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ridemagnetic

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Reply with quote  #1 
Looking to finally settle down after 7 years of being a gypsy. Minneapolis-Denver-Portland. Trying to find a place to that has all the best parts of where I've been and Bozeman keeps popping up as a final destination.

Any Big Sky folks here with some wisdom to share?

This isn't all about gravel grinding. Has potential to get into a deeper conversation than just bikes.

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ridemagnetic

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Reply with quote  #2 
To expand a bit on the backstory and why I'm taking such a hard look at Bozeman..

For as much as I love my native Minnesota the mountains have been calling ever since my first ski trip to Colorado waaay back in '86. It's also the same year I really got into cycling and did my first century. I was 14.

FFWD to 2009 and I took off to Denver at the end of the year. Stayed for 5 years. Had a really good thing going building custom wheel sets, contract builds for various shops and custom frame builders, then started building all the wheel sets for Rodeo Labs. I had access to world class winter sports, and world class cycling in the most picturesque settings just minutes from my front door. So what's wrong?... The Front Range of CO is over-populated, too expensive, and over-polluted.

2014 came and the GF got a job offer in Portland, so I followed. I figured growing up in Portland East (Mpls) the transition would be fairly easy. Right? No way man! Too wet! Moss grows on my van if it's parked too long. Didn't realize how much I hate rain until I moved here. I had visited Hood River 20 years ago for a week of Spring training when I used to race and the wet didn't bother me back then, but it sure as hell does now. Was bound to happen going from 300 days of sunshine in Colorado to 3 in Oregon. Access to good riding like what I had in CO or even MN requires hopping in the vehicle and driving at least for an hour before putting a foot on a pedal. And if I do decide to bike out of the city it's almost a guarantee that I'll be swerving around a homeless person passed out in the middle of a path with a needle hanging out of their arm or ankle. Winter sports are ok, but access is limited. I have some real issues with the bike industry here too, would require a face-to-face and some alcohol to get it out of me though. Portland has the typical over-populating and over-pricing that is going on in Denver and the Front Range.

Suffice it to say, I've pretty much had it with major metropolitan life. It's just not right for me anymore. Yes, I am originally from the Twin Cities, but I grew up on the outskirts. As a kid I was able to walk to my best friend's house in the Winter via a frozen creek through the woods. 40 something now and I'm regressing back to what made me the happiest in my life.

So let's talk about Bozeman! I am familiar having skied and snowboarded Bridger and Big Sky. XC and Biathlon are also extremely important to me. No cycling experience around Bozeman though, but I know it exists. I require no house, just land. I understand there is much undeveloped land for 'off-grid' living in the area and I'm somewhat familiar with the pricing and taxes. So where do you think I'll end up?

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drwelby

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Reply with quote  #3 
I don't know anything about Bozeman, but I read a post from adventure blogger Dave C where he has an interesting approach to figuring out where to live. Might give you some ideas.
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ridemagnetic

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Pretty good blog post. Thanks for that, drwelby. 

Interesting correlations drawn from population density and altitude being determining factors. After the failed Portland experiment I know very well my body loves high mountain desert, but when I go adventuring I really don't want to see people. Unavoidable, even in the most remote places in Colorado. The tricky thing about Bozeman what I have no idea about is the Western Glitterati factor. Another part of that write up that alluded to tourist trap areas like Whitefish, Durango, Crested Butte, etc that serve as 2nd homes for the wealthy. I'd like to avoid the Richie Rich hobby farms that I know exist around Bozeman too because of such close proximity to Bridger and Big Sky. When thinking about undeveloped land that should be easily avoidable, especially if there's no electric or sewer. 

Too bad about Colorado's Western Slope too. I took a very hard look at Grand Junction and that area between GJ and say Glenwood Springs. It's been contaminated beyond help by the oil and gas industry. Nice thing about Western Montana that it's in a veritable oasis of nothing to drill or frack for.

Hopefully some local yokel gravel grinder that knows the lay of the land around Bozeman can chime in soon. This move is literally consuming my thoughts and decision making process on a daily basis.

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drwelby

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Reply with quote  #5 
I hear ya, I live east of I25 and it seems like everyone in the Front Range wants to move to Helena or Boise now.
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ridemagnetic

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Reply with quote  #6 
2 week later bump....... Is there really nobody from Bozeman on this forum? 
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ridemagnetic

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Reply with quote  #7 
Hello again sleepy Montana. What's going on there? Felling a little sore after that bodyslam? 




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jonz

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Reply with quote  #8 
Just happened on the thread.  I live half the year in West Yellowstone.  Bozeman is not what I'd call uncrowded. It's spreading toward Belgrade and Four Corners, lots of suburban sprawl.  But the surrounding mountains are great.  There's a gravel event called the Morganzo 55 - I rode it the year before this.  Maybe contact the organizers.

So, did you end up in Bozeman and what do you think?
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ridemagnetic

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Reply with quote  #9 
I did find some really nice undeveloped land east of Bozeman, but it turns out I'm moving to Hayward, WI. Back to the Midwest for this kid.
http://ridinggravel.com/forum/?p=post%2Fgettin-it-on-in-the-chequamegon-8722337

Should be on the road sometime in early November. The Chequamegon National Forest for a backyard. 20 miles east of Hayward on Lake Chippewa. 10 miles from the nearest town. All wheel biz inbound/outbound will be done by snowmobile towing a cargo sled during Winter months, really the only way to get around. World class xc skiing, fatbikes. Luxury gravel and mtb in the warm months... Most of all, close to mom.

I will be traveling through Bozeman during my escape from Portland. Might stay a couple days for a quick ride?, say hi to Carl Strong? I dunno.. Something along those lines.

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Squatch

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Reply with quote  #10 
I live in Bozeman and have for some time. It is blown up. You made a good choice it sounds like
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ridemagnetic

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Reply with quote  #11 
...And the choices were abound. Really could've ended up in Montana despite the growth in Bozeman. That land I mentioned was pretty far from town, the NE corner of Battle Ridge up by Wilsall. Ultimately, I need to be close to mom in her twilight years. Even if my mom wasn't part of the decision to go back, there's something about being a Midwesterner that's like a magnet. Can't help it, I was born this way. 
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Squatch

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Reply with quote  #12 
Battle ridge is Montana. Pretty far from Bozeman. Nice spot great views, gravel and single track all around. Sounds like where you are is really nice happy trails
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