Bike Parking at Near-Epidemic Levels


A Special Report from the Green Onion:

Missoula, Montana – Reports are surfacing of a now-chronic problem from the backyard of the FLAT, authorities said.

For the past several months, the FLAT, the University of Montana’s Sustainable Living Demonstration House, has seen a disproportionate amount of visitors for the popular and frequent events they offer the community each week.

“It’s just what we do,” says Dov Weinman, co-director and organizer of this Spring’s Workshop Series. “We connect dots. We’re dot-connectors.”

Each Spring, the FLAT offers a Workshop Series: weekly, hour-long tutorials, free to the public, to learn various skills—fermentation, paper-making, bike-maintenance, mushroom inoculation, hula-hooping, etc.

Sam Plotkin teaches a full studio on the joys of fermentation.
EVST Graduate Student and pickling fiend Sam Plotkin teaches a captive audience about the joys of fermentation. “Controlled rot,” Sam calls it.


The idea? Do it your dang self. The FLAT believes that everyone’s got something unique to give and teach the world, so why not provide a platform for them to share it. Local talent, local skill-share. The six residents believe that, if we stop relying so much on other people to feed us and fix us, then we empower ourselves to choose our own path, not one prescribed to us.

The FLAT is choosing its own path; so much that it’s causing a stir.

Recently, Garden Guru David Lau had to relocate the composting site to make room for additional bike parking. With more people coming to FLAT events and nowhere to park bikes, the situation had become dire. With the new bike rack, the FLAT can now accommodate eight to ten additional bikes. Progress.

Workshop #1: Mushroom inoculation brought up to 30 people.
Upwards of 30 people showed up for the first workshop, mushroom inoculation.

Even so, with the 2015 FLAT Workshop Series attracting a record crowd (Don’t miss the last workshop, Fire Cider, Thursday, April 30th at 7pm!) visitors are still perhaps uneducated on how to fully utilize the new bike rack (See photo #1.)

“I just get too excited and forget to rack up my bike when I get to the FLAT for an event,” one FLAT enthusiast confessed, giggling.

The true test will be this Friday, April 24th, 11am-8pm, at the FLAT Earth Week BBQ and Work Day. With innovative project work, free food, and live music planned, the situation might become too fun to manage.

We will be reporting on more updates regarding FLAT visitor bike rack usage as they arise.

FLAT resident Kara displays proper use of the new rack.
FLAT resident Kara displays proper use of the new rack.

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