Biking through historyPublished 10:14pm Monday, April 1, 2013
While observing ancient Indian burial grounds and abandoned antebellum homes, modern-day bicyclists rode through Old Cahawba Saturday morning to get a glimpse of what Alabama’s first state capitol was like in it’s heyday.
Jonathon Matthews, tour guide for the bike tour, said he was impressed with how many residents came out to enjoy what Old Cahawba has to offer.
“The tour was able to attract a lot of families, which was a great thing,” Matthews said. “The whole tour went really, really well.”
Seventeen individuals gathered at the archaeological park for the tour. In addition to Dallas County, residents from Shelby, Houston and Jefferson counties were also represented.
As they rode their bicycles though Cahawba, Matthews pointed out details and archaeological clues throughout the park about what Cahawba was like during and after the Civil War era.
“This was just a way to get a closer look at the landscape itself,” Matthews said. “Through these stories, it kind of brings Cahawba back to life.”
Several Dallas County residents pointed out how they had been visiting Old Cahawba for years but never noticed certain details until participating in the bike tour.
“One of the visitors, she said she had been coming down here for years and she never knew about the Artesian well,” Mathews said. “It was neat to expose some of those facts on the tour.”
After riding through Old Cahawba, Cody Kilponen, Selma resident, said he learned many new facts about the park.
“I thought it was a very eventful experience,” Kilponen said. “It was great to learn about Alabama history while riding a bike along the river.”
And although the guided tour is only held twice a year, Matthews said residents can still visit the park during its operational hours and explore Cahawba on their own. All they need to do is call ahead and reserve a bike, he said.
Bikes are available between noon and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Saturday.