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I'm disrespectful to dirt
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Yes, it's baseball season, but that's not why. It's time to beat up on yet another Californian who's moving up to OR. My wife and I have been planning a move up to Portland for some time, and now that the time draws near (end of next month) I'm looking at places to live, ride, etc. Panic is also setting in, as I haven't moved to another state in a long damn time, not to mention one that seems somewhat hostile to newcomers. At the very least, only 50% of us is from CA, as my better half is from the other CA(nada). We also used to live in Seattle (last decade though) so maybe we'll be ok...

While the IT job market seems to kind of suck there, I'm actually kind of hoping I don't find a job immediately, as the pics you guys post make me want to just ride every day and not do much else. Is it really that good up there? Can I really hop on my bike in the middle of Portland and just hit the trails? Will I bring all the rain back to the PNW with me? I sure hope so....
 

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Shaun K said:
Can I really hop on my bike in the middle of Portland and just hit the trails? Will I bring all the rain back to the PNW with me? I sure hope so....
Where'd that come from? I'm not a Portlander, but from what I've heard trails in the city are very limited. Now if you're willing to drive an hour or so, it's a smorgasboard.

Rain's already back, thanks a frickin lot. I was really enjoying our sunny March. Goodbye dry trails.

Don't worry about being a transplant, about half the state is, at least on the I-5 corridor. They're used to us now. I wouldn't worry too much about finding a job right away, little danger of that these days. You'll probably have plenty of ride time, if you can afford the gas to get to the trails.

Portland's a bit more "small town" than Seattle, which may or may not be a good thing for you. Just don't panic, it'll all work out. Or you'll move again. :)
 

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I hate to rain on your parade but...

Shaun K said:
Can I really hop on my bike in the middle of Portland and just hit the trails?
Kind of, but not really. The commonly referenced trail network inside the city (Forest Park) is predominantly a long smooth and wide fireroad with some tough climbs off the sides and at the north end. Worth riding - absolutely. Climbs that will hurt you - yes. Technical or twisty or singletrack - no. All of the "good stuff" is at least 47 miles out of the city.
 

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Welcome to PDX!

Any mtn. biker is welcome here as far as I'm concerned. Don't worry ... in person, most people are very welcoming. Do make sure to be reasonably respectful of the place, and don't spend too much complaining about things you miss from CA, because most people here are proud of being different and the last thing we want is newcomers making the place more like CA. I would get the CA plates switched over reasonably quickly, because you'll have an easier time on the freeway if you appear to be local. Don't let the above freak you out, again remember most people are nice. Some aren't, but there are a$$holes everywhere. Remember that less than half the people who live here were born here, so we're used to turnover and transplants.

As far as trails go, yes you can ride out the front door -- IF you don't mind riding fire roads. Forest Park has 27 miles of bikeable "lanes", varying from deteriorated pavement/gravel to dirt and ballast rock. Some are reasonably flat and some are extremely steep, with a total drop of 1000' from top to bottom. FP trails are a little boring in the summertime, but the forest is beautiful and almost feels like wilderness in places. In the wintertime the place really comes into its own, as the trails get really muddy (sometimes even challenging) and the cover of darkness allows for great night riding. Fortunately Forest Park's trails are pretty resistant to damage, and can be ridden all winter.

There are a couple places in town (Mt. Tabor, Powell Butte) that you can ride real singletrack, but each one has no more than 3-4 miles of trails, and PB is closed in winter because it's pretty sensitive to overuse. Tabor is not heavily used, and so far seems to have slipped under the Parks Bureau's radar screen as a place where bikes need to be kicked out, so it remains legal. Oaks Bottom has 1-2 miles of singletrack, but I believe it was closed to bikes last year.

Rufudufus is right, if you're willing to drive an hour there are lots of good singletrack options, and if you're willing to drive two hours your choices go up exponentially from there.

- Dan
 

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I'm disrespectful to dirt
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the replies everyone! I kinda figured that there were quite a few people up there who were transplants...I ran into the same thing pretty often in Seattle. My wife and I aren't the types to pull up in a BMW sipping out coffees talking about how much we miss CA, so no worries there. In fact I know my wife won't miss CA at all...and we dont have a yuppiemobile either :p .

