Free Cycles: Cycles of Change


A list of Upcoming Free Cycles Events/Happenings for the Community12494782_1779165165637115_5967138471003255753_n

About Cycles of Change:

“Twenty years of bicycle work and community building has sprouted a social movement in the heart of the Rocky Mountains. Free Cycles Missoula now has an urgent need: we can either purchase our location and expand services or lose the property to new development.

This is a wonderful opportunity to grow a world-class community bicycle center in the heart of Missoula. Together we can do this!”


Support the Cause at


Upcoming Events:

April 6th: Mountain Biking Workshop hosted by Mountain Bike Missoula

Location: Free Cycles            Time: 6:30

April 11th: Round about policy meeting,

Location: Basement of Missoula City Hall            Time: 1-2pm

April 11th: Riverfront Neighborhood general meeting hosted by Free Cycles. There will be a vote to make the Hip Strip a more livable street and free pizza

Location: Free Cycles            Time: 5:30-7 pm

April 13th: Flagship program of Franklin School will be donating their service hours at Free Cycles, anyone is able to come.

Location: Free Cycles             Time: Noon

April 14th: Sussex school Ecothon Challenge

Location: Sussex School            Time: All Day

April 15th: Circles of Care, Celebrating circles of community, followed by a performance by the Newlyweds band

Location: Free Cycles            Time: 6-8pm (meeting) 8-10pm (performance)

April 16th: Bike-A-Thon, ride for Free Cycles and for fun, learn more at

Location: Free Cycles             Time: 10am

April 16th: Healthy Kids Fair

Location: YMCA            Time: 10 am- 3pm

April 20th: Women’s workshop, focusing on breaks, hosted by female mechanic and women bike Missoula. BYOB and Snacks

Location: Free Cycles             Time: 5:30pm-7:00pm

April 23rd: MUD Earth Day Celebration, Free Cycles will have a fix it booth.

Location: Cara’s park                        Time: 11am-5:00pm

April 23rd: Free Cycles will lead an overnight bike tour heading East of Missoula, all experience levels welcome.

Location: to be determined                        Time: Contact

April 28th, 29th, 30th: Pedal Fest: 12 Bands will be playing all through Missoula in Benefit of Free Cycles

April 29th: Bike Walk Summit, Free Cycles will be leading a tour of there facility

Location: Free Cycles             Time: 12:30pm

April 30th: The Last Revel, an Americano bluegrass band

Location: Free Cycles            Time: 6pm-10pm

May 4th: Give Local! Missoula, Free Cycles will be hosting a donor lounge. The first 24 donors will receive free patch kits for there bikes.

Location: Free Cycles            Time: 7am-7pm

May 6th: Shine Bright Mama party celebrating Mother’s, MudSlide Charley will be playing with an art auction. Mothers and daughters will serve tea.

Location: Free Cycles             Time: 5:00pm-10:00pm


If you are interested in forming a partnership with Free Cycles Click Here


Happily Never After: Montana’s Missed Connections

Welcome to the world of Missed Connections where you can post on Craigslist a short description (or a dramatic poem) about a person you saw and wished you would have “connected with”. And if the majority of the posts weren’t so ridiculously creepy, it could almost be sweet to see how many romantics are out there, tirelessly searching for someone they briefly made eye contact with in line at Taco Bell.

Here’s a few good ones I found in Montana.. And who knows – maybe someone is out there looking for you! You can thank me later when you and your soulmate get connected.

1.The Polygamist.

land and girlfriends montana missed connections

Or do be shy. Unless you’re looking for cheap rent.

2. Connecting on a Connecting Flight.
montana missed connections (2)





You know what else is magnificent? Punctuation.

3. The worst post, ever. 

brown girl montana missed connection

I  have a couple things to say about this one..

1)Brown hair? Brown skin? 2) Were you eating a Crunchwrap Supreme, because those do tend to get messy. 3) I can’t imagine that Razr phone’s photo quality is any good 4)I hope your wife takes that 1994 Vintage Aerostar and drives very quickly and very far away from you. 5) Katy, don’t call him.

4. The Spelling Bee Champion.

spelling issues montana missed connections

couldn’t*, were*, wearing*, and again, were*

5.The Hit and Run.

hit and run love

… so do you want my number to go on a date or to make an insurance claim?

6. Searching for an equally insane counterpart.

zombie apocalypse montana missed connection

Play on playa, play on.

