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General, yet also MTB-related question. We (family of 5) are considering moving from NM to Charlottesville (healthcare job). Its likely between Charlottesville or Boulder, CO. Cville has the better job. My wife is VERY unhappy with the potential move. She moved from the east coast 20 years ago and we’ve lived all over the west (coast and mountain states) and really really doesn’t want to go back east and raise our family there. I’ve done a bunch of research and it seems like the outdoor activities in Charlottesville, including mountain biking, are as good as one could ask for in the east. Fortunately, both boulder and cville have great public schools. We visited one winter weekend and she really didn’t dig. From what I’ve read and seen on my trips there, it’s a great place for families and also for outdoor stuff (mtb biking, camping, trail running are what ‘moves’ us), not to mention great music scene. Her view is small town, doesn’t compare to the rockies, sh-tty weather (as in no real winter and hot summers) just… "boring and uninspiring." But, she’s ready to make the move if necessary. Can I get some insight from people who clearly have similar interests as us???
 

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the unvarnished nonsense
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I've spent a fair amount of time in each city. Both are nice places to visit. My insight: keep looking for other job offers, preferably in the SW area of CO.
 

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WillWorkForTrail
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It's been a long time since I was in CO, but I see C'ville a couple times a year because I have family there. Any notion that it's a "small" town should probably be set aside. It isn't LA, but it's not "small". The music scene there is pretty good (this coming from a recording engineer that lives in Nashville) and honestly, no matter where I ride, I always enjoy getting back to those trails in C'ville and Harrisonburg areas, they're a good mix for me. Yes, it gets hot in the summer. I rode there on July 4th a couple years ago, and it was something like 107. Fortunately, the trail we were riding passed a creek, so we stopped to cool down for a while. The past couple of winters have treated the area well snow fall wise, and while it's no Vail, there are several ski resorts in the area (Wintergreen, Massanutten, Bryce) that you can easily make day and weekend trips to. Perhaps a visit to each area would be in order?
 

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Happy wife, happy life. That alone you should pick Boulder. Charlottesville will be cheaper to live and the college makes it a fun place. On the other hand if you can afford to live in Boulder move there. The climbing, skiing and biking are much better in CO. The only thing is Boulder is expensive and jobs are hard to come by.
 

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Well, I certainly wouldn't say VA/C'ville is "boring and uninspired". I can think of a lot of midwestern towns that are battling for that title.
 

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another bozo on the bus
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I almost took a job and moved to boulder several years ago. That was until I visited. I was a bit unimpressed with boulder and that includes the rides i went on there. To me it felt kinda sterile. I prefer the western end on that state for sure. On the flip side I am a big fan of the riding around Cville. What Virginia mountains lack in altitude, they make up in attitude. Hundreds of miles of relatively lightly traveled trails in western Virginia. Fast and flowy or slow and picky technical riding. I know I'm in the minority here, but I would choose cville and it's surrounding towns to boulder in a heartbeat. I say visit both and draw your opinions cuz everybody on here's gonna have a different one
 

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Either is totally fine. Any outdoor sport you love can be accommodated easily in either local. Seriously.

The MTBing in Virginia is awesome. Sign up for the SM100. plus the in-town riding in Charlottesville will explode in the near future with the opening of Biscuit Run park.
 

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the unvarnished nonsense
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I prefer the western end on that state (CO) for sure. On the flip side I am a big fan of the riding around Cville. What Virginia mountains lack in altitude, they make up in attitude. Hundreds of miles of relatively lightly traveled trails in western Virginia. Fast and flowy or slow and picky technical riding. I know I'm in the minority here, but I would choose cville and it's surrounding towns to boulder in a heartbeat. I say visit both and draw your opinions cuz everybody on here's gonna have a different one
Wholeheartedly agree. Having lived just across the border in Pocahontas County, WV for 8 years, I rode the trails of western Virginia frequently, and prefer the trails and scenery to Boulder hands down. The actual town of C'ville just seemed to have a few more hipster-doofus types than I cared for, but Boulder is the most polluted city in CO. If you're going to CO, just about any other part of the state would be preferential. If you're going to VA, the C'ville area would be hard to beat.

That being said, I've been married for 20 years (to the same woman, can you believe that?!) and my inner-voice is telling me you should listen to your wife as opposed to a bunch of yahoos from this forum.

Seriously, if those are your two choices, you could do A LOT worse no matter which you choose. Finally, the only decent skiing/snowboarding area near C'ville is Snowshoe Mountain, about 2 hours west in WV. Wintergreen, Assanuthin' & Bryce suck.
 

