Nearly 300 BikeAbout for exercise, history

NEIGHBORS

May 01, 2002|By Heather Tepe | Heather Tepe,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

NEARLY 300 people pedaled their way along Columbia's path system Saturday during the Columbia Association's second BikeAbout. Riders took advantage of the 13-mile route and the glorious weather to exercise, spend time with family and learn a little about local history.

Barbara Kellner, manager of the Columbia Archives, organized the ride. She said the purpose of the BikeAbout is to highlight historical places of interest and Columbia's pathway system.

"The paths are an incredible resource that aren't used to their capacity," she said. "I hope the BikeAbout will get people thinking about riding their bikes for transportation. Maybe they'll think, `Wow, I could actually bike to the library, or the mall or to work.'"

Thunder Hill resident John Wales and his 9-year-old son, also named John Wales, were making their second attempt to tackle the route after a flat tire derailed their plans to participate in last year's ride.

"We don't know if we'll make the whole thing this year, but we'll try," the elder Wales said.

The route began at Lake Kittamaqundi and wound through Columbia's Town Center and the villages of Wilde Lake, Harper's Choice and Hickory Ridge. Volunteers were stationed at landmarks such as the Dorsey family cemetery, the 1740 stone Athol survey marker and a historic barn at Wilde Lake to share information about local history.

Norman and Sandra Fairhurst gave riders some insight into the significance of the barns on Wilde Lake. The buildings once belonged to Francis Morris, who introduced the practice of making corn silage on the site.

"It's a historic, cultural and scientific landmark," Norman Fairhurst said.

Clarksville residents Pam Cammarata and her husband, Rick Krauss, said they were surprised at the beauty to be found along the paths. "I lived in Columbia for five years and kept hearing about the paths, but I never knew where they were," Cammarata said. "The paths were well-marked, and we got to see some really nice homes along the way."

Frank Ruggiero of Long Reach brought daughters Lauren, 10, and Alyssa, 12, along for the ride through west Columbia. He said the history they learned made the trip educational as well as fun. "We live on the other side of Columbia, so this was all new for us," Ruggiero said.

Joe Bradin and his son Brett, 14, brought their tandem bicycle from their home in Olney. "We're getting some good daddy-and-son time," said Joe Bradin, who steered the bicycle built for two. "I'm the captain, and he's the stoker."

Michael Monheit of Fulton used the course to train for another ride he is planning. In June, Monheit will participate in a 150-mile bike-a-thon to benefit the Multiple Sclerosis Society. "The ride was challenging with the hills, but very scenic," he said. "It was a great opportunity to take a route I haven't been on before and to get a sense of the history of Columbia."

Plant sale

The greenhouses at the Applications and Research Laboratory on Route 108 are bursting with blossoms. Since October, participants in the Work Enclave program for special education students have been planting, fertilizing and grooming plants they will sell to the public Saturday.

"We have beautiful plants that are very reasonably priced," said Amy Woodard, Work Enclave coordinator for Cedar Lane School.

Students in the program come from Cedar Lane and from high schools in the county. Through the program, they learn work skills such as how to stay on task and get along with co-workers.

"They're learning basic work skills that they can transfer into any working situation," Woodard said.

The sale will run from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the lab and includes annuals, perennials, vegetables, herbs, ornamental grasses and hanging baskets. Proceeds from the sale benefit the greenhouse program and projects and equipment at Cedar Lane School.

The laboratory is at 10920 Route 108, next to the Department of Education building.

Information: 410-313-6977.

Presidential homes

You can get a glimpse of the private lives of Presidents John Adams, Woodrow Wilson and John F. Kennedy by taking a look at their family homes in a program being offered tomorrow night at the central library.

Dick Goodwin, a docent at the Woodrow Wilson House in Washington, and Jean Salkeld, librarian at the central library, will show slides and memorabilia associated with these presidential homes.

Registration is required.

Information or registration: 410-313-7860.

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