Where do you live in the US?

Where do you live in the US, and what’s your road and mountain biking like there? How accessible and high quality is it?

I’m looking where to live after graduating college with an engineering degree, so most cities are game as far as where I can get a job. I enjoy mountain biking and road biking equally, but I know it’s hard to find good areas where both are viable. Right now I live in the Madison, WI area, which has excellent road biking in the driftless area, but the mountain biking is lackluster. Quality of life factors are also important, but I think there’s a correlation between good outdoor recreation and general quality of life :slightly_smiling_face:

Cities on the list so far: Boulder, Denver area, CO Springs, Boise, Seattle, Portland, SF Bay area

I dont live there (in Atlanta) and say what you want about Walmart but they love cycling and have made a really great scene in Bentonville.

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The mountain biking in Bentonville is world-class, and there are lots of gravel options as well. Haven’t ridden the road there, but based in what i have seen, I would assume roads outside of town are pretty good. How you would get treated on those roads,however,…:man_shrugging:

Bentonville is a unique town…there are a lot of pluses and a lot of minuses. The Rogers / Bentonville area has grown substantially to accommodate Walmart and the supplier base. So there are decent restaurants, etc. in the area…much more than your would expect from rural Arkansas.

But it is very much a city in flux…high turnover rate with the “Walmartians” (the supplier base) with a mix of rural population. And traffic is a nightmare at peak travel times.

Of the towns on your list, I’d rate Boise pretty high. Great mix of outdoor activities and at the beginning stages of a boom. Cost of living is going to be lowest of anything on your list and your return on buying a house will be the biggest. I’d move there in a heartbeat, personally.

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I went to a large Eng school a few hours north of you, and went straight to Bay Area. Great cycling there but not a great place to start a family. Spent some time in Portland and then Sacramento. Some great all-year cycling here, halfway between the Bay Area and Lake Tahoe.

Laredo, Tx here…but I have been to the Northwest Arkansas region, and that would be my choice. Boulder would be the other.

Through education and career path, I’ve lived a bunch of different places. Of the places you listed, I’m definitely partial to Boise. Denver is often added to lists like this, but man, I can’t stand that place. It’s just too big for my liking, and too much driving/dealing with city nonsense to get to quality MTB trails. Bay area is great for road and gravel riding if you’re willing to make the lifestyle sacrifices (house size/quality, less discretionary income availability). I don’t have enough experience with the PNW area cities to weigh in there.

I’m currently living in Bakersfield, CA. We moved here for my wife’s job about a year ago. The general sentiment among pretty much everyone who has been here is that it sucks. I felt the same way when I first moved here, last July. It was 105F everyday, and seemingly nowhere good to ride. Fast forward 1 year, and I actually really really like it here. Besides about 2 months of super hot weather, the rest of the year is amazing weather-wise. When it is hot, it’s easy to get up high in the nearby mountains to ride in reasonable temps. I’ve previously lived in Durango, CO and Logan, Utah, and can say hands down that the road and gravel climbs here are longer and tougher than in those in the Rockies. Bonus is that cost of living is quite low for California. I’ve started trying to put pics up on all my ride files on Strava to show that this place is actually quite nice for riding, and a far cry from what everyone thinks of Bakersfield.


C2K our of Fresno is on my bucket list!

I am in the SF Bay Area, more specifically in the “East Bay”. There is a lot of good road riding here, but the mountain biking is really lacking. There is plenty of places to ride a mountain bike, but they are 8-12’ wide fire roads that are not terribly interesting. There is some singletrack to be had here and there, but it’s few and far between. The trails fire road or singletrack are pretty heavily used by all groups(hikers, runners, dog walkers, cyclists, etc). The heavy usage usually leads to at least a few negative “encounters” each year. All that said the climate does bring a pretty big plus of year round riding.

How was Portland - cycling and all else?

I’m in Chattanooga, TN and would HIGHLY recommend it. MTB and road riding galore, and even tons of gravel within an hour. Pretty much any outdoor activity you love can be done in spades here…

But we’re full so don’t add it to your list :laughing:


Portland was overcast and I can’t really comment on the cycling as my job was pretty intense with a lot of travel and we had an infant. A lot of bikes in the city. Enjoyed the four years we lived there, no sales tax in OR so the trick is to live/work across the river in Vancouver WA (no income taxes) and drive across the Columbia river for shopping.

I did the 70.3 Worlds in Chattanooga and loved it. Great town and the riding was excellent (at least as far as the road).

I’ve visited Portland a few times, and loved every trip…but never ridden there. That said, I know several people that live there and they all say the riding is outstanding across the board…if a bit wet. Based on my trips there, it is definitely a very cycling-friendly city.

Are you planning to live close to downtown (vs suburb) and do you mind driving to get to MTB trails? Many of the cities you mention will require a drive to the MTB trails. Boise being an exception.

Where are the trails in Boise? My niece graduated from Boise State last year and we’ve been up there over the years. Nice town getting overrun by all those fleeing California.

Unfortunately true…and it is only going to get worse as more and more Silicon Valley start-ups realize they can be just as effective with a work-from-home employee base as a result of lockdown orders and more people flee CA.

But still a good time to get in on some property…reminds me of Boulder in the early 90’s.

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Without thinking too hard, can count at least 20 people that have moved to Boise.

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Northern Utah is honestly awesome for Road and Mtb in my opinion… Say what you want about the state but the recreation in the north is fantastic.

Don’t move to the Bay. The road riding is very good, but the mountain biking is only good if you haven’t left California in 30 years (yes, even Santa Cruz). As an added bonus, it’s eye-wateringly expensive.

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I’m in San Antonio. Don’t put it on your list

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