Spikefest has balls
If there's one thing there's not enough of in North Texas, it's large groups of sweaty, suntanned athletic bodies bumping balls alongside each other for hours at a time in broad daylight. But the good people of Frisco are enlightened, and they're actually kind of into that sort of thing. See for yourself on Saturday and Sunday at the 15th annual Spikefest at the Warren Sports Complex, 11225 Rogers Road. Touted as the "largest 3-on-3 and 5-on-5 volleyball tournament in the world," Spikefest hosts games that will be played on grass courts with plenty of group action to go around for anyone with $128 to $192 to drop on the team entry fee. The Spikefest age of consent starts at 12 years old, and there are brackets for every level of play, whether you're an experienced baller or just there to get your jollies. Always gender-flexible, Spikefest teams can be all-male, all-female or coed so fans can watch whatever combination suits their fancy. Personal coolers full of your favorite refreshments to combat the heat are welcome, but Warren Sports Complex rules dictate that attendees leave the booze outside complex property. Don't complain. We all know the bad things that can happen when people combine alcohol and grass. Visit www.spikefest.com. --Andrea Grimes
Over the past four years, the Lone Star Ride has raised almost $1 million for various North Texas AIDS service organizations. This year's ride, set for September 24 and September 25, will leave Fort Worth and cover a new southern route with the overnight pit stop at Dinosaur Valley National Park in Glen Rose before finishing up in Dallas the next day. A 175-mile ride is a daunting endeavor for even the most hard-assed spandex-clad Lance Armstrong wannabes, so the organizers are hosting a series of free training rides so participants don't bite off more than they can chew or pedal off more cellulite than their thighs have to offer. The next training ride takes place Sunday at 7 a.m. at Cravens Park, 400 Cravens Park Road, Arlington. A 53-mile course and a 65-mile course will be offered with pit stops for rest, hydration and bathroom breaks. Plus a shuttle service is available for any riders whose calves call it quits. Call 214-521-2412 or visit www.lonestarride.org. --Jay Webb
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Hot, dry Texas summers can be deadly to well-manicured lawns and gardens. Enter xeriscaping, a landscaping technique that picks plants for their beauty and ability to withstand droughts. With the help of Texas Discovery Garden's Garden Walk: Native Plants of Texas, it should be easy for novice gardeners to use the technique. The garden, 3601 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., has more than 40 plants, and at 10 a.m. Saturday, Tina Dombrowski will lead a tour of the grounds and share landscaping advice. Call 214-428-7476. --Kelsey Guy
Most Valuable Players
Oh, no, not another one. Not another "celebrity-filled" event in Dallas where the only celebrities present are the three rich women from Highland Park congratulating themselves on their charity. But this one--Reebok Heroes Celebrity Baseball Game--is different. In fact, it's best to just name-drop: the Dallas Stars' Mike Modano; the Mavs' Mark Cuban, Michael Finley and Jerry Stackhouse; brothers Geoff and George Stults of 7th Heaven; NHL star Brett Hull; NFL great Jason Sehorn; Donald Faison of Scrubs; Jason Lewis of Sex and the City; Seth Meyer of Saturday Night Live. And there are more. The game begins at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Dr Pepper/Seven Up Ballpark, 7300 Roughriders Trail in Frisco. Tickets start at $5, benefiting the Mike Modano Foundation, the Todd Wagner Foundation and Little Heroes Baseball Field Foundation. Call 214-373-8000. --Paul Kix