run out of water in the heat of the day, stop at the house where somebody's working outside and they'll usually be happy to fill your water bottles up and chat with you a while.
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Old 05-21-19, 10:02 AM
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I moved here from Illinois back in 2006 and never ever looked back. Living in the far N.E. corner, I can easily make it into Va. or N.C. in a couple hours of road time. The roads are great but be warned, flat roads are pretty nonexistent.

I ride the roads a lot but also the gravel in the Cherokee and Pisgah national forests.
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Old 05-22-19, 08:42 AM
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My son lives in Nolensville and his mom lives nearby in Franklin. It's a real pretty area but the roads around them have no shoulder to speak of, and they are raised above the surrounding ground with a deep ditch just past the pavement edge, so it doesn't look good for riding near them anyways.
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Old 05-22-19, 08:50 AM
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You should take a vacation and spend at least a week there, and try a few areas you think you'd want to live. I have a friend in Nashville, and she's originally from Hamilton, ON, and doesn't like it very much, but doesn't hate it either. She's been there eight years, and yes there is growth there now, and property values are going up. However, she is looking to move to somewhere that offers more culture.

As others have said it depends what you are looking for. I think TN has a lot to offer, but it is very subjective on if you'd like it also. The winters will be much better than MN, that's for sure.
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Old 05-22-19, 08:52 AM
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Lots of interesting places to cycle but, like most of the USA, comprehensive cycling infrastructure doesn't exist. Plenty of country roads and beautiful terrain. If you don't like hills, Memphis area is nice. If you like the mountains, there's plenty in the central and Eastern parts of the state. I'm a native Tennessean and I'd choose the Chattanooga vicinity for best mix for an outdoor lifestyle. Compared to Minnesota you'll be able to ride in Tennessee all year without fear of frostbite.
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Old 05-22-19, 09:47 AM
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Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post

They don't sing songs about Tennessee.
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Old 05-22-19, 11:48 AM
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Georgia's where it's at.

They don't sing songs about Tennessee.

Y'all come down.
All my ex's live in Texas
And Texas is the place I'd dearly love to be
But all my ex's live in Texas
And that's why I hang my hat in Tennessee

My exes must be crazy because they all went to Texas.
Biking in SE Texas is horrid in too many ways.
Biking in Tennessee is amazing, but

Lots of beautiful rolling hills and two lane roads without any passing room for cars - which really pisses them off (especially those in pickup trucks). And, I've sweat more on a cool 58 degree morning than I've ever sweated in my life (humidity is crazy). But, Nashville does have one of the best parks for road biking that I have ever seen.
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Old 05-22-19, 04:30 PM
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Listening to the Dead while I'm typing this. (Thank you) I'll be vacationing there in January for about a week.

I grew up west of Milwaukee (Brookfield-my burial plot is there) but the winters here have become so extreme I can't understand people staying here anymore.

Used to love winter. Before I moved here.

Thanks everyone

Harv
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Old 05-22-19, 04:56 PM
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Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
...They don't sing songs about Tennessee...
Um, ever heard of Nashville? Or Memphis?

Anyway, East Tennessee is great for all types of cycling.
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Old 05-26-19, 07:45 PM
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And Knoxville/Oak Ridge, TN is a great cycling area. Lots of bike shops, MUP/Trails, people on bikes, and the culture for cycling is superb. We have the Great Smoky Mountains, the Cherokee National Forest, Norris Dam, Chattanooga's 120 miles, and has great places to ride, an awesome mountain trail or three, why not visit the area.
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Old 05-26-19, 07:56 PM
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None of those artists hold a candle to Otis Redding or Ray Charles.
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Old 05-27-19, 08:21 AM
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My brother moved there a couple of years ago. He could no longer afford to live in Southern California. He rented a condo here in Ventura for many years and the owner kept the rent reasonable(for here) but he could never buy. He moved to Lebanon Ten. and loves it! He bought a nice home on 1 acre near the Cumberland River for 99,000 and only pays $512 a year property tax. Where he lives it would be difficult to road bike though . He claims the locals are not cycling friendly in that there are no lanes for bikes. It is an attractive retirement option , I am getting close to the age where I will be doing some soul searching about it. In order for me to stay where I am , I would have to work a lot more hours than I care to. Gavin (governor ) is going to price/tax us out of our own homes here and I have owned mine for 22 years! All taxes in this state are very high and food etc. are getting bad as well. The climate is awesome , but the crowds and price of admission are hardly worth it. Joe
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Old 05-28-19, 07:52 AM
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As others have said it depends on where. Nashville is a hipster over populated hell, with extremely overpriced bicycle shops catering to expensive wall hangers. Knoxville, Memphis, Chattanooga (awesome) are much better. There are a few in the works huge rails-to-trails projects that will connect Knoxville to Chattanooga mostly paved with some gravel, but these are not finished yet.
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Old 05-28-19, 09:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Kabuki12 View Post
Where he lives it would be difficult to road bike though . He claims the locals are not cycling friendly in that there are no lanes for bikes.
This dichotomy is why I hesitate to recommend otherwise perfectly good areas for cycling to some people. There are tens of thousands of miles of roads you can bike (isn't that what road biking is?) in Tennessee (and many other states), and only a few bike lanes, most of them in urban areas. Those roads you could bike include low traffic roads, roads with challenging climbs and descents, and magnificent scenery. But if you only want to ride a rail-trail, they have lots of those in Wisconsin and South Dakota. I'll be riding low traffic country roads while you're getting tired of your indoor trainer up there, but it's your choice.
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Old 05-28-19, 09:23 AM
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I almost exclusively ride the rural roads. In fact, I only know of 2 bike lanes in the immediate area and I do ride one of them on my commute only because it is on my route and not because it is a bike lane. I have probably ridden every road within 30 miles of my house at least once. There are some to avoid depending on time of the day but the locals aren't really any worse than other places in the country. I have to support what @pdlamb says. There are some great roads and moron drivers are pretty scarce.

ETA... Clarification.

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Old 05-28-19, 11:05 AM
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Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
This dichotomy is why I hesitate to recommend otherwise perfectly good areas for cycling to some people. There are tens of thousands of miles of roads you can bike (isn't that what road biking is?) in Tennessee (and many other states), and only a few bike lanes, most of them in urban areas. Those roads you could bike include low traffic roads, roads with challenging climbs and descents, and magnificent scenery. But if you only want to ride a rail-trail, they have lots of those in Wisconsin and South Dakota. I'll be riding low traffic country roads while you're getting tired of your indoor trainer up there, but it's your choice.
Like you, I don't do indoor trainers and here in Southern California there are still some rural areas that are pretty awesome. I do try to stick with roads that have lanes (stripes) although it is not set in stone. My brother doesn't feel safe where he is in Tennessee but that's him. I have never been there so I don't know for sure. For me it would depend on the amount of traffic and the overall condition of the roads. Joe
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Old 05-28-19, 11:15 AM
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Originally Posted by MNHarv View Post
How is the bicycling there? I've really only passed through although I always felt like I could make Tennessee home. Next January I'll spend a week there and hope to get a better picture of the place I could very easily move to (without a second thought really). The people there have been friendly and open every time I passed though that lovely state. So what's it like from a bicyclist's perspective?
Tennessee's a big place. Memphis? Knoxville? Chatanooga? Small town in the North Delta or remote holler in the Smokies?

Like anywhere else, there are lots of folks that ride in Tennessee. Whether you happen to land in a hotbed of cyclists or a community where you're the only guy around is something that will require a more specific inquiry.
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