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Alley Oops 

Lining the lanes with crazy bowling games.

Strike! The Zoo's Bowling for Rhinos happens Saturday night. - THOM  ZAHLER
  • Thom Zahler
  • Strike! The Zoo's Bowling for Rhinos happens Saturday night.
SAT 5/15

Becky Meek can't help but laugh when she talks about getting on her hands and knees and Bowling for Rhinos. And if you want her to really bust a gut, bring up the "ball-between-your-legs" move. "It's like you're in a Laurel and Hardy movie," she says. "Too funny."

While it's a zoo-sponsored benefit to raise money to save endangered black rhinoceros, the three-match bowl-a-thon is sorta like a game of H-O-R-S-E . . . but without the basketball. In the first frame, bowlers are required to skip halfway down the lane before aiming the ball at the pins. In the next frame, they're facing away from the alley, rolling the ball between their legs. By the fifth frame, they're bowling left-handed. "And if you get a gutter ball, you have to lay on your stomach and throw your second ball [to try for a spare]," explains organizer Dawn Lyons.

The final game features randomly placed blue and red pins specially made for the game. Hit one for a strike, and you get a prize (like Cleveland Opera tickets or Tribe sportswear). "But it's not about your score," Lyons says. "It's about having a good time." Bowling for Rhinos is at 6:30 p.m. Saturday at Cloverleaf Lanes, 5619 Brecksville Road in Independence. Tickets are $15 in advance, $25 at the door; call 216-635-3331. -- Cris Glaser

All Downhill
Mountain bikers take to some tough terrain.

SAT 5/15

Mountain bikes are so much cooler than other two-wheeled rides, if only for the rough terrain they're capable of covering. Lake Farmpark's Mountain Bike Race on Saturday offers participants a pair of contests -- a 5k and a 10k -- on paths of grass, gravel, and mud. The three-year-old competition, which typically draws about 80 bikers, was pushed back from its usual cold April date to this weekend to attract more cyclists. Several categories, including individual women's contests, are planned; winners receive both bragging rights and shiny new medals. The trail is intended for both beginners and advanced riders, says course designer and race manager Brian Davidson. Registration begins at 8 a.m. at Lake Farmpark, 8800 Chardon Road in Kirtland. Fee is $15; call 800-366-3276. -- Matt Leavitt

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