I have a few friends up there already, some of whom told me about the hostility towards transplants. I can understand where some of them are coming from, as I"m sick of all the people who moved here and drove up the avg price of a house to $556k :( . I'm sure I'll be doing my part to drive up the housing market up there as well, so what goes around comes around I suppose.

Sounds like there are a couple areas in town where you can get in a nice loop before or after work, even if it's not the most techincal or challenging stuff. I've seen Mt. Tabor on maps and figured it was a good place to start. Thats more than I can get here, so I have no complaints. But the 47+ miles drive to get to any really fun trails seems a little odd to me. I thought this was a small town kinda place?

Glowboy, I've read some of your posts in the past and it seems like this is a decent place to commute by bike. Does the light rail help at all with that? How's the traffic; ever have problems with ******* drivers?

I know this seems like alot of stupid questions, but I haven't had much time to research the area other than looking for jobs and apartment rentals, and the friends I have up there aren't cyclists.


GlowBoy said:
Any mtn. biker is welcome here as far as I'm concerned. Don't worry ... in person, most people are very welcoming. Do make sure to be reasonably respectful of the place, and don't spend too much complaining about things you miss from CA, because most people here are proud of being different and the last thing we want is newcomers making the place more like CA. I would get the CA plates switched over reasonably quickly, because you'll have an easier time on the freeway if you appear to be local. Don't let the above freak you out, again remember most people are nice. Some aren't, but there are a$$holes everywhere. Remember that less than half the people who live here were born here, so we're used to turnover and transplants.

As far as trails go, yes you can ride out the front door -- IF you don't mind riding fire roads. Forest Park has 27 miles of bikeable "lanes", varying from deteriorated pavement/gravel to dirt and ballast rock. Some are reasonably flat and some are extremely steep, with a total drop of 1000' from top to bottom. FP trails are a little boring in the summertime, but the forest is beautiful and almost feels like wilderness in places. In the wintertime the place really comes into its own, as the trails get really muddy (sometimes even challenging) and the cover of darkness allows for great night riding. Fortunately Forest Park's trails are pretty resistant to damage, and can be ridden all winter.

There are a couple places in town (Mt. Tabor, Powell Butte) that you can ride real singletrack, but each one has no more than 3-4 miles of trails, and PB is closed in winter because it's pretty sensitive to overuse. Tabor is not heavily used, and so far seems to have slipped under the Parks Bureau's radar screen as a place where bikes need to be kicked out, so it remains legal. Oaks Bottom has 1-2 miles of singletrack, but I believe it was closed to bikes last year.

Rufudufus is right, if you're willing to drive an hour there are lots of good singletrack options, and if you're willing to drive two hours your choices go up exponentially from there.

- Dan
 

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Portland has been voted the most bike friendly city in America several times. There are plenty of bike lanes and most people are respectful of cyclists and appreciate the environmental contribution cyclists make by not adding another car to the road. I hop on board the light rail with my bike all the time. The dedicated bike spaces on the train can get used up quickly especially on nice weekend days but it's no big deal. Buses also have accomodations for bikes on the front although I've yet to go this route.

Forest Park is pretty much right out the door of the hospital where I work in NW Portland so I ride it often for a good workout and decompression session after a long day. The others have summed up Forest Park pretty well - just be careful of all the runners, walkers and other cyclists since this is a popular place.

Portland has a "small town" feel but it is not Jerkwater, Arkansas. It has all the amenities you could want with an awesome cultural diversity and no lack of things to do. I'm a transplant from Mobile,Alabama(Gulf Coast) and miss the warm southern Spring weather and can get bummed by all the rain about this time of year. That said, I'll trade an Oregon Winter for an Alabama Summer any day. Can you say "humid as Hell"?!! Although people tend to joke/complain about California transplants, there is no open animosity here towards anyone. Like the others have said, it's one big melting pot anyway; just come on in and go with the flow.

