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3rd Annual John North Willys Canandaigua Bike Rally

The Ontario County Historical Society is proud to announce a family fitness happening.

The 3rd Annual John North Willys Bike Rally will be held on Sunday August 25th in Cheshire – Canandaigua NY

John North Willys Canandaigua Bike Rally

Take your choice. A 12-mile and a 25-mile ride will be held.

A donation of $25 per person in Advance; $30 Day of event will be used to support the operation of our community’s historical museum located at 55 North Main Street in Canandaigua. The first 100 riders to sign up will receive a free ride shirt.

6-PAK: $15/cyclist 12-PAK: 10/cyclist
Single rider $25
Free Ride Tee Shirts

A Family Oriented Event
This is a rally, not a race, and encourages participation by cyclists of all skill levels.  Bring family and friends; join your neighbors in supporting the Ontario County Historical Museum. Advanced group registrations get reduced rates

Business Participation Encouraged
Gather your coworkers, join as a group in advance and get a reduction in registration fees.

Event Details
The riders will depart from the Cheshire Union NYS Rt 21 South at 9am; registration will begin at 8 am, information tables and an on-site bike shop representative to help with last minute adjustments and tire pressure checks and inflation.

Both the 12 and 25 mile routes will begin and end at the Cheshire Union Rt 21 So. in the Town of Canandaigua. Both routes are of moderate difficulty with some rolling hills and flat stretches. The 12-mile course will have more moderate terrain. Riders will return to Cheshire Union for refreshments and camaraderie. Hot dogs and soda will be available from the Cheshire Union.

Rider Safety
The routes are well marked AND safety spotters along both routes will assist in crossing at intersections.

12.3 Mile Ride

Bike Rally 2019 12 Mile Map

25.6 Mile Ride

Bike Rally 2019 25 Mile Map

Registration Forms

If you are registering as a group, you must use the print / mail-in form.

Become a Sponsor

Several local businesses are sought to sponsor the event. Donors will have their business or personal name on the ride tee shirt for supporting this event. Sponsorships are $500 for a large tee shirt Logo and $100 for the smaller tee shirt logo.

John North WillysWho was John North Willys and why is he being celebrated?

John North Willys was a Canandaigua native.  He first owned a bike factory and shop in Canandaigua NY in the 1890s. Later, he went on to form the Willys-Overland motorcar company. An automobile manufacturing company second only in size at the time to the Ford Motor Company.

The legacy of John North Willys is all around us. The Jeep, his concept, is perhaps the best known American “car” after the Ford Model-T is found virtually everywhere.  Willys, started as a bicycle maker in Canandaigua, NY but soon emerged as one of our country’s great Motorman owning and building the Overland brand automobile.  John North Willys was second only to the great Henry Ford in as a captain of the United States automobile industry.  Willys’s proposal for the enduring design of the iconic Jeep was selected by the United States military in the 1940s as their general-purpose vehicle.  The GP or Jeep name has endured.  John North Willys was born and raised in Canandaigua, NY.  This bicycle rally is named in his honor so that his legacy may live on.

The proceeds of this event will assist the Ontario County Historical Society in continuing its mission of bringing our history to the community. Their most recent exhibit features the Prohibition Era in Ontario County and an exhibit on Presidential memorabilia.

The Ontario County Historical Society is a 501-c-3 Not for profit organization established in 1902 and is Chartered by the Regents of the tate of New York.  For additional information contact the Ontario County Historical Society, 55 North Main Street, Canandaigua, NY 14424.  Edward Varno, Executive Director,