Weekend Best Bets: Bikes, Bears and Bands

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Get on your bikes and ride! May is Bike Month, so start pedaling your way around the city at a few Bike Durham events this weekend.
Get on your bikes and ride! May is Bike Month, so start pedaling your way around the city at a few Bike Durham events this weekend.

Bike Month Kick-Off – Thursday, 5:30-7pm – Speakers, giveaways and a family-friendly ride down the Tobacco Trail. Sponsored by GoSmart, Bike Durham and Durham BPAC. American Tobacco Campus, 318 Blackwell St.; Free

Eric Wilson – Thursday, 7pm – In his new book, part memoir, part cultural analysis, Keep It Fake: Inventing an Authentic Life, the author draws on neuroscience, psychology, sociology, philosophy, art, film, literature and his own life to explore the possibility that there’s no such thing as unwavering reality. Whether our left brains are shaping the raw data of our right into fabulous stories, or we are so saturated by society’s conventions that we’re always acting out prefab scripts, we can’t help but be phony. The Regulator Bookshop, 720 Ninth St.; Free; 919-286-2700

Meet the Author: Craig LeHoullier – Thursday, 7-8:30pm – Join the advisor to the Digging Durham Seed Library for a reading and discussion of his new book, Epic Tomatoes. Known as the NC Tomato Man, he is responsible for naming and saving the Cherokee Purple tomato. Learn the history and stories of heirloom tomatoes as well as tips for growing and saving seeds. This program is co-sponsored by Digging Durham Seed Library. A book signing will follow the reading. Durham County Library, 300 N. Roxboro St.; Free; 919-560-0100

Sufjan Stevens – Thursday, 7:30pm – The versatile singer/songwriter performs songs from his newly released album, Carrie & Lowell . Special guest Moses Sumney also performs. DPAC, 123 Vivian St.; $40+; 919-680-2787

Pins & Needles Comedy Series – Thursday, 7:30pm – Join six of the best local comics (including Mello Mike, Ryan Higgins, Julia McClung and more) for this show, which is 18+ and takes place in the private room. Five bucks gets you in at the door, where you’ll immediately receive a $5 voucher to be used toward fresh food or cold beer at the concession bar! Doors will open at 7:30, and the show will start at 8. Vouchers will also be given out for free games of bowling! Village Lanes, 330 N. Hardee St.; $5; 919-682-9145

The Fairytale Lives of Russian Girls
 – Thursday-Saturday, 8:15pm – The play by Meg Miroshnik makes its regional premiere under direction of Jules Odendahl-James. The story follows Annie, who is off to visit her mother’s Russian homeland and claim a mysterious birthright and where she must face witches, bears and darker forces. Manbites Dog Theater, 703 Foster St.; $5-$25; 919-682-3343

Blues on the Plaza: Jimi King Trio – Friday, 6:30pm – Jimi King’s power trio can swing a Texas beat, soulfully play Chicago blues or step to a rhythmic New Orleans groove and delivers musical authority from rock to soul to funk. Grab your lawn chairs or blankets, and groove to the music while enjoying beer and wine from Bull City Burger and Brewery with food trucks and Northgate’s Food Gallery options. Northgate Mall Plaza, 1058 W. Club Blvd.; Free admission; 919-286-4400

Jason Bivins – Friday, 7pm – Spirits Rejoice!: Jazz and American Religion author riffs on interviews, liner notes, journals, audience reception and critical commentary, producing a work that argues for the centrality of religious experiences to any legitimate understanding of jazz, while also suggesting that jazz opens up new interpretations of American religious history. The accomplished jazz guitarist and professor at N.C. State will be in the store to play music and discuss his book. The Regulator Bookshop, 720 Ninth St.; Free; 919-286-2700

The Ginger Thompson Band – Friday, 7-9pm – Featuring a variety of music, including soul, beach, R&B, pop and standards, the band kicks off Brightleaf’s summer concert series. Brightleaf Square, 905 W. Main St.; Free; 919-682-9229

