Get on Track

For some people, bikes can be an enigma. We take it for granted that they will always work, right up until they don’t. What then?

Anywhere else, you’d probably just stare forlornly at the various cables, gears, and bolts, with a sinking feeling in your stomach, thinking that now you’ll just have to walk. Or you’d drag your rig into a local shop, only to have them fix it and you learn nothing.

Luckily for you, you live in Bozeman, which has its very own Bike Kitchen. Equipped with stands, tools, and parts, the Bozeman Bike Kitchen is a great local resource, especially for college students. While experienced staff are ready to teach you how to fix your bike for a minimal cost, you can also volunteer, learning the ins and outs of bikes as you take them apart and put them back together. If you work up enough hours, you’ll accrue credit, eventually having enough to build your own bike. That saves you serious dough, and with a functioning bike, you can cut down on gas costs, too. Riding around, you’ll get exercise and an intimate knowledge of Bozeman, all for free.

Now, those of you who don’t have bikes, or worse, don’t know how to ride a bike (you know who you are, and yes it’s disgraceful—you’re a grown-ass person), don’t fret. The Bike Kitchen rebuilds used bikes and sells them for very affordable prices. Whether you’re looking for a mountain bike, road bike, cruiser, or something more exotic, the Bike Kitchen has it. Go grab one and get pedaling.

Another option for cheap maintenance is the Outdoor Rec Center. If you're a student, they too have staff on hand to show you the ropes, and workstations with every tool you’ll need. Added bonus for students: they’re right on campus. Major drawback: you can’t work your way to a free bike.

If neither of these options tickle your fancy, some shops in town, like Owenhouse and REI, host free maintenance clinics. These usually just scratch the surface, but that should be sufficient for commuting and then some. Check out Outside Bozeman’s online calendar for upcoming classes and clinics.

The Bike Kitchen is open year-round on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6-8pm, and on Saturdays from 10am-12pm. For more information, visit their website or email them at [email protected]. Better yet, visit them in person at 2104 Industrial Dr. (at the corner of Griffin).

The Outdoor Rec Center’s hours fluctuate throughout the week and they’re closed Sundays. Visit them at or in person at the shop on W. Lincoln.