Get Off Your Butt 

There's an adventure with your name on it

6/1-10/11

The great outdoors has received its share of bad press lately, with one Bay Area man recently being lost in Joshua Tree National Forest for several days and a mountain climber in Colorado having to hack off his own arm with a pocketknife to free himself from a fallen boulder. It's enough to make you want to buy a summer pass to the water park and spend the summer slip-sliding away. But the good folks over at Contra Costa-based Recreation Connection have found a way to enjoy Mother Nature's finest and still come home in one piece. For the past fifteen years the company has hosted white-water rafting and kayaking through Mother Nature's personal theme parks -- the jaw-dropping American River and the Pacific Ocean. Don't take the river rapids' monikers -- "Trouble Maker," "Hospital Bar," "Satan's Cesspool" -- to heart. You can do it. Recreation Connection's three-hour kayaking tour of Monterey Bay brings thrill-seekers within the legal limits of lounging sea lions, harbor seals, pelicans, and sea otters. Safety equipment and transportation are provided. For dates, details, and prices of all adventures, phone Recreation Connection: 925-680-4386. -- Tony Hayes

5/29-5/31

Spokes and Paddles

Hey, outdoorsy types -- REI Berkeley has two hands-on classes this week. Thursday evening at the store (1338 San Pablo Ave., Berkeley), bicycle technician Paul Ecord demonstrates how to repair a flat tire, as well as how to maintain your bike's drive train and brakes, including which tools and parts to have. "Bike Maintenance 101" starts at 7 p.m. Then on Saturday, REI sponsors Paddlesports Demo Day at Coyote Point County Park on the bay in San Mateo. You can try out different canoes and kayaks on the water with help from experienced paddlers from such manufacturers as Dagger, Mad River Canoe, and Voyager. The demo begins at 10:30 a.m. and goes until 3. Both of the above are free. For more info: www.rei.com or the store's special-events line: 510-527-4140. -- Kelly Vance

SAT 5/31

Run 'n' Brunch

Sierra Rainbow

Gay and Lesbian Sierrans (GLS) are an activity-based subgroup of the Sierra Club, formed to serve the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community in the spirit of Sierra Club conservation. Saturday, the group joins East Bay FrontRunners for a run (or walk, if you prefer) on a smooth asphalt trail in Berkeley's Tilden Park. And there's a reward for all that sweat: brunch at Chester's Cafe on Walnut Street following the run. Meet at 9 a.m. at Tilden's Inspiration Point, or at Rockridge BART at 8:40. For more details: 510-504-7152. -- Kelly Vance

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