Jim Breuer – Friday, 8pm – With more than 20 years of stand-up experience, this comedian remains one of today’s top entertainers and continues to win over audiences with his off-the-wall humor and lovable personality. The Carolina Theatre, 309 W. Morgan St.; 22+; 919-560-3030

The Kids in the Hall
 – Friday, 8pm – Featuring original cast members – Dave Foley, Bruce McCulloch, Kevin McDonald, Mark McKinney and Scott Thompson – this sketch comedy troupe is back, bringing their seminal, take-no-prisoners comedy with them. DPAC, 123 Vivian St.; $50+; 919-680-2787

Bike Durham Big Spoon Ride – Saturday, 9am – A 22.5-mile Big Spoon loop south on the American Tobacco Trail around by the South Durham Farmers’ Market and back into downtown. The pace will be relaxed. Sponsored by Big Spoon Roasters and Bike Durham. Durham Central Market, 501 Foster St.; Free

Durham Bike Co-op Neighborhood Ride – Saturday, 5:30pm – This social slow ride will roll through downtown Durham neighborhoods near the bike co-op. This community ride is for adults only and will end with drinks and good cheer in downtown. Durham Bike Co-op, 715 Washington St.; Free

Lisa Lampanelli

 – Saturday, 7pm and 10pm – 
The lovable ‘Queen of Mean’ presents an unforgettable night of comedic insults.
 The Carolina Theatre, 309 W. Morgan St.; 37+; 919-560-3030

Women’s Adventure Series Mother’s Day Three Rivers Paddle – Sunday, 10am – Grab your mom or daughter and join female as you hit the water for the first trip of the season. Bring a lunch and have a floating picnic while exploring the hidden areas of the Three River Area and celebrate moms. Frog Hollow Outdoors, 614 Trent Dr.; $49; 919- 416-1200

Seven Stars Cycles CycloFemme Ride – Sunday, 11am – A 10-ish mile social ride. CycloFemme is a grassroots celebration of women on bikes uniting all riders, regardless of gender, age, ethnicity or bicycle preference to share in the joy of cycling. Seven Stars Cycles, 104 W. Parrish St.; Free

Bear Awareness Week – Sunday – May 16, 2pm – Join animal keepers for a special Meet the Keeper program at the Museum’s Bear Exhibit Overlook. Explore the care, training and behavior of the four American black bears and the important role the Museum plays in bear conservation. Discover how bears fit into our ecosystem and why biodiversity is so important, and receive a special bear-themed souvenir! Museum of Life and Science, 433 W. Murray Ave.; Free with admission; 919-220-5429

Mother’s Day Garden Party – Sunday, 3:30-5:30pm – Have a girl’s day with your mom, friend, roommate or relative and paint your favorite floral! You can choose from any floral in the gallery. Arrive 15 minutes early. Wine and Design, 4810 Hope Valley Rd., Ste. 109; $25; 336-430-8909

The Isley Brothers 
– Sunday, 7pm – The Grammy award-winning R&B legends perform alongside special guest Mary Jane Girls featuring Val Young. DPAC, 123 Vivian St.; $45+; 919-680-2787

Butch Walker – Sunday, 8pm – The highly acclaimed recording artist, songwriter and record producer heads out on tour in support of his seventh full-length album, Afraid of Ghosts. Walker is joined by special guests Jonathan Tyler and The Dove & The Wolf. The Carolina Theatre, 309 W. Morgan St.; 24+; 919-560-3030

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Amanda MacLaren

Amanda MacLaren is the executive editor of Durham Magazine. Born in Mesa, Arizona, she grew up in Charlotte and attended UNC-Chapel Hill, majoring in journalism. She’s lived in Durham for eight years. When she’s not at work, you can usually find her with a beer in hand at Fullsteam, Dain’s Place or Bull City Burger or getting takeout from Guasaca.
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