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San Francisco Ranked Sixth-Best City for Bicycling

Despite our tricky topography, the editors over at Bicycling Magazine have bestowed upon our fair metropolis the distinction of sixth-best city in the nation for cycling, bested on the West Coast only by the likes of Seattle, Eugene and Portland. To whom, or what, do we owe the pleasure? Perhaps it started with Puck, the devilish bike messenger on the Real World; maybe it's the city's green heart, sensitive as it is to earth-minded commuting options. Or the health-smart population, eager to get in 20 minutes of exercise to make the eight hours in front of the computer a little more tolerable.

Fly High: Urban Zipline Opens at the Embarcadero

Oh, Canada. We applaud you, mighty neighbor to the north. What other country would install a zipline ride at the Embarcadero and charge nothing to fly 680 feet across Justin Herman Plaza? Constructed as a tourism promotion for British Columbia, the ride will send thrillseekers gliding over fountains, art sculptures and, of course, plenty of pigeons from Apr. 8-18. The festivities kick off today with free aboriginal dance performances, a 3D art installation and an interactive video wall of the Great White North. But, really, the allure is in the Ziptrek Ecotours zipline, which starts off on an 80-foot tower and (have we mentioned?) is free. And for that, Canada, we'll stand on guard—or on a platform—for thee.

A Bumpy Ride at China Camp

My bike has a flat tire. It has had a flat tire since the rainy night of my last pilates lesson in February, when I ran over a glass shard biking home from Hayes Valley. My brother has a perfectly functional bike collecting dust on his balcony simply because it got a flat tire too, years ago, and he was too lazy to patch it up. Now it has two flat tires.

Highlights from Bon Tempe Lake

My boyfriend Mark and I decided to make the most of this past sunny Saturday, sandwiched, as it was, between two cold, windy days. We headed over the GG Bridge for Bon Tempe Lake in Marin, part of the Mt. Tamalpais Watershed. We usually do the straightforward Shadyside-Sunnyside loop around the lake (about 4 miles), but just to stir things up a bit, we created a longer, much more incline-tastic circuit: Rocky Ridge Road (45-minute uphill trudge) —> Berry Trail —> Sky Oaks —> Sunnyside.

Poking Around the Fitzgerald Marine Reserve

I love tidepooling at the Fitzgerald Marine Reserve near Moss Beach, but it is no easy feat to get my beloved out there to explore these unusual aquatic habitats with me. Not because he isn't just as amazed as I am to observe live starfish, hermit crabs and sea urchins in the rocky reefs, but because, as a staunch champion for the cause of helpless creatures great and small, it pains him to watch me poke the otherworldly sunburst anemones with a stick. I, too, strive to be a defender of helpless creatures great and small, but the prodding—it's like an involuntary reaction. Spot anemone with tentacles wide open, vulnerable; proceed to jab with stick. Needless to say, don't follow my abhorrent example.

More Capoeira! Shoebox Studios Expands

It looks like the popular Shoebox Studio—a dance, fitness and performing arts venue in the Mission—has outgrown its namesake and its digs. This weekend, the body-positive community center moves into a new location on Folsom with more square-footage for classes, rehearsal space and a new artistic residency for emerging choreographers. The payoff: More opportunities to practice your Afro-Brazilian martial arts at a capoeira class or perfect your hip swivel during a belly dancing session. To celebrate your impending smooth moves, join local band Rhubarb Whiskey and a collection of worldly performers for a silent auction and gala on Apr. 3.

864 Folsom St., 415-861-5976, shoeboxsf.com

The Frisco Kid: Parenthood by Zip Code

The result of sex in the city? Urban parenthood—an opinionated world often divided into two Type-A tribes: The uptowners ($750 strollers, night nurses, feeder preschools) and downtowners (doulas, slings, ironic onesies). Wherever you fall, though, we’ve got you covered.

ALT BABY

What’s in a Name? A sampling from the roster of a liberal Mission District preschool: Atticus, Huxley, Calder, Arlo, Harper, Coyote, Alabama, Lola, Hero, Emilia

The Recessionist's Guide to the Golden Gate Headlands Marathon, Half Marathon and 7-Mile

This Saturday's official Golden Gate Headlands Marathon, Half Marathon and 7-Mile (yes, that is a trademarked title) has been sold out for awhile now, but these days the debts are high and the funds are low, so no one can blame your for putting that $40 that you might have spent on entry fees toward oh, you know, rent and groceries. Still, this doesn't mean you can't run the route on your own time. Sure, you'll miss that infectious runners' camaraderie, the free-drink stations, the souvenir t-shirt, the race number to proudly display on your refrigerator. But, picking your own sunshiney day to run on near-empty trails is priceless, both literally and figuratively.

Behold Wine Country Wildflowers

If you're anything like me, you're no stranger to missing out on Spring wildflowers in their full glory simply because you've taken their brief lifespan for granted. Stop the senseless cycle of botanical procrastination. Sign up for the wildflower walk at the Bouverie Preserve in Glen Ellen this Saturday, March 27. A guided hike over a few of miles of moderate terrain gets you up close and personal with the park's flora (more than 350 species of flowering plants) and fauna (130 species of birds, plus a healthy population of bobcats, foxes and coyotes). Don't forget to bring a bag lunch, plenty of water, a dose of a non-drowsy antihistamine and, as if you need a reminder, your camera.

Go Chasing Waterfalls: Our Favorite Cascades in Northern California

Who doesn't love waterfalls?  There are a bunch of places within driving distance where you can get your feet wet. Here are our favorites.

Berry Creek Falls, Big Basin State Park

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