Charity Ride Returns to Chautauqua for Fifth Year


Article Contributed by
Chautauqua Region Economic Development Corporation

The fifth annual Chautauqua Gran Fondo community bike ride is slated for Saturday, August 24, 2019. The event promotes health and well-being for cyclists of all skill levels while raising funds for local nonprofit organizations.

Participants of the family-friendly afternoon will have the opportunity to enjoy the scenic beauty of Chautauqua Lake and its surrounding destinations. The ride includes plenty of rest stops and historic photos ops along three well-marked routes.

Registration is open at the early bird rate of $30 per rider for any distance through May 22. The cost includes refreshments and safety services at rest stops, as well as an all-ages afterparty at Webb’s Captain’s Table Restaurant. Festivities will include a provided by Sticks and Bricks Wood Fired Pizza, live music, and booths from favorite local vendors.

“The Gran Fondo is a day of healthy, outdoor activities for the whole family and provides a chance to make memories while taking in the beauty of our region,” said Mark Geise, CEO of the Chautauqua Region Economic Development Corporation (CREDC).

  • 20-MILE SOCIAL ROUTE: A beginner-level adventure that will feature a scenic trip across Chautauqua Lake on the Bemus Point – Stow Ferry
  • MILE FITNESS ROUTE: Designed for fitness enthusiasts, enjoy making a full loop around Chautauqua Lake
  • 60-MILE CHALLENGE ROUTE: For veteran cyclists, experience the thrill of the Chautauqua Ridge and Lake Erie’s Barcelona Lighthouse before returning to Chautauqua Lake

“From historic sites like 59 Lucy Lane and the Chautauqua Belle to favorite destinations like Lincoln-Bedell Statue Park and Midway State Park, the ride is a reminder of how many exciting opportunities are available right here in Chautauqua. We look forward to continuing the success of the previous years and working with our new host organization, the Chautauqua Region Music Alliance, to carry on the tradition.”

New to this year’s event is the addition of Wilson Endurance Sports (WES) as the event production team. Mark and Tonia Wilson, Mayville natives and creators of WES, are devoted to, and passionate about health, fitness, and fun. The local company based out of their home in Kennedy, NY, produces 27 events across the state, including 14 within the Chautauqua-Cattaraugus region.

“When asked to join the team we couldn’t have said yes any quicker,” says Coach Mark Wilson. “Our current events include triathlon, duathlon, and running events, and adding the Gran Fondo to our schedule was a perfect fit. My passion is assisting folks with getting in shape and staying healthy for life. There are so many opportunities right here at home to do just that, and the Gran Fondo is one of the best examples; tying in my love for cycling and the beautiful scenery we are fortunate to see in this region, and sometimes take for granted.”

All funds raised from the fifth annual cycling for charity event will go back into the Chautauqua community to support and raise awareness for local nonprofits soon to be announced.

The planning committee is actively seeking volunteer groups, businesses
to participate in Vendor Row, and event sponsors. If interested, please contact Tonia Wilson at 716-353-1288 or

For more information or to register find us on Facebook or our website at