We've all been there -- you're late for work, you see the Muni, you race to catch it, and just as you arrive the driver cruelly laughs and pulls away. Now you can extract a measure of revenge at the ANA Cable Car Chase. This 5.67-mile road race gives thousands of runners the chance to test their mettle against San Francisco's most recognizable icons along a course that threads through some of the city's touristy areas, including Fisherman's Wharf, the Embarcadero, and the Financial District. The highlight comes when participants battle it out with cable car gripmen as both cars and racers make the grueling climb up California Street to the top of Nob Hill. Prizes include airline tickets to Tokyo, not to mention the satisfaction of having finally triumphed over municipal transportation. The race is on at 8 a.m. at Aquatic Park, Fisherman's Wharf (at Jefferson and Hyde), S.F. Registration is $35; visit www.anacablecarchase.com.
-- Jack Karp
Bowl for a Good Cause
One of the few entertainments not found in San Francisco is bowling. Not in its classic form, anyway, with an alley at least 30 lanes wide, yards of Formica counters, and a decorating theme like "1968 Conquistador." At the Bowl-a-Thon to benefit the SF AIDS Foundation, you'll find all this and more. Sorry you have to leave the city, but for the full snack-bar-and-pro-shop experience, that's life. Register for the 'Thon by phone by Aug. 28, and then shoe up at 6 p.m. Sunday at Serra Bowl, 3301 Junipero Serra (at San Pedro), Daly City. Participation is $5 plus a $25-per-bowler donation; call (650) 461-6189.
-- Hiya Swanhuyser
You could pay upward of $20 a pound for shelled crabmeat at a chichi fish market -- or you could catch your own wriggling mess of luscious red and rock crabs right at the San Francisco seashore. At Fort Point's regular Pier Crabbing lessons, rangers bring the nets and the sage advice, and you get to tag along on a two-hour crab hunt that teaches you how to trap the toe-pinchers. Just imagine yourself standing statuesquely at the end of the pier with equipment in hand, gazing into blue waters, taking in breathtaking views of the bay, and hauling in load after load of squirming, ultrafresh sea creatures. Lessons begin at 10 a.m. on alternate Saturdays through October at the Presidio's Fort Point, Clement & 34th Avenue, S.F. Participation is free, and reservations are required; call 556-1693 or visit www.nps.gov/fopo.
-- Jenn Marshall