As I write this, the sun is shining brightly and it's darn near 70 degrees outside. You know what that means? It's the kind of weather that begs for a long walk in the glistening warmth of the sun's rays. I bring this up because Sat., April 24, officially marks the start of Bike Walk Bus Week. I know I'll be participating, since my car is currently out of commission. As for you? Well, the city has a plethora of events and incentives for you to bike, walk or bus around town, including raffles, free coffee, discounts on beer and plenty more. So come Saturday, hit the pavement without your vehicle, and click to bikewalkbusmissoula.org for a full schedule of events. But don't blame me if the weather changes.
Moving on, I want to let you know that you must RSVP by 4 PM Thu., April 22, in order for you and your child to participate in a free fly fishing workshop sponsored by the Missoula Children and Nature Network/Missoulian Angler Fly Shop, which runs from 10 AM–1 PM on Sat., April 24, at McCormick Park. The workshop will hook participants with proper casting techniques, as well as identification of fish species. Call Jason to RSVP at 552-6271.
Slip into a wetsuit on Fri., April 23, for yet another Montana River Guides (MRG) Swiftwater Rescue Technician Course, which meets Fri., April 23–Sun., April 25 at 10:30 AM at a TBA location and is geared toward novice and experienced recreational paddlers and river guides. $295. RSVP quick by contacting Mike at 777-4837 or e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Get some shut-eye and prepare to rise early Sat., April 24, so you can register for YMCA's Riverbank Run, which starts with day-of registration from 7–8 AM on the corner of Higgins Ave. and Broadway St. The race then begins promptly at 9 AM with the 10k run. It's followed by the 5k at 10:30 AM and culminates in a one-mile fun run at 11:35 AM. For those of you hardcore enough to do it all, sign up for the Runner's Edge "Trifecta" to get in on all three races starting at 11:25 AM. $29 for the Trifecta/$20 adults/$14 youth age 17 and under. Register online at ywcamissoula.org and call 721-YMCA.
If sweating turns you off, restoration work might get your activity engine humming Sat., April 24, during another Bugbee Nature Preserve Workday, which runs from 9 AM–4 PM at the preserve, off of Missoula Ave. Free. Bring gloves, lunch and water. E-mail email@example.com.
Here's another way to get dirty on Sat., April 24: Join others for Mount Sentinel M Trail work and prairie restoration, which runs from 9 AM–3 PM at M trail. E-mail Marilyn at firstname.lastname@example.org and visit umt.edu/earthday for more conservation happenings throughout the day.
A mob of pedaling peeps also hits the road Sat., April 24, during the Missoulians on Bicycles (MOBI) jaunt known as the Frank Winkler Memorial Ride to Ninemile, beginning at 10 AM at Perkin's Restaurant and Bakery, 2275 N. Reserve St. Free. Call John at 543-3230 and visit missoulabike.org.
Whitewater is always the best kind of water on Sat., April 24, especially during StrongWater Paddle Sports' Fundraiser for the MAX Wave Project, which begins at 10 AM at Strongwater, 612 S. Higgins Ave. $5 suggested donation. The day is literally overflowing with aqua-centric events, including a whitewater kayak boat/gear swap, as well as a whitewater art show, which both run from 10 AM–5 PM. Stick around for the 8 PM video premiere of Dream Result—which features Montana native Tyler Bradt's world-record waterfall descent—and stay for the barbecue, beer and music. Call Kevin at 721-2437.
Those of us who enjoy riding on our pimped-out two-wheelers should also know Sat., April 24, marks the 13th annual Festival of Cycles, a bicycle extravaganza that runs from noon–4 PM at Bonner Park. Free. If you're not familiar, here's the scoop for your spokes: You can build a bike, donate a bike, tune up your bicycle, get parts, and enjoy other cycle-based revelry. Call Bob at 880-6834.
I doubt the Montana Natural History Center (MNHC) will be blasting The Beatles on Sat., April 24, during its Saturday Kids' Activity Beautiful Beetles!, but you never know. So bring your little beast to MNHC, 120 Hickory St., at 2 PM and find out when UM insect lab manager Annika Johns displays several species of this bug. $2 child/free for MNHC members. Call 327-0405.
Much like the Cyndi Lauper song, these mountaineers just want to have fun: The Rocky Mountaineers rise with the sun on Sun., April 25, to depart Missoula by 6:30 AM for a trip up Trapper Peak in the Bitterroots. Free. Bring skis, skins and perhaps snowshoes. Call Alden at 542-1966 for details on where to meet and visit rockymountaineers.com.
Or sleep in Sun., April 25, in order to pedal it up later during the Deer Creek Sneak MOBI ride, which starts at 10 AM at the Eastgate parking lot, off of east Broadway St. Free. Call Kathy at 543-6274.
On Thu., April 29, get a sweet deal on used outdoor gear, or sell off your old wares, during the UM Outdoor Program's Used Outdoor Gear Sale, which runs from noon—5 PM in the University Center. Free to attend. All sellers should bring their gear to the UC between 7–11 AM, and should know the outdoor program collects 15 percent of the sale price of your gear. Call 243-2804.
Alternately, donate your gear to some sustainable mountaineers during the Nature-Link Institute's Gear for the Garhwal drive, which comes to a close Fri., April 30. Drop-off locations are at UM's Outdoor Program, Pipestone Mountaineering, The Trail Head and Aerie Wilderness Medicine. Visit nature-link.org and call Eric at 370-2294.
Until next week, hop on your cycle, pound the pavement with your soles and, if it rains, save me a warm seat on the bus.