Route Info

THE ADVENTURE: Saturday, June 20 – Saturday, June 27, 2015
The 27th Annual Great Ohio Bicycle Adventure
Van Wert ◆ Bluffton ◆ Defiance ◆ Bowling Green ◆ Ottawa ◆ Van Wert
GOBA U: The College of Bicycling Knowledge
An Event of Columbus Outdoor Pursuits, 501(c)(3)

(Click to see larger map)

Get ready to bicycle 50 miles a day for a week in June. Your registration will include tent camping for 7 nights. You buy all your own meals and snacks. Expect additional costs for other lodging, indoor gym floor-sleeping, residence hall accommodations, optional side trips and some activities. Optional side trips are for registered GOBA riders, but you can sign up now … see the “OTT sign-up form” for descriptions and reservations. More options will appear as soon as they are available…. watch for the March & May Newsletters (mailed to all registered riders). Also, keep an eye on Rider Updates (on the homepage of and (you don’t need a Facebook account to view). See “How to GOBA” for more.

Highlights of the 2015 tour include:
● 5 days of cycling 45-55 scenic miles from town to town and 2 days of optional loops
● Terrain: mostly flat to rolling all week
● Mileage for the week: minimum: 258… maximum: 411
● Primitive tent camping at a fairground, 2 colleges, and 2 schools
● Opening day bicycle parade with costume contest
● Optional bus trips on Tuesday and Thursday … reserve now!
● GOBA rider map will be available as a downloadable file into your GPS device, right before the tour.
● Golden GOBA Dinner for riders on their 10th, 15th, 20th, or 25th GOBA tour this June (OR you are an “All-Year” rider). Eligible riders will get a letter by the end of May with all the details.
● Friday Song Contest
● Discount for registering early
● A new contest during the tour, fun and easy for the entire family, with prizes for the winners.
● Raffle for Rider #27, Prize Package worth $350. All proceeds benefit the Bike Lady, Inc.
Do Good – Do GOBA! You, too, can ride with a purpose by adding a donation. Proceeds from GOBA registration fees have been dedicated to worthy bicycle-related projects across Ohio. You can also maximize the good works by adding a donation along with your fees, right on your registration form. Columbus Outdoor Pursuits has 501(c)(3) status. Contributions are tax deductible and you will receive an acknowledgement. Your registration fees and your donations are promoting bicycling in all the best ways across the state.

Raffle for Rider #27!
Win the right to wear Rider #27 all week and a prize package, too! Free 2015 registration (we’ll refund your fee if you win), an exclusive GOBA sweatshirt (size XL), a massage during GOBA week, 2015 PhotoDVD, & an official GOBA-27 cycling jersey!
Register by April 15, 2015 & include your donation for raffle chances at $5 each. Proceeds from the raffle benefit Bike Lady, Inc. Buying more chances = more chances to win. After the drawing in the GOBA office, the one winner will be notified by May 15. GOBA will then replace the winner’s original rider number with Rider #27.

Saturday, June 20: Van Wert
Welcome Home to Van Wert! Van Wert is home to the Annual Peony Festival. Arrive early and study up for extra credit:
● Boost your history grade at the Antique Fire Equipment Museum or the Van Wert Historical Museum.
● Enhance your knowlege of the culinary arts at Baleyat’s Coffee Shop.
● Impress your classmates with your appreciation of art at the world-class Wassenberg Art Center.
● Take a tour—Driving, Flying or Walking—then take the Van Wert Pop Quiz at the bottom of the page, Van Wert Walking Tour
● Ride in the bicycle parade that will be a one-of-a-kind experience.
● Come to Van Wert to launch the 27th Annual GOBA and settle in at the Van Wert County Fairgrounds!
other links:
Van Wert County Convention & Visitors Bureau,
Main Street Van Wert

Sunday, June 21: Van Wert to Bluffton, 52 miles
● Wake up and grab your caffeine to get you going for your heart-thumping week of Cycology!
● Take another history lesson as you stop off in Delphos: the Canal Museum and the Postal Museum.
● Research the serenity in the The Lion and Lamb Peace Arts Center at Bluffton University.
● Enjoy a taste of Bluffton at the Shannon Theatre, enhanced by Shirley’s Gourmet Popcorn.
● Kick back for your recess time on the beautiful campus of Bluffton University, featuring optional residence hall lodging.
other links:
Delphos Canal Museum,
Bluffton Area Chamber of Commerce,
Bluffton University
Lima/Allen County Convention & Visitors Bureau,
Hancock County Convention & Visitors Bureau,

