A Week of Biking, Walking and Buses…Oh My

By RYAN NEWHOUSE

For the last 20 years Missoula has celebrated Bike Walk Bus Week as a harbinger of spring and an opportunity to celebrate local businesses that encourage sustainable transportation. This year, from April 30 – May 7, those who choose to bike, walk or ride the bus can be rewarded with numerous free and discounted services and goods all over town. Additionally, there will be events, rides, tours and competitions that are hallmarks of this annual Missoula tradition.

Spearheaded by the City of Missoula’s Bicycle/Pedestrian coordinator, Phil Smith, but supported heavily by a workgroup of interns and local volunteers, the 20th Annual Bike Walk Bus Week (BWBW) is a network of over a hundred different events during the week. Rain, sleet, snow or shine, Missoula really embraces this annual commuter-friendly event!

Kicking off the week on April 30 is Free Cycles’ “Festival of Cycles,” debuting at its new location in McCormick Park. From noon to 4 p.m. participants can enjoy free bike-centric festivities, including bike maintenance, salvaged parts, art, games, demos, business tents, music, food, races and a raffle. This signature event celebrates Missoula’s rich cycling culture.

Other great events during the week I highly recommend is Missoula In Motion’s “Breakfast on the Bridges” happening on key bike/ped bridges Tuesday, Thursday and Friday mornings.

A fun competition is the “Pedal vs. Metal” race, pitting cyclists against drivers to see who can complete a list of errands around town the quickest (Spoiler alert: the cyclists have been the reigning champions for years!). The race starts at noon at the Mountain Line bus station Wednesday May 4.

Also on Wednesday is the Spring Bike Auction at Gardner’s Auction (4810 Hwy 93 S.). Featuring about 35 bicycles recovered by Missoula Police, the auction is a great place to score a sweet deal on a used bike!

For the entire week, Mountain Line buses are free to ride for everyone! Also, on Thursday May 5 at 9:15 a.m., Mountain Line and Mayor John Engen will unveil the new Wi-Fi capability on its buses, courtesy Community Medical Center. Refreshments will be served.

Of course, the real “go-to” for the week is all the free and discounted coffee being served around town on various days and times, including the Good Food Store, Bernice’s Bakery, Liquid Planet and Butterfly Herbs.

And for the snap-happy “photogs” out there, Phil Smith is requesting great photos of this year’s events so he can use a few of the best shots for next year’s promotional materials (with full credit given to the photographer).

See a full list of daily and week-long Bike Walk Bus Week events at http://www.bikewalkbusmissoula.org.

What’s your favorite local promotion during BWBW that you will be sure not to miss? I always check out the bike auction!

 

 

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Ryan Newhouse has pedaled through thousands of miles of Missoula’s streets and trails as a commuter, long-distance cyclist, recreationist and former city bicycling ambassador. Although he now works from home, he still uses two feet or two wheels to push or pull himself and his daughter around town.  Back to “Bike It” home page or check out Ryan’s ownblog.