Mountain High 

The bike pictured at right was stolen from the porch of 901 West Spruce Street on the morning of Sun., Aug. 19. It’s a sweet Schwinn Sierra, a first-generation mountain bike from back when they still looked a lot like road bikes.

What’s this doing in Mountain High? Well, it belonged to a dear friend of Comrade Calendar’s and I’ve decided to use this bully pulpit of mine to try to get it back.

Appreciate the fine details: The dark-blue paint job, the Megarange rear cassette, the bar ends, the orange triangles of reflective tape on the crank, the duct tape mark on the top tube. Note that which isn’t visible here: The yellow and pink flower bell, the inner-tube bar tape, the new Deore front derailleur.

Fan out, loyal readers, and find this bike. Call 542-5165 or e-mail calendar@missoulanews.com. Reward.

For as summer turns to fall, we all look forward to that first day when the road slicks up and we’re glad to have our mountain bike back under us. Or maybe we never left the comfort of our knobby-tired buddy for the summer.

As a sticker on the back door of the Bike Doctor’s downtown location used to read, below the images of a road, a BMX and a mountain bike, “Judge Not.” We’re all cyclists, we all understand the special connection that forms between bike and rider, and too many of us have felt the heart-rending sting that comes when some despicable parasite destroys that connection forever.

I clearly need to take a step back and breathe.

The first event that could serve as a soothing balm for my simmering hatred for humanity comes from our beloved hill-toppers—none of whom have probably ever stolen a bike, or even a pen from the bank, for that matter: the Rocky Mountaineers. On Fri., Aug. 24, take part in the third annual Glacier Classic, a weekend-long mountstravaganza based out of the Fish Creek campground in Glacier National Park. You’ll rendezvous Fri. evening, spend the next two days enjoying the park—several hikes are planned each day—engaging in revelry and basically forgetting all about the scum of our society, bike thieves. Call Steve at 721-3790 to begin getting a handle on all the options.

If you can’t abide a hike without in some way improving the world, you could lash a sack full of the dismembered heads of bicycle burglars to a post atop some lofty peak, as a kind of warning. Or, on Fri., Aug. 24, you could join the Great Burn Study Group on their final monitoring trip of the season to Weir-Post Office Creek in Idaho. To feel the thrill of assessing the state of the region’s weeds, wildlife, trail conditions and other criteria, hitch up with the group’s experienced leaders after you call Beverly at 240-9901.

Some people think that self-medicating with alcohol is somehow “counter-productive” or “escapist.” Whatever—those people may not have felt the temple-searing hatred fueled by the astounding cowardice of the robber of the bike. Either way, you can get away from it all when you head up to the Whitefish Mountain Resort for their Brewfest on Sat., Aug. 25, where you can sample a smattering of beers from across the Northwest beginning at 3 PM. Shuttle buses, live music and scenic views of the mountain formerly known as “Big” are like parsley on your plate.

If the knowledge that the feckless creep responsible for bicycle loss is probably still lurching around town leads me to abandon land altogether, I’ve got little to worry about, as Paddle MT and the Canoe Rack have got my back. Their day-long open-water kayaking trip on Flathead Lake on Sun., Aug. 26, is the respite we all need from our fellow land-lubbers. Participants should have some experience with sea kayaks and wet exits—insert poo joke here—and should call 251-0400.

Girls across the valley—above the age of 8, that is—are invited to take part in the Girl Power Skate Clinic at MOBASH Skatepark, a week-long course starting on Mon., Aug. 27, at 8:30 AM. Bring your deck and helmet and learn all the moves you’ll need to show Tony Hawk a thing or two if he ever dares show his scabby little face in our town again. (No offense, T-dog—I’m your biggest fan.) Call 721-PARK.

Since the dawn of time, humans have looked to heavenly bodies for respite from their daily woes, which is why the Bitterroot National Forest’s program Walk By The Light of the Moon: Horse of the Desert on Tue., Aug. 28, might be just the ticket for a little peace, love and understanding. I’ll call 375-2606 or 375-2603 and head to the Daly Mansion in Hamilton at 8 PM to hear about Hungarian horse breeds and marvel at the full glory of Luna.

Of course, I may ne’er look at the moon again, as its resemblance to a stolen bike wheel may be too great for my poor heart to suffer.
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