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Mountain High

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If your outdoors engine gets a steady buzz from hitting up the vast amount of bike trails we have at our disposal, you realize that sooner or later one of your tires is going to pop and get flatter than a day-old can of PBR. But thanks to those friendly pedaling peoples at Freecycles, you'll soon be able to fix that impending flat in record time.

That's because on Thu., May 6, reps from Freecycles will be on hand for a free bike maintenance basics course which runs from 4–7 PM at Missoula REI, 3275 N Reserve St. Ste. K-2. RSVP by visiting rei.com/stores/72 and call 829-0432.

After you've filled your tires and lubed your chain, get up to the Flathead so you can join the Flathead Audubon Society Sat., May 8, during a field trip to celebrate spring birds of Glacier National Park. Free. Meet at 7 AM in front of the Alberta Visitor Center in West Glacier, and bring binocs or a scope. Call Steve at 892-7406.

Then again, you could warm your rump on the seat of your trusty bicycle Sat., May 8, when you join Missoulians on Bicycles (MOBI) for its Amble to Alberton, a 70-mile joyride, which begins with departure at 9 AM from the corner of Mount Ave. and Reserve St. Free. There's rumor of a picnic at Alberton Railroad Park, so pack a sammy or bring cash for lunch. Call Wayne at 721-6330 and visit missoulabike.org.

Adventure also hits the silver screen Sat., May 8, during the International Wildlife Film Festival, which kicks off at noon with Wildfest at Caras Park, followed by the Wildwalk downtown at 12:30 PM, and screenings starting at 2:30 PM at the Wilma Theatre. Screenings run each day through Sat., March 15, and cost $7/$5 students/$3 youth per film, or $40 for a pass. See "Scope" in our Arts section for some festival highlights and visit wildlifefilms.org for a full schedule.

These next purveyors of all things earthen, the Montana Natural History Center (MNHC), have two sweet happenings in store for you on Sat., May 8. The first is its Saturday Discovery Day Spring Plant Walk with Paul Alaback, which runs from 1–4 PM and begins at the center, 120 Hickory St. $15/$10 MNHC members. Alaback, a UM forest ecology prof, will sweep you into the fecund during this stroll in which he'll cover basic flower and plant ID. Call 327-0405 to register and visit montananaturalist.org.

Also on Sat., May 8, bugs crawl over your child's senses during the MNHC's Saturday Kids' Activity Big on Bugs!, which begins at the MNHC at 2 PM and features activities like bug ID and an insect collection/release walk. $2/free MNHC members.

And no, Tonya Harding won't be making a special cameo during the Missoula Figure Skating Club's showcase on Sat., May 8, known as 2010: A Skate Odyssey, which begins at 6:30 PM at the Glacier Ice Rink, 1101 South Ave. W. Do expect, however, to see group and solo performances by ice carvers of all ages. $20 family/$8 per person/$4 children age 12 and under. Call 529-5496 and visit missoulafsc.org.

Mother's Day is Sun., May 9, and that means your mama gets to call the shots (hey, she earned it, buddy). So, if she wants to pedal with the bicycling mob known as MOBI, join her for the Painted Rocks Reservoir ride, an 87-mile journey which starts with a carpool from Kmart at 7 AM. Free. The ride then begins at 8 AM from Coffee Cup Café in Hamilton, and a shorter ride leaves from Darby at a TBA time. Call Paul at 728-8722.

If mom gets her kicks from ogling avians, get yourselves to the old Smurfit-Stone Container site at 8:30 AM Sun., May 9, to witness migrating waterfowl and shorebirds with the Five Valley's Audubon Society. Free. Alternately, you and your mom can carpool when you meet at UM's Adams Center parking lot at 8 AM. Call Larry Weeks at 549-5632 and visit fvamissoula.org.

Perhaps your mother just needs to give her adrenal glands a good workout. If so, whisk her into some rushing water during Pangaea River Rafting's Whitewater Mother's Day Trip, which begins at 10:30 AM at 11111 Mullan Road E. in Superior. $69. Or, if your mama likes vino—and floating on the river in a raft—Pangaea also offers a Mother's Day Wine Float, which begins at 3:30 PM at a TBA location on the Clark Fork River. $79. RSVP required for both trips, so visit leaveboringbehind.com and call 1-877-239-2392.

As we slide into Mon., May 10, bird enthusiasts up north should make a landing at the Flathead Audubon Society's annual meeting, which features a talk by naturalist Bill Schustrom on the meaning of Glacier National Park's wilderness and begins with a potluck at 6 PM, followed by the discussion at 7, at the Whitefish Community Foundation Center, 121 Second St. Free. Call Paula at 837-0181.

Runners also get some action Mon., May 10, during "How to Eat and Drink to Fuel Properly for an Endurance Event," a talk with nutritionist Carla Cox which starts at 7 PM at the Good Food Store, 1600 S. Third St. W. Free. Visit runwildmissoula.org.

The bird lovin' just doesn't stop on Mon., May 10, especially when the Five Valleys Audubon Society hosts a talk by Paul Loehnen on birds from Australia, at 7:30 PM in Room L14 of UM's Gallagher Business Building. Free.

Lastly, avian aficionados in the Flathead get a chance to share their hobby with the fam during the two-part class "Introduction to Birdwatching for Families," which begins Thu., May 13, from 6:30–8 PM in the meeting room of the Whitefish Public Library, 9 Spokane Ave. Free. A field trip follows at 8:30 AM Sat., May 15, at The Springs at Whitefish, 1001 River Lakes Parkway. Call Jill at 862-8070.

Until next time, keep those tires pumped and ride those trails hard.

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