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Rate the city/area you live from a riding perspective.

klaviator

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Alabama
I have seen a lot of articles rating various cities as "Best place to live", "best place to retire", etc. One thing all those articles forget is how good of a place is it to ride. I know that people live where they do for a variety of reasons but personally I refuse to live somewhere that the riding sucks. I have been there and done that. Never again. I would not be living where I do if it wasn't a good place to ride. Riding was high on my list of important things when I chose to live where I do/

So my question is how do you rate where you live from a riding perspective and did that play any part in your deciding to live where you do.

Lets keep the politics out of this discussion.


I'll start. I moved to Huntsville, Alabama over 9 years ago from Marietta, Georgia. I moved to Marietta back in 2002 specifically because it was near some of my favorite riding areas. I thought I would stay there but moved to Huntsville for work. I thought it would be a step backwards from a riding perspective but I was wrong. Huntsville has turned out to be a great area from a riding perspective. So why is that?

First is that we can ride year round here. Sure it gets a little hot in the summer and a little cold in the winter but overall the weather here is very good for riding.

Second is the actual riding. We have some very good roads nearby. They aren't the best but still very good. This is true of both paved and unpaved roads. Another plus is that is is fairly painless getting out of town and to those riding areas. The closest dirt roads are only 5 miles away and I live in the City limits, not out in the country.

Third. People to ride with. We have an active group of riders around here. I can easily find people to ride with, on and off road. Many of the local riders have become friends and we do out of town trips as well as local rides.

Fourth. Motorcycle dealers. Huntsville is not a big city so we don't have the selection of dealers found in the larger cities but we do have a couple of good, locally owned shops as well as a Harley dealer and a big powersports dealer that I doubt I will ever buy a bike from. We also have a Cycle Gear. Nashville, Chattanooga, and Birmingham are all about 2 hours away and they have dealers for the brands not found here.

Fifth, Location. Huntsville is not far from my favorite riding areas in the Blue Ridge Mountains. It's a little far for a day ride but I can get there easily for a weekend or longer trip.

Sixth. Riding in town. This might not be important to some but I ride almost everywhere I go around town whether I'm going shopping, hiking or to the doctor or dentist. Huntsville is actually a pretty nice city to ride in. The drivers are better than average, the traffic less than big cities and the roads surprisingly entertaining for urban riding.


Bottom line: I am very happy to be living here. I wouldn't rate it as the best place in the country to live from a riding perspective but I'll rate it as very good.

OK, who's next?
 

blue72beetle

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Feb 26, 2022
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808
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37
Location
Fort Wayne IN
Fort Wayne Indiana: 0. In fact, all of northern Indiana: 0.
No curves. No elevation changes. You have to ride nearly a full day to get to anywhere fun. Winter ruins half the year. 99% of the riders are pirate posers on Harleys or squids on sportbikes.

When I retire from the military in a few years I'd really like to move close to the Smoky Mountains.
 

oldschool

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Feb 12, 2022
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652
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Location
USA
For me, initially the decision to move from Detroit to a tiny burg north of Tampa FL called Lutz was my parents' choice (actually I think my mother had a lot to do with it, hoping to get my father away from his regular drinking buddies). It was rural country then and a bit of a culture change for a then-6 year old me. We lived in that house 14 years as I grew up, got into bikes at age 14 and later graduated high school. Shortly after that my parents moved 40 miles further north to even more rural, but I had become a city kid while working at 5 different Honda shops in the area over the years so Tampa was it for me. I was into street bikes mostly since any good dirt riding was about 50 miles north of where I lived and I never had the money or housing stability to have a dirt bike with a trailer or other means to transport it.

At age 22 I went to work for the City of Tampa Police garage and expected to be there for a long time, so moving was not on my mind and there was plenty of decent street riding areas not far out of town since Tampa was still a lot smaller than it is today. A couple of failed marriages and a period of 5 years during which I moved 15 times locally didn't change the scenery much, just the streets I lived and rode on.

Fast forward a couple decades and many of those years were spent working with my father on many bike projects, all of which would never have happened (bought totaled and rebuilt Gold Wing and CBX to name just a couple) had I moved away from the area, then my parents were getting up in years and since my sister was a selfish person who did zero for them, only took what they gave her, I knew I was going to be the one to care for them in their last years with us so moving was out of the question. Along the way, another failed marriage produced my daughter and yet another reason to stay in the area.

And finally, having met my current wife and achieving a great marriage at last, and her youngest son also living in the area, added to the fact that by now I'm closing in on retirement after almost 20 years with her, we moved further north in an inadvertent mirror-image of what my parents had done decades previously. I haven't ridden dirt bikes in close to 40 years and discovered along the way that my hard riding during youth had done significant lower back damage due to the poor suspension of the day and always riding the heavier 4 stroke Hondas by choice, plus a 19 year absence from bikes altogether due to child support, left me with street riding as my only outlet once I got back into bikes in 2013.

My wife and I briefly considered moving further north to someplace less flat and cooler, but once again family ties caused us to just move further north of Tampa. Ironically, I now live about 5 to 10 miles from all the best places I rode dirt back in the day but I can't enjoy them anymore. So I turned to building a few street and drag strip projects to get my riding fixes as needed, though I am quite envious when I see all the cool pics posted by those who live in the mountains or very near them, which is why I go to SC every fall if I can afford to.

