We’re about halfway through our tour of what we’ve been calling the Upper West and one clever friend has more aptly dubbed Outdoorsia.
Along the way, we’ve been compiling photos, video clips, issues, and ideas from each town and city. We’ll present what we’ve learned back in Portland on September 10th. One thing I can say for sure is that no city—and no event—has been quite like any other. The most thriving and well-rounded bike scene so far has been Spokane, where the last three years have seen a huge boom in ridership, advocacy initiatives, and the all-important bike fun.
We were most surprised by the thriving scene in tiny Spearfish, SD, where fifty people turned out to ride vintage cruisers and homemade tall bikes jubilantly around town before settling down to hear about Portland bike infrastructure and plan the future of their own own over rootbeer floats with homemade ingredients (and in handmade mugs, no less!).
I’m writing this from our venue in Fort Collins, Colorado: Matter Bookstore, a volunteer-run book shop inside the ultra-bikey Bean Cycles coffeeshop. Bicycle art everywhere, a snazzy display advertising our event, bicycles and books covering the walls.
We’ve been hearing about Fort Collins’s famous bike culture since Cheyenne (and Portland bike funnists are well acquainted with the great folks at FC’s local New Belgium Brewing). A walk around earlier this afternoon took us past a Bike Library, a vibrant carfree commercial area, and more bike parking per block than I’ve ever seen.
It looks like we’re in for more serious, homegrown bike fun next week in Provo, Utah. And who knows what else we’ll find?