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JCrand 08-05-02 07:36 AM

California ?
Hi All, I am looking to get into cycling and also looking to move soon. I live in New Hampshire and its to limited a season here. My allergies in the spring limit me to only few months of of riding. I would like to find a place where I could use my bike for my main source of transportation if possible.
Anyway I am considering California. San Diego area has the best weather I am finding through research. But I'm not sure about the air quality there.
Anyone with recommendations or experiences please, I would appreciate your input. Thanks, J.

cyclezealot 08-05-02 11:29 AM

JCrand.. J. You will find San Diego great for cycling. Bike paths and lanes are decent, depending upon where you live. There are lots of cyclists here, so traffice should be gettting used to us.
As to weather- best in U.S. If on coast winter averages about 60's and summer lo 70's. (Averages...) If considerable inland can be much hotter in the summer.. Think about California it is consistant. ( ie-Jokes about how boring weaher anchor jobs are in Los Angeles..)Humidity low and pollen no problems. Compared to Los Angeles our air is pretty clean.
Sure you can find details on weather bureau/ newspaper web sites. Only negative factor is it is getting more crowded here everyday and it is expensive.

JCrand 08-05-02 11:37 AM

Thanks for the reply cycle. , what would be the best spot to look into in that surrounding area? Keeping out of traffic and maybe keeping costs down. Thanks, J.

Bobsled 08-05-02 01:26 PM

For sure the two big negatives are crowds and expense.

Greg 08-05-02 01:55 PM

I wouldn't recommend California.

The women are all tan and wrinkled.

The cool salt breeze plays havoc with my alum bike not to mention my hair.

Next, you'll want a convertable and you know how dangerous those are.

Your heels will get all thick and crack because you never have to wear shoes.

You'll never be able to say, "You can't get there from here" again.

You'll miss the deer.

You'll miss the deer ticks.

You'll want to ride your bike 360 days a year and that's not good for your career or your religon.

I'm considering moving. Mabey to New Hampshire. I've read it's nice.


John E 08-05-02 09:00 PM

San Diego County is still nice, but it is steadily evolving into "Baja Los Angeles." Housing is cheap by San Francisco / Silicon Valley standards, but quite expensive by almost anyone else's. The midday sun is oppressively strong for those of us with fair skin and/or freckles. (Having lost a red-haired coworker / valued friend / "soccer dad" to melanoma at age 43, I pretty much avoid the midday summer sun.) However, the cycling season is indeed 12 months long, and there are plenty of good bike routes. There are also lots of world-class triathletes and cyclists out on our roads, which can be either inspiring or tough on one's ego.

JCrand 08-05-02 09:32 PM

Wow, awesome info. New Hampshire is a great place but with seasonal sports you must say farewell eventually until next year. And who knows what you might get yourself into during that time off. I'm not a croud guy and neither a traffic guy. And I'll need a construction job. Where does that leave me? Is there any refuge from the people:lol:

kingajo 08-05-02 10:23 PM

Arizona. It is warm most of the year and the other part of the year it is hot. But you can always ride in the evening or the early morning. But best of al no allergy problems. The air is way cleaner then So. Cal. . Or even So. Nevada. Las Vegas to be exact. Arid climate like Arizona and lots of construction going on.And anywhere in Nevada or Arizona the cost of living is nowhere near as expensive as it is anywhere in Ca.. I live in Ca. so I have some insight, and I have lived in Arizona and Nevada too. Anyway have fun deciding and good luck.

Goatbiker 08-05-02 10:33 PM

Air Quality is better than it used to be, but could be much better. Anywhere on the coast is going to be expensive. The sacramento area is still affordable, has about 60 miles of paved riverside bike trails, is located in the middle of the best that CA has to offer; mountains with snow (in winter) an hour to the East, San Francisco and the coast two hours to the west, the whole Sacramento river delta to the South and South West, redwoods to the North. It gets hot in the summer, but it is tolerable, because it has low humidity. Worst thing you have to deal with is Californians. Some of them are dumb as dirt. They drive the way they see people drive on TV. They drive huge, 10 MPG four-wheel-drive SUVs to the gym, because its fashionable. They name their kids Sierra, Brieanna, Sequoia, Aurora, and America. Anything good happens, they are 100% responsible. Anything bad happens, it wasn't their fault. I live halfway between San Francisco and Sacramento, and it is a wonderful place. But the cost? OUCH! My house has doubled in value in the last 7 years.

