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Another great year for Columbia BikeAbout!

Bright, sunny skies brought out around 400 riders for the annual Columbia BikeAbout on Sept 23, 2017.  For many, it was an opportunity to ride some of the newly paved and widened paths in Oakland Mills and Long Reach.

“I’ve run along many of these paths but didn’t realize how easily they connected to each other,” one rider said.

Riders also were able to learn a little more about Lake Elkhorn, Christ Church, power lines, Jackson Pond, street names, Cooke Cemetery, and renewing older homes. They had a  chance to go inside the Old Brick, the 1811 Christ Church building, to see the stained glass windows and the Old English Bible that dates to 1730.

“I love the history of Columbia and learning where the pathways connect,” another rider said. “I can bike a 10-mile path from my own backyard. And don’t have to go somewhere else to bike. I love the paths! I really appreciate the volunteers along the path, guiding the way, warning of steep turns/hills, and acting as crossing guards. I felt safe and confident I wouldn’t take a wrong turn.”

Children were encouraged to answer questions about the sites on a passport booklet to be eligible for a goody bag. They learned that Columbia’s lakes, streams and ponds are part of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, along with the states of Delaware, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, New York and Virginia, and the city of Washington, D.C. They also learned about street names in Thunder Hill, which are derived from the titles of paintings by Andrew Wyeth.

The route began at Lake Elkhorn and wound through Owen Brown, Oakland Mills and Long Reach. It introduced many people to new paths and new connections between villages. For the BikeAbout, the paths were well marked to make it easy to follow the route. Now that the signs have been removed, you can still follow the route using the directions posted below.  

Columbia Archives, which collects and preserves the history of Columbia, is located in CA Headquarters at 6310 Hillside Court, off Stevens Forest Road. It is open Monday through Friday from 9am to 5pm. The collection covers the planning and development of Columbia as well as the extensive James Rouse Collection, which chronicles Rouse’s long career that influenced urban and suburban development in the United States and around the world. It is rich with correspondence, speeches, photographs and memorabilia. The public is welcome to visit and spend time researching to get a deeper understanding of the history of Columbia. Appointments are encouraged. For more information, call 410-715-3103 or visit ColumbiaArchives.org.