P.S. - I was a casualty of the high-tech crash here a few years ago and decided to go into healthcare. I'm extremely happy with my decision and haven't really looked into the tech sector lately to assess the job market. It's still tough here to find good work so you may have to be pretty flexible.
 

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ChipAllen said:
Although people tend to joke/complain about California transplants, there is no open animosity here towards anyone.
In Bend I hear folks ripping on "The Californians" all the time, but it seems that half the people I meet are from Sacramento. Personally I think California is the best thing to have happened to Bend, otherwise it'd still be like Prineville or LaPine.
 

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Shaun K said:
Sounds like there are a couple areas in town where you can get in a nice loop before or after work, even if it's not the most techincal or challenging stuff. I've seen Mt. Tabor on maps and figured it was a good place to start. Thats more than I can get here, so I have no complaints. But the 47+ miles drive to get to any really fun trails seems a little odd to me. I thought this was a small town kinda place?
Portland is much smaller than Seattle or San Francisco, but the metro area is home to 1.9 million people. Even as the least-sprawling American city of its size, it still takes up quite a bit of space, and you do have to drive a bit to find a big chunk of federal or undeveloped private land amenable to offroad cycling. It also sits at the confluence of two large valleys (the Columbia Basin and the Willamette Valley), which puts it 30-40 miles away from the nearest "real" mountains in any direction.

Shaun K said:
Glowboy, I've read some of your posts in the past and it seems like this is a decent place to commute by bike. Does the light rail help at all with that? How's the traffic; ever have problems with ******* drivers?
Portland's definitely a great place to commute by bike. There are bike lanes on most major arterials, even including a lot of suburban areas now. Especially in the city, most drivers are considerate towards bikers. That's even somewhat true in the suburbs, although drivers out there aren't as used to bikes and cars' speeds are much higher. As anywhere, I've had problems with a**h**** drivers, but it's quite rare. I've been riding 2-3 times a week and have had serious "incidents" (no collisions) maybe 2 or 3 times.

In the winter, the 3 most important things are good raingear (doesn't need to be totally waterproof, just enough to keep you from getting soaked and chilled), fenders and good visibility (that means both lighting -- front and back -- and reflective stuff). As long as people see you a reasonable distance away, you usually won't have problems.

Light rail helps, and I use it for about half the distance of my morning commute to Beaverton, getting me to work quicker and avoiding a huge climb. I find the trains more crowded in the evening than the morning (although that might be because I get a later start than most), so after work I just ride the 11 miles home over the hills and skip the train. If you don't have to go over the West Hills, the city's fairly flat which makes commuting easier too. Also, all city buses (as in most cities now, right? I hope?) are equipped with easy to use SportWorks bike racks on the front.
 

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I'm disrespectful to dirt
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
ChipAllen said:
P.S. - I was a casualty of the high-tech crash here a few years ago and decided to go into healthcare. I'm extremely happy with my decision and haven't really looked into the tech sector lately to assess the job market. It's still tough here to find good work so you may have to be pretty flexible.

Chip, what did you end up doing in the healthcare field? I can't imagine doing anything there myself, I've been going too long in IT to think of much else other than working in a bike shop, as I have no other skills :p . I'm willing to be flexible, and I fully expect to take a pay cut, but I'm hoping for a minimum so that we can at least afforf a home without having 2 jobs each. I have a few friends up there in the IT field who are scoping it out for me, so I have my fingers crossed.

I have a few more questions for all of the Portlanders:

-Can you recommend any relatively cheap areas to get an apartment that's central to most places in Portland? My wife is going up there in a few weeks to set up camp and get us a place, and then start looking for a job in her field. We just want a basic 2-bed place, preferably with a month-to-month or short-term lease. We've been scoping out craigslist and there seem to be a few decent places, but if anyone has a recommendation I'd appreciate it.

-My cpa was telling me about the "brutal" income taxes in OR, and in Portland especially. He mentioned 5% but I see 9% when I search on it, plus an additional tax for those in the Portland area (for the rail system?). Is this true? If so I guess it's pretty close to CA...just wondering I guess.