As for my current area, other than being mostly flat there are a lot of decent twisties within 20 miles of me and since it's rural, far less traffic to deal with so it's as much fun as I can get overall. I absolutely hate having to go to Tampa these days, that place is so very different and stupid-trafficky 50+ years later.
 

psykown

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Mar 28, 2022
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996
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149
Location
Albuquerque, NM
Albuquerque
Twisties: arent amazing but fun and reasonably close.

offroading: from what I've been able to hit has been pretty good just be prepared for alot of sand

City: They are the dumbest pieces of shit I have ever had the pleasure of dealing with. They make the deaf and blind old ladies that cant even see over the dash from florida look like Ayrton Senna Roads are really rough to, I dont mind that so much

Biggest Pros Ive seen are being able to do multi stage day rides and with a large variety of terrain from mountain passes, woods, fields, and desert on a mix of two lane highway to to one lane mountain back roads, to tight single track without ever really having to hit to much highwayto link everything together
 

Al Tuna

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110
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Location
GA
I'm 40 miles northwest of Atlanta, Lake Allatoona, hence the user name. 78 miles to Little River Canyon, 98 to Suches, 113 to Tellico Plains/Cherohala Skyway.

Easy access to metropolis, the west, southwest and north is mostly rural open roads. East/southeast is a nightmare. 5 hours to the Atlantic coast, 6 to the Gulf coast.

All in all It's a great compromise and practically year-round riding. I'm not moving, been around here all my life.
 

oldschool

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Location
USA
Albuquerque
Twisties: arent amazing but fun and reasonably close.

offroading: from what I've been able to hit has been pretty good just be prepared for alot of sand

City: They are the dumbest pieces of shit I have ever had the pleasure of dealing with. They make the deaf and blind old ladies that cant even see over the dash from florida look like Ayrton Senna Roads are really rough to, I dont mind that so much

Biggest Pros Ive seen are being able to do multi stage day rides and with a large variety of terrain from mountain passes, woods, fields, and desert on a mix of two lane highway to to one lane mountain back roads, to tight single track without ever really having to hit to much highwayto link everything together
My cousin moved to ABQ close to 10 years ago and he does road rides in and out of state often with his son, like weekend trips to Colorado and some of the cool riding areas there too. I've only driven there once while visiting him, didn't see many bad cagers at the time about 5 years ago.
 

psykown

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Location
Albuquerque, NM
My cousin moved to ABQ close to 10 years ago and he does road rides in and out of state often with his son, like weekend trips to Colorado and some of the cool riding areas there too. I've only driven there once while visiting him, didn't see many bad cagers at the time about 5 years ago.
Id take LA and Daytona Racer wannabe cagers any day of the week over the ones in Albuquerque, keep an extra close eye on anyone with armed forces plates as well
 

Alan F.

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Location
Haverhill, MA, USA
Northeast Massachusetts, I've got New Hampshire 5 minutes up the road and the Maine border is 40ish miles past that. There are plenty of twisty roads around within 50 miles, day trips of 400 miles are pretty easy, pick a back road and head north, head south when half the day is over. Or jump on a highway and get there quicker.

Here's a good one:
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Hampshire_Route_153
 

klaviator

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Alabama
Great riding once out of the city, just need lots of time.
I lived in Bowie, MD. for three years. There was some OK riding in MD and pretty good riding to the East. Compared to the other places I have lived it was probably better than average. But that was over 20 years ago. I'm sure there is a lot more traffic today.
 

Earache

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Black Hawk, Colorado
I live out in the boonies about 45 miles west of Denver and up around 10,000' in elevation. For riding it's a 10/10. Great roads and off roads within a mile of my house.
Always have friends and family stopping by our house for vacation and for riding. No shortage of peeps to ride with.
No humidity and rarely gets above 75F at the house, lots of sun up here, too.

But there's a lot of cons as well;
1) Have to drive 30 miles for groceries. restaurants or anything else.
2) Riding season is about 4 months long. You can squeeze more in, but you'll probably be riding in snow for a bit. May 26th of this year we had 20" of snow. It melts fast though. Short riding season.
3) High housing costs - hell, it's high everything costs up here.
4) You've gotta be self reliant to get anything done as no lives around here to help you out.

But, it's a great place to live. And did I mention the local riding ..
IMG_7825.JPG
IMG_7830.JPG
IMG_7786.JPG
 
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klaviator

Scooter Trash
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Joined
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Location
Alabama
I live out in the boonies about 45 miles west of Denver and up around 10,000' in elevation. For riding it's a 10/10. Great roads and off roads with a mile of my house.
Always have friends and family stopping by our house for vacation and for riding. No shortage of peeps to ride with.
No humidity and rarely gets above 75F at the house, lots of sun up here, too.

But there's a lot of cons as well;
1) Have to drive 30 miles for groceries. restaurants or anything else.
2) Riding season is about 4 months long. You can squeeze more in, but you'll probably be riding in snow for a bit. May 26th of this year we had 20" of snow. It melts fast though.
3) Short riding season.
4) High housing costs - hell, it's high everything costs up here.
5) You've gotta be self reliant to get anything done as no lives around here to help you out.

But, it's a great place to live. And did I mention the local riding ..
IMG_7825.JPG
IMG_7830.JPG
IMG_7786.JPG
I can't say I would want to live there but it would be an awesome place for a summer cabin!
 

Gravelcruiser

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Feb 8, 2022
Member Number
351
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242
Location
Missouri
North Missouri, the land of corn and beans and grid roads. There are a few gems scattered about here and there. When it rains, it's real mud, the kind that's slick and clogs up knobs. The secondary slab generally in poor repair and when you find a curve, there is always a gravel road intersection, so the gravel is strewn about on the apex. The most enjoyable riding somewhat close is south of I70. And boy, does it get good down there.
 

gpounce

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Feb 19, 2022
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738
Posts
143
Location
Maryland
4 miles from DC. Way too much traffic, 30 miles from anything worth riding to!

zomfg yes- Baltimore here.. western MD is good, north central up into PA also.. but anything within 15 or so miles of I-95 from NYC down to Richmond is a get-away-from asap far as I'm concerned.
 
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