7. The enthusiasm is real.

charter guy montana missed connection

He must have been really cute!!!!!!!!!!!!! n really funny !!!!!!!!!! n like so awesome!!!!!!!!!

8. The Tall Cowboy.VERY montana missed connection



..and this makes us so VERY uncomfortable.

9. Lookin’ Gassy.

Gas Montana Missed Connection

He either bought gasoline or Pepto Bismol.

10. The Hopeless Romantic?

baby jesus Montana missed connection

He’s not just praying to one baby Jesus, he’s praying to ALL of them! aww

Top 5 Brunch Spots in Missoula

By Aaron Kell

This ranking is purely subjective based off of my own tastes buds and preferences. To determine this I visited many restaurants offering brunch in Missoula, MT. I took into account a few variables: price, menu, and service/wait time. As we all know, the person who invented Brunch deserves a gold medal, some mornings (or afternoons) it’s even a life saver.


  1. The Shack
    Address: 222 W Main St, Missoula, MT 59802


This place has one of a kind atmosphere with it’s decor. You will feel as if you stepped back in time into a western saloon. The menu has much to offer, from broiled Rainbow Trout, to Chicken Fried Steak, to plain cold cereal.   If you are a fan of omelettes then this is your place!  They have up to 15 omelette varieties to choose from. Optimal dining times would be during work week, as there is a wait usually on weekend mornings.



  1. Hob Nob
    Address: 531 S Higgins Ave, Missoula, MT 59801


Just the name itself says “cozy” and that is what Hob Nob is.  This breakfast and lunch spot is the perfect stop before the Missoula Farmers’ Market or riding your bike to campus.  Brunch is now complete with bakery items baked in-house, and ever changing breakfast and lunch specials.  A well kept secret of the Hip Strip is the fantastic burgers Hob Nob offers as a lunchtime special in summertime.

  1. Paul’s Pancake Parlor
    Address: 2305 Brooks St, Missoula, MT 59801








Of course Paul’s kills it with the pancakes, but the Parlor’s menu actually offers much more.  From BLTs and Polish Hot Dogs to Sirloin Steaks and seafood, Paul’s has something for the group that just can’t decide! For the breakfast lovers at heart, Paul’s offers many variations to their breakfast combos to ensure no classic (or new!) favorite pancake flavors or sides are left out.

  1. Old Post
    Address: 103 W Spruce St, Missoula, MT 59802









A classic Missoulian favorite for Sunday brunch with your friends.  Complete with tasty Bloody Mary’s and Mimosas, the deck at The Old Post is the best way to enjoy your eggs. The French Bread in the “Stuffed French Bread” is made from handmade brioche bread, topping scrambled eggs and bacon.  For those who can’t say no to a good breakfast sandwich, give the J-Mac a try.  It’s worth the extra charge to get your egg (cooked over-hard) and sausage on a bagel instead of the English Muffin, if that’s what you prefer.  Something unique about The Old Post is they serve a Southern favorite here, in Missoula, MT! Get it as a side with your next authentic scramble.


  1. Catalyst
    Address: 111 N Higgins Ave, Missoula, MT 59802

The Catalyst is a Missoula favorite.  Throughout nearly all hours of service, it’s likely there will be a wait.  However the friendly wait staff and cozy basement with several couches and chairs, and a selection of current magazines make this wait tolerable.  The many different sandwiches and soup specials make The Catalyst is a hot spot for lunch, but brunch is what keeps you coming back.  Whether it’s an omelette, breakfast sandwich, or huevos rancheros, a recommended favorite side dish is the potato casserole, served in its own pastry dish.  For those who can take the heat, try the Green Chili version of the potato casserole.


If You’re Not Doing This, You Should Be

How To: Never Be Ill

It’s that time of year again where any office space, classroom, or restaurant turns into a battleground between our health and the bugs that cause illness and run rampant through our communities.  If you’re anything like me then you have entirely too much going on and can’t afford to lose the battle to the common cold, seasonal flu, or whatever else they’re calling it these days. I decided after a victory over a sinus infection three years ago that I would do anything it took to not get sick, ever. This is why I have developed a quick and inexpensive regimen to keep myself guarded and armed all year long. I haven’t had even an inkling of illness in three years and think that everyone should benefit from these simple ways to stay healthy. Here is 5 ways to arm your body and never get sick again.


