Wednesday July 19 Take a bike: In just a few short years, Denver Bike Week has been expanded to Denver Bike Month, offering fun incentives to cyclists throughout July. But the event's centerpiece is still today's Bike to Work Day, when all you suits can pedal downtown, grab a free breakfast between 7 and 9 a.m. at Civic Center Park, then polish up on the latest wheels and deals at a lunchtime Bike Expo from 11:30 to 2 at Skyline Park, 16th and Arapahoe streets. And if that's enough to convince you to stay in gear the rest of the week, tomorrow is Bike to Market Day (with special offers at Vitamin Cottage, Alfalfa's and Wild Oats stores); discounts await those who arrive at Tattered Cover or Barnes & Noble stores on Bike to Books Day, Friday; treats for the ear can be heard on Bike to Music Day Saturday; and you can talk to the animals for free on Sunday, Bike to the Zoo Day. By that time, you'll be ready for the Tour de France, n'est-ce pas? For additional Denver Bike Month information, call 640-BIKE or 584-PEAK.

Prince of tomes: Intertwining, lushly written narratives and the theme of families caught in the undertow are among Pat Conroy's novelistic tools, already seen at their best in The Prince of Tides. Conroy, who continues to mine that lyrical vein, will read passages from his latest, Beach Music, tonight at 7, alfresco in Fillmore Plaza, between 1st and 2nd avenues, adjacent to the Tattered Cover Bookstore. Numbers for a place in line will be handed out beginning at 6; call 322-7727.

Thursday July 20 Grimm reaper: Cartoonist Mike Peters may have won a Pulitzer Prize for his editorial satire, but he's also won fans far and wide for his apolitical syndicated horse-laugher of a comic strip, Mother Goose and Grimm. Peters, who's in town for an upcoming exhibit at the Fascination Street Gallery in Cherry Creek North, will speak and John Hancock some posters today at noon as guest of the Denver Press Club's Lunch Beat program. Admission is $10 in advance ($12 at the door); for your required reservations or further information, call 571-5260. The Denver Press Club is located at 1330 Glenarm Pl. in downtown Denver.

Friday July 21 On your mark: Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Michael Jordan,Shaquille O'Neal and Gail Devers are just a few of the superb athletes seen at past Olympic Festivals before hurtling toward international recognition. Now Coloradans can check out the next wave at the U.S. Olympic Festival '95, an intensive sports showcase featuring everything from archery to wrestling and being held at a variety of venues in the Denver, Boulder and Colorado Springs areas, beginning today and continuing through July 30. The opening ceremonies--during which the festival's torch run (an event that began over a month ago) comes to a glorious halt at Mile High Stadium--begin at 7, when the athletes march in; a performance by Kenny Loggins and a big fireworks display close out the night's festivities. Admission to the gala runs $10 or $19.95; when competitors get down to business tomorrow, individual event tix will range from $4 to $15. Call 830-TIXS for tickets or 573-1995 for an event guide.

Face to face: The outreach program called P.A.C.T. (which stands for People, Art, Conflict, Theatre) gives at-risk youths a healthier stab at acting out by taking their conflicts to the stage as performers. As part of the endeavor, students create life masks--plaster casts of their faces--to help them get in character. Faces of Denver Youth, an exhibition of the personalized masks, opens tonight at CORE New Art Space, 1412 Wazee St., with a reception from 7 to 10. Shows by P.A.C.T. instructor Marti Lawrence and printmaker Kathleen Frye also open this evening; all three exhibits can be seen at the gallery through July 30. For details call 571-4831.

A piece of heaven: Things are starting to look up at the Denver Museum of Natural History, 2001 Colorado Blvd., where participants in this weekend's Jupiter Watch and Space Day Expo will get together to celebrate heavenly bodies. The museum's Gates Planetarium first focuses its big telescopes on Jupiter; viewers can take a look at the planet between 8:30 and 10:30 tonight. Tomorrow, the kids can get their hands dirty building flying saucers and the like out of recycled junk as part of a creative science workshop; they can also watch water-rocket launches and view the sun up close with the planetarium staff from noon to 5 on the museum's west patio. All events are free; call 322-7009 for additional information.

Saturday July 22 By the people, for the people: Everything's folksy at a pair of annual outdoor affairs today. The Swallow Hill Folkathon returns, offering craft demonstrations, kids' activities and food and drink, but especially serving up hours of acoustic music by more than sixty local acts. Located in the Swallow Hill environs at 1905 S. Pearl St., the fest takes place between 10 and 7, then continues with an 8 p.m. concert by Celeste Krenz, Runaway Express, Charles Sawtelle and Su Teatro at Cameron Church, down the street at 1600 S. Pearl. Admission to daytime events is $4 ($1 for kids eighteen and under); concert tickets are $12, or $10 if you already bought a day pass. For information call 777-1003. And at Fiddler's Green, the Radiators, Wayne Toups, Zachary Richard, Tab Benoit and other members of the contemporary Cajun/zydeco-inspired canon conjure the bayou at the New Orleans Festival, where you can listen, dance or pig out on jambalaya, beginning at 1 p.m. Tickets are $17.50 or $20; call 830-TIXS.

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