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Old 11-10-2011, 12:35 PM   #1
loco rider OP
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Question Portland or Seattle - where should I go? And a small rant about NYC

I thought I was a city person until I moved to New York City. I moved about a year ago from San Francisco. Someone on this forum said I moved from motorcycle heaven to motorcycle hell - I think heís right... and is right even if you take the word ďmotorcycleĒ out. I guess Iíve discovered that Iím more at home in small cities, where getting in and out of them is easy and fast, not a battle and hours-long trudge.

Iím contemplating leaving New York (probably wonít happen for a few months, but I want to get the ball rolling, getting information and figuring my way out - thus this post). I love San Francisco and would go back in a heartbeat. But, I lived there for ten amazing years, yet feel the need and want to live other places (I grew up in Los Angeles). The Pacific Northwest is looking really attractive to me. Assuming I can find a job, Iím wondering whether Portland or Seattle would fit me best.

From a motorcyclists perspective, is one better than the other? I ride 99% paved, but not necessarily nicely paved. I enjoy the broken up, neglected little back roads and goat trails a lot, yet the perfectly paved fast sweepers are also a love of mine.

The only other thing Iím hoping is that I can live car-free and commute on the bike year-round as much as possible. I used to commute on my bike in San Francisco. I donít in New York (the city makes it so difficult and expensive that itís not worth it - itís not even about the weather). I feel less of a motorcyclist since I moved to New York because I donít commute on my bike anymore. Iíve heard and read all about the PNW weather. That doesnít bother me - I think it would make me a better rider, and the nice days even more fun.

BTW, I donít know if thereís any sort of rivalry between Portland and Seattle, but hopefully this wonít start any fights . And yes, Iíll be spending more time on this section of ADV Rider.

Thanks for reading - thoughts? Suggestions? Questions?
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Old 11-10-2011, 12:41 PM   #2
Tosh Togo
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I think Orygun's got better roads, but I'm also biased, because I live here.




There are a lot of roads like this one in the Coast Range.
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Old 11-10-2011, 01:53 PM   #3
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Both areas have all sorts of access to forest service roads, and some amount of single/double track trails. The Cascade Range in Oregon (Mt. Hood National Forest) is a bit flatter than the North Cascades near Seattle, and for this reason has more big loops that you can do on Forest Service roads; in contrast, FS roads near Seattle tend to be more out-and-back up river canyons, which end at Wilderness Areas that forbid motorized travel.

Both areas have tons of twisty paved backroads. Both have a selection of good and bad cycle shops to patronize.

Since I'm from the Seattle area, I'm more inclined to steer people towards Portland, to try to keep our population in check up here.
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Old 11-10-2011, 02:03 PM   #4
HH
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Another vote for Portland.
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Old 11-10-2011, 02:08 PM   #5
crazybrit
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loco rider View Post
I guess I’ve discovered that I’m more at home in small cities, where getting in and out of them is easy and fast, not a battle and hours-long trudge.
It's all relative. I'd like to move to Bend, as getting out of Portland to do outdoors stuff (hiking, riding etc) is a 30 minute effort and I already find that annoying ignoring the predictions about how population will continue to rise. This said, traffic in Seattle is much much worse. It's a much larger city than Portland with all the pluses and minuses this brings. Seattle has a much more diverse economy which is helpful during times of recession.

Quote:
The only other thing I’m hoping is that I can live car-free and commute on the bike year-round as much as possible.
Portland is a much more established bicycling city. Part of it is due to the political outlook, part due to geography (Portland is pretty flat compared to Seattle). That said, you can commute by bike in Seattle, it's just easy in Portland. I think I read somewhere that 6% of people commute into downtown Portland by bicycle, presumably in the 4 months when the sun shines .

Good luck!
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Old 11-10-2011, 02:18 PM   #6
guns_equal_freedom
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Oregon has better gun laws, machine guns, short barreled rifes and shotguns, destructive devices, all are good to go in Oregon.

Oregon also has a better union here on ADVRider.
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Old 11-10-2011, 04:10 PM   #7
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Go to Oregon, it's more better.
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Old 11-10-2011, 04:52 PM   #8
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As a former New Yorker I would say Seattle, cause I don't want PDX to get too crowded w/ former New Yorkers but being that you're from the Bay area I think honestly Portland is your better choice. Getting out and far away from the city center can be done in 30 minutes tops, and the food is fantastic here.

People are friendlier here than in Seattle, but can be almost impossible to get to know,
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Old 11-10-2011, 04:54 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guns_equal_freedom View Post
Oregon has better gun laws, machine guns, short barreled rifes and shotguns, destructive devices, all are good to go in Oregon.

Oregon also has a better union here on ADVRider.
Aren't machine guns and SBRs federal issues?

WA has shall-issue CCW, for what it's worth. Also we can finally have suppressors!
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Old 11-10-2011, 04:57 PM   #10
crazybrit
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Originally Posted by Motomuffin View Post
People are friendlier here than in Seattle, but can be almost impossible to get to know,
Interesting observation. Do you think this a Portland thing, or rather just a function of moving somewhere new at an older age.
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Old 11-10-2011, 05:14 PM   #11
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*threadjack*.

I vote Atlanta. Ride year around, cheap cost of living, some the greatest riding in the US is two hours from the city.

I have a home here in NYC and one in GA. I'm still learning the best rides here in the North. I have found some nice places but getting in and out of the city sucks. Hit me up sometime and we can ride.
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Old 11-10-2011, 05:26 PM   #12
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Rivalry

You don't seriously think you are going to get a straight answer do you?

Neither is a small town in my eyes, they are both too big. Due to work though, I live in Portland. There's lots of plusses and minuses on both sides, and the generalities that people throw out there may or may not apply to your experience. I'd suggest coming out here and checking them both out and go with your gut, they are only 3 hours apart.

I can tell you this, the traffic situation in Seattle is MUCH worse and I dread everytime I have to drive up there.

Good luck, hope you're bringing some waterproof rain gear cause the gray season is upon us.
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Old 11-10-2011, 05:31 PM   #13
pHelix
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Seattle: horrendous commuter traffic jams, fabulous scenery, low income tax, does have a sales tax. Known as the home of Starbucks. Does have pro football, basketball, and baseball franchises.

Portland: less traffic, but commute hours still an issue, fabulous scenery, high income tax, no sales tax. Also known for a great variety of craft breweries and brewpubs if that's your thing. Only has a pro basketball franchise, but the Podunk baseball league is fun. Oh, and don't forget roller derby!

I'm originally from the SF Bay Area, have always felt somewhat uncomfortable in Washington (can't fathom why), and have always felt at home in Oregon. Been here just shy of 30 years.
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Old 11-10-2011, 05:35 PM   #14
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Huh?

The problem with alot of NYC people (or NYC transplants from LAX/SFO I guess) is they look west across the Hudson River past New Jersey and all they see are LA, San Francisco, Seattle and now Portland. There are a lot more places out there to live in this world. This is an "Adventure" website after all, be adventurous.

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Old 11-10-2011, 05:48 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Motoblag View Post
Aren't machine guns and SBRs federal issues?
WA has shall-issue CCW, for what it's worth. Also we can finally have suppressors!
Machine guns and the rest are covered under federal law.
State law can follow federal law or it can be more restrictive.
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