* WHAT'S MY LINE?: A friend once said that the key thing for him was choosing a good line through life, one filled with enriching moments, not just riches. A good line up a rock wall, through whitewater, down a ski trail or along a difficult bike path is its own reward and is defined anew by each athlete. The key thing is showing up and trying, and in climbing this can include a trip to Earth Treks' gyms in Columbia or Timonium, Md., on Mondays to take part in the ongoing Climber Rendezvous clinics. Once there you can work on technique with an instructor and hook up with a belay partner, the one who will save your skin when you fall. You have to be belay-tested to take part, but after that climbers of all abilities are welcome. The clinics are free (gym fees still apply) and start at 6 p.m. For directions and details, visit www.earthtreksclimbing.com or call 1-800-CLIMBUP. . . .

The Mountaineering Section of the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club will hang out at Carderock on Tuesday starting at 5 p.m. and at Great Falls on Friday at 5:30 p.m. for its weekly after-work climbs (Carderock usually is held on Wednesdays, but the club's monthly meeting is this week at 7:30 p.m., 118 Park St. SE, Vienna). Non-members are welcome to climb, but contact Mack Muir (mackmuir@edisaurus.com, 703-501-6723) and fill out a liability waiver (www.patc.net/chapters/mtn_sect/ waiver.html) before you go. For more information, visit www.patc.net/chapters/mtn_sect/.

* THE CANOE AND YOU: The Canoe Cruisers Association's summer-long series of canoe lessons for beginners continues on July 20 at 6:30 p.m. at Fletcher's Boat House at 4940 Canal Rd., Northwest Washington, and on July 22 at 6:30 p.m. at Swain's Lock on the C&O Canal in Potomac. The one-hour sessions include essential strokes and safety tips. Cost is $2 per person; life vest, paddle and a spot in a canoe are included. No preregistration needed. For more information about the Canoe Cruisers, visit www.ccadc.org/cca/. . . .

The Kayak Station in Arlington on July 24 will hold a kayak swap starting at 9 a.m. at 1041 South Edgewood St. Stuff to check out likely will include whitewater and touring kayaks, canoes, paddles, lifejackets and helmets. This is a good way for those starting out to gear up without overspending. For details, visit www.skichalet.com.

* CLICKED IN: REI will host a clinic for new bike owners at its College Park store on Wednesday at 7 p.m. The free event will cover how to repair flats, how to shift correctly, how to brake properly and how to stay safe on the road. No need to bring your bicycle. For more, visit www.rei.com.

-- John Mullen

mullenj@washpost.com