BIG BIKES: Tour de France will soon roll, well, in France, but the Golden State boasts its own spoke-bright world-class cycle action. It's the Amgen Tour of California, it happens at points around the state over eight zippy stages, and the last stages'll all run in the Southern California area. Santa Clarita, Angeles Crest Highway, Pasadena, and Thousand Oaks, the race's terminus, will get the fly-by action from May 16 through 18. Study up on the stages and what road to land along if you want to eye some of the planet's finest pedal people.
CALIFORNIA STRAWBERRY FESTIVAL: Well, well, well, strawberryists, you planned this one right. You're landing right at the end of a mega heat wave, just when fruit fans desire cool, juicy treats. The Oxnard party delivers on that -- "strawberry" is in the name -- and several other to-dos, including eating contests, a strawberry shortcake building competition, and more succulent high jinks. And on Sunday, you're not too far from the Tour of California action, if you can swing both bikes and sweet bites. May 17 and 18
DEBBIE REYNOLDS -- THE AUCTION FINALE: There are good movies, great movies, and then there's "Singin' in the Rain," the perfect film. Debbie Reynolds made her break-out in the 1952 gem, and she's been loving on Hollywood ever since, collecting and saving artifacts from dozens of films. Now those treasures are going up on the block, and you can have a crack at them, on Saturday, May 17 and Sunday May 18. The place? The Debbie Reynolds Dance Studio in North Hollywood.
BUG FAIR: Chances are that if you head out to the opera or baseball game, you won't encounter an opera star or baseball player on the way to your car. But you will likely pass an ant or two, on the sidewalk. And ants are the stars of "the biggest bug fair in North America" at the Natural History Museum. Bug Fair scurries from May 17 and 18 and there'll be plenty of insects beyond ants to admire, hold, and occasionally eat. But seriously: We live among ants every day; why shouldn't we know them better?
What to do, where to go and what to see
FREE DANCE DOWNTOWN: Rejoice, boogiers of Southern California who like to bring the boogie and bring it for no money: The every-other-Friday-night summertime Music Center Plaza party is back. You'll shake it something fierce, with free lessons if you like, throughout the summer. Night one is May 16, it is the 100th Dance Downtown, and the theme is the 1960s. Better scare up some fringe and body paint, stat.