This June 19th, 1,500 cyclists will be making their way into Circleville as part of their journey on The Great Ohio Bicycle Adventure (GOBA.) GOBA is a one week bicycle tour that travels through different parts of Ohio each year. Riders travel approximately 50 miles where they then camp before embarking on another 50-mile journey the following day.
The event is organized by Columbus Outdoor Pursuits, which is a volunteer 501(c)(3) organization that arranges several bicycle tours. This year’s GOBA will be the 30th edition of the event that has seen as many as 3,000 riders. The mission of the experience is “to organize a yearly one-week bicycle vacation, in order to inspire independence and nurture personal growth; learn about Ohio, its people, geography, and history; provide inter-generational recreation; enhance the image of bicycling in Ohio; and raise funds for bicycle-related projects in Ohio.”
The cost for riders is around $300 for the entire trip. Proceeds of the registration fees, which are applied to the Columbus Outdoor Pursuits Bicycle Development Fund, help different bicycle projects throughout Ohio. One of the most notable causes the fund contributes to is the Ohio to Erie Trail, which is a trial that allows riders to off-road travel from Cincinnati to Cleveland.
This year, riders will travel from Delaware, Ohio to London, Ohio, followed by Circleville, Lancaster and Newark before finally ending back in Delaware. Circleville High School will serve as a campsite following the third leg of ride, which will be Tuesday, June 19. This experience isn’t new to the area with Circleville High School also hosting riders in 1991, 1997 and most recently in 2006. Additionally, Teays Valley High School hosted the riders in 2012.
Provided to the riders at the campsites will be portable toilets and showers, as well as food options, first aid and drinking water. Quiet hours are from 9:30 p.m. to 5 a.m., with alcohol, campfires and camping stoves not permitted. Many riders take advantage of local hotels, which may be a boost to the local economy.
Amateur Radio Club
In addition to cyclists, the GOBA Amateur Radio Club (KG8OBA) will be out in full force. KG8OBA, organized by GOBA, provides support to the riders for anything they may need on the routes. This everything from medical attention to bike repair. All of the ham radio operators have passed FCC tests and donate their time and resources. You may see these volunteers on the side of the road all to help ensure the safety of the riders.
For people interested in starting to ride, the Pickaway County Family YMCA is offering a Community Ride. The ride is June 23, and offers 15 to 70 mile distances for only a $20 registration fee. Registration and details are available at www.ymcacolumbus.org/pickaway. The Pickaway County Park District maintains three trails as well. This includes the 1.48 mile Roundtown trail from the YMCA to Ohio Christian University. Detail for the trials are at www.pickawaycountyparks.org.
Photos courtesy of The Great Ohio Bicycle Adventure (GOBA).