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Save the date: Columbia BikeAbout returns on Saturday, September 29

Columbia Association’s (CA) annual BikeAbout will be held Saturday, September 29, with riders setting off from Oakland Mills Village Center. The free, fun and informative tour presents Columbia’s history and showcases the connectivity of its pathway system.

Preregistration is not required but is encouraged via ColumbiaAssociation.org/bikeabout. Columbia BikeAbout will begin at 9:30am, with riders able to start up until 10am. They are expected to complete the ride by 1pm.

This year’s 13-mile route starts at Oakland Mills Village Center and crosses the pedestrian bridge over Route 29 twice, winding through the villages of Town Center, Wilde Lake, Owen Brown and Long Reach, before returning to Oakland Mills Village Center. Riders looking for a shorter ride — including families with young children — can complete the first half of the ride, ending at Oakland Mills Village Center.

This year’s Columbia BikeAbout has a theme of “Ride the Vision,” with interpretive signs featuring quotes from Columbia’s founder, James Rouse, from his papers held at Columbia Archives. Riders are encouraged to stop at sites along the way to discover the history of Wilde Lake Rock, check out the interesting poster trees at Lake Kittamaqundi, and get a firsthand view of the original village/neighborhood concept and land purchases Columbia was built upon.

An important aspect of Columbia’s design was preservation of the land. The topography, stream beds and heavily wooded areas were preserved as much as possible. Lakes were created and pathways built to make the natural environment accessible. Columbia BikeAbout is an easy way to explore the extensive 95-mile pathway system, which contributes to the high quality of life that defines Columbia.

Columbia Association also is seeking volunteers, needed to assist with traffic control, directions, registration, and to act as guides at places of interest along the route. Flexible shifts are available between the hours of 8:30am and 2pm. Training and a free T-shirt will be provided. For more information, email Columbia.Archives@ColumbiaAssociation.org or call 410-715-6781.

Columbia BikeAbout is brought to you by Columbia Association’s (CA) Columbia Archives and Open Space Management Division.

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.

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