-Reserved for another question....I know I'll have one soon tho ;)
 

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Shaun K said:
Chip, what did you end up doing in the healthcare field?
I currently work at the Rehabilition Institute of Oregon. We are an inpatient rehab facility that deals with spinal cord trauma, traumatic brain injury, strokes, burns and a variety of other things. Luckily, I was able to rely on my past management experience to land a support role without having to return to school. I get to work directly with all of our patients during their treatments as well as help coordinate various aspects of daily operations.


As for places to live, I'm currently in a Beaverton neighborhood, not too far from the HWY 217 interchange. For me, it's very convenient - between both the Cascade Mountains in one direction and Pacific Coast in the other. You'll find out, however, that everyone has a different opinion about places to live around here.
 

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Traffic is horrible!

Shaun K said:
Thanks for the replies everyone! I kinda figured that there were quite a few people up there who were transplants...I ran into the same thing pretty often in Seattle. My wife and I aren't the types to pull up in a BMW sipping out coffees talking about how much we miss CA, so no worries there. In fact I know my wife won't miss CA at all...and we dont have a yuppiemobile either :p .

I have a few friends up there already, some of whom told me about the hostility towards transplants. I can understand where some of them are coming from, as I"m sick of all the people who moved here and drove up the avg price of a house to $556k :( . I'm sure I'll be doing my part to drive up the housing market up there as well, so what goes around comes around I suppose.

Sounds like there are a couple areas in town where you can get in a nice loop before or after work, even if it's not the most techincal or challenging stuff. I've seen Mt. Tabor on maps and figured it was a good place to start. Thats more than I can get here, so I have no complaints. But the 47+ miles drive to get to any really fun trails seems a little odd to me. I thought this was a small town kinda place?

Glowboy, I've read some of your posts in the past and it seems like this is a decent place to commute by bike. Does the light rail help at all with that? How's the traffic; ever have problems with ******* drivers?

I know this seems like alot of stupid questions, but I haven't had much time to research the area other than looking for jobs and apartment rentals, and the friends I have up there aren't cyclists.
Portland is California with rain (LOTS OF RAIN!). I would stay in California. The biking is so bad here. I would stay in California. The housing has gotten expensive, taxes are terrible, and jobs are scarce. I have no clue why someone would move here from California. *S* Enjoy. Part of what I say is true...most is actually but it is beautiful here.

Jaybo

PS the radical, liberal morons in Mult. county voted to tax themselves. Unbelievable! I'm so glad I live and work in Washington.
 

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I wont talk politics here but I have to agree that the rain does indeed tend to bring me down at times, especially in the Spring when I've been waiting for the season to get underway. As for the biking not being any good - well all I can say is that it is all relative. I've been to many places where the biking is far worse than here. I'm not sure what you're looking for but there's a temperate rainforest on one side of the Cascades and high desert on the other side - literally just miles apart from each other. I've never had trouble finding a place to ride. It may take a little time spent of the car going to the trailhead sometimes but the scenery getting there is half the trip. To each his own, I guess...
 

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how can you say that

Nat said:
In Bend I hear folks ripping on "The Californians" all the time, but it seems that half the people I meet are from Sacramento. Personally I think California is the best thing to have happened to Bend, otherwise it'd still be like Prineville or LaPine.

Now Nat how can you say that. All it has done is bring complaining, destructive, nasty people to our fine community. Now I have been here since 1975 and can't remember it ever being like Prineville or LaPine, I mean I have never seen any inbreeds from Bend :D
Any way a few of the folks from CA are ok, but most I have met are very nasty indignant backstabbers. I think all stereotypes are dropped for a fellow MTB rider though.
I think the only people here ripping on Californians are native Oregonians like myself. Haven't you seen the bumper stickers that say "Welcome to Bend, don't F*#% it up"? They were forced into circulation because of destructive people from other areas like CA that are destroying our area.
 

