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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My company has an office in Hood River, OR. I've been offered an interview with the guy who runs the office, and I'm pretty sure the job is mine if I want it. Knock on wood.

I've been a roadie for the last 3 years, and race for one of the best elite amateur teams in the Midwest. Took up MTB racing this past fall, and will be a Cat1 under the new MTB classification system this upcoming season. Simply put, I love riding and racing bikes. LOVE.

I have lived my entire life at approximately 700ft MSL. Never done a climb of more than 3 miles in length. The highest I've ever set foot is at the Mt. St. Helens observatory, when I was 10 years old.

There are several reasons that this opportunity intrigues me. First, the vast, mountainous wilderness that would literally be right out my door in HR. Where I live, the only topographic features are river valleys and moraines left by the retreating glaciers. Corn, soy, wind, and chip seal roads as far as the eye can see.

Second, and perhaps most importantly, is the fact that my life situation has left me with very few friends. Simply put, upon graduation from college, I had a core group of friends. One has moved to Bend; another lives downtown, and two are still in school. Whenever I was home, each and every summer, they were there too. At school, I never had to go out and meet people; I met people through class, through cycling, through other activities. Right now, at 10pm on a Friday night, I'm reading through the Count of Monte Christo. Great book, but that's a lazy sunday afternoon thing for a 23 year old dude.

I see this opportunity as a chance to change my life for the better. A challenge, even. I've grown too comfortable here.

So, let's hear it. Tell me about the rides, the weather, the town itself, the food, the racing scene (road and MTB...and track), the social scene as relevant to a young person (cough women who dig bikes cough), local culture, and anything else worth mentioning.

Thanks!
 

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Singletrack Addict
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It's windy. Oh yeah, and sunny, a lot. Cold right now though. Small town, but near one of the hippest cities in the west (for better or worse).
The local brew is local brew.
Food? Well beyond corn and soy. Like, the world's largest ocean is two hours away. And the Hood River Valley is almost as abundant.
Ski or snowboard? Back country tele-ski? Even better.
Bicycling? Road, mountain and cross thrive here. Alpenrose, in Portland, has one of the country's best track racing scenes.
The observatory at St Helens? How about a 30-mile loop ride across her flanks and down into the primitive and remote Smith Creek within the blast zone of the 1980 eruption? You'll climb several thousand feet.

Don't know about the wimmins. I know I've seen a few in HR. Typically they look fit, healthy and happy. I bet some of them might even be unattached. The Cat1 mtb racer classification will probably do the trick.;)
 

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Metalheadbikerider
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Hey duke

I moved from Wisconsin to Oregon 11 years ago for the reasons you listed.
Hood River is a great little city, nestled on the edge of the mountains and right on the Columbia River. Beautiful surrounding area. I love grabbing a bite after riding there and just taking in the surrounding scenery. The downtown is pretty cool, but is a tourist trap on the weekends. HR is home to Full Sail, a great brewery. There are lots of cafes, bike shops, restaurants, etc. I think the city had a real nice vibe (lot of friendly people), but does lack some in night life. That being said, it is also only about an hour to Portland if you crave more of that.
Lots of great year round mtb riding very close to the city. The road and mtb rides will be an amazing surprise to you coming from the midwest. There is nothing like being able to put together 30 mile loops, mostly on ST, with great technical sections. There are also many different rides within an hour that area fantastic, and the road riding on Hood is sweet-get ready to climb!
Hope this helps some.
 

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mudnthebloodnthebeer
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You'd not regret making the move. That's not to say that you're guaranteed to want to put down roots there, but it's definitely a plaground that's worth living in for a few years. Plan on adding a snow sport to your repertoire. Housing's a bit expensive. I'm told that competition for the available turbo-nuggets is fierce, but isn't that the case everywhere?
 

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I've never spent much time there, but Hood River has always struck me as a nice place, very pretty. I think it's been wet and windy every time I've been there though.

Aside: Here's the true story of several generations of a family instrumental in the history of Hood River. It's good reading. Even the Governor recommends we read it.

http://www.laurenkessler.com/BookDetails.aspx?ID=5
 

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Perfect..

That bike will do very nicely.

You will find a lot of SS riders in OR, not sure about Hood River in particular, but in the Willamette Valley, Eugene especially, we favor SS rides for our winter steeds since the maintenance is so much less than a bike full of gears and cables and such. Some folks ride virtually nothing else. Myself, I've a quiver and prefer to choose the appropriate tool for the job. It is amazing how often I pull out the SS.

Flaps

duke of kent said:
What kind of bikes do you guys ride, for XC type riding/racing?

I'm currently riding a 80mm travel HT 29er, 26/36x12-25. Should be 23ish pounds come spring.
 

