Linked Adventures offers free shuttles, with a catch

Linked Adventures will return to action after sitting out the 2020 bicycling season because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Owner and operator Gina Evans said her shuttling service will have a brand-new addition in 2021 thanks to an anonymous sponsor. Butte and Anaconda residents can receive a free point-to-point shuttle, as long as they show their COVID-19 vaccination card.

The free rides will begin on June 1, and Evans will release information about days and times for the rides in May.

Evans said that getting out in the mountains to ride, hike, run or walk is key to surviving the pandemic, which is still not over after more than a year.

“We have the best back yard possible surrounding us,” Evans said. “Getting out in it can increase your mental wellbeing, improve cognition and it can decrease mental distress. We want to get these folks out in nature without breaking budget.”

That is why the anonymous sponsor came forward, Evans said.

“The sponsor understands the importance of both mental and physical health, especially during an ongoing pandemic,” she said.

Evans, a 1994 Butte High graduate, cannot ride like she uses to because of recurring injuries that followed a hit-and-run incident that nearly killer her in June of 2010. She runs her business as a way to stay close to the sport and share her expertise with other riders.

She first started shuttling riders in 2016, and has since provided transportation for riders from around the world, including many who are riding the Continental Divide Trail.

As the race director of the Butte 100 for the first 11 years of the race, Evans knows the trails around Butte and Southwest Montana like the back of her hand. She was born and raised riding her bike around the Mining City. She said she would like to use her business to help more people explore. Thanks to the anonymous sponsor, they can do it for free this summer.

“There’s a lot of folks in Butte who don’t know where Thompson Park is, and we’d like to alleviate that problem for them,” Evans said. “This is good for hiking, trail running or a great walk in the woods. You don’t have to own a mountain bike.”

While the free rides will be offered at certain times, Evan said she can adjust as long as she has a couple days’ notice.

“I will be flexible,” Evans said. “I will work out something for your family and friends to have a whole day of fun.

To schedule a ride shuttle this summer, contact Evans at (406) 498-9653 or visit Linked Adventures on Facebook.