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Old 06-15-2017, 10:07 AM
 
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I never thought eastern Iowa was that windy, at least in comparison to the Santa Ana winds in southern California. However in winter, the wind here really does suck.
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Old 06-15-2017, 11:02 AM
 
Location: Sun City West, AZ
560 posts, read 546,958 times
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As someone who lived 37 years in ND and 18 in Iowa, I can tell you there is no comparison on the wind! ND is MUCH windier!

Back to the OP, Des Moines would be a better fit in my opinion. Better / more job opportunities (you won't be competing with the college kids for entry level jobs), lower cost of living, and more things to do. IC may be a little more diverse, but I would think there would still be plenty of diversity in DSM.

Crime would probably be about equal, but neither is ridiculous. Just a matter of staying out of the bad parts of town.

Regarding the cliques, yes, they are present. Iowans are family based (not a bad thing), so if you are not part of the family, you are not included. I lived in Cedar Rapids, and there were a lot of people from all over the world that I worked with there. A lot of them left because of the difficulty in making friends. I was shocked when I moved to AZ how friendly and more welcoming the people are here.

Good luck!
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Old 06-15-2017, 11:18 AM
 
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I grew up and went to college on the MN/ND border and spent several years in IC, which also included some weekend trips over to Des Moines. The wind and cold are much less severe in IA, so that's not a concern, and in general I'd say Iowans are the same or less cliquey than ND. Iowa City is filled with transplants from all over the country, so that's less of a concern there, as well.

I loved Iowa City...great restaurants, fun events (Hancher Auditorium, Coralville Performing Arts Center, pedestrian mall summer concert series, Jazz Festival, etc), and everything I need all in a small package. Public transit is great if you need to get downtown or to the hospital campuses. There is a free Cambus system that circulates around campus areas, and the city buses run heavy service into those areas. If you ended up working over toward Coralville Mall or on the east side of Iowa City, I guess I'm not sure what the coverage is over there. If you need sporadic transit to some other location in town, I'm sure that IC is crawling with Uber/Lyft options at this point.
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Old 06-15-2017, 11:52 AM
 
Location: Des Moines Metro
5,105 posts, read 6,648,759 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dewey59 View Post

Back to the OP, Des Moines would be a better fit in my opinion. Better / more job opportunities (you won't be competing with the college kids for entry level jobs), lower cost of living, and more things to do. IC may be a little more diverse, but I would think there would still be plenty of diversity in DSM.
If the OP had a car, that would be my recommendation, as well, but after having hauled a recent high school graduate around looking for work (who doesn't drive, either), Ames is entirely more liveable without a vehicle for a young person, plus without a job, the OP will have a hard time renting in DSM, unless s/he lucks into something around Drake, and at that point, Ames is going to be safer, especially in the summer.

IC wouldn't be a bad fit, either, but it is much more spread out.
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Old 06-15-2017, 09:33 PM
 
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For what it's worth I spent time in Iowa a few months back with no car. I was staying a few miles out of Ankeny and figured I would bike back and forth for groceries and run a few errands. I bought saddle bags to haul groceries and beer and thought 4-6 miles each way was not too bad.

I am out of shape and would have fared better if I had a few more miles to under me to get my strength up. The distance was no problem but with weighted down saddle bags and a all the winter clothes, the drag from the wind was pretty severe.

To the point it is flat or even slightly down hill and you are pedaling as hard as you can and going walking speed. It took me around 1 1/2 hours to do 8 mile round trips. One way is really fast of course but against the wind really sucks.

I am also moving back and using only a bike to get started but the route I have to take from my new place to town is on a bike trail that is sheltered by trees. It is possible to do it on bike but do not under estimate how strong the wind can be. In hind site I wish I would have bought an Ebike but do want the exercise.

I would say in a one week period maybe two days a week weren't windy. So just know what you are getting yourself into and that short rides can seem much lengthier than you would think. If your route is open to the fields plan extra time over what bike apps or maps tell you it takes unless you are really fit.

I was biking back in March of that time of year is worse than others no idea but it wasn't the relaxing exercise I was looking for. Just experience from a guy who tried the bicycle thing lately.

Good luck to you I will be biking again for the next few months myself.
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Old 06-16-2017, 07:06 AM
 
Location: Des Moines Metro
5,105 posts, read 6,648,759 times
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Originally Posted by lookingaround12345 View Post
I was biking back in March of that time of year is worse than others no idea but it wasn't the relaxing exercise I was looking for. Just experience from a guy who tried the bicycle thing lately.

Good luck to you I will be biking again for the next few months myself.
If you were over by the Prairie Trails HyVee, I probably saw you! I remember seeing one poor guy on a black (?) bike struggling to get up that hill.

Hint: stick to the bike trails until you get your muscles back. There are some great ones in the area:

I'm on my tablet and can't get you to the specific page, but this is a great site which offer FREE bike trail maps of Iowa as well as online routes of the bike trails in cities:

Biking: Get Inspired: Iowa Tourism Map, Travel Guide, Things to Do: Travel Iowa

And I hope the OP will pick up a bike. Ames is extremely bike-friendly and Ankeny is working on it. Des Moines still has a long way to go, but they have added the racks to the fronts of buses.

IC is mostly bike friendly -- they have more work to do outside of campus.
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