THE STORY: Lakeside
Unbeknownst to many, in the mid-to-late 19th century, the shore between Toledo and Cleveland produced more wine than anywhere else in the United States. During this time, the "North Coast" was known as kind of a spring break for grown-ups.
Pastor Richard Duval was new to the area, in 1872, and was presiding over a circuit that included Port Clinton, Catawba Island and the Marblehead Peninsula. He also presided over a small church on the corner of the Gill property - just east of Port Clinton. He often had conversations with Samuel Gill, youngest of a family that had moved to the area in 1836. During one of these conversations, he said that it was a shame that there were so many places along the shore for drinking and partying - yet that there was no family resort.
This set the wheels in motion for Samuel. He approached his uncle (Adam Payne) and his good friend (Barney Jacobs) about the idea. Together, these three started the Lakeside Company in 1873. They started building upon the land cleared by Alexander Clemens a few years prior - on the very spot in which Lakeside resides today! Within four years, it became part of the chautauqua movement centered around health, education, entertainment and spirituality.
These five individuals are all considered founders of Lakeside. Since Duval and Gill attended Ohio Weslyan University, it is fitting that the "Founders Ride" starts in Delaware and ends over 120 miles away within the gates of their noble enterprise!
THE STORY: Lakeside 120
Brian and I were on a casual bike ride, during the late spring of 2020, when I said that I had always wanted to bike from here (central-Ohio) to Lakeside. Brian immediately said, "Let's do it this summer!" In a small way, we were like the founders above - I had the idea and Brian got it going!
Between us both, we thought of a couple dozen riders who might also be interested - especially during a year in which most organized cycling events were cancelled due to the COVID19 pandemic. Within a matter of weeks, the list of interested/committed bikers started to grow - and then word started getting out! All told, we had nearly forty cyclist signed up - with no advertisements nor promotions.
In less than ten weeks, we were able to pull off a hugely successful ride - just two guys who started with a simple idea. Now, we have riders from last year who want to do it again - with their friends included. Additionally, Lakeside is going to market the ride to bring in even more interested cyclists! Though we know that "the more, the merrier" is great for group bike rides, we are going to have to cut it off at 75 participants.