Free Cycles is a bike shop where you can donate bikes, fix yours, or even build one. In the evening, however, this bike shop transforms into a venue for concerts, recitals, and other forms of media. 

Executive Director, Bob Giodorno, explained that before cars, streets were gathering spaces for shows and community events. Still, as cars became more popular and cities became more sprawled, community space was lost.

"We feel a need and duty to invigorate community gatherings,” Giordano said, “the shows are good for mental health, they’re good for having fun and enjoyment, and they’re good to get people thinking about bicycling and a healthy community.”

Prepping for the Show

When Free Cycles are preparing for a show there are many moving pieces. Most promotion comes from word of mouth. However, Free Cycles does post the show on their community calendar and posts about the show.

Then the day of the show it is all hands on deck. Free Cycles employees and volunteers have to deep clean the shop, do sound checks, volunteers bring in snacks and alcohol for those who are over 21. Then the doors open, and the community starts coming in.

Giodorno's Problems and Solutions

A large concern for Giodorno when Free Cycles first started hosting the shows was complaints from residents around Free Cycles. He is in communication with those who reside around Free Cycles and he sees a lot of them at the shows.

During the shows, Giodorno and several volunteers keep an eye on the crowd. He always keeps an eye out for stage diving and aggressive moshing, but Giodorno said “I’ve been in moshing in there that feels really good, it feels like a flow and a wave. If it gets aggressive then myself or someone else tames that down.”

When are the Shows?

Free Cycles hosts shows from everything from recitals to punk shows. Giodorno hopes in the future that Free Cycles can be a venue for more and different shows. Free Cycles hosts shows twice a month. Keep an eye on their calendar and social media to see upcoming shows.

PHOTOS: 14th Annual Missoula Tweed Ride, Free Cycles

Photos courtesy of Eric Warren.

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