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Learn to Row at Rivergate

If you've ever been entranced by the sight of rowing teams gliding down the river, dream no more: You too can learn to tackle the mighty Cuyahoga with nothing more than your muscles, oars, and seven sturdy teammates. The Western Reserve Rowing Association is offering five intensive one-day training sessions this spring for novice rowers. Today's lesson runs from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., costs $30, and is a mandatory first step for joining the summer and fall rowing leagues. The day's focus is getting you out on the water. "People's eyes just light up!" raves organizer Jim Ridge. "Just to see them push away from the dock — it's like they just got baptized." As for the risk of an actual baptism — or, for that matter, of a close encounter with the occasional ginormous ore boat — Ridge says don't worry: "Our experienced instructors are highly sensitive to safety. Believe me, it's our top priority." Additional training sessions are slated for April 17, 23, 30, and May 1. To register or to learn more, go to westernreserverowing.com or call Mark Silverstein at 440-463-4487. The boathouse is at 1785 Merwin Ave. — Cicora

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