Garlic Bombs

Perhaps the most importangarlict weapon in the arsenal is the garlic bomb. Packed full of fiber, vitamins C and B6 as well as minerals like potassium and calcium, garlic give the immune system a HUGE boost, allowing it to work overtime in destroying any virus or unwanted visitors that may enter your body. While most people like garlic in small amounts and mixed into food, I have found it highly effective to finely chop a clove or two and drop it in about ¼ cup of water and down it quickly to avoid the garlic aftertaste that lingers in the mouth after chewing it. It also reduces blood pressure, cholesterol, prevents dementia, detoxifies heavy metals in your blood and improves athletic performance.  You can’t have too many of these so drop them as often as you’d like!




Raw Apple Cider Vinegar Shots

A shot of this one or twice a day will bring your whole body to the equilibrium that it is constantly working to achieve. This allows for your energy to be used in other ways, like fighting off infection and increasing brain function. It balances the pH levels inside of your body as well as on the outside such as nourishing your skin and hair. It aids in weight loss, removes candida which causes sugar cravings, poor memory and fatigue, and can reduce heartburn. Take a standard sized shot (1 oz) of this with turmeric to reduce the acidity or dilute with water. The ‘raw’ part is imperative because it contains probiotics that help with digestion. I use Bragg’s brand which can be found at any grocery store. If you can take a shot of whiskey, you can take a shot of this!


Turmeric Powder

Bright orange in color, this spice does not try to camouflage it incredible benefits. Turmeric is a root that is harvested and ground into a fine powder. It has anti-inflammatory qualities, fights infection and destroys any free-radicals (cancer-causing organisms) that enter the body. It severely reduces the risk of diabetes, cancer, heart-disease, and contains repairing properties for brain stem cells. The daily recommended amount is 1-2 tablespoons. I get my turmeric fix by mixing 1.5 tablespoons in a standard sized shot glass with apple cider vinegar. Adding ¼ teaspoon of black pepper increases bioavailability of the turmeric so you can reap all the benefits. If the turmeric and ACV is too much for you, try mixing it with ¼ cup water instead. This one is a must not just for fighting off colds but for a long (and cognitive) life!

Hot Lemon & Honey Water

This has not only changed the way I think about coffee, but chalemonnged the way I think about mornings. Drinking this on an empty stomach (before coffee) cleanses and hydrates the lymphatic system which, when dehydrated, is the leading cause of illness. It also cleanses the colon, skin, and digestive system. The enzymes in the lemon give a nice, clean boost of energy first thing in the morning without caffeine. If you’re interested in a beautiful healthy glow outside and highly functioning system inside, then this is drink for you. I use a half a lemon and 1.5 teaspoons of raw, natural honey and look forward to this treat every morning! A must have while fighting a viral invasion.


Ginger Tea

This last one is a bit more time consuming but equally as important. Ginger has been used for centuries for its preventative, healing and aiding properties. It allows for better absorption of vitamins and minerals, cleanses the body of unwanted bacteria and boosts the immune system to fight infection. It is also an anti-inflammatory and reduces risk of colon and stomach cancers and ulcers. Steep 2 tablespoons of shredded ginger in hot water and drink like tea 1-3 times per day. Ginger tea helps pull the rest of the regimen together and keeps you getting the most of everything you put into your body.


There are many other spices, oils and foods you can eat to keep you healthy, but my personal five favorites continue work flawlessly for me. Since I have started this I have been sleeping more soundly, waking up with ease, have increased energy and stamina, clearer thinking, and an overall improved mood. Try one, or all of these amazing weapons and see for yourself the positive effects they can have. Your body will thank you and you will be glad when you are healthy and come out of the battlegrounds unscathed! 


Happy Healthing,

Niki Bates


Missoula Passion Project

Passion Project Missoula

by Kate Trahan

In a world with unlimited options for recreation, it’s fascinating to learn how people develop their unique interests. As humans, we are capable of being passionate about hobbies and how we spend our free time. As Missoula is a real hub for niche hobbies and sports, I ventured across Missoula in search of some passionate folks who would let me in on why they love what they do.

The Axe Thrower  

My first interview was with Kate Page, a member of the UM Woodsmen Team. The team is usually made up of about 15-20 students who participate in Timber sports. For those of you like myself, who don’t know what Timber sports are, they are sports that take the traditional practices of logging and turn them into competitive events. It’s just as crazy as it sounds. The events include the axe throw, pole climb, chopping and birling (an activity where two people run on a log in the water. The goal: get the other person to fall in first).

