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Looking for bike friendly towns

Old 08-01-17, 05:02 PM
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mamarides
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Looking for bike friendly towns

I used to live in Portland, OR and now live in rural NY. I really miss being in a place where I could ride my bike everywhere I needed to go. I am thinking about relocating again. Do any of you have a town (preferably not a big city) you could recommend that is really bike friendly? Thanks in advance!
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Old 08-01-17, 05:34 PM
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I've ridden a lot of places in NY state, living on Long Island currently.

Never found a place that was bike un-friendly. Lots of run down and poor communities where folks don't identify with spandex clad cyclists in racing bikes, but never had issues.

Maybe you need to better define what it is you don't like about where you currently live and how that negatively affects your cycling.
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Old 08-01-17, 05:47 PM
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Originally Posted by mamarides View Post
I used to live in Portland, OR and now live in rural NY. I really miss being in a place where I could ride my bike everywhere I needed to go. I am thinking about relocating again. Do any of you have a town (preferably not a big city) you could recommend that is really bike friendly? Thanks in advance!
I have lived in Portland OR for 23+ years. I know it has a reputation for being bike "friendly". Maybe by friendly they mean "people likes bicycles", but as a place where getting around on a bike, I can't say it's a very good place.

For example, I live west of downtown, right off of Cornell. My commute by bike to get to NW downtown is about 8 miles. HOWEVER - I am forced to take one of two routes into downtown, Cornell to Lovejoy, or Barnes. Both are TERRIBLE for bikes, bumper to bumper traffic, every time I've commuted to work I say a little prayer that today is not the day I get run over (it happens in PDX every year or so).

I could go on about the narrow roads, the lack of bike lanes, the congestion and clueless drivers. Maybe cycling is better on the other side of town (SE), but the west side (until you get past 185th, then you're getting towards farm country) is really unfun to bike in.

Now, I have to say, a great town for biking is San Jose. I lived there 10 years (before PDX), and the roads are huge and wide, bike lanes everywhere, drivers have a clue. Lots of group rides, clubs and routes. You can travel safely all around the south bay up to SF if you want to...
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Old 08-01-17, 06:45 PM
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by 'relocate' you could mean... different part of the state, diff state in the region, diff region altogether....

click this:
https://www.bikeleague.org/bfa/awards#community
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Old 08-01-17, 07:11 PM
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I miss Milwaukee for the same reason. Madison has even better infrastructure. Both would be great cities for biking.
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Old 08-02-17, 06:27 AM
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Yeah. Not enough information to provide an informed response.
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Old 08-03-17, 11:51 AM
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Southern California:
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Old 08-03-17, 07:06 PM
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Lewiston, Maine.
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Old 08-06-17, 07:29 PM
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ok to clarify - Where I live currently there are no shoulders, bike lanes, or off street paths, plus people drive fast on small roads, not looking for cyclists. I get buzzed and don't feel safe. I would like to ride with my toddler on the back, but I'm afraid to do that here. I know I am a little jumpy, but I have been hit by a car twice and my partner hit once. I really don't want to repeat that experience. I don't handle PTSD I get while sharing small roads with cars well. So, I guess I'm looking for infrastructure and awareness.
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Old 08-06-17, 07:31 PM
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@ kevrider - I am looking to stay in this region. I actually thought I was posing on the NE regional page.
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Old 08-06-17, 08:30 PM
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You are on the NE regional page.

Hard to recommend anyplace particular without knowing what area of NY you are in.

Some places I've ridden have great roads to the extent it seems like the fix was in for state Hwy. money. Others are like you describe, no shoulders.

One option would be to look on Google maps and engage the bike option, it'll show you where there are bike trails in your area.

Can't they think of ANY area in NY that is bursting with trails though, maybe the Rochester and Syracuse regions that have the Erie Canal Trail. Outside of NYC, there isn't a lot of cycling infrastructure being built., IMO. The occasional rail trails are typically County funded and that's hit and miss. Google somewhat shows you all this.

Another option besides bike trails, which can ultimately get repetitive, is to just drive around and look for roads that have good shoulders. Some of the designated state bike routes will likely be better then other local roads.

Last edited by Steve B.; 08-07-17 at 02:55 PM.
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Old 08-10-17, 01:03 PM
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where in NYS are you?
some towns that come to mind in upstate NY that is close to NYC -
Beacon NY
Nyack NY
New Paltz NY
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Old 08-11-17, 11:14 AM
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CT has pretty extensive dedicated bike trails. You can ride from New Haven to Southington (24 miles) on paved bike only lanes, then a 10 mile road stretch with shoulders up to Farmington, then from Farmington a 64 mile stretch of dedicated bike road to Westfield, MA (total about 108 miles).

The Airline Trail has two parts in Eastern CT: a really nice crushed gravel section (20 miles) from East Hampton to Willimantic, then after going through Willimantic, a shorter section north of there. THe Hop River Trail goes from Manchester to Willimantic-- a very nice ride.

The road I live on (rt 154) has comfortable shoulders for a lot of it's length and goes through a bunch of pretty villages in south central CT down to the shore.

Do you ever use Google Maps to find bike trails? You'd be surprised how many there are, I think.
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Old 08-11-17, 12:36 PM
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As was mentioned, a lot of Long Island would suit. My neighborhood is what the New York Times calls "gritty" (euphemism for slum) and there are a lot of people there, who for one reason or another get around by bike.

There is also a car culture there, and I don't know if I'd want to be car free there, but it's pretty bike friendly.
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Old 08-18-17, 10:26 AM
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Originally Posted by mamarides View Post
I used to live in Portland, OR and now live in rural NY. I really miss being in a place where I could ride my bike everywhere I needed to go. I am thinking about relocating again. Do any of you have a town (preferably not a big city) you could recommend that is really bike friendly? Thanks in advance!
I live in Bristol, Rhode Island. It is a small town with a strong seafaring heritage. There is water and boats everywhere which is why I live here. There are bikes everywhere also and more, it seems every week. As a small town, we can ride bikes everywhere and even one of the main thoroughfares has wide shoulders. I ride my bike for shopping, post office, pharmacy and similar errands.

There is a 14 mile bike path between town and Providence to the north. It runs alongside Narragansett Bay and is quite scenic drawing cyclists visiting from out of state. Terrain is generally flat with a few hills here and there. The local bike club Narragansett Bay Wheelmen has been in existence since 1895 or so. Some of the members do race but mostly is is mellow and I can always find someone who rides my speed.

Bristol is a tourist town with not only cyclists visiting but also by sail. I would recommend a visit with your bike and if you do, send me a PM so I can be your guide. https://search.yahoo.com/yhs/search?...&hsimp=yhs-003 A link to various web sites with info on Bristol.
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