I have just spent the last 4 days in Missoula, learning just how vast a small town can be. Literally surrounded by mountains and laced with creeks and rivers,there is perhaps more space outdoors than within the city-though some wouldn’t call it that. I love this city for having lots of bikes and lots of good beer.
The nonprofit bike agency Adventure Cycling is headquartered here; their bike co-op, Free Cycles is lively and thriving–with numerous project bikes, rental bikes, bikes for sale, and a mountain of parts-bikes; wheels fill racks inside and out, lining every fence of the yard. A few short steps away lies the treasure room, a warehouse bearing the “Missoulopes”: tall bikes, pixie bikes, trailers, antlered velocipides, slinky swing-bikes; rear-steer bike cars; hand-welded wheels and chainring-toothed beasts in every direction.
Bike paths, ample signage, road markings, trails on both sides of the Clark river, foot bridges, single tracks, and plenty of maps make biking an inevitable way of life for many Missoulans.
The Big Sky and Kettlehouse breweries, among a few others, do well in quenching the outdoors-loving residents and visitors thirst for good beer.
I got my polo fix with the local club on Thursday, with a full night of good, clean polo.
Now I am sitting in Butte, MT, on a six-hour layover, awaiting my bus connection to Lima–en route to Salt Lake City. I have been up since 1a.m., reading about Bialys, walking the block to get a glimpse of this new place, and chatting with young men with humble dreams.