(Photo by Kaemyn Meagher)





If you’re like me, these activities sound like a slight form of torture. I don’t know if I can even lift an axe above my head; much less hurl it at a target from long distances. So I wondered: why does Kate dedicate her time to this unique sport?

“Honestly I like feeling badass,” Kate said while she cracked a smile. I certainly would use that term as well if I was a female axe thrower. “I also really enjoy the history of it,” she continued. Kate is a forestry major from Oregon. Kate really enjoys that the sport is unique and not a lot of people do it and that it presents a challenge.

“Using a cross cut saw can be challenging and people don’t really understand that. It makes me feel like I’ve accomplished something.”

The UM Woodsmen Team team travels and competes in Colorado, Oregon, Idaho, California and British Columbia, and they do it well. They have a practice arena at Fort Missoula where they can run through obstacle courses and drills to hone their skills. Practices are pretty laid back. But like most things, you get back what you put into it.

“Common interests, such as being outside and doing outdoor activities fills a void. We teach people how to do things outside with their hands, which is why they come to Montana,” said Kate.

This year, Missoula will host the 77th Conclave, a weeklong Timber Sports event sponsored by Stihl. Schools from all over come to compete and are shown on ESPN. The competition starts at Fort Missoula on April 27th.

The Triathlete

My second interview was with Elaine Marshall. Elaine is a triathlete and will be competing in her 4th Grizzly triathlon this April.


The Grizzly Triathlon is a sprint distance triathlon that consists of a 1,000-yard swim, 12-mile bike ride and a 5K run along the Kim Williams trail.

This race is certainly not for the faint of heart. Swimming 1,000 yards sounds like my own personal hell, but Elaine loves it. She started out as a swimmer in high school and got more into running and biking in college.

“I am passionate about it because training can improve your mental and physical health. I like having a goal to work towards,” said Elaine.

Elaine tries to train six days a week, but she makes sure she wants to do it and is not just forcing herself to.

“If I’m going to do it, I have to put it all out there” she said. “At the end of the race, hopefully the time is okay, and you can feel like you accomplished something.”


The Curler


I interviewed Barry Bollenback, the president of the Missoula Curling Club, who lights up when he talks about curling. Organized curling started in Missoula six years ago when a few folks created a Facebook event to come “Learn to Curl”. People instantly got hooked and the rest is history. Barry played hockey all of his life and enjoyed watching his sons play hockey in their youth. Barry says he took up curling because it’s a sport that you can play all of your life.


Curling is a sport that originates in Scotland. It consists of four people on each team and sixteen “stones” per game. Each player throws two stones while the other players use brooms to sweep in front of the stones and direct them to the “house” (a large circle on the ice). The object is to have more stones closer to the house than your opponents.


Though it sounds pretty simple, the sport is very strategic. “It is almost like chess on ice,” said Barry. “You don’t have to be strong but you have to be ready for a mental challenge.”

Barry is passionate about curling because it’s fun, mentally stimulating, unique, something you can play all of your life, and you can drink beer while doing it.

“You congratulate your opponent more than you congratulate yourself. And the winning team always buys the losing team their first beer.”  Now you’re speaking my language, Barry.

The Dancer

My fourth interview was with Kate Tryhas. (Keep in mind that you don’t have to be named Kate to be a part of this project, but it just so happens myself and two girls I interviewed are named Kate)

Kate is an OULA instructor at the Women’s Club.  OULA is a high-tempo dance workout that was started here in Missoula by Kali Linder.

Kate went to her first class four years ago at the YMCA. “You know the Freshman 15? Yeah, I was trying to avoid that, “ she said with a laugh. Kate fell in love OULA because it’s different from a traditional workout and there is a strong sense of community. OULA started in Missoula and has spread across the nation, with hundreds of instructors and even a line of apparel.

I decided to try my hand at OULA, with Kate as my instructor. I felt like I should apologize to everyone around me for having to witness my attempt at rhythm and movement. “The great thing about it is that it’s not about how it looks. It’s about how it feels, “said Kate.
After interviewing a number of people with nontraditional hobbies, I was fascinated. It was cool to catch a little glimpse of what is happening here in Missoula. In most cases what people liked about their particular sport had nothing really to do with the sport itself but with the challenge and the feeling they had from it. The fact that the sport was fun just seemed to be the icing on the cake.