2017 ROUTE OVERVIEW
THE ADVENTURE: Saturday, June 17 – Saturday, June 24, 2017
29th Annual Great Ohio Bicycle Adventure
An Event of Columbus Outdoor Pursuits, 501(c)(3)
Findlay ◆ Tiffin ◆ Upper Sandusky ◆ Bellefontaine ◆ Kenton ◆ Findlay
GOBA-29: There’s No Place Like GOBA!
(Click to see larger map)
Route Elevations (Available February)
GOBA 2017 registration is limited to the first 1,500 registrants. This decision came about in an effort to tailor the GOBA arrangements, both on the route and in camp, to a “right-sized” group. For this reason, and that our costs for facilities and service vendors have risen dramatically in recent years, we reluctantly found it necessary to raise registration fees this year, since it follows that with a smaller participation base, the cost is higher per rider, in order to maintain the same GOBA high-quality standards for service and support. All GOBA participants are important to us, and we hope you’ll join us this year in the continued joint celebration of the GOBA spirit.
Gaze into your crystal ball and see yourself bicycling, June 17-24, 2017, to Ohio’s emerald cities … oh my! Whether your bicycle is ruby or emerald or an entirely different color, you’ll follow the winding roads of north central Ohio looking for that elusive yellow brick. Wizards, Scarecrows, and Good Witches beckon you to a bicycle-camping tour like none other. You’ll soon be tapping your bike pedals and saying, “there’s no place like GOBA!”
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. See “How to GOBA” for more.
Highlights of the 2017 tour include:
● 7 days of cycling: 5 are 45-60 scenic miles from town to town and 2 are optional with 50 or 100 mile loops
● Terrain: mostly flat to rolling, and hillier terrain on the optional 100 mile loop
● Mileage for the week: minimum: 271 maximum: 431
● Primitive tent camping at a mixture of fairgrounds, parks, and schools.
● Opening day bicycle parade with costume contest
● Optional bus trips on Monday and Thursday
● 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.
● 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 #29! See details on the Registration page
Optional side trips are for registered GOBA riders, and you will be able to sign up later, separately from your registration. See the Optional Trips page for details and check back frequently for added trips. Details and reservations will also be in the March & May Newsletters (mailed to all registered riders). Also, keep an eye on Rider Updates (on the homepage) and facebook.com/gobatour (you don’t need a Facebook account to view).
● Do Good – Do GOBA! Ride with a purpose by adding a donation. GOBA proceeds have gone to our Columbus Outdoor Pursuits Bicycle Development Fund which provides grants to bicycle-related projects across Ohio, such as The Bike Lady, Inc., bikelady.org, and The Ohio to Erie Trail, ohiotoerietrail.org. Contributions, which you can make on your registration form, are tax deductible.
Saturday, June 17: Findlay
● Fly, my pretties, fly … off to Findlay in north central Ohio where you’ll be welcomed to the Hancock County Fairgrounds.
● Arrive early and explore Downtown Findlay which will lure you with its tantalizing coffees, sparkling gift shops, and inviting restaurants.
● Don’t miss the bicycle parade — get your favorite Wizard lined up now to help you with your costume!
Sunday, June 18: Findlay to Tiffin, 55 miles
● Refresh yourself in the comforting shade and the lake view at Van Buren State Park.
● Press on to Fostoria, where you’ll find a convergence of rail lines and train buffs, surrounding the 1878 L&EW Depot.
● Follow the meandering scenic Sandusky River on gentle, dreamy roads.
● Tiffin will put a spell on you with overnight camping at the lush and shady Hedges Boyer Park.
Monday, June 19: Tiffin (Layover Day), Optional 60 mile loop
● Rouse yourself and gear up for the optional loop to Green Springs (yes, there’s an actual spring in a lovely park) and to Bellevue’s Mad River Railroad Museum.
● Or stay in town and treat yourself to Tiffin’s delights, including the 1928 Ritz Theatre, Tiffin Glass Museum, American Civil War Museum, or a swim at the park.
● Consider signing up for a bus trip to the magical Seneca Caverns.
Tuesday, June 20: Tiffin to Upper Sandusky, 50 miles
● Meander among the quaint villages of Seneca County, peaceful and serene.
● Marvel at the Basilica and National Shrine of Our Lady of Consolation in Carey and learn about the miracles there.
● Learn what’s behind the curtain of meaning of the locally known “Wharton Shake”.
● The Wyandot County Fairgrounds beckons you on to Upper Sandusky, where you may embark on a part of the “Shawshank Trail” before settling into your tree-lined campsite.
Wednesday, June 21: Upper Sandusky to Bellefontaine, 56 miles
● Take off cyclone-fast on to your next destination, past fields of corn and (could it be?) poppies.
● Look past the rainbow at Killdeer Plains Wildlife Area and you may spot a bald eagle or other rare birds.
● Venture into the pastoral lands of Amish country.
● Known far and wide for its many craft and antique shops, a visit to Mt. Victory is sure to win you over to buy an eclectic treasure or two.
● Your route propels you on to camp at Bellefontaine High School and neighboring Blue Jacket Park.
Thursday, June 22: Bellefontaine (Layover day), Optional 46 or 100 mile loops
● If you want to nap today, that’s fine, but the great and powerful GOBA director urges you to enjoy the options.
● Take the short loop on rolling hills to the highest point in Ohio, the Crystal King at Ohio Caverns, the stunning Piatt Castles, and the sweet sites of West Liberty.
● Continue the challenging terrain for 50 more miles and add on Kiser Lake State Park and a jaunt on the Simon Kenton Bike Path in the splendid town of Urbana.
● Or let yourself be drawn into Bellefontaine, from the history at Orr Mansion to the adventures offered by a horseback ride or a zipline challenge.
Friday, June 23: Bellefontaine to Kenton, 61 miles
● Today we’re off to see the beauty of Indian Lake from the vantage point of the bike path along the water’s edge.
● If it’s still early in the day, take a dip at Oldfield Beach.
● Wheel on to Kenton, where we’ll find our home for the night at the beautiful Hardin County Fairgrounds.
● Delight in all that Kenton has to offer, from the Gene Autry Mural to the Sullivan-Johnson Museum to the Heritage Farmstead right at your back-door.
● Gather your heart and brain and nerve … it’s your turn to sing at the GOBA Song Contest!
Saturday, June 24: Kenton to Findlay, 49 miles
● Tuck into your last pancake breakfast, then ding-dong, you’re off for Findlay.
● With the wind at your back, breeze through Forest, named for its dense woods, and take a look at the historic railroad freight house and log cabin.
● Admire Arlington, wade through their pool, and get a donut at the IGA.
● Tap your ruby cleats on your pedals and before you know it, you’re home!
Route details and mileages are approximate and subject to change.
Don’t lose your nerve and melt away before you sign up for GOBA 2017. Bring all your munchkins and truly experience, “There’s No Place Like GOBA!”