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velogeorgia

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Where would you relocate with an emphasis on gravel?? Quality of life high on the list. Income/employment not a concern. Where and brief summary of why would be super helpful. Thank you!!
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Zurichman

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Reply with quote  #2 
Kind of the newbie here to gravel riding. If I was to relocate to a state that have gravel.

Kansas would be number one on the list. I did the Pony Express 75 miler last year and fell in love with gravel riding/racing. There are so many gravel rides in Kansas it's unbelievable.

2nd on my list would be Wyoming. I luv Colorado and Wyoming is all that and now has some great gravel rides. It is more of a laid back area and wins points with me.


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ridemagnetic

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Reply with quote  #3 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zurichman
Kind of the newbie here to gravel riding.....


When you hit your year anniversary you're not allowed to start every singe post with that anymore. Next month isn't it?

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Zurichman

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Reply with quote  #4 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ridemagnetic


When you hit your year anniversary you're not allowed to start every singe post with that anymore. Next month isn't it?


Ok got you.
Thanks

I will say though that I still think I have lots to learn(tire selection etc.) and appreciate all the help I have been getting here on the forum.

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If it was easy it wouldn't be a memory. You just hope you don't have all your memories in the same ride. been there dun that Zman
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Thom

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Reply with quote  #5 
I'll throw in a vote for south-eastern Oregon.  Low population density, low cost of living, incredible high-desert landscape and not much traffic on any of the roads, gravel or paved. Not a thriving economy, but you said jobs were not an issue.  Winters can get a little harsh, but get a fat bike to go with the gravel bike and life is good.
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ridemagnetic

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The last 8 years I've lived in 3 different cities, all of them feature luxury gravel. 

1. Minneapolis, MN. My home state.

pros- The Twin Cities is surrounded by prime gravel no matter what direction you head, all fast and smooth. Lot's of singletrack too. Quality of life is high. Excellent culture diversity, music scene is one of the best in the country.

cons- Winters are bad. You either get used to it, or never do and move again. Humid summers, lots of mosquitos and black flies. Even though the gravel roads are very good, it's all pretty much the same. Rolling farm grid.

2. Denver, CO. 2010-2015

pros-Probably the best access to gravel out of the 3, right from your front door. And more diverse. High Mountain gravel, b-road, and singletrack to the West, farm grid out on the Eastern plains. Surface conditions vary wildly. To some that might be a bad thing, not for me. There's even a huge gravel loop that cuts right through the middle of the city. Well more like a trail, Highline Canal. Something for any mood. 4 seasons like MN, but not so many sub-freezing days, so very ridable year-round. Quality of life is good. Getting better in the cultured dept as more people move there.

cons- Denver suffers from bouts of smog, inversion. It's easily avoidable though. Head to South to Castle Rock or Colorado Springs to escape it. Castlewood Canyon was my escape the smog loop. You have to become an expert in sun block and planning out hydration. Very hot Summers, it's high mountain desert after all. I got in a routine of starting rides an hour before sunset on the really hot days.

Portland, OR. 2015-present. 

pros- Lots of gravel, and very diverse just like CO. You have the mountains and the farm grid. Best summers of the 3. Quality of life is high. Great music and food culture. 

cons- Access to gravel from Portland is limited. All the good stuff is at least a 40min-1hr drive away. Only 2 seasons here, Spring and Summer. 7 months of rain, too much gloom. I've never had to take a vitamin D pill until I got here. Almost zero culture diversity. Trust fund kids and drug addicts everywhere. The politics in this state is extreme. Rural areas are full of really aggressive right wing kooks and white supremacists, cities are full of extremely liberal 20 somethings with too much or too little money. Every major city is overrun by homeless, trash everywhere. Hop on a trail and it's guaranteed you'll be bunny hopping over a sketcher impeding your way passed out with needle hanging out of them. I stopped counting after last year, it's pretty terrible.

Earlier this Winter I was posting on this forum about a similar move, with a strong desire to get out of Portland. I was looking at Bozeman, MT. and Hayward, WI. Both have everything I want in terms of cycling and other sports, except the culture part. Hayward is just way too remote. Well the place I was going to be at. 20 miles East, on a lake but 10 miles from the nearest town. Much has changed on my end since then. I'm going back to Denver sometime later this year. As it turns out I probably should've never left.

Good luck!

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drwelby

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Reply with quote  #7 
What do you mean by quality of life?

Looking at it from a geology perspective, there's the Driftless Area (SW Wisconsin) and the Loess Hills (SW Iowa) that look like they have great gravel riding.

The area south of Gothenburg Nebraska has lots of great roads (it's the home of Odin's Revenge and Potter's Pasture).

