Cyclists are a strange and beautiful cult. I am not speaking of any old human with a bike. I'm talking about true cyclists. The type of people who will argue the merits of Time pedals versus Shimano SPD pedals. Cyclists fondly reminisce about the "good" Panaracer tires they made back in the early '90s, or how Velociraptors flung mud like nobody's business, even if you didn't spray Pam on them. Don't even get these people reminiscing about bar ends, titanium seat rails or the mustachioed genius of Ned Overend. For some, it's difficult to tell where the person ends and the bike begins, the two are so entwined in daily commutes, afternoon trail rides or early morning road rides. UM graduate Kyle Lehman is a cyclist, no doubt. So much so that he and three of his friends embarked on a 5,000-mile bike trip across the US. If you need more proof that Lehman is a true cyclist, one need only read the group's trip blog and his description of his "best bike experience," which goes something like this, "Crashing so hard while dirt jumping that I shit my pants." That's amazing and many of us can relate.
Unfortunately, Lehman was struck by a minivan around mile 4,700, outside of Daytona Beach, Florida. He sustained traumatic brain injuries and the medical bills are piling up while he receives treatment. Le Tour De DirtBag is being held in his honor and the organizers hope to raise money for the medical bills. This is an urban cyclo-cross race with obstacles and the like. All styles of bikes and all levels and ages of riders are welcome. There will be beer and tunes by the Best Westerns for those not racing. Come by and and find out why Lehman loved to pedal.
Le Tour De Dirtbag urban cyclo-cross race begins at Free Cycles, 732 S. 1st W., with registration at 5:30 PM and racing at 6 PM. Music by the Best Westerns and Zootown DJ. Beer and snacks available as well as raffle prizes. Search "Kyle Lehman Recovery Fund" on Facebook for more info.
THURSDAY APRIL 12
Dudes, come get your climb on during Freestone Climbing's Dude's Night. 935 Toole Ave. 5–10 PM. $6.50/$5 students.
FRIDAY APRIL 13
Le Tour De Dirtbag Bicycle Race to Benefit UM grad Kyle Lehman takes place at Free Cycles. The race is an urban cyclo-cross style race with obstacles and awesomeness. Music by the Best Westerns and, of course, beer and prizes. 735 S. 1st W. 5:30 PM. $5 to race. (See Mtn. High.)
Active outdoor lovers are invited to the Mountain Sports Club's (formerly the Flathead Valley Over the Hill Gang) weekly meeting to talk about being awesome, past glories and upcoming activities. Swan River Inn. 6–8 PM. Free.
Get back in shape and learn something new at Freestone Climbing Gym's Intro. to Bouldering course, which introduces basic techniques, safety stuff, ethics and more. Class includes 1.5 hours of instruction and two weeks of unlimited climbing. 935 Toole. 7–8:30 PM. $40.
SATURDAY APRIL 14
Put your two or four cents in at the Annual Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex Public Meeting, where officials from the MT FWP and National Forest Wilderness Managers will discuss the third largest wilderness complex in the lower 48. Seeley Lake Community Meeting Hall. 10 AM–3 PM.
SUNDAY APRIL 15
Get back in shape and learn something new at Freestone Climbing Gym's Intro. to Bouldering course, which introduces basic techniques, safety stuff, ethics and more. Class includes 1.5 hours of instruction and two weeks of unlimited climbing. 935 Toole. 12–1:30 PM. $40.
Dust off them discs and flex them wrists. It's time to get high on life and help out the kids during Msla Folf Fling! at McCormick Park. The $5 entry fee per team aids the Paxson School garden. Coordinated by UM Recreation Management students. 3–6 PM.
MONDAY APRIL 16
At Slacker Mondays, from 6 PM until close, slackline fans can come to Freestone Climbing Center at 935 Toole Ave. to test their balance. $13/$10 for students. Visit freestoneclimbing.com.
TUESDAY APRIL 17
The best way to avoid the inevitable run-in with a Yucatan Knute is to join the Rattlesnake Watershed Group's Wild in Our Backyard walking tour of Greenough Park. Meet at the park pavilion. 6–8 PM. Free.
Shake off the rust, lube up and test your buns of steel during the Dirt Girls First Bike Ride. Meet at the UM footbridge and ride the Kim Williams Trail. 6 PM. Free.
WEDNESDAY APRIL 18
Find the ice axe of your dreams at a bargain price or unload that bivy bag Mee-Maw bought you at the UM Outdoor Program Used Gear Sale. Fifteen percent of the selling price goes to the program. Drop-off gear from 7–11 AM and pick it up from 5–7 PM; shop in between. University Center. Call 243-5172 for more info.
I wish I could stuff this job and only do the stuff the Flathead Audubon Society does, like their Bird Identification: By Song, Sight and Silhouette courses. This week's class is A Closer Look at Bird Songs and Calls with Bruce Tannehill. 6–8 PM. Contact Debbie at Flathead High School at 751-3461 to register.
Get your jö¨kulhlaup on and attend the Montana Natural History Center's Glacial Lake Missoula Spring Fling, an icy blast from the past. 120 Hickory. 7 PM. $4 suggested donation.
THURSDAY APRIL 19
Drop the controller and check out this month's theme at the Montana Natural History Center's miniNaturalists Pre-K Program. This month's theme is Osprey. Pliny the Elder would approve. 120 Hickory St. 10–11 AM. $3/$1 for members. montananaturalist.org.