The year 2020 would have been the 32nd annual riding of The Great Ohio Bicycle Adventure – (GOBA) – a week-long cycling and camping adventure across a varying part of Ohio that our brother-in-law had fully participated in over its entire history, and which we had joined him and his wife for the past decade. However, the Covid-19 Pandemic of 2020-2021 cancelled the 2020 running, and in 2021, a smaller, more conservative running, relabeled WOBA, was offered as a temporary replacement.
This year’s rides would start in the western Ohio town of Sydney on Sunday (Father’s Day) with a 53-mile ride in 93-degree heat. The ride was organized as a looping figure-8 and the heat and hills were wearing on the 350 participants. At the end of the ride, back in Sydney, we showered at the Fairgrounds and drove to the town of Wapakoneta – home to The Neil Armstrong Museum, where we set up our tents for a well-deserved night’s rest.
Monday was a day of strong winds and another 55-miles laid out over a large loop, and Tuesday we cycled 51-miles along country roads surrounded by corn and soybeans. After our rides each day, we would explore local businesses, such as The Bicycle Museum of America in New Bremen and Five Vines Winery outside of Wapakoneta. After Tuesday’s ride, we drove to the town of Versailles – home to the annual “Chicken Festival” – where we set up our tents at Heritage Park.
Wednesday, we decided to cut our ride short and stopped for a proper sit-down breakfast at Sideliners after a short 22-miles. We then used the day to again pack up and move to the town of Troy where we camped near the banks of the Great Miami River and had time to explore their historic downtown, including the local library, bakery, and the Moeller Brewery. Thursday, we rode 45-miles through Piqua and past historic old remnants of the Ohio Canal system. Friday was another 43-miles, partly along River Bike paths. However, upon returning to camp, an earlier drizzle convinced us to pack up our tents and head to my brother-in-law’s house located only 30-miles away.
Saturday, we arose early and biked into the town of Tipp City where we joined the final leg of the adventure and stopped for breakfast at a favorite spot. After we rode back home, we had put in another 19-miles along the beautiful riverside path along the Great Miami River.
With another weeklong bicycle adventure “in the books” and nearly 300 miles behind us, we took the occasion to celebrate with a toast and a cold glass of beer.