Communication is key in the Broward County Parks and Recreation Tandem Bike Program for the Visually Impaired. "When two people lean in two different directions, the bike goes down," explains Beth Bromley, a program instructor. Even riders with perfect vision may mix signals on a bicycle built for two, but Bromley says the legally blind and visually impaired riders sit on the back of the bike and communicate with their "captain" -- the sighted rider in front -- with verbal cues. Approaching a turn, for example, the captain calls out, "Turning right," and both riders lean right, continuing on their leisurely ride through one of the parks utilized for the program. Participants in the six-week class, which meets every Thursday, learn riding etiquette, bike safety, and how to start, stop, and of course turn. Meanwhile they get to socialize and exercise while volunteers share their love of cycling. The current session continues with rides from 6:45 to 8:15 p.m. through May 28; the next course begins June 4 through July 9. The program is free, and even when it isn't in session, tandem bikes are available for rent ($5.25 per hour) at several parks. For more information call 954-357-8180.
If you're flipping past the cable-TV fishing shows on the Nashville Network and ESPN, you could be throwing away money. Picking up tips from the pros is a good way to develop the edge you'll need when casting a line along with hundreds of other anglers during the Pompano Beach Fishing Rodeo. "Everyone's got their own strategy," says rodeo executive director Patti Carr. "Some guys think they need to go to Miami, some run all the way over to Bimini, and others run up to Jupiter." Still others simply hang out in the waters off Pompano Beach, where artificial reefs have been placed in recent years to provide prime fish with a habitat. Last year 772 anglers fished in the rodeo, but don't worry -- there's plenty of cash to go around. South Florida's largest saltwater fishing tournament shells out more than $60,000 in prizes. The contest runs from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. today and Saturday, so set up a rig for wahoo, king mackerel, blackfin tuna, cobia, or dolphin (the fish species, not Flipper). It takes money to make money, so be prepared to cough up the $130 to $200 entry fee. Call 954-942-4513.
"What is snot?" When the audience of the kids' TV show Beakman's World posed that question, the program's zany, mad-scientist host -- performance artist Paul Zaloom -- crawled through simulated gobs of mucus in a giant nostril. The kids, ever curious about bodily functions, also wanted to know about barfing. Zaloom used a blender, a plastic bag, and tubing to demonstrate the wonders of the digestive system. "All of this science is going on inside kids, so why not start there?" Zaloom said at the time. The most-asked question in letters to the show? "Why do we fart?" Zaloom hasn't answered that one on the air yet, but maybe he's worked something up for the stage version of his TV program, which he performs today at 10:30 a.m. at the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts (701 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach). Tickets cost $6. And Friday (May 8) and today at 8 p.m., he'll perform his show for adults, Sick but True, in which everyday household items become puppet props for rapid-fire comedy bits. Tickets cost $25. Call 800-572-8471 or 561-832-7469.
Three years ago Dan Adkins, the general manager of Hollywood Greyhound Track, invited some of his Harley-riding friends out for a day at the dog races. They brought their bikes along, held a contest to see who had the hottest hog, and ended up raising a bunch of dough for the Children's Cancer Caring Center of Fort Lauderdale. Continuing the tradition, the fourth annual Ride-In Bike Show and Swap Meet will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. today at the track (Federal Highway at Pembroke Road, Hollywood). The owners of show bikes -- some worth more than $50,000 -- will vie for $5000 in cash prizes and will buy, sell, and trade accessories at the giant indoor swap meet. The twelve-member Harley-Davidson Drill Team will perform synchronized moves on their hogs, and other entertainment will include vintage pop-rock by the East Side Kids and funky roots-rock by the Shackdaddys. The entry fee to show your bike -- sorry, Harleys only -- is $10. The show's hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The $1 admission includes a dog-racing matinee at 11:30 a.m. Call 954-454-9400.
In Jairo Alfonso Castellanos' oil painting Spell, a ghostly, translucent figure sits naked, his arms wrapped around his knees. Sitting under a full moon on the sands of a desolate desert, he appears to be trying to keep warm. But closer inspection reveals that the sand isn't sand at all but millions of roaches. Still, the man seems unconcerned. "I have found in nature a paradigm of retreat, wherein I find a dimension of freedom in myself," the Cuban painter explains in an artist's statement. The painting is actually a self-portrait, which suggests that Castellanos must truly be in tune with Mother Earth. Spell is featured in "Building Cultural Bridges," an exhibition of paintings and prints by fourteen students from the Institute de Art Superior in Havana, Cuba. The show, part of an exchange program to create interest in arts in Third World countries, runs through June 5 at the Ritter Art Gallery, Florida Atlantic University, 777 Glades Rd., Boca Raton. Admission is free. Call 561-297-2660.
The term "bungalow" conjures up the image of a small, quaint, single-story cottage. The dictionary even uses the word "cottage" in defining bungalow, but the sizable 1912 Nyberg-Swanson House in Dania perfectly fits the bungalow bill -- architecturally speaking. Its two stories, big supporting piers (square pillars) and extended-gable roof hanging over a big front porch are classic bungalow traits, even if the overall size isn't. The home is just one featured in Bungalows, Cottages, and Vernacular Architecture, a slide lecture on Broward County's architectural history. Houses built from the 1890s to the 1930s are the focus of the talk, which will be given by Merrilyn Rathbun, a Fort Lauderdale Historical Society research associate with a background in architectural history. Admission is free for the 6:30 p.m. lecture at the New River Inn, 231 SW 2nd Ave., Fort Lauderdale. Call 954-463-4431.
The word is out: Safar Timura is leading his people out of their embattled native Kyrania and across the sea to Syrapis and safety. If you're not one for keeping up with world events, you may be wondering where Kyrania is located, and why the country is at war. Relax, you're not alone. Wizard hero Timura and his people come from the fertile mind of sci-fi and fantasy author Allan Cole, whose latest book, Wolves of the Gods, is the second installment of the Timura trilogy. Cole is known for collaborating with Chris Bunch, with whom he wrote the popular Sten Chronicles, featuring a galactic renegade badass. But for the time being, each writer has gone solo, and Cole's new creation is filled with demons, swordplay, sorcery, and political intrigue. As an award-winning reporter and newspaper editor, he collected plenty of political fodder, which he mixes with sci-fi horror and scenes of pure fantasy. Cole speaks about and signs copies of his latest book at 7 p.m. today at Borders Books, 9887 Glades Rd., Boca Raton. The event is free. Call 561-883-5854.