Tom Balmer

JCrand 08-05-02 11:04 PM

Some great replys! I have considered Arizona. Although its been only in the 90's here in NH, I've been hemmin' and hawin' about it. Dry heat? I guess its better. Early morning rides sound good too though. Tough call. I have been wanting to go out west since I was a child. Living in NY as a kid looking at my skateboard magazines wondering why the skies were always clear in the background. :roflmao:

cyclezealot 08-06-02 12:24 AM

J Crand. I think you will find the further you go inland the cheaper it is.. Probably rents in places like Escondido or San Marcos will be -at the very cheapest 800 dollars.. I think there is lots of construction jobs to go around- as of right now.. Houses are going up like weeds in many areas.. The "San Diego Union" has an on- line job service and also ads for rentals- I believe..
In terms of Cycling you will not regret it. San Diegans are very athletic minded you will see.
I very much despise the heat. I would not live in East County( San Diego) let alone anywhere east of California. But that is me.Coastal California is rarely hot..
But then compared to east coast heat, i think in the West, you will find the hotter states do not have hot spells as long as the south-east states. Maybe 3 months?
ps- at one time- there were employment projections that San Diego County would have the greatest percentage employment growth rate of any major metropolitian area. not sure now..?

Greg 08-06-02 07:31 AM


You can never go wrong with Coastal San Diego, or coastal anywhere in California.

If I can just ask one favor, please be mentally prepared.

I can't tell you how many times I've heard the story from a self transplanted, sun hating, college insignia wearing, pink eyed lab rat that the girls are all stuck up and stupid, the sun is bad for you, granola sucks, it's too crowded, it's too expensive, it's closed minded, it's clickish, surfing isn't as easy as it looks, the movie industry is difficult, at home people are so different than here, the water is cold (when it's 70 deg. f).....

My intention isn't to be mean, just know what your getting into.

Having said that, come on over. If we all scoot over a bit, I'm sure there's room for one more.


I forgot to mention, you'll miss the deer flies.

bikeman 08-06-02 08:07 AM


Originally posted by kingajo
Arizona. It is warm most of the year and the other part of the year it is hot. But you can always ride in the evening or the early morning. But best of al no allergy problems. The air is way cleaner then So. Cal.
I hear differently than you on the allergy problems. Seems that a lot of midwesterners have taken their grasses and trees with them to Arizona over the last 40 years or so. Not like it was back in the 50's and 60's. Certainly better than parts of So. California. Phoenix is hot as hell in the summer and I've even talked to locals that complain about the "Dry heat". Sort of like sticking your head into an oven, rather than a sauna (like New England or the Midwest). Still a unique and beautiful place, especially in the winter.

My wife's cousin has lived there for 15 years after growing up in Ohio and loves it. Although a recent visit home was the first time I've heard him complain about the heat and the lack of water (really dry conditions this year - more than usual). I wouldn't mind living there part of the year, but the summers there will keep you inside just like the winters do in the east. Don't forget the smog from the endless streams of traffic either. Oh well no place is perfect.:(

JCrand 08-06-02 09:30 AM

Ya, I see what you mean buy negative opinions and I appreciate your offer to scoot over. Everyone I meet out here from California seems really cool. It has always left a good impression on me, the people that is. I'm going to check out San Marcos and Escondido. I have been reading your air quality ratings and, you guessed it, nearly the worst in the nation. Is there actually a smog season in this area? Also, I checked into Arizona and it appears that Flagstaff is the only tolerable as far as heat. It also snows there. Are you guys dealing with nasty traffic jams as well? I'll miss the dead deer on the grill.:beer:

webist 08-06-02 12:56 PM

Arizona is "on the way." Why not give it a look as you head to CA.

Here. Try my town. Only an hour or so from Tucson and minutes to the "pine line" in our little mountains. Only 6 and a half hours to the beach on the Sea of Cortez in Mexico.


John E 08-06-02 08:27 PM


Originally posted by webist
Try my town. Only an hour or so from Tucson and minutes to the "pine line" in our little mountains.

