Best Place to Be One with Wildlife 2014 | Sunset Bay, White Rock Lake | Best of Dallas® 2020 | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Dallas | Dallas Observer

OK, so at its namesake time of day, it might be more appropriate to say Sunset Bay is the "best place to be one with wildlife and 20-plus other people," but at any other time one can pretty much kick back with ducks, geese and any number of other waterfowl. Accessible off the trail by riding, walking or driving up, Sunset Bay offers what might be the best view of the sunset (duh), a shaded place to relax mid-workout and inspired conversation with strangers — who may be educated bird watchers, web-footed, pro photographers, feathered or wildlife rescuers (sadly, while it's a natural habitat, Sunset Bay is also a place where people dump ducks and geese they don't feel like caring for anymore). According to signs, humans aren't supposed to feed the birds, but that's never stopped anyone before, so if generosity strikes, take greens and peas and spare friendly waterfowl that scary white bread.

The words "boot camp" don't really inspire visions of fun or happiness. Ass-whipping or voluntary sweat torture? Absolutely. Camp Gladiator, however, combines all four of those things for one of the most satisfying group workouts possible. Led by one or two trainers, Camp Gladiator offers a four-week camp each month with no two workouts exactly alike (sometimes there are even props). Sure, there may be burpees at most of them, but because each week is themed (metabolic conditioning or high-intensity, for example), workouts are built to achieve different results, effectively striking down exercise boredom with a firmly gripped hand weight. Trainers provide modifications for any exercise, and all camps are at-your-own-pace, for an unusual lack of intimidation. Camps are available all over the area at different times of the day (including stupid early), but perhaps the most impressive thing about CG is how un-boot camp this boot camp is. The yelling is never drill sergeant-like, but rather is only positive ... though occasionally you may have to listen for it over the sound of thunder. Yes, Camp Gladiator is rain or shine.

One third of the noon-to-3 show BaD Radio, Sturm is The Ticket's resident Sports Encyclopedia Brown. Fellow Ticket host Norm Hitzges, himself known for his vast reservoir of sporty information and his work ethic, is in awe of Sturm's commitment to watching as many games as he can. It allows him to float effortlessly from wonky sports talk to goofy guy talk. He's an unabashed Packers fan in a city whose team has had more than a few run-ins with the team from up north. He was an early admirer of the beautiful game, bolstering the Ticket's World Cup coverage. The station's "sports bully," more than likely, he'll win any argument that involves a ball.

Bike MS, previously known as the MS150, is a major annual fundraiser for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and a two-day cycling event in various cities. For DFW's iteration, the Sam's Club Round-Up Ride in May, route options vary from 48 to 163 miles. Because of these varying levels of experience, and because many participants in Bike MS actually have MS, the ride is not only one of the area's most inspiring cycling events, but it's easily the most well-supported. Well-supported in terms of sponsors, sure, but in this case, well-supported in terms of rider relief. Approximately every 10 or 15 miles waits a themed rest stop stocked with cheering folks, snacks, random forms of electrolytes, hydration stations, medical tents, free bike repair and clean shitters. There are even volunteers to stand with riders' bikes while they take advantage of such offerings. Knowing that support is ahead can be what keeps a rider going for another eight miles even when the chip seal road is making his or her hands go numb. And if riders need to stop, well, SAG van drivers are charming and kind. Plus, they too have water and snacks.

When Greater Dallas Bicyclists and the city of Lancaster host the Lancaster Country Ride Rally, they get a major assist from Mother Nature. Just minutes from downtown Dallas, the April ride offers three route lengths (23, 42 and 62 miles), with the longer two guiding participants onto the hills of the Bluebonnet Trail so famous for being the backdrop of many a portrait. The flowers are in full bloom and while some riders are racing for PRs, many will stop and snap a photo in the seas of blue blossoms. It's prime GoPro footage. Some will also pose with (or for, it's hard to say) the livestock along the route — horses, camels, longhorns and alpacas, to name a few. For under $50, it's an affordable quasi-tour of iconic Texas landscapes just outside the urban traffic. A self-powered tour, but a gorgeous one nonetheless.

If you haven't watched a local broadcast of a Stars game in the last 19 years, you might not be aware of Strangis, which is a shame, because he's amazing. Every game he seems to come up with a memorable and at least partially bonkers phrase. A favorite from last season was "HE'S LIKE SOME KIND OF SPIDER-MONKEY!" in reaction to a particularly impressive Kari Lehtonen save. Strangis is also an actor and a motivational speaker. He is, in short, a much better person than all of us.

Though they never played a minute or called a single play, Jason Seely and Cash Sirois, with help from Cash's brother Mike, are responsible for some of the most memorable moments of the Dallas Mavericks' 2011 championship run. The two put together a video featuring encouragement from Dallas sports legends including Roger Staubach, Tony Dorsett, Troy Aikman and Nolan Ryan that gave goosebumps to everyone in the American Airlines Center — save perhaps a few Miami Heat players. They're just as good at getting a laugh too, which would explain how so many of their in-game videos end up going viral on YouTube, like the "What Do the Mavs Say?" parody, the Geico commercial parody "Guess What Day It Is?" and "José Can You Say?" in which point guard José Calderon teaches fellow Mavs some Spanish phrases likely to get them thrown out of a game or slapped. That they can get superstars to go along with the goofiness is a testament to their talents. And now that they're working with the Dallas Cowboys, there will be at least one entertaining thing for fans to watch at JerryWorld this season.

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