Biking enthusiasts from all over the country are getting ready for the 2018 Great Ohio Bicycle Adventure Tour. The ride will take place from June 16 to June 23, with the start and finish in Delaware.
The Great Ohio Bicycle Adventure (GOBA), sponsored by Columbus Outdoor Pursuits, is a week-long camping adventures for riders of all ages. It’s a family-friendly, part-biking, part-vacation ride. The bicycle tour goes through some of Ohio’s friendliest and most scenic areas. The riders will be able to spend overnights at various towns and enjoy the numerous attractions and food stops along the way.
“It’s a great opportunity to see parts of Ohio and the countryside,” said Larry Jenkins, executive director of Columbus Outdoor Pursuits.
For the 30th anniversary ride, organizers have chosen the Delaware County Fairgrounds at the starting and ending spot for GOBA.
“The route changes every year,” Jenkins said. “We haven’t been in Central Ohio in a while. Delaware and its downtown especially have changed a lot since the last time we’ve been there. It was a great place to start.”
GOBA has visited Delaware on three previous occasions, in 1992, 2002, and 2011. Delaware was the starting point in 1992 and 2002.
The riders will gather at the Delaware County Fairgrounds on Saturday, June 16 where they will be camping overnight. On Sunday, June 17, they will be traveling to London, where the riders will spend the night Sunday and Monday. On Tuesday, the group will ride to Circleville, and then head to Lancaster on Wednesday and Thursday. Finally, the riders will return back to Delaware on Saturday, June 23. More information about the schedule can be found at GOBA’s website, goba.com.
According to the race registration page at goba.com, 191 riders had registered as of Dec. 11, leaving 1,305 slots available. Early bird registration is open until Dec. 31. Event registration closes May 16, 2018.
GOBA is not a race, but rather a leisure biking adventure. The riders will travel an average of 50 miles each day, which is suitable for all ages, young and old. In fact, nearly 20 percent of the riders are under 18 years and at least 100 of the riders will be 70 years and older. However, the majority of riders are between 30 and 50 years old. The riders also come from all over the country with several even coming from Canada.
The ride will also have many fun-filled activities along the way such as a song contest and a raffle for the riders. However, most of all, GOBA is a great opportunity to enjoy the scenic views with friends and family on an unforgettable biking adventure.
“The main goal is for everyone to have a good time and be safe,” Jenkins said.
The ride was started 30 years ago by Columbus Outdoor Pursuits, a non-profit organization devoted to non-competitive outdoor recreation. There were many similar bike rides in other locations, but Columbus Outdoor Pursuits decided to have a week-long tourism event to focus on biking and bringing people to Ohio specifically.
GOBA used to be one of the biggest biking tours in the country with more than 3,500 riders. However, in recent years, they’ve had to cap the number of riders at 1,500 due to safety and technical issues.
Saideepika Rayala is an intern at The Delaware Gazette. She is a student at Olentangy Liberty High School.