I think the area around Montrose CO has good potential.

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bobknh

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My thoughts and opinions. I wouldn't move from rural southern New Hampshire in warm weather. Paradise for riding where the pavement ends. And, less than 2 hours from downtown Boston. In the winter though, I think that I might want to move off of Hilton Head Island. Except for the beach, there is virtually no gravel. It's a crowded 12 mile resort island. Great for golf and tennis; but not so much for cycling - unless you want to ride a beach cruiser at 5-10 mph on the poorly designed multi user bike paths. If I could I'd head further south to sample the gravel around Gainesville Fl, or the Ocala National Forest in the winter.
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velogeorgia

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Quote:
Originally Posted by drwelby
What do you mean by quality of life?

Looking at it from a geology perspective, there's the Driftless Area (SW Wisconsin) and the Loess Hills (SW Iowa) that look like they have great gravel riding.

The area south of Gothenburg Nebraska has lots of great roads (it's the home of Odin's Revenge and Potter's Pasture).

I think the area around Montrose CO has good potential.



Quality of life for me would be rural living, fresh air, low crime rate, good neighbors, etc. Thanks for the reply.
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velogeorgia

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Reply with quote  #10 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobknh
My thoughts and opinions. I wouldn't move from rural southern New Hampshire in warm weather. Paradise for riding where the pavement ends. And, less than 2 hours from downtown Boston. In the winter though, I think that I might want to move off of Hilton Head Island. Except for the beach, there is virtually no gravel. It's a crowded 12 mile resort island. Great for golf and tennis; but not so much for cycling - unless you want to ride a beach cruiser at 5-10 mph on the poorly designed multi user bike paths. If I could I'd head further south to sample the gravel around Gainesville Fl, or the Ocala National Forest in the winter.


I spend a little time in Upstate NY now in the Summer, pretty nice. I'm going to ride some in Vermont in early June. I'm in northeast Georgia now, foothills of the Blue Ridge. Riding here is good to excellent, no complaints really. Thanks for the reply.
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velogeorgia

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Reply with quote  #11 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ridemagnetic
The last 8 years I've lived in 3 different cities, all of them feature luxury gravel. 

1. Minneapolis, MN. My home state.

pros- The Twin Cities is surrounded by prime gravel no matter what direction you head, all fast and smooth. Lot's of singletrack too. Quality of life is high. Excellent culture diversity, music scene is one of the best in the country.

cons- Winters are bad. You either get used to it, or never do and move again. Humid summers, lots of mosquitos and black flies. Even though the gravel roads are very good, it's all pretty much the same. Rolling farm grid.

2. Denver, CO. 2010-2015

pros-Probably the best access to gravel out of the 3, right from your front door. And more diverse. High Mountain gravel, b-road, and singletrack to the West, farm grid out on the Eastern plains. Surface conditions vary wildly. To some that might be a bad thing, not for me. There's even a huge gravel loop that cuts right through the middle of the city. Well more like a trail, Highline Canal. Something for any mood. 4 seasons like MN, but not so many sub-freezing days, so very ridable year-round. Quality of life is good. Getting better in the cultured dept as more people move there.

cons- Denver suffers from bouts of smog, inversion. It's easily avoidable though. Head to South to Castle Rock or Colorado Springs to escape it. Castlewood Canyon was my escape the smog loop. You have to become an expert in sun block and planning out hydration. Very hot Summers, it's high mountain desert after all. I got in a routine of starting rides an hour before sunset on the really hot days.

Portland, OR. 2015-present. 

pros- Lots of gravel, and very diverse just like CO. You have the mountains and the farm grid. Best summers of the 3. Quality of life is high. Great music and food culture. 

cons- Access to gravel from Portland is limited. All the good stuff is at least a 40min-1hr drive away. Only 2 seasons here, Spring and Summer. 7 months of rain, too much gloom. I've never had to take a vitamin D pill until I got here. Almost zero culture diversity. Trust fund kids and drug addicts everywhere. The politics in this state is extreme. Rural areas are full of really aggressive right wing kooks and white supremacists, cities are full of extremely liberal 20 somethings with too much or too little money. Every major city is overrun by homeless, trash everywhere. Hop on a trail and it's guaranteed you'll be bunny hopping over a sketcher impeding your way passed out with needle hanging out of them. I stopped counting after last year, it's pretty terrible.

Earlier this Winter I was posting on this forum about a similar move, with a strong desire to get out of Portland. I was looking at Bozeman, MT. and Hayward, WI. Both have everything I want in terms of cycling and other sports, except the culture part. Hayward is just way too remote. Well the place I was going to be at. 20 miles East, on a lake but 10 miles from the nearest town. Much has changed on my end since then. I'm going back to Denver sometime later this year. As it turns out I probably should've never left.

