A Gamble on Bicycle Friendliness Pays Off

Twin Bridges, Montana camp siteWe just have to share this heart-warming story of a small town that built a camp for cyclists pedaling through (often on the TransAmerica or Lewis and Clark trails). It all came about because one resident realized the business they could bring to this Montana town.

“All the bike riders passing through were like gold going by in a river,” that man, Bill White, said. “I started thinking about how to make Twin Bridges more than a place to get a cup of coffee.”

The result: residents raised funds to build a shelter in the park that would draw in riders, provide a free shower and a place to set up tents on the grass. Most riders in turn leave donations that cover the cost of utilities and cleaning supplies. And they spent money in town, which gave the local economy a boost.

Other communities haven’t gone as far as building a shelter, but they, too, are learning that bicyclists bring tourism dollars. Long-distance routes, mapped and (hopefully) signposted, are a magnet that everyone can profit from.

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