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Ride the Columbia BikeAbout with the family

ColumbiaBikeAboutBy Crickett Gibbons

Take the family on a planned bike tour along the paths of the city of Columbia, Maryland, during the Columbia BikeAbout Saturday, Sept. 13, 2014.

This year’s free, family-friendly 10-mile ride begins at 9:30 a.m. at Wilde Lake Park and goes through the villages of Wilde Lake, Harper’s Choice and Hickory Ridge. Riders need to start the route by 10 a.m. and finish by 1 p.m.

Participants can enjoy an an old-fashioned picnic atmosphere at Wilde Lake Park after the ride with food trucks and free entertainment by local band Any the Wiser and school bands. Kids can enjoy a moon bounce, face painting and crafts plus a watermelon-eating contest from 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

Participants can register for the Columbia BikeAbout online at BikeAbout.eventbrite.com before the event or register the day of the event at the check-in table.

At check-in riders receive:

  • Map of the route
  • Written narrative of the route
  • Short description of the historical highlights along the route
  • Safety tips

Kids can pick up a Kid’s Questions booklet, which has one question for each historical site. Kids who complete the booklet can turn it in at the check-in table after their ride for a prize.

The route should be easy to follow even without the handouts, according to Jeannette Lichtenwalner of Columbia Archives, since it will be marked with pink arrows and signs to watch for steep hills. Volunteers will also be stationed along the route the help guide the way.

Columbia BikeAbout highlights the history of Columbia and the city’s extensive pathway system and open space. This year the ride features fun facts about James Rouse, Columbia’s founder; a look at some of Columbia Association’s newest projects; and a closer look at the future of Symphony Woods.

Historical sites will be marked with posters that include information. A volunteer also will be stationed at each site to answer questions, Lichtenwalner says.

The route markers, historical information posters and volunteers are only available for a few hours. 
For an idea of a typical route, check the bottom of the BikeAbout website page for sample routes from previous years.

Preregistration for the Columbia BikeAbout is encouraged. For more information, call 410-715-6781.

(Photo by Ronald Fedorczak. Courtesy of Columbia Archives.)

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