Port Clinton will have the first three-night layover in GOBA history, and you’ll need every waking minute to experience all that the Lake Erie shores and islands have to offer.
While there’s plenty to see and do on your own, you won’t want to miss some special GOBA events. The historic Lakeside Chautauqua community will host GOBA riders for lunch on Tuesday, and South Bass Island (Put-in-Bay) will welcome us ashore on Wednesday. Bike or bus to both places. On Wednesday evening, we’ll gather in Waterworks Park on the Port Clinton lakefront to watch the sun set while enjoying live music, food trucks and other festivities.
For thrill-seekers, GOBA has arranged for a 22-passenger bus to transport riders to and from Cedar Point amusement park on Wednesday ($20 roundtrip).
And don’t forget about your bike! You can ride an optional loop of 50 miles (shorter without side trips) on Tuesday that includes Lakeside, the Marblehead Lighthouse and the Johnson’s Island Confederate Cemetery. On Wednesday, you can ride a 20-mile loop to the Catawba Island ferry dock or challenge yourself to the traditional 50- and 100-mile loops that will take riders to a multiple-restaurant GOBA food stop in downtown Fremont.
Even riders who stick close to camp will have plenty to do, with entertainment and speakers to include a keynote presentation Monday evening by author Chris Register, whose self-supported, multistate cycling journeys gave him insights into the views of everyday Americans for his book series.
You also won’t have to stray far from camp to eat well, with the Port Clinton High School food staff serving breakfasts, lunches and dinners, and the Rotary Club Perch Wagon offering fish and more. The PCHS Media Lounge will have plenty of coffee as well as other hot and cold beverages, and snacks.
Overwhelmed by all the options? The beauty of the Port Clinton area is that it’s easy to escape to the solitude of a quiet beach or peaceful park a few blocks from camp. The choices are yours.
(All events, times and prices are subject to change. Check back for new activities and other updates!)
Author Chris Register
• When: 7-9 p.m.
• Where: Performing Arts Center at Port Clinton High School. Free admission.
• About: Unwilling to let the pollsters and pundits define his country, Chris Register traded his ergonomic lawyer’s chair for a stiff bicycle seat and set out to uncover the truth about the state of the nation today. After interviewing hundreds of everyday Americans over 16,000 miles of solo bicycle travel, Chris put down the kickstand and began writing “Conversations With US – Great Lakes States,” the first in a multi-volume series documenting this epic survey of the United States.
This wide-ranging discussion will highlight the lessons Chris took away from his cross-country odyssey, ranging from tips for self-supported cyclotouring to eye-opening insights into his own bias and values. He will also address the central mission of “Conversations With US,” sharing stories from the folks he met as he sought to answer the question at the heart of our nation: What does it mean to be American?
Lakeside Chautauqua welcomes GOBA
• When: 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
• Where: Eastern end of the Marblehead peninsula, about 12 miles east of camp via free shuttle buses and about 20 miles each way on a bike route that includes some busy roads.
• About: The 146-year-old Lakeside Chautauqua community along Lake Erie is a cultural and spiritual hub, a place to experience famed entertainers, musicians, lecturers and preachers every day of summer in programs meant to nurture mind, body and spirit for all ages. Explore the downtown shops, lakefront park and walking trails during your visit. Restaurants will open at 10 a.m. for lunch, and the Lakeside Chautauqua Foundation will sell a lunch buffet for GOBA participants from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. on the front lawn of the historic Hotel Lakeside as a band plays music from the pavilion. The pavilion also has a small beach and boat rentals. You’ll long remember this special place.
Ferry to Kelleys Island
• When: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. for free shuttle buses between camp and the docks
• Where: Eastern end of Marblehead peninusla, about 14 miles east of camp via bus and about 20 miles each way on a bike route that includes some busy roads.
• About: The Kelleys Island Ferry is offering a discounted rate of $16 roundtrip for adults with a wristband, as well as discounts for children and seniors. Bikes are $3 each way on the ferry, or you can rent bikes or golf carts on Kelley’s Island. The largest of Ohio’s islands is a nature lover’s paradise. Highlights include a state park with a beach and the 400-foot long Glacial Grooves.
