Missoula, Montana

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June 22, 2015

I have returned home from a glorious sun filled week in Missoula, home to Tripsite Montana. I travelled to vist the team and family, and, to enjoy the cycling, of course!

Tripsite Missoula team photo
Left to right: Me, my daughters and co-workers, Anna, Jess, her husband Jonny, and my son Samuel.

Views of Missoula from the famous “M”
Views of Missoula from the famous “M”.

Nestled in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, Missoula has my heart.

(Well, my grandchildren now live here and my two daughters who comprise this west coast office do as well, but that aside, Missoula is really, really cool.)

Photo by Wesley Fyer via Flickr

Flying over and into Missoula is exhilarating, a teasing foretaste of what this city and surrounding area have to offer. The Bitterroot Valley is a sprawling expanse beneath the wings. From the sky, the impressive mountains that circle the city appear soft, with alternating hues of golden brown and green, like one of those raised relief maps from geography class, belying their rock hewn nature.

This buffering of the surrounding mountains provides for a much milder climate than the rest of Montana and due to its location in the northern hemisphere, the summer days are long. The sun is reluctant to set and eager to rise! The city is surrounded by seven wilderness areas and is located at the confluence of three rivers. Missoula and the surrounding area is a playground for the active, with ample opportunities for hunting, fishing, hiking, biking, running, kayaking, rafting, skiing and more.

Did I mention surfing?

Surfing on the rapids near Caras Park on the Clark Fork River

Missoula offers an engineered whitewater masterpiece right next to Caras Park on the Clark Fork River, bringing great surfing within the city limits. Taking a break from the Clark Fork River Market we watched from the bridge as surfers, kayakers, and paddle boarders enjoyed the challenge.

The festive market is a much anticipated and very popular weekly event for the locals and visitors alike featuring locally produced items from food to craft.

Coffee and beer brewers are on site as well and there is an assortment of vendors selling fresh made food to go.

Blak CoffeeBlak Coffee

Farmers Market Missoula

The well developed bike paths throughout the city have earned Missoula a Gold Level rating from Bicycle Friendly America and the surrounding area offers extensive bike trails and recreation areas.

This past Sunday morning, I biked to church!

Bike routes Missoula, Montana

Adventure Cycling Association calls Missoula home.

“Adventure Cycling Association started in the summer of 1976 with a 4,250-mile TransAmerican bicycle ride with over 4,100 participants called Bikecentennial 76. The event paved the way for bicycle travel in the U.S. and set the foundation for what is today known as Adventure Cycling.”

One day, during lunch, I biked from our home- based office to their office in the city.

Outside the doors, I found a picnic like atmosphere!

Adventure Cycling Association office front

Cyclists stop all day long on their way to an adventure or on their way home to enjoy a complimentary snack, free Wi-fi, maps, route descriptions, or to just refresh.

Once inside, I was graciously welcomed and embraced the experience that is Adventure Cycling! Their mission is to inspire and empower people to travel by bicycle.

Adventure Cycling Association lobbyOld bikes in Adventure Cycling Associate lobby

Adorned with photos of travelling cyclists and bikes donated from various excursions, from the late 70’s to present day, the walls are a virtual testimony to the history of this great organization. I walked away believing that indeed “all it takes is a dream and a bicycle.”

Adventure Cycling Association headquarters Missoula, Montana

After visiting the office, talking with great staff, and reading more about this non-profit, Tripsite has become a corporate member.

I would encourage everyone who loves to bike to visit the website and consider becoming a member.

Soon we will be featuring some US Adventure Cycling Association tours!

I had a fantastic time in Missoula with family, friends, and Tripsite colleagues.

I returned to Pennsylvania as I always do from biking some place new, renewed in my love for the sport but I do leave a piece of my heart in Missoula!

My granddaughter, Averie, at The Good Food Store after a nice bike ride on the trail.

Jack enjoying Clark Fork River at Lolo National Forest. This is just a short bike ride from the city.

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  • Michelle Wood 3 years ago

    Nice blog, Mary. Have been a supporter and member of Adventure Cycling for years. Wonderful organization. Glad you enjoyed your stay. Paul will be cycling from Sandpoint, Idaho to Helena in mid-July. Will pass through Missoula on that ride and hope to visit Jessica and family.

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