Sunday, October 29, 2000

Bicyclists take tour of the past

Lebanon holds annual ride

By Jenny Callison
Enquirer Contributor

        LEBANON — Saturday's Tour de Lebanon proved a historical tour de force for the group of local cyclists who participated.

        The 9-mile course took cyclists of all ages around downtown Lebanon and encompassed 15 historical sites chosen by local historian John Zimkus. The group paused at each site for an explanation of its importance in past community life.

        “It was really nice to learn a little more history of Lebanon, the history of buildings I pass every single day,” said Laura Middleton, a three-year resident of Lebanon. Mrs. Middleton completed the circuit with her husband, Glen, and their children Emma, 3, and Grant, 14 months. “I learned that the town hall used to be the opera house, and also that it burned.”

        This is the third year the Lebanon Police Department Bicycle Patrol has sponsored the Tour de Lebanon. This year the Parks and Recreation Department co-sponsored the event, with a Halloween party at trail's end.

        About 25 people wheeled their way through time.

        “People had a good time,” said Patrolman Robb White, who helped organize the event and served as guide. “They want to do a spring tour. We might try a different route and try some different things.”

        The tour route and information were compiled three years ago by Mr. Zimkus, said Patrolman Jon Oehler, who also accompanied the group. Cyclists started out from the police substation, itself a restored 1920s gas station, and visited such places as the Orient Fire House, Holbrook Elementary School and a marker commemorating Lebanon's first settlement.

        “It makes me want to go to the historical society and find out more about Lebanon's history,” said Mrs. Middleton.


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