Good luck!



Thanks for very well thought out reply. I've spent quite a bit of time in Colorado and everything you said is spot on. I actually love parts of Colorado but I prefer more of the rural areas. I prefer south central and south west Colorado I definitely prefer the rural feel versus the city or suburbs. I like to go to a major city about ever blue moon :)
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velogeorgia

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Reply with quote  #12 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thom
I'll throw in a vote for south-eastern Oregon.  Low population density, low cost of living, incredible high-desert landscape and not much traffic on any of the roads, gravel or paved. Not a thriving economy, but you said jobs were not an issue.  Winters can get a little harsh, but get a fat bike to go with the gravel bike and life is good.


Southeastern Oregon sounds a place that I should explore. Thanks for your reply!!
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velogeorgia

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Reply with quote  #13 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zurichman
Kind of the newbie here to gravel riding. If I was to relocate to a state that have gravel.

Kansas would be number one on the list. I did the Pony Express 75 miler last year and fell in love with gravel riding/racing. There are so many gravel rides in Kansas it's unbelievable.

2nd on my list would be Wyoming. I luv Colorado and Wyoming is all that and now has some great gravel rides. It is more of a laid back area and wins points with me.


Zman


Thanks for the reply. I've spent time in Colorado and Wyoming riding, both awesome places. Passed through Kansas only driving out to Colorado. I want to ride in Kansas soon. Lots of good choices out there.
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clarksonxc

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Quote:
Originally Posted by velogeorgia
Where would you relocate with an emphasis on gravel?? Quality of life high on the list. Income/employment not a concern. Where and brief summary of why would be super helpful. Thank you!!


Where did you visit in Upstate NY?  From what I've seen, the "gravel" up here is very diverse.  It ranges from all weather maintained roads to old ROW's that were abandoned and have become virtually singletrack.  And everything along the spectrum in between!  Similar to what I've seen in Vermont, minus the high peaks.  It's surprising to me that the Adirondack region doesn't have more gravel events.
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ridemagnetic

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Reply with quote  #15 
Since you're looking for the good clean rural life, fresh air and all, I'd stay well clear of the oil and gas industry. This is an excellent resource for finding the safe zones. 

https://www.fractracker.org/map/national/

If you explore that first map 'Oil & Gas in the U.S." you'll see that much of Colorado and Wyoming has been ruined, same goes for Kansas. 

If I was in your shoes I'd be looking at OR (really anywhere but Portland of course), WA, ID, Western Montana.    

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drwelby

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Reply with quote  #16 
Quote:
Originally Posted by velogeorgia
Quality of life for me would be rural living, fresh air, low crime rate, good neighbors, etc. Thanks for the reply.


Chadron, Nebraska would give you all of the Pine Ridge to explore, plus close to the Black Hills.

Black Hills is neat too (Spearfish and Rapid City) but it can get kind of gross in the touristy parts during the summer.


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Volsung

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Reply with quote  #17 
Grand Marais, MN. It's got wooded gravel instead of farm gravel, has 4 seasons, a co-op, a brewery, and a taco place that serves sauerkraut tacos because it's still Minnesota and too much change is scary.
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7rider

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Reply with quote  #18 
I like Boulder, CO, but my friend living there who's more of a roadie misses the year round access to long road rides around Silicon Valley. He seems to be adapting to the snow though.
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tal

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Reply with quote  #19 
Posters, are any of you picking up on the fact that velogeorgia is located in the state of Georgia???  I can't imagine that anyone that can currently ride year round could be interested in moving to a northern tier location where he/she cannot.  
Velogeorgia, why leave the southeast?  Is there nowhere in North or South Carolina that offers what you desire?  From experience, I can tell you that none of the northern tier states are where you want to be unless you intend to take up alternative winter sports.  Riding fat tire bikes on snow can be fun if you wear enough clothes but, that's not riding gravel.
I suppose you could consider the southwest.  You'll have year round riding but, the adjustment to the landscape and culture will certainly be an adjustment.  Good luck.   
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velogeorgia

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Quote:
Originally Posted by tal
Posters, are any of you picking up on the fact that velogeorgia is located in the state of Georgia???  I can't imagine that anyone that can currently ride year round could be interested in moving to a northern tier location where he/she cannot.  
Velogeorgia, why leave the southeast?  Is there nowhere in North or South Carolina that offers what you desire?  From experience, I can tell you that none of the northern tier states are where you want to be unless you intend to take up alternative winter sports.  Riding fat tire bikes on snow can be fun if you wear enough clothes but, that's not riding gravel.
I suppose you could consider the southwest.  You'll have year round riding but, the adjustment to the landscape and culture will certainly be an adjustment.  Good luck.   