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the unvarnished nonsense
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Don't forget about Snowshoe during the summer too. This is after all an MTB forum. ;)
Indeed. Snowshoe's lift-assisted DH scene is hard to beat (on the right coast). And for hyper-technical XC and all-mountain, Pocahontas County is among the best anywhere. You can't swing a dead cat in Pokie and not hit a great trail.
 

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I grew up in the mid Atlantic and now live on the front range. Forever. The Appalachians have their merits for sure but here I am looking at the flatirons with a snow covered peak in the background and there is no comparison to anything back east. Who needs nightlife when you can wake up at 5 and ride 2000 ft of vertical before work? You can get your fix in c-ville but to really live a mountain life, co is where is at.

The catch is you'll be paying San Francisco prices. I just saw a 1600 sq ft rancher in south boulder listed at $720k. Say hello to Longmont!
 

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I'm the opposite, I went to grad school in Fort Collins and now live in the Mid-Atlantic. Not forever, hopefully only until I can convince the wife to move to New England. Riding out here is a lot more flowy and technical than out west, but you don't have the long prolonged climbs or descents. Riding under canopy is a lot better than getting cooked int he open sun int he middle of the summer too.

To be fair, I have only been to Charlottesville once, and haven't ridden anything around there, but from everything I hear its a great town and have some good trails around there.

However, IMO, Boulder sucks. Bad. My gripe isn't necessarily with the surrounding trails, just the city itself. Expensive as hell, pretentious, self-righteous, and filled with *******s. I lived in Colorado for three years and loved everything about that state, except for Boulder. If you're going to move there, do yourself a favor and live (far) out of town and commute.
 

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C'ville and the surrounding area has to be the most beautiful place in virginia if you know where to look. You have the old town area and then all the cider and micro breweries around not to mention wineries. It does get relatively hot here but I have been in Denver in July and it was damn close to 100. Colorado is my favorite state but boulder sucks. I may just have a bad taste about it. When I hear of boulder I think of drugs and hippies and hippsters walking down the streets and trash on the ground basically the complete opposite or where I want to be around or where I would want to live with my family. That being said you can always commute to Boulder for your job... Colorado is BEAUTIFUL and a lot of fun for outdoor activities. Here in Va we don't have anywhere to ski. I say this because I lived in a ski town and havent skied since I have moved back here. The slopes are ice here and each run takes maybe 30 seconds to get down then a long line for a chairlift back to the top. Its also not like you can go snowshoeing or back country skiing here.

Happy Wife Happy Life!
 

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Did the OP make up his mind?

I have family in Boulder, Longmont, and Fort Collins- all front range towns north of Denver. Boulder definitely ranks up there on the pretentious meter, but the same could be said for Charlottesville, which I think is a great town. The front range of the rockies can be pretty drab, i.e. flat and barren, but it's hard to argue with 14,000' peaks that you may be glimpsing from your kitchen window.
 

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Okay, I'm qualified for this one. I lived in Boulder for four years, then moved to Charlottesville last year. As far as immediately accessible mountain bike trails, they are fairly on par with each other. But I want to mention some things others haven't.

I couldn't imagine a better place to raise a family than Boulder. However it is extremely homogenous: Straight, white liberals throughout. There is zero apparent diversity. They don't even have a gay bar. I don't know how that kind of bubble might affect children in the long run. On the flip side Charlottesville has a significant number of Section 8 housing projects, as well as the accompanying crime statistics. People are generally less healthy, fatter, more rednecky, and smoke more in Charlottesville for sure (compared to Boulder).

I miss Boulder like crazy. It is infinitely more bikeable than Charlottesville. It's flat, the streets are much wider and straighter, with full, painted bike lanes on almost every one (non-residential). Local highways even have generous shoulders which the county has committed to keeping clear of debris. That's on top of the extensive network of paved, off-street paths throughout the city. Drivers are also more courteous towards cyclists.

Boulder gets colder for sure. But I'd take that over VA's murderous humidity.

Boulder's Target store is smack in the middle of town. Charlottesville's is inexplicably well north of the city.

While similarly sized populations: C'Ville has four bike shops. Boulder has over a dozen.

Some have mentioned Snowshoe and other DH destinations in the Mid-Atlantic. Colorado has those beat with (the closer than Snowshoe) Keystone, Winter Park, etc.

I'm not a big strip club guy. But I appreciate having one available. Boulder has two, Charlottesville has none. Heck, from what I can tell Charlottesville doesn't even have a sex toy / porn shop. Boulder's is right on the main drag (28th St).

Boulder has a Costco nearby. Charlottesville does not. Although we're supposed to be getting one in the next year or two.

Both towns have lovely walking malls. Funny enough, designed by the same guy.

Boulder recently spent $4,000,000 on a bicycle playground called Valmont Bike Park. It's probably the thing I miss most.
 
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