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Thursday, September 12, 2013

2013 Columbia Bike About is just around the corner

    This year's Bike About sponsored by the Columbia Archives is a little different in that instead of starting in Town Center it will start at Lake Elkhorn.  The bike route will go through Owen Brown, Kings Contrivance and along some of the Middle Patuxent River.  This bike path is one of the most scenic in our area.

  One of the more interesting features of the ride will be the Guilford Pratt Truss Bridge.

    Did you know that our County was once had a granite quarry around this location and this railroad bridge was designed to carry some of the granite mined near this location in the 1800's?

   All that is left of this quarry is the pond pictured above around the corner from the bridge and just off of Route 32.  The depth of this pond is supposed to be a couple of hundred feet and it posted with signs warning away swimmers.
    To register for this event and to learn a little more about the history of this area click here.

    If you are a regular reader of this blog you know that I am an active biker.  But I also run and walk our extensive bike trails and have had a major complaint about how some bikers use our path system.  My major biker complaint is that too often bikers pass walkers or runners without announcing themselves from a safe distance and then pass inches away from the walker or runner.  This pattern of behavior is mostly from young male bikers and especially with off road bikes.  They seem to think that they can ride on our multi-use paths the same way they bike on the off road dirt paths for which their bikes were designed.
    This morning I was brushed by one of these bikers as he went past me at too fast a speed.  After yelling at him about not calling out his approach he came back to discuss the situation with me.  He said he had rang his bike bell as a warning.  I indicated that bike bells should only be used on tricycles and that they are hard to hear as a warning from a distance.
     Just some safety notes on bikers using our paths as I frequently do.  Announce your presents from a safe distance and how you will pass.  Slow your speed near walkers and runners and don't be pedaling but have your hands on your brakes just as a safety measure in case your warning wasn't heard.  Just because the walker or runner has earphones on doesn't give you the right to bike offensively.  Just remember that often young children are biking on our paths with their parents so also be careful coming around blind corners.

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