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Metalheadbikerider
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My rigs...

duke of kent said:
And now for another important question:

What kind of bikes do you guys ride, for XC type riding/racing?

I'm currently riding a 80mm travel HT 29er, 26/36x12-25. Should be 23ish pounds come spring.
29er Kona Unit -Fully Rigid
26" Kona King FS, 100mm front fork
26" Kona Supreme HT, 80mm front fork

Just depends on what mood strikes me, but for the trails on Mt. Hood I favor the FS. Any weapon will work though....:thumbsup:
 

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Daniel the Dog
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Hmm

Hood River is a gorgeous place with some nice riding; however, for a young person is may be marginal. I know an early 20's person who finds it boring because most of the young people take off. You have a ton of adolescents and the 35 and above recreationalist, like myself, who find the lifestyle great. VERY laid back!

The area is somewhat sunny. It is sunnier than the Willamette Valley but not compared to other towns. We have two feet of snow now and it is 12 degrees. No mountain biking for a while.

Oh, and I know guys wanting a girlfriend who find the male to female ratio terrible. Windsurfers and other recreationalist tend to be guys. It just is what it is...it would help if the area had a university.

Nice place, but has its challenges for younger people.

Jaybo
 

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Daniel the Dog
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Great place to live

Jaybo said:
Hood River is a gorgeous place with some nice riding; however, for a young person is may be marginal. I know an early 20's person who finds it boring because most of the young people take off. You have a ton of adolescents and the 35 and above recreationalist, like myself, who find the lifestyle great. VERY laid back!

The area is somewhat sunny. It is sunnier than the Willamette Valley but not compared to other towns. The area has two feet of snow now and it is 12 degrees. No mountain biking for a while.

Oh, and I know guys wanting a girlfriend who find the male to female ratio terrible. Windsurfers and other recreationalist tend to be guys. It just is what it is...it would help if the area had a university. But it may just be the cat's meow for you....

Nice place, but has its challenges for younger people.

Jaybo
afdsafdsfasdfsdfa
 

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Out spokin'
In cog? Neato!
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There you have it

I nearly posted a few hours ago to the effect that "a guy who lives around there" would come along and point out the negatives but didn't because I knew the prediction itself would eliminate the chance of it coming true. Paradox.

Anyway, there it is. Vindication.

--Sparty

Jaybo said:
afdsafdsfasdfsdfa
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks for all of the replies, guys. This definitely makes the decision easier. If I'm offered the job, it's a matter of when, not if, I'll move out there.

A quick question, one that is probably best answered through other channels, but I thought I'd ask here:

Do any of you race on the road? I love the woods, but I'm still a roadie at heart. I need speed. If so, send me a PM. I'd like to find out what the teams (both road and MTB) are like, and where I think I'd best fit. I'm used to success, as part of a fun yet structured team environment; my team wins a lot of races, and we all get along quite well.
 

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My mom used to live in White Salmon, right across the river in Wash. (she actually lived at the top of the mountain). Anyway, I like Hood River, it is kind of small though. But there are some really nice places to ride very close. If you like night life at all, you will probably spend alot of time in Portland. :D
 

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I wouldn't pass up the chance to move to Hood River but you better have interests in winter activities, other than riding. Wet and cold isn't a fun ride in my opinion but a lot of people do it. Plus theres a lot of snow on the ground now...We even have several inches here in Portland.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
OldHouseMan said:
I wouldn't pass up the chance to move to Hood River but you better have interests in winter activities, other than riding. Wet and cold isn't a fun ride in my opinion but a lot of people do it. Plus theres a lot of snow on the ground now...We even have several inches here in Portland.
Well, it's currently 14 degrees warmer in Hood River than it is here, and will be 23 degrees warmer (27 vs. 4) for the high, if the Weather Channel is correct.

I'll be riding for 2hrs today. Hood River sounds absolutely delightful.
 

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Daniel the Dog
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See you in the Hood

duke of kent said:
Well, it's currently 14 degrees warmer in Hood River than it is here, and will be 23 degrees warmer (27 vs. 4) for the high, if the Weather Channel is correct.

I'll be riding for 2hrs today. Hood River sounds absolutely delightful.
You really should check out Dog River Coffee before riding in such temperatures. It is a good thing to be a young buck because I ain't riding in this weather. I know Hood River is way better then Eugene ;)

Jaybo
 

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Tree Hugger
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Jaybo said:
You really should check out Dog River Coffee before riding in such temperatures. It is a good thing to be a young buck because I ain't riding in this weather. I know Hood River is way better then Eugene ;)

Jaybo
I'm about to go meet a dozen or so DOD folks on our grocery getters to pound out some singletrack outside of Eugene. :thumbsup:

I hope you have fun watching football, old man.:rolleyes:
 
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