We Secretly Own a Bike Shop

bike-hubI was walking down the street one day minding my own business, when I decided to go sit on a bench at the bus transit station downtown.  Ok no, that is a lie.  I was meeting a witty and handsome person in a neutral downtown location. So far, we were an interesting match:  we could not come up with a plan for the date we were planning whilst not necessarily calling it a date. It was one of those. After texting many options back and forth, we settled on the weird  solution of high noon at the bus transfer center, downtown. Like cowboys. Who probably are on a date. But with busses.

I got there first.  As I sat there,  I surveyed our choice of locale. It was a Sunday.  The busses weren’t running.  Yet, I wasn’t alone. My fellow non-bussing station dwellers included a woman reading a book, and a pair of men  smoking cigarettes and discussing, oh, lets say global politics, in loud grizzly voices.  (I actually couldn’t understand them due to distance and mumbling.)

Now, I enjoy using the bus system. If you like to be kind of bored as someone else shlepps you around so you can stare out the window and pretend you are in a limo, try out the bus sometime. But I digress.

As my date scrambled to arrive as close to on time as possible, I was pondering the literary meaning of our location. Were we trying to say to each other,

“Hey.  I may be interested,  but I am sooo not trying to impress you.”

Or maybe,

“This could go in any direction.  You know, like the busses?  Besides, this isn’t actually a date – duhhh.  Unless I decide I like you.  Then we will be, like , foh shoh, getting on the bus that says DATE. ”

Anyway as I was sitting there thinking about how weird single life is, I looked over to my right.  And that’s when I got to the point of this article!

I saw the bike fixing station!  It’s a bike stand that you can put your bike on, and there are tools dangling off, and anyone can just bring their bike down there and fix it right there in the middle of downtown! For free!  How convenient and community oriented!  I love that kind of stuff so much, and I ride my bike a lot, and don’t have tools. The Mountain Line is already very bike-friendly with bike mounts on the fronts of all their busses, and patient bus drivers who will help you place your bike on the mount if needed.  They also work closely with Missoula in Motion, an organization that promotes biking, and offers contests, reward systems, and a pocket sized bike map of Missoula.

When my date/not-date finally arrived on his bike (he got points there), I asked him if he had ever noticed it. He said he had, and he saw much fanfare about it, but , in a disparaging tone, said he did not care (and thus lost the points).   So I dropped the subject and we went and had our lunch.

Later, I looked up the bike thing online, here. You should read about it. It’s called the Bike Den, and it’s a genius idea. The word Den may sound kind of seedy, like maybe bad things happen there. But I am pretty sure it is more like a Den for happy, bicycling bears.  This covered area allows you to fix bikes despite the weather, and even lock your bike up if you need to go get a burrito or a latte halfway through. Convenient! Community!  Bear theme!

It would be dreamy if ever they put another one in Bonner or Kiwanis Park.  Then, friends or family members could lounge around playing frisbee while you grumble at bolts and wrenches.  Or, wait! I mean vice versa!  In a park setting, one could make a picnic day of fixing kid bikes and playing in the splash deck. I also think it would be nice to be in a less car-filled area to ride around and test your repairs.

But downtown is a perfect location as far as centrality, for aiding one’s possible bike mishaps whilst pedaling to work,  and for its relationship to the busses. Mountain Line deserves big respect for that , plus it plans to add more bike racks to other stops around town, soon.  Hence, I maintain optimism about our bus line, and the future of bike riding in our idyllic little town.  (Get it?  Maintain? You’re welcome. )

As for my date..we recently had another one which involved BBQ along the river, with a pet turtle….sooo..to be continued?

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  1. Who knew? Thanks for sharing this valuable bike tip, Deb. You go, girl!