City living, with access to the country.

I like where we live. I grew up in the big metro areas of Pittsburgh and Chicago. I spent most of my adult life in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis/St Paul until we moved to Duluth, Minnesota 14 years ago.

Don’t get me wrong I love big cities and I love Pittsburgh, Chicago and the Twin Cities. I just didn’t want to live my day to day life in all that congestion anymore. I don’t see myself as a country person either. Duluth seems to have the right mix for me. I can live in a metro area with a population of about 100,000 (when combined with Superior, Wisconsin) with all a city that size has to offer. And I can easily access the country. I can leave my house in the city and within 3 or 4 miles be out in the country. Country being defined as dispersed housing, no small lots or developments. I can even find more remote areas by traveling as little as 10 or 12 miles. Remote being defined as 20 or more miles between services like convenience stores.


Today I went up over the hill and fairly quickly was out in the country. It’s amazing how easy it is to find low traffic roads this close to a city. Living in Chicago this would not be possible. You may have to load up a bike on a car and drive for 2 hours to come even close to this. I really need this kind of access to quiet areas closer to nature for my own happiness. Duluth offers that for me.


This person had every maple tree on their property tapped for syrup. It’s at least a month early this year. IMG_3197.JPG

Today my city commuter bike doubled as a country bike.

Happy riding.

5 thoughts on “City living, with access to the country.

  1. capejohn March 13, 2016 / 6:51 pm

    I agree with your sentiment about location. I can ride easily to the suburbs, the city, the country and the waterfront. All within a few minutes of pedaling. You and I have it pretty good.


  2. Pondero March 13, 2016 / 8:01 pm

    Yes, that looks to be a great situation. I’ve got the quick access to country riding and remoteness, but my employer is a very weary distance away. My commute is brutal, and there’s no solution in sight.


    • capejohn March 14, 2016 / 5:37 am

      Pondeero: My work commute was 40 miles. The solution was to drive 30 miles and bike the rest. I had four different commute distances depending on the season and weather conditions.


      • Pondero March 14, 2016 / 7:28 pm

        Good idea. I wondered about that. Where did you park your auto? If you had multiple options, it seems like I should be able to find at least one, but harder than I thought.


  3. adventurepdx March 14, 2016 / 11:52 pm

    I feel like I get the access to country and city living in Portland. While it may take a little longer biking straight from my house to the country, I can easily take the MAX light rail to expedite things. An hour transit ride, then a couple miles riding, and BAM, I’m in the country!


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