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Natives

DirtDawg said:
Now Nat how can you say that. All it has done is bring complaining, destructive, nasty people to our fine community. Now I have been here since 1975 and can't remember it ever being like Prineville or LaPine, I mean I have never seen any inbreeds from Bend :D
Any way a few of the folks from CA are ok, but most I have met are very nasty indignant backstabbers. I think all stereotypes are dropped for a fellow MTB rider though.
I think the only people here ripping on Californians are native Oregonians like myself. Haven't you seen the bumper stickers that say "Welcome to Bend, don't F*#% it up"? They were forced into circulation because of destructive people from other areas like CA that are destroying our area.
Native Oregonian huh? Are your ancestors European? If so, then I do not think you have a right to complain about Californians. Welcome to North America, don't F*#% it up.
 

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DirtDawg said:
Now Nat how can you say that. All it has done is bring complaining, destructive, nasty people to our fine community. Now I have been here since 1975 and can't remember it ever being like Prineville or LaPine, I mean I have never seen any inbreeds from Bend :D
Any way a few of the folks from CA are ok, but most I have met are very nasty indignant backstabbers. I think all stereotypes are dropped for a fellow MTB rider though.
I think the only people here ripping on Californians are native Oregonians like myself. Haven't you seen the bumper stickers that say "Welcome to Bend, don't F*#% it up"? They were forced into circulation because of destructive people from other areas like CA that are destroying our area.
I dunno man. Nearly everyone I've met has been quite nice, and about half (or more) of the folks I've met came from CA. Maybe you're running with the wrong crowd? ;)

I've been here only three years (via AZ) and I wouldn't have even considered the move if Bend didn't have some "Californiatization" (i.e., Starbucks, Old Mill, ethnic restaurants, brewpubs) to it. I know those places aren't your cup of tea, so maybe you'd be happier if I hadn't come here either. C'est la vie.

Did you ever pick up that Monocog? WebCyclery has a few for only $425, and I think I saw that one still sitting out in front of Second Season.
 

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Jaybo...would it kill you to see both sides of an issue?

PS the radical, liberal morons in Mult. county voted to tax themselves. Unbelievable! I'm so glad I live and work in Washington.[/QUOTE]

Why is it moronic that I want my kids to attend a full year of school?
 

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Nat said:
I dunno man. Nearly everyone I've met has been quite nice, and about half (or more) of the folks I've met came from CA. Maybe you're running with the wrong crowd? ;)

I've been here only three years (via AZ) and I wouldn't have even considered the move if Bend didn't have some "Californiatization" (i.e., Starbucks, Old Mill, ethnic restaurants, brewpubs) to it. I know those places aren't your cup of tea, so maybe you'd be happier if I hadn't come here either. C'est la vie.

Did you ever pick up that Monocog? WebCyclery has a few for only $425, and I think I saw that one still sitting out in front of Second Season.
Just voicing out - no matter how much I dislike folks from other states - I just can't be harsh on fellow bikers.
Really I don't hang with any crowd - maybe thats the problem :D
I guess I just hate to see some bad apples ruin things around here.

Actually any brew pub is my cup of tea (must be the Irish in me):p

Anyway - No I havent purchased a monocog yet - I saw that second Season has a mess of them for $139 and the guy that used to run the Paullina Plunge trail ride has about 50 of them for $125. I'm trying to decide if I want to buy one or build one. I have an older cromo Specialized Hardrock frame that would work pretty well (no disc mounts). Just waiting for the right cash flow since it's tax season and all. I wish I worked the same shift as you guys because I still havent been able to sneak away for one of your Thursday rides. :(
 

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frank n. beans said:
Native Oregonian huh? Are your ancestors European? If so, then I do not think you have a right to complain about Californians. Welcome to North America, don't F*#% it up.

Sorry to hear your offended by some one who was born and raised here (4th generation)
I think I have every right to complain - SPODE! - If you don't like the voice of my state then GO HOME!!!!
 

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not offended

DirtDawg said:
Sorry to hear your offended by some one who was born and raised here (4th generation)
I think I have every right to complain - SPODE! - If you don't like the voice of my state then GO HOME!!!!
Voice of your state? Come on.

You should consider digging a mote around the compound. Put some sharks and alligators in it too.
 
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