The goal of Free Cycles is to help Western Montana transition to a sustainable transportation system while simultaneously setting a strong example for other places. Free Cycles provides bicycles, parts, tools, work space, and help for a healthy community. Our programs focus on re-purposing unused bicycles to reduce pollution and increase freedom, empowerment and social change.
Bob Giordano, Executive Director and founder of Free Cycles and MIST, has been an active citizen of Missoula since 1994. Beginning his higher education at North Carolina State University with a Business Management major and Environmental Ethics minor, Bob was "always intrigued by the West." Once he discovered the mountains and submerged himself in the rivers of Montana, he could not go back to his beloved Blue Ridge Mountains.
He received his Master's in Resource Conversation from the University of Montana in 2003 and is passionate about social and environmental justice. He loves to engage on these topics with individuals and groups through conversation, public presentations, and creative forms of communication.
After learning and teaching about bicycles and healthy city design for the past twenty years, Bob is striving to create a more sustainable way of life for people and our relationships with the Earth. Other passions include enjoying music around a fire, promoting clay, spending time with friends and family, carrying a wok on long-distance bike trips or spontaneously planning a next adventure.
Emily Jensen is intensely passionate about community, nature, and the intersection of the two. She first immersed herself in an internship with Free Cycles and MIST during the Winter of 2015, focusing on climate change solutions and general organizational development. This involvement sparked an eagerness and motivation to continue to help. She quickly embraced the dynamic nature of the community bike shop, helping lead operations during Summer 2015. She received her Bachelor's in Social Work from the University of Montana with the intent to help the people of Montana who need it the most. Emily fulfills the role of Programs Director for MIST and Free Cycles. Growing up in the Northwest with ties to Whidbey Island, Seattle, and Kalispell, Montana, Emily has now rooted herself deeply in Missoula.
Emily can be found leading workshops related to bicycles, healthy city design, and just about any topic that brings her commitment for justice to the forefront of society. Several of the many things she loves include: gardening, soccer, cats, extremely spicy food, and any sort active pursuit outside.
The sheer amount of volunteers who are enthused to help both Free Cycles and MIST is outstanding. Thousands of hours a year are donated by people coming into the shop. The diversity of people willing to help in any way is heartwarming. There are certain folks who spend time regularly helping out, people who are trading work hours for bikes, students meeting class requirements, folks who have to complete community service, and sometimes people passing through on a bike tour stop and help.
Photography provided by Brenna Ellis & Locke Hassett
Free Cycles has facilitated around 100 interns over the years, with all sorts of skills and interests. Please contact us if you are interested in pursuing internship options.