When he retired from his 40-year career at H-P in SiliValley, my uncle moved to Sierra Vista AZ. He, a native of Kauai HI, and my aunt, a native of San Francisco CA, love it and recommend it highly. My father, another Kauai native, has happily retired in a suburb of Provo UT, on the Wasatch front. As our Forum moderator can tell you, Utah has alot going for it. If I did not live a km from the Pacific Ocean, my next choice might be the Rocky Mountains.

Also, you do not have to move cross-country to find a reasonably hospitable climate -- consider the Ozarks, North Carolina, or Virginia. As our many Atlantans can tell you, parts of Georgia aren't too bad for cycling, either.

cyclezealot 08-06-02 11:49 PM

As someone who has lived in three states, California has been my favorite. The climate rates among the best in the world..
I know it is expensive and without the income, no where is fun.
I just must live near the ocean. That is a must with me, so it is either the right or left coast. Anywhere in- between does not cut it. So great to live where it does not get hot or cold. At least very infrequent. Places like El Cajon or Santee in San Diego are less expensive. I just do not like heat. So here is great.
I have biked about the Central Coast from San Luis Obispo to Santa Barbara. Very desirable location to live. Think now you really are talking expense Think many local papers have web site might give you some information about living arrangements.

JCrand 08-07-02 08:53 AM

I have checked out the San Diego paper online. And I truly appreciate all the feedback. My worst fear really is finding a job. Not finished rearching though. I could make a trip out there to check it out but, if I'm goin' I'm not coming back unless I cant get a job. So many people out there is has to tough. I want to get back into carpentry, framing that type of thing. Got out of it on this coast to much of a hassle. I lived in North Carolina for 3 years before I moved to NH. To much humidity and just got tired of the"way of thinking" down there. It is beautiful though. Wont go back.

nathank 08-07-02 12:51 PM


well, i think the information everyone's giving is probably about right...

i think if the sunny year-round warm weather and the people and the "money" are what you like, then you won't be too surprised. most people who i know that have moved to San Diego have really liked it.

i'm personally more of a northern California type myself (actually never lived in California, but visited a lot and lived in Oregon and ALMOST moved to northern California)... i like the change of seasons and winter sports, plus i'm not a fan of the beach or the SoCal attitude: driving around in a convertable and looking cool hanging out on the beach and knwoing all the right people --- i'm not knocking it, it's just not my style (ladi-back, granola, hanging out in the mountains is more my style - Northwest or Boulder). SoCal is its own world...

as to Arizona: my personal take is that Phoenix sucks b/c of the sprawl and unsustainability... Tucson is a little better, but not much... Flagstaff is really cool, but it's harder to find work... as to Nevada and Utah: i considered them both myself and i found the people to be too conservative: in general, the Rocky Mountains are beautiful, but finding work and people that are not hyper-conservative is challenging (notably exception is Boulder but it's expensive)... if you want more opinions, just send me a private message telling me what you're looking for and i'll give you all the info i have (i spent many years researching places to live and it's a favorite topic of mine)

as to work, i can't help you out much since i'm in computer software...

but having three times done the "cold move" to a new city far away where i knew almost no one and had no relatives -- to Portland Oregon, Massachusetts (for grad school not my "choice"), then Munich Germany -- you just have to ask as many people as you can and get as much information as you can and always keep in mind who's telling you what b/c everyone's different and just because someone else loves it does not mean you will... with location i find the source VERY important (where else have they lived? for comparision)

i made one 2-4 day trip each time before moving (interviewed and checked out the city at the same time) and was lucky enough all 3 times to have employment before moving - it's much easier that way, but not always possible, especially since the job market isn't as good as it was before.

but it can be really fun and i REALLY recommend trying a new place. leaving Texas and moving to Portland in '97 was the best decision of my life, and moving to Germany last year is not far behind...

Greg 08-07-02 02:02 PM


The building industry in this area can be hard.

The amount of illegal emigrants working makes it hard to find high paying framing or carpentry positions. Most employers will often have a couple Americans at a decent wage and loads of illegals paid at next to nothing working for them.

If you're talented, with mabey a portfolio of past work, it shouldn't be a problem.

Most Western states suffer (or benefit) from this.

Good luck.


JCrand 08-09-02 05:10 AM

Did anyone forget to mention that the Hell's Angels run San Diego? I was just lectured buy a friend about it. I look like a biker ( shaved head goatee big build) so I will be putting up with BS from prospects and such. So she says.:p

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