Yep, I'm in northeast Georgia. I've visited some of the suggested areas before like Iowa, Colorado, Wyoming. I'm not opposed to having a little more Winter than I currently experience. I spend 12 weeks on a smart trainer now doing sweet spot base each year anyway. For me, probably south central and south west Colorado would be the front runner at this point.
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velogeorgia

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Reply with quote  #21 
Quote:
Originally Posted by clarksonxc


Where did you visit in Upstate NY?  From what I've seen, the "gravel" up here is very diverse.  It ranges from all weather maintained roads to old ROW's that were abandoned and have become virtually singletrack.  And everything along the spectrum in between!  Similar to what I've seen in Vermont, minus the high peaks.  It's surprising to me that the Adirondack region doesn't have more gravel events.


The Wilmington Whiteface area. Lots of good gravel roads up there with substantial climbing. Great place for 3 seasons for sure. Definitely more Winter than I want for a full time residence.
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mr_slow

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Reply with quote  #22 

Quote:
Originally Posted by velogeorgia
Thanks for very well thought out reply. I've spent quite a bit of time in Colorado and everything you said is spot on. I actually love parts of Colorado but I prefer more of the rural areas. I prefer south central and south west Colorado I definitely prefer the rural feel versus the city or suburbs. I like to go to a major city about ever blue moon 😉


As a Colorado native (I think there's about 5 or 6 of us left), I would for sure avoid the Denver/Boulder area. I grew up in the south central part of the state, and now live up in the urban metropolis of Boulder, and there are too many people in and around the area these days. I've been hit by cars two (maybe three, ended up in a ditch and don't recall a whole lot) times in the 17 years that I've been in the metro area, all car hits were in the last 7 years. Gravel is somewhat difficult to get to unless you live in Boulder proper, otherwise you're driving to ride, or you add a couple hours to your ride, which isn't always bad. When I head back to visit my family, in the south central part, its extremely easy to find loads of gravel, which seems to go for days and days. Plus, if you move the the "banana belt", they rarely get extreme weather like we do in the metro, it is rare here as well, and more so these days with climate change. Durango would be pretty rad, but some longer bits of white stuff on the ground. I'm not saying don't come to Colorado, but I would for sure avoid the front range if you want quality of live, plus the housing market is approaching that of the bay area... Good luck!

Cheers,
Greg

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bobknh

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Reply with quote  #23 
Quote:
Originally Posted by velogeorgia
Yep, I'm in northeast Georgia. I've visited some of the suggested areas before like Iowa, Colorado, Wyoming. I'm not opposed to having a little more Winter than I currently experience. I spend 12 weeks on a smart trainer now doing sweet spot base each year anyway. For me, probably south central and south west Colorado would be the front runner at this point.

I'm on Hilton Head Island SC, about an hour north of Savannah. I'm heading north to NH this weekend though. For next winter, how far are you from Hilton Head? Any good dirt roads in your area?
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velogeorgia

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Reply with quote  #24 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobknh

I'm on Hilton Head Island SC, about an hour north of Savannah. I'm heading north to NH this weekend though. For next winter, how far are you from Hilton Head? Any good dirt roads in your area?


Just over 5 hours. We have some good dirt/gravel roads near by. Most are located in the Chattahoochee National Forest. Some of the events are Southern Cross, Assault on Currahee, and Georgia Grinduro. Most of riding here involves climbing and descending. Come over this November and do the Georgia Grinduro. First Saturday in November.
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velogeorgia

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Reply with quote  #25 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mr_slow



As a Colorado native (I think there's about 5 or 6 of us left), I would for sure avoid the Denver/Boulder area. I grew up in the south central part of the state, and now live up in the urban metropolis of Boulder, and there are too many people in and around the area these days. I've been hit by cars two (maybe three, ended up in a ditch and don't recall a whole lot) times in the 17 years that I've been in the metro area, all car hits were in the last 7 years. Gravel is somewhat difficult to get to unless you live in Boulder proper, otherwise you're driving to ride, or you add a couple hours to your ride, which isn't always bad. When I head back to visit my family, in the south central part, its extremely easy to find loads of gravel, which seems to go for days and days. Plus, if you move the the "banana belt", they rarely get extreme weather like we do in the metro, it is rare here as well, and more so these days with climate change. Durango would be pretty rad, but some longer bits of white stuff on the ground. I'm not saying don't come to Colorado, but I would for sure avoid the front range if you want quality of live, plus the housing market is approaching that of the bay area... Good luck!

Cheers,
Greg



Thanks Greg. Trust me, the front range is no place for me.
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