War of the Wheels 

A crash course in street survival

SUN 7/31

It can happen in a nanosecond -- SPLAT! You and your bike leave the street traveling in different directions at great speed, and after your head clears you're happy you wore a bike helmet. Or not. Like earthquake preparedness or any other disaster drill, the BCAT Bicycle Crash Skill Clinic is a class we'd rather not have to think about until the unthinkable happens. And then we're glad we had the knowledge. At Sunday's clinic at the Berkeley Center for Appropriate Transport (1336 Channing Way below Sacramento, 2 p.m. until sunset), riders can learn all about soaring, those notorious Berkeley "traffic calming devices," wet weather handling problems, how to deal with dogs and pedestrians, basic vehicle repair, and the Big One: suddenly-opening car doors. Just bring your bike (or skateboard, inlines, etc.), helmet and other protective gear, your emergency contact info, and maybe a small donation to BCAT. Questions? E-mail bcat_events@yahoo.com -- Kelly Vance

7/29, 7/30

Milk Run

Go Coastal

Greenbelt Alliance offers two completely different "Farms and Fun Series" nature hikes this week, both in exotic Marin County. On Friday (9:45 a.m.-2 p.m.), learn about cows, calves, and organic practices at the Dairy Delight tour of the Straus family organic dairy ranch, with an optional, easy three-mile Tomales Bay Trail hike afterward. Saturday's Coastal Clarity ten-mile hike goes above the fog line along Bolinas Ridge on Mount Tamalpais (9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.) for thrilling shoreline vistas. Reservations are required for both free outings -- visit Greenbelt.org or phone 415-255-3233. -- Kelly Vance

7/29-7/31

Fuels Rush In

Why would you pay up to $60 for a ticket to the FRAM-Autolite Nationals when you can see illegal street racing for free any weekend in Oakland? Well, beside the fact that you're less likely to get carjacked or bushwhacked at Infineon Raceway (Highways 37 and 121, Sonoma), there's nothing in any sideshow or street race to match the power of, say, Larry Dixon's top fuel dragster. The eleven-year veteran, who races for Don "Snake" Prudhomme and is the winningest active Top Fuel driver, competes at Infineon Friday through Sunday, along with cars and drivers in the Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock, and Pro Stock Motorcycle categories. Gates open at 7 a.m. all three days. Tickets: 1-800-870-RACE. -- Kelly Vance

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