Ripping Contest

On board and in control

SAT 1/1

Whether for transportation or recreation, skateboarding is not a crime. At least it shouldn't be, even in those places around town with "No Skateboarding" signs posted. Can't a thrasher kid get a break? Young adults are in dire need of positive influences and a cool skateboarder is just the person for the job. Matt Cantor, age 27, has been skating for two decades and has been running Control Skatepark (380 NW 24th St.) for the past three years. "Kids just need to be accepted ... they need a place where they're not going to get yelled at for skating," Cantor says in the manner of a true role model. He's seen the way skateboarding can energize and inspire teens: "For most kids, it's love at first sight." His park hosts monthly contests, including one today. "The main goal is for kids to have such a good time that they just go for it." Control Skatepark opens at noon and the contest begins at 2:00. The cost is ten dollars for beginners, intermediate, and advanced skaters. Call 305-576-9012 or visit -- Lyssa Oberkreser

Party Bowl

TUE 1/4

Oklahoma Sooners Adrian Peterson and Jason White are enthusiastically planning to reap retribution as they wage war on the gridiron against the USC Trojans and their quarterback Matt Leinart. The junior who passed Peterson and White for the coveted Heisman Trophy this year (after White won it in 2003) will be facing his rivals at the FedEx Orange Bowl. It will be the first time two Heisman winners will meet on the field at the college level. Yes, it's pretty crazy that a player can win the Heisman one year and not the next, but that insanity should be matched by the acts of lunacy by fans, who will be painting team colors on their faces, or worse, on their beer bellies. And that's just for starters. All of the unbridled excitement can be gleefully channeled at the Miller Lite Tailgate Party. The pregame blast starts at 11:30 a.m. in the parking lot of Pro Player Stadium (2269 Dan Marino Blvd.) and features food, games, music by Three Days Grace, and quite possibly some beer. General admission is $15. Call 305-341-4700 or visit -- Kris Conesa


Happy Trails

SUN 1/2

Forever humans have sought ways to beat feet: horses, cars, wagons, and sleds. In these modern technological times, the ride of choice has become, of all things, the bicycle. One of the best pedal-powered two-wheeling thrills is exploring nature. You breathe in fresh air and leave the air fresh and free of pollutants, and you can't beat the gas mileage. Biker Tom Burton organized a demonstration with a mellow (ten miles per hour average) bike run along the thirteen-mile-long, unpaved Southern Glades Trail to Manatee Bay, where bald eagles reportedly are nesting. Today at 9:00 a.m. Call 305-238-0944 or visit -- Greg Baker