What You Need to Know to Live in Boulder (updated!)

We moved to Boulder exactly five years ago. Before we moved, a colleague of my wife’s told us that they didn’t allow anyone into Colorado without a Subaru, a bike rack, and a dog. “Check, check, check,” she said at the time. Now, in honor of our Bouldersary, here are the things you need to know to live in Boulder.

1. You think you’re fit, but you’re not. (You are, after all, living in an area where hundreds of professional athletes come to train.)

2. No, you can’t afford that house (but you can have a good laugh walking around with the Zillow app open).

No squirrels were harmed in the taking of this photo.

3. You’re going to smell marijuana. It’s a college town. It’s legal. What do you expect? (I sometimes wonder if the squirrels are into it…)

4. There are no homeless people in Boulder. Just temporary outcasts suffering from the oppression of an evil system. (Unless they’re camping in my neighborhood, in which case they’re scum who should be given bus tickets to San Francisco.)

5. Boulder was so much better when I moved here in:

  • 2006
  • 1997
  • 1982
  • 1971
  • I think it was in the ‘60s but I was doing a lot of drugs then.
Just a small selection…

6. You don’t own near enough bicycles.

7. You will never ever go out anywhere and NOT see someone with an obvious injury: broken limbs, road rash, abrasions, knee scooters, crutches, braces, etc.

8. Those are some weird tanlines…

9. Good God that sun is hot. It’s like I’m closer to the sky or something…

10. The traffic is terrible (usually thought while sitting in a car by one’s self and thereby helping cause the traffic) … unless you’ve actually lived anywhere else in the world.

11. You don’t own a dog? What’s wrong with you?

12. Knowing the difference between every style (and sub-style, and sub-sub-style) of beer (not to mention specific types of hops and yeast strains) is essential.

13. It’s not an “active” day unless you fit in at least three different activities. (The topper being the couple I once met near the end of the Five Peaks Traverse who were planning on going climbing AFTER biking home from doing said traverse.)

14. Boulder was once declared the worst dressed city in North America. Meaning if you wear anything other than technical gear of various types, people will think 1) you have a job interview, or 2) you’re putting on airs.

Shanahan Ridge North

15. It’s a bad sign when you see a helicopter over the mountains.

16. Chautauqua is a madhouse but you can always find a quiet trail.

17. You cannot wake up too early to go skiing.

18. You will never tire of the skies and sunsets.

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