The weather here in the northwest may be less than stellar these days, but that doesn't mean you can't pedal like a freak while soaking up epic vistas and smelling that nice, piney air smell. This week, I recommend slapping on your sweetest biking shorts and putting meddle to your pedals during the Missoulians on Bicycles Trail of the Coeur d 'Alene ride, an overnight biking trip that runs Sat., May 8, through Sun., May 9. Once you depart from Missoula, you'll meet at the Mullan Trailhead, exit 17 off I-90 in Idaho, and then head off for a ride that's at your own pace and can be 56, 75, or 87-miles in length, depending on your preference. The route itself features splendid views of the Coeur d 'Alene River and Lake Coeur d 'Alene, and takes you to the town of Harrison, where you'll have the option to continue on the trail to the town of Plummer. Then, you'll eat and stay overnight in Harrison, and depart in the morning. So get out there and ride on!
The Missoulians on Bicycles Trail of the Coeur d 'Alene ride begins with car departure at 8 AM from Missoula on Sat., May 8. Free, but you must make your own hotel accommodations. Call Patty McIntire at 745-4549 to sign-up or carpool and visit missoulabike.org for info on other rides this weekend.
THURSDAY MAY 5
Party down and watch some rugby players knock each other around during Maggotfest 2011, the annual festival style rugby tournament hosted by the Missoula Maggots that kicks off with games at 5 PM and 6:30, at Fort Missoula Rugby Park, 3051 South Ave. W. The fest continues each day through May 8. Cost TBA for spectators. Visit maggots.org.
FRIDAY MAY 6
Shoot at clay pigeons for the thrill of it when the Missoula Trap & Skeet Club presents its annual Ron Hoppie Memorial Trap Shoot, a multi-day trap shooting competition that attracts top shooters from the Northwest. Fire for more info at missoulatrapandskeet.com or by calling 549-4815.
Kids in Missoula can hike, bike, raft, canoe and swim to their heart's content, and learn skills in leadership, self-confidence and teamwork, during Missoula Outdoor Learning Adventures' Outdoor Adventure Summer Camp, which is currently open for registration. Camps run each week from June 6–Aug. 26. $150 per one-week session, with a $50 deposit check per week. Get details at missoulaoutdoors.com.
Get out and about when the Montana Wilderness Association presents its 2011 Wilderness Walks Kickoff, which runs from 5–8 PM at The Trail Head, 221 E. Front St., and features live guitar pickin', beer and barbecue food, plus a 7 PM program featuring an overview of new gear, a sketch of local hikes by MWA volunteer hike leaders and info on Missoula's chapter of the MWA. Free. Call 541-8615.
Cast off during a night of fly fishing films when the Fly Fishing Film Tour hits Whitefish's O'Shaughnessy Center, 1 Central Ave., starting with a pre-event festival at 5:30 PM, a silent auction at 6, and the films at 7:15 PM. The fest serves as a benefit for Glacier Country Cast for Recovery, which offers cost-free retreats for breast cancer survivors. $15/$12 advance at Lakestream Outfitters and other locations.
SATURDAY MAY 7
Wear your avian party suspenders when the Flathead Audubon Society celebrates International Migratory Bird Day with a birding jaunt to the Swan Lake Area and Swan Lake National Wildlife Refuge, starting at 8:30 AM at the Swan Lake Picnic Area, off Hwy. 83. Free. Call Kathy at 837-3837.
Learn how to support those who get injured in the outdoors when Crested Butte Outdoors presents an open certification training for wilderness first responders and wilderness emergency medical technicians, which occurs today through May 9 at a TBA location in Whitefish. $360. Visit cboutdoors.com for more info, and call Sue at 970-596-2999 to register.
Let me call you "Puff the Magic Runner" during the gASPing for Air 5K Fun Run/Walk, a benefit race to help send children with asthma to a summer camp, starting with check-in at 10:15 AM at the footbridge near UM, followed by the race–which consists of a looped course down the Riverfront Trail. $15. Visit runmt.com/2011gASPingForAir.pdf for an entry form.
SUNDAY MAY 8
Treat your mother to an afternoon of flower gawking during Tip-Toe Through the Trilliums, an outing featuring comments from Tarn Ream and botanist Peter Stickney about the flower Trillium ovatum, starting at 2 PM with a meet-up at the Rattlesnake Trailhead. Free. Call Kelly at 258-5439.
MONDAY MAY 9
Leave the dragon suit at home when the Flathead Audubon Society presents its annual meeting with the program Beginning Dragonfly Watching in Montana, a presentation with avid birder and wildlife photographer Bob Martinka that also features a potluck and silent auction, starting with dinner at 6 PM at the Whitefish Community Center, 121 Second St. E. Free. Visit flatheadaudubon.org.
Have a hootin' good time when the Five Valleys Audubon Society presents the program Enthralled with Raptors, a talk with Kate Davis of Raptors of the Rockies about her work that also features an appearance by four live birds, at 7:30 PM in Room L14 of UM's Gallagher Business Building. Free. Visit fvamissoula.org.
THURSDAY MAY 12
Walk off your flub to help raise money for playground improvements at Arlee Elementary School during the third annual Walk-A-Thon, from 6-9 PM at the track and surrounding grounds of Arlee High School, 72220 Fyant St. Participants are asked to solicit donations before their walk, and the event also includes a chili feed, bake sale and door prizes. For more info or to donate, call Dori at 726-3216 Ext. 2221.