The Chainlink

Moving, Job Hunting - How Much Is Bike Riding a Factor In Your Choices?

I moved today from D.C. to Bethesda. Shorter commute to work (still bike/metro), quieter (my DC neighborhood was a little too heavy on the party, and I’m saving $$$. 

Before settling on a location, I wanted to make sure I’d still ride every day and live in a place that doesn’t require a car to enjoy restaurants, grocery shop, and get around.

As I’m resting after a long day’s move, I was wondering how many of you consider your bike and rideability into where you live? Have you left a place that was problematic for riding? Been draw. to a location because it’s more bike and walking friendly? Please, share your thoughts and stories.

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I moved from Barrington, IL into the Northside of Chicago in 1979, bought at bike (at Kozy's on the Southside then) and sold my car.   And thought I'd died and gone to Heaven.

Hope your move is as felicitous.

It's central to me. 

bike commuting is absolutely one of my top priorities for considering where to live/work.

we moved from edgewater to lincoln square last year because we found a bigger home for our growing family that we just loved, but it added about 3 miles (from 5 to 8 miles, one-way) to my daily commute up to my job in evanston. we almost didn't pull the trigger on it because i was so concerned about the longer commute eating up too much time. i really did give it A LOT of (over) thought.

a year later, the extra 3 miles is turning out to not be that big of a deal (except on these cold windy winter mornings ;) ). i'm glad my fear didn't prevent us from making the move because our new place is awesome, but i think that 8 miles one-way is getting p[retty damn close to my upper limit for daily bike commuting distance now that i'm a family man. back in my care-free bachelor days, i used to commute from my old condo in marina city up to evanston every day, 30 miles total a day. that was a lot of riding, but i had the time to kill. not anymore.

Dan, about 15 months ago my one-way commute went from 4.5 miles to 25 miles (and still in the city!) I dream of a commute like yours! :)

holy crap! your one way commute is 25 miles and you live and work in the city?

do you live in rogers park and work in hegewisch or vice versa?

so that's 50 miles round-trip, do you do that ride everyday? i thought my 30 mile round-trippers everyday years ago was a lot of riding, but 50 miles of bike commuting everyday is a whole other level.

Dan, I live in Avondale and work in Roselawn/Pullman. For the first few months I rode 2-3 days a week, but since then I nearly always drive to work. When I ride it I ride to Millenium Station in the morning, take Metra to 95th, and ride the final leg, which takes 1:20. Getting home takes around two hours with or without Metra. I haaaaate driving to work (I love driving, just not in the city) but it saves me So. Much. Time. And I just want my time back. There are far worse ways to spend hours a day, but that's still hours a day. I can still ride everything else. My commute will be getting shorter (if still long) again soon, and I'm going to see what the new ride is like in terms of time. 

Ha! I used to commute from Uptown to Oak Park and, when we moved to the South Loop, my commute via bike was cut in half; however, I actually felt safer on the longer commute.

It's a big consideration for me too. That plus access to public transit (trains preferred) and grocery stores.

I'm considering a move this year and my situation is close to yours Dan, except in the opposite direction. I'm thinking of leaving Ravenswood for Edgewater or Rogers Park to save on rent and not lose too much space, and my 7 mile commute to the loop will turn into 11+ miles.

Anyone know of other good neighborhoods for affordable rents and access to transit? One bedroom.

Uptown is good, too...

At one point, I remember seeing an article about an apartment building paying to have a Divvy station installed in front of their apartment. I love when apartments get how important it is to have alternative options. In D.C., bike share stations are empty pretty early in the morning - they struggle to keep up with the demand. I used bike share when I was waiting for my Brompton to arrive (I had to order from the U.K.) and ran into this problem nearly every day. 

Definitely played into our home hunting last year as we looked at distance and routes between home and work. We ended up further from my office than I would have liked, so I'm not bike commuting as much in the colder temps and ended up buying a trainer. Local errands by bike works pretty well though.
I've never been able to find a job in my field where I could practically bike to work. But I have made it a point to live in the most walkable/bikeable place in the vicinity of my job. So, while I still have to endure driving commutes, when I get home I can put the car away and forget about it until I go back to work. I do all my errands on foot or by bike. I would find it extremely depressing to have to get in the car to get groceries or go to a movie. I'll not ever live that way if I have a choice.

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