If you're all about pushing your bike pedals to the max with gorgeous mountain ranges and vast ranchlands in your vista, I've got a cycling offer on the horizon that you won't want to refuse. In about a month, on Sat., Sept. 18 to be exact, you can bike your heart out for up to 112 miles during Cycle for the Symphony, a bike ride that starts and ends in Philipsburg and whisks you north through the Pintler Scenic Loop, over to Drummond and then on to Deer Lodge, Anaconda and Georgetown Lake. Of course, if a 112-mile jaunt on your two-wheeled friend sounds too daunting, you can also opt for an 85-mile, 50-mile or 25-mile ride, too. Essentially, your legs, and your spokes, are the limit. This ride also doubles as a fundraiser for the Missoula Symphony Orchestra, costs $120, and requires you to also fundraise $50. So start your training engine and click to missoulasymphony.org to sign up. Call 721-3194.
And now, we move back to the present. On Fri., Aug. 27, you can join the few and the proud, who work hard and play hard in the northern reaches of our fair state when you join the final volunteer trip of the summer in the Ten Lakes Wilderness Study Area with UM's Wilderness Institute. This week's jaunt runs until Sun., Aug. 29, and takes you up Krinklehorn Pass, and, as with previous outings, mapping and monitoring weeds, and taking inventory of campsites, roads, trails and wildlife is what's in store. Free. RSVP by visiting www.cfc.umt.edu/wi or by calling 243-5361.
Or you could bag some peaks during the Rocky Mountaineers' sixth annual Glacier Classic, a weekend outing in Glacier National Park that's overflowing with climbs and hikes and runs from Fri., Aug. 27–Sun., Aug. 29. It's free, but you should chip in to camp with these mountaineers at the Apgar Camground. RSVP with Forest Dean by calling him at 240-7612 or by e-mailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org and visit rockymountaineers.com for a list of hikes.
Parents who want to run wild and shed some pounds can hit two goals with one class during Run Wild Missoula's Running Class for Parents, which is open to moms and dads who are eager to train for the Pumpkin Run 5k in October. It begins at 5:30 PM Fri., Aug. 27, and continues each and every Friday until the run on Oct. 16, all at Runner's Edge, 325 N. Higgins Ave. $50/$25 Run Wild Missoula members. Visit runwildmissoula.org to RSVP.
Those aching for another way to give back to Gaia should prepare to get dirty when the Northern Rockies Chapter of Wildlands Restoration Volunteers presents the Heart Lake Campground Restoration Project, which occurs during the day on Sat., Aug. 28, at the lake, located by the Montana/Idaho border near Superior. Once you're there, you'll install a pit toilet and repair trails, among other projects. It's free, but you must register in order to go, so visit wlrv.org/nrockies to sign-up, or e-mail Graham at email@example.com. Also, a handful of people will be going up on Friday night to camp out at the lake, so if you've got the time, feel free to join 'em.
Get high without the use of your noxious weed supply on Sat., Aug. 28, when the Montana Chapter of the Sierra Club hosts the Trapper Peak Day Hike, a strenuous, nine-mile roundtrip jaunt in the Bitterroots that's fit for hardcore hikers. The hike itself takes you 3,800 feet up in elevation, so expect eye candy in the form of astonishing views of the surrounding Bitterroot mountain range. Free. The trip is limited to 12 people, so RSVP quickly by e-mailing Mary at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Then again, why not show off your sweet cycling shorts during the Leverich Canyon Crank Up!, a mountain bike race on Sat., Aug. 28, that's between 20 and 5 miles in length (depending on your race class) and occurs in the Gallatin National Forest just outside of Bozeman. Registration is $35 and occurs the day of the race at 8 AM in the Leverich Canyon. Visitteammuleterro.com for directions and a map of the course.
Let your soles take control during the Pine Needle Stampede, a 5k and 10k race that begins at 9 AM on Sat., Aug. 28, at the Rendezvous Trail System near West Yellowstone. $20, with pre-registration due Fri., Aug. 27. Visit freeheelandwheel.com for a registration form and directions, or register on race day from 7:30-8:30 AM at the Rendezvous Trailhead Building.
Another option to be a super steward occurs Sat., Aug. 28, when Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks hosts the Lower Clark Fork River cleanup, which starts at 9 AM at the Cyr Fishing Access Site, 30 miles west of Missoula off I-90 exit 70. Once there, you'll pick up trash along the riverbank and surrounding land. Afterwards, stick around for a free dinner. Call 542-5500.
Tap into your running roots on Sun., Aug. 29, during Run Wild Missoula's River City Roots Four Mile Run/Walk, a race that coincides with the 2010 River City Roots Festival and begins at 11 AM at the XXXX's on North Higgins Avenue. Once you take off, you'll run from Alder Street up through the Duncan Drive area, and then make your way back to town through Greenough Park, finishing up on Main Street. $25, with registration from 8:30-10 AM the day of the race near the XXXX's. Visit runwildmissoula.org.
Finish your week on Thu., Sept. 2, by getting global with a moving picture during a screening of 180° South: Conquerors of the Useless, a film that follows a man who retraces the path of the legendary 1968 expedition to Patagonia by climbers Yvon Chouinard and Doug Tompkins. It screens at 7 PM, at the theater in UM's Urey Underground Lecture Hall, and costs $10 at the door or $8 advance at the Trail Head. The screening also serves as benefit for the Montana Patagonia Chapter of the Partners of the Americas.
Now, go! Run like the wind!