Optional cycling route
• When: 6 a.m.-5 p.m.
• Where: A clockwise loop from Port Clinton High School to the eastern end of the Marblehead peninsula
• About: The route roughly follows the perimeter of the peninsula. The full length is about 50 miles, but there are cutoffs available and some of the spurs (Catawba Island village and state park, East Harbor State Park, Johnson’s Island Confederate Cemetery, African Safari Wildlife Park) can be skipped to shorten the mileage. In addition to the GOBA event in Lakeside, there are numerous food-on-your-own opportunities. Route highlights that you can visit on your own include the village of Marblehead, the Marblehead Lighthouse and the Liberty Aviation Museum. Some attractions charge fees.
Cycling and augmented reality
• When: 3-4 p.m. Tuesday
• Where: Port Clinton High School Media Lounge
• About: Venture into the fascinating world of augmented reality (AR) with author and speaker Stephen Black. The Toledo resident, who has given presentations at large international tech conferences, will explain the basics of augmented reality and tell about AR’s impact on cycling. The benefits include better bike design and manufacturing, safer helmets, futuristic “smartglasses” for cyclists and enhanced training methods. Some bike retailers have introduced AR to make it easier to shop for the perfect bike, and in England AR is being tested as a way to increase bicycle use by teens and others. Visit Stephen’s blog to learn more about his presentation and to see videos of AR in action.
Ferry to South Bass Island (Put-in-Bay)
• When: 8 a.m.-5:30 p.m. for free shuttle buses between camp and the docks.
• Where: The northern point of Catawba Island, about 10 miles from camp via bus and about 12 miles each way on a bike route that includes some busy roads.
• About: The Miller Ferry Line is offering a $13 roundtrip to GOBA participants who show their wristbands. Bikes cost $3 each way on the ferry. Or once your on the island take the Lime Kiln Bus from the ferry dock to downtown Put-in-Bay (2 miles) for $3 each way. Or rent a bike or a golf cart. Put-in-Bay is a tourist hot spot filled with fun diversions and renowned as the Key West of the North. Island attractions include wineries and the 352-foot tall Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial. Fast ferry service from downtown Port Clinton to downtown Put-in-Bay also is available on Jet Express at a base price of $34 for adult roundtrips.
Cedar Point shuttle service
• When: Buses leave camp at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. (park opens at 10 a.m.), and depart Cedar Point at 4 p.m. and 6 p.m.
• Where: Cedar Point amusement park is about an hour’s drive east of camp. Bikes are not allowed to cross the key link to the mainland, the Sandusky Bay Bridge.
• About: Tracys Tours is selling roundtrip tickets for $20 on its comfortable 22-passenger bus, which will pick up passengers in the bus lane in front of Port Clinton High School on Wednesday morning and drop them off at the park before reversing the trip in the afternoon. Cedar Point is offering $47 adult and $43 children/seniors admission to GOBA participants who purchase tickets online at this link.
Optional cycling routes
• When: Support begins at 7 a.m. and ends at 5 p.m.
• Where: all three routes begin and end at Port Clinton High School
• About: A 20-mile option goes to Catawba Island point for riders who want to take their bike on the ferry to South Bass Island (Put-in-Bay). We’ll also have the traditional 50- and 100-mile routes, which will take riders to downtown Fremont, where several restaurants will offer sit-down and grab-and-go food options. The 50-mile riders will return to Port Clinton, while the 100-milers go east to Castalia (food on your own), then have a snack stop hosted by the Garden Club in Clyde before returning to downtown Fremont to fuel up for the final 25 miles back to Port Clinton. The century-only loop has limited supported and riders must begin the loop by 10 a.m.
Party at Waterworks Park
• When: Wednesday evening
• Where: Waterworks Park, along Lake Erie near downtown Port Clinton, a 15-minute walk from camp
• About: The Port Clinton Chamber of Commerce will help GOBA riders celebrate their final night in Port Clinton with a party that will include live music, food trucks and other activities while we watch the sun slip into the lake.