Nuts on Wheels

Peanuts haven't been political capital in more than a decade, but lots of bicycling Washingtonians would not miss the 12th annual Great Peanut Tour, a weekend of rides (Sept. 7-9) along 375 miles of trails near the Virginia/North Carolina border. This lush agricultural country is where the real cocktail peanuts come from, says the Emporia Bicycle Club's Robert C. Wrenn, not those "little ol' Spanish things."

On Saturday at 3 p.m. you'll do the 13-mile peanut ride (in close company with a thousand other cyclists), get a crash course in peanut farming and consume the nuts themselves in 70 or more forms. If you survive the trial by peanuts, there are 38 so-called water stops along the trails, serving up bushels of cucumbers and tomatoes, dozens of watermelons and hundreds of "tarheel cookies."

Registration closes Aug. 20, so call Wrenn at (804) 348-4215 during the day to get a registration form.

Music in the English Manner

It's almost too late for Glyndebourne, but if you ask nicely, and write quickly, it's not too late to catch the seven remaining concerts of the Stately Homes Music Festival, playing through October throughout England. You can tour the historic houses before the concert, and sip complementary wine at intervals. Noblesse oblige notwithstanding, they will expect you to buy a ticket -- 9 1/2 pounds (about $16) -- and dress for the occasion (preferably black tie). For information on tickets, concert locations and local accommodations, write the Box Office, Stately Homes Concerts, P.O. Box 1, St. Albans, Hertfordshire AL1 4ED, England. A Ride on the Wild Side

Physically challenged safari-goers, or anyone looking for a slower pace than the usual "If it's Tuesday, this must be Treetops" East African tour, can sign on for Richard Salmon's safari, leaving Nairobi on Sept. 17 and Jan. 5, 1991. Participants will travel four to a van, with a driver and one of the Salmons in attendance. Junior wheelchairs (or standard chairs with narrowers) and seat belts are suggested. Contact Jill Holden, (215) 966-5761, or Pat Gustke, (408) 251-2106, or fax Salmon's office in Nairobi, 011-254-233-2038. TRAVEL TRIVIA

Fairbanks was founded in 1901 during a gold rush, and, until World War II, gold mining remained the primary economic base of the town. Is gold still mined in the Fairbanks area? ANSWER BELOW

TRIVIA ANSWER: YES, THERE ARE 35 ACTIVE GOLD MINES NEAR FAIRBANKSTIPS ON TIPPING

Members of Tippers Anonymous -- 15,000 of them -- leave a little something besides the tip behind for the waiter when they leave the table: a report card. Joining the club gets you a book of 12 cards -- for rating the service poor, fair, good or excellent -- and the last word. Send $2 to Robert Farrington, P.O. Box 178, Cochituate, Mass. 01778.