Monday, June 22: Bluffton to Defiance, 57 miles
● Your coursework this week entwines the poetry of pedal-motion with the classics of the scenery.
● Sharpen your zoology insights at the incredible Clymer’s Wildlife Museum in Columbus Grove.
● End your day at the GOBA campground at Defiance College, steps away from downtown shops, Miami & Erie Canal Lock No. 37, and optional residence hall lodging.
other links:
Clymer’s Wildlife Museum
Defiance Development & Visitors Bureau
Tuesday, June 23: Defiance (layover day), optional 53 miles with several cut-offs
● Sit for your lesson in geography: did you know Defiance is in the former “Great Black Swamp”?
● You might want to keep the momentum going on today’s optional riding loop to Sauder Village, a re-created community of 40 historic homes, buildings and shops showing life in northwest Ohio during the early 1800s thru to 1910.
● Or do an independent study of Defiance or of the science of napping.
Sign up for a bus trip option: Sauder Village and More!, including a stop at the Dum Dum sucker factory.
other links:
Sauder Village

Wednesday, June 24: Defiance to Bowling Green, 49 miles
● Say your farewell to Defiance and turn your mind (and your front wheel) toward the east.
● Pursue your education with a meander along the Maumee River to Independence Dam.
● Save time for your stop in Grand Rapids, a restored canal town alive with canal boat rides, a water and steam-powered mill, and a unique shopping district.
● Round out your bibliography with a list of the great treasures of Bowling Green, from wind farm to Wood County Museum, from dream cars to nature preserve, and from art galleries to an historical movie house.
● Your syllabus ends today with a great shady overnight at Bowling Green High School.
● Check out the optional residence hall lodging at Bowling Green State University.
other links:
Grand Rapids
Bowling Green State University
Bowling Green Convention & Visitors Bureau

Thursday, June 25: Bowling Green (layover day), optional 53 or 100 miles with several cut-offs
● Read the literature at the Information Booth in camp to determine your course for today.
● Choose to ride the 50-mile loop to Pemberville and Elmore, where you’ll find that history crosses with the present at the junction of the Elmore Train Depot and the North Coast Inland Trail.
● Another choice is the 100-mile loop to Port Clinton, where you can loll on the City Beach or break for lunch, from fast food to quaint cafes to elegant eateries.
● Today’s bus trip option is to Put it Down on Put-in-Bay, with a fast ride on Lake Erie aboard the Jet Express to the island delights, including Perry’s Monument, Crystal Cave, Trolley ride, and Heinemans Winery.
other links:
Elmore High School
Schedel Gardens
Ottawa Bikeway
Port Clinton

Friday, June 26: Bowling Green to Ottawa, 54 miles
● Focus your early-morning energies on the Slippery Elm Trail that leads you out of town.
● Add to your knowledge in Deshler, known far and wide as a crossroads of two main rail lines, and where train-watching is the sport.
● Calculate the degrees of fun today in Ottawa, your Friday night town and its first time on GOBA, offering swimming, the library, and the Putnam County Fair.
● Located along the Blanchard River and the Old Mill Stream Scenic Byway, Ottawa offers convenient camping at Ottawa Elementary School and Putnam County YMCA.
● Music class is now in session: don’t miss the traditional GOBA Song Contest.
other links:
Slippery Elm Trail
Ottawa Area Chamber of Commerce

Saturday, June 27: Ottawa to Van Wert, 45 miles
● Test your mettle against the headwinds and push on to the graduate level.
● If you missed them your first time through, save time for Van Wert’s Blue Creek Wind Farm, Brumback Library, Van Wert County Court House, Marsh Foundation Homestead, and Children’s Garden & Butterfly House .
● Cram your last day’s memories into your panniers, as you coast into Van Wert and into your graduation day from GOBA U!
other links:
Van Wert County Convention & Visitors Bureau
Main Street Van Wert

Route details and mileages are approximate and subject to change.

Register now for the 27th GOBA. Don’t be late for your class. You, too, can graduate from GOBA U.