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Eureka!!

Old 12-08-10, 09:16 PM
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Debusama
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Eureka!!

I just interviewed for a job in Eureka. I donít know a whole lot about the area aside from the fact that it appears to be cool and wet pretty much all the time, which is fine with me for cycling. Iím guessing that the rural setting lends itself to lots of low traffic, scenic roads, and the local culture, from what Iíve heard, is pretty unique. Are they generally bike-friendly?

I was surprised that when I looked for cycling clubs on the USA cycling website, there was only one club other than the Humboldt state team with only 8 active members. Is there any kind a local race series in the area? Iím sure there are plenty of weekend races around Northern California, but I really appreciate the fact that where I live now I can get plenty of racing in on Tuesday nights without having to leave town. Any opinions about the riding in the area? Is there anything else I should know if I should be faced with the decision to move to Eureka?
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Old 12-08-10, 10:38 PM
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Old 12-08-10, 11:20 PM
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Most of racing scene is in the Bay Area and between it and Sacramento. I was in Eureka few years back visiting a friend. There is absolutely nothing to do there.
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Old 12-09-10, 08:39 PM
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The main cash crop is pot. Seriously. The economy in the area is less than robust, with the logging and fishing industries that used to be the employment mainstays both pretty much wiped out.

Do not travel along an unpaved road you do not know is safe. Under no circumstances go on a path in the woods unless it is a short-ish loop in a state or national park, and even some of those are off limits. Pot growers tend to have no sense of humor whatsoever about folks stumbling into their growing areas. I wish I was exaggerating, but I'm not - people have died out there hiking or biking in perfectly "legal" places where cannibis agra-business has taken over.

I would not describe the area as particularly bike-friendly. More bike-indifferent to sort-of bike-tolerant, and certainly better than 30 years ago when logging trucks ruled the roads , but not friendly and not particularly aware. The roads (other than US 101, the main north-south highway) tend to be narrow and the locals tend to drive them faster than is safe. The populace is an odd mixture of redneck and aging hippie/counterculture living in a more or less peaceful coexistence.

Much of the area is incredibly beautiful, from spectacular seascapes to magical redwood forests. Cycling is definitely possible in the Eureka area, but you have to remember that Eureka, the "big city" in these parts, is a small town by most standards, and the other towns are smaller. As gpelpel's links show, there is a cycling community there, but it is not likely to be very big, which means that the racing community will be even smaller.

You can make cycling work if you move there. More important, I would say, is what kind of a place you want to live in. If you like to be in or near a cosmopolitan area, give it a miss - you are too far from SF to get there on a regular basis and the North Coast area feels pretty cut off. I'm not saying this is a good or bad thing for you, just trying to give you a heads-up so you can make a decision you will be happy with.
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Old 12-09-10, 09:59 PM
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'Back in the day', I used to spend a fair amount of time in Eureka and thereabouts. I would not call it bike friendly or even bike tolerant, but it is not the worst place I have ridden either. There are so few folks on bikes that when I pass through town (twice a year), I am often given the celebrity treatment at the local left-wing hangouts. Like all former logging areas it has a major drug problem and a lot of class-envy. I wouldn't worry much about the pot growers, just stay off of private property. There was a time when it was a bit rougher, but the growers I know, and their support networks, have mellowed quite a bit.

One major attraction (for me anyway) is the Lost Coast. There is some great cycling to be had west and south of Ferndale, and the people who live in the Lost Coast are very bike friendly. I always buy food in Petrolia and/or Honeydew as a token of appreciation.
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Old 12-10-10, 01:35 PM
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I thought being in a smaller town like Eureka would give access to lower traffic roads and mountain biking in Redwood forests would make up for a lack of local races, but it kind of sounds like, for riding purposes I'd be better of staying where I am. If I do get an offer, I'll probably still go there for a weekend with my wife to check it out, but I'll have to keep in mind what I'd be giving up here Spokane: with trails on which to ride my mountain bike without angry pot growers, and the great local road race seen. There seems to be a social aspect that would be missing there as well. thanks for the input.
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Old 12-10-10, 09:26 PM
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Check it out for yourself. It's a nice area with some drawbacks, like other nice areas.

I lived in Arcata for seven years. Cycling was popular but it's more for transportation and touring. There's not a big racing scene. There's a lot of forest that you can wander around in. I worked in the woods a lot and never had a problem with growers. There's even a big forest owned by the city behind Arcata. The vibe of the area is very granola. I'm no hippie but I like that kind of stuff so I found it a good place to live, especially if you're living cheaply. But if you're not ok with getting stuck at a stop sign behind a vw bus that's not moving because the driver is too stoned to find first gear, don't move there.

The constant rain is hard for some people to take. There's plenty of roads to ride but you are going to get wet.

I enjoyed living there but I wouldn't move back now because of the rain and long drives to get to races. Most races in NorCal are down by the bay area, or east of it in the foothills. It's 6 hours' drive from Arcata to the bay area.
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