Biker Boy

Double backflippin’ with a BMX champion.

Vans Triple Crown BMX Championships come to - town.
Vans Triple Crown BMX Championships come to town.


Dave Mirra has been jumping curbs and flying over dirt ramps since he was five years old. Today, at 19, he is one of the most decorated stunt-bike riders who will compete this weekend at the Vans Triple Crown Right Guard BMX Championships (right).

A master of ramp riding and vertical slopes, Mirra's known as the "Mirra-cle Boy" on the BMX circuit, because he pulled off the first-ever double backflip in competition in 2001. "Riding a bike has always been my dream," he says. "More than anything, I love to have fun." But a nasty crash in 1993 sidelined him with a concussion and several broken bones. Mirra wouldn't listen to doctors who told him he would never ride again. "I'm not saying that doctors are always wrong, but I don't think he realized how much riding meant to me," he says.

The three-day championships start on Friday with dirt- and street-division practice jumps. Dirt finals take place on Saturday afternoon; street finals are Sunday afternoon, when competitors will out-jump each other on ramps, rails, and quarter-pipes. Events begin at 10 a.m. Friday and end at 6:15 p.m. Sunday at Scene Pavilion, 2014 Sycamore Street in the Flats. Admission is free; call 216-861-3229. -- Cris Glaser

Blooms' Bounty
The zoo celebrates things that grow.

SUN 7/13

Cleveland Metroparks Zoo will fight insects with more insects at Sunday's ZooBlooms, where hundreds of plant-friendly ladybugs will be released to feast on more troublesome bugs. It's part of a daylong celebration of the finer points of growing stuff. Roger Swain, the erstwhile red-suspendered host of PBS's The Victory Garden, will be on hand to discuss the changes in Ohio's landscape over the past 200 years. Visitors can view and purchase all sorts of plants, get gardening tips, and discover the wonderful world of composting. And little ones can try their hands at etching leaves and making jewelry out of seeds. ZooBlooms takes place at the zoo (3900 Wildlife Way) from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission to the zoo is $4 for kids and $9 for adults. Call 216-661-6500 for more information. -- Michael Gallucci

All Italian, All the Time
Mount Carmel bets on cannoli and cards.


To Father Richard Rasch, the Our Lady of Mount Carmel Festival is a celebration of everything Italian. From sweet Sicilian wines to spaghetti and meatballs, "It's all Italian food, games, and rides," says Rasch. The epicenter of the action is the casino, where an estimated $50,000 changed hands last year. It all ends Sunday with a parade, where festivalgoers carry statues of the church's namesake. The festival runs 7 to 11 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, July 16-18; 3 p.m. to midnight Saturday, July 19; and 3 to 11 p.m. Sunday, July 20, at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church, 6928 Detroit Avenue. Admission is free; call 216-651-5043. -- Cris Glaser

Surely Temples


The collages on display at the Cleveland Museum of Art's Indian Temples: Masumi Hayashi Photographs reflect the spiritual essence of Indian culture without ever revealing a human subject. Hayashi's large-scale color photos feature architectural images and sculptures, focusing on temples and tourist destinations. Indian Temples opens at the museum (11150 East Boulevard) Saturday and runs through September 10. It's open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily (except Monday). Admission is free; call 216-421-7340. -- Michael Gallucci