JC's Historic Preservation Commission & JC Parks and Rec team up for historic bike ride

The HPC Historic Bike Tour on May 30, 2023 begins promptly at 6:00 pm at the parking lot on 109 Madison St.  The route is marked by blue.

If you’d like to learn more about Jefferson City’s architectural history while getting in a little exercise, you can take part in the city’s first-ever historic bike tour.

The tour is the brainchild of the Jefferson City Historic Preservation Commission and JC Parks.  The event kills two birds with one stone, celebrating both Historic Preservation Month and Bike Month. 

City of Jefferson Neighborhood Services Division specialist Dawn Kirchner says the event, scheduled for Tuesday, May 30th, hopes to tap into the success of JC Park’s monthly bike rides which usually attract 30-40 riders. 

“I’m hoping to bring out some people that don’t normally go on these bike rides and maybe create some buzz and interest.  I’m hoping this will be the start of a yearly event.  I’d like to continue this in the future.” 

And Kirchner says if you’re a history buff but don’t consider yourself a bike rider, they kept you in mind when deciding the route.

“We’re hoping to get a few people that are really interested in history on this bike tour but maybe they don’t normally ride a bike.  So, we kind of set it up so that it’s historic and it’s comfortable and it’s flat.”

But Kirchner warns that they’ll be riding through residential areas and traffic won’t be stopped for the participants, so if that’s something that makes you uncomfortable, you might want to take that into consideration.  

The tour starts promptly at 6 p.m. outside the Cole County Historical Society on Madison Street.  The tour will travel through the Capital Avenue District and the Moreau Drive Historic District, as well as stops at Lincoln University’s Soldier’s Memorial, the historic Missouri State Penitentiary, and three historic cemeteries. 

“You find almost every kind of architecture imaginable in cemeteries.  So, we’re going to talk about the historic architecture and some of the people that have been buried in those cemeteries.”

Kirchner, who planned the route, says one of her favorite stops is along Moreau Drive.

“I grew up in Jefferson City and I have always looked at those homes and thought they were so beautiful and wondered, ‘What’s the story?’” 

The tour is expected to last less than two hours, with about 12 stops.  And if the event interests you but you don’t have a bike, Kirchner says you can either rent one from Red Wheel Bike Shop or borrow one from a friend.

To learn more, visit the Jefferson City Historic Preservation Commission’s Facebook page or call 573-634-6410.