The full-body tattoos, piercings and faux-hawks may make them seem like freewheelin' thugs, but skateboarders will tell you that just ain't fair. Heck, skaters have big, generous hearts. At the ninth annual Texas Skate Jam, skaters from across the country will gather to skate for a good cause. The event, which has featured big-time pros like Tony Hawk and Mike Vallely in years past, benefits the Make-A-Wish Foundation. "It's like a small-scale version of Tony Hawk's Boom Boom HuckJam," says Jason Espeseth of PUSH, a local group that's pushing for a public skatepark in Houston. For non-skaters, that means you can expect a laid-back, all-day skate-apalooza. "It's some of the best skateboarding you'll see, even compared to what you'll see on those 'extreme' skating shows," Espeseth adds. Skaters can hang out with their idols -- this year's event features guys like national star Tony Trujillo, local boy made good Chaz Piñeda and '80s skate legend Christian Hosoi -- and bid on slick skate gear at an auction. Following the check presentation, there will be a groovy afterparty and an open, free skate with the pros on Sunday, November 6. Not bad for a bunch of freewheelin' thugs, huh? The Jam runs noon to 6 p.m. Saturday, November 5. Southside Indoor Park, 510 Iowa. For info, call 713-946-0414 or visit www.skateboarder.com. $30. -- Steven Devadanam
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If Homer Simpson hosted an athletic event, this would surely be it: a morning bike ride with unlimited doughnuts. Tempting? Yes, but don't be fooled by the lightly glazed, delicious exterior of this competition. It's also a grueling 28-mile bike ride benefiting the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Touted as "The Sweetest Race in Texas," Sun & Ski Sports' Tour de Doughnut will have riders downing as many delectable Krispy Kremes as possible as they race. For each doughnut they eat, five minutes will be deducted from their final time. You know what that means: If you can stomach 30-plus doughnuts, then you can finish before you've even begun. 8 a.m. Sunday, November 6. Katy Mills Mall, 5000 Katy Mills Circle. For information or registration, call 281-341-5000 or visit www.tourdedoughnut.com. $25 in advance; $30 on race day. -- Mary Templeton