SIDNEY – The Great Ohio Bicycle Adventure, a weeklong scenic cycling and camping tour, will start and finish in Sidney next year.
The 32nd annual Great Ohio Bicycle Adventure is scheduled for June 20-27, 2020. It will start and finish in Sidney with stops in Wapakoneta, Versailles and Troy.
“Sidney has been a location we’ve been at a couple times in the past, and it’s been a really good host town for us,” GOBA Director Jeff Pierron said.
“We have really been delighted with how the local officials and the mayor, the chamber director and everybody has really embraced GOBA and are rolling out the red carpet for us.”
Last year’s ride included approximately 1,200 riders. Most of them were from Ohio, but there were participants from 35 states and four foreign nations. GOBA allows riders to absorb the local culture and immerse themselves in communities, Pierron said, making it a popular ride.
“Ohio is just a really attractive spot for our riders who want to do that,” he said.
“Ohio has a lot to offer maybe off the beaten path a little bit. There’s just a lot of really unique attributes that the towns in Ohio have.”
The event, which is not a race, will include four mandatory riding days as participants move from one overnight town to the next. Routes are approximately 50 to 55 miles with shortcuts on three days that reduce the distance to approximately 35 to 40 miles.
There also will be three optional days when cyclists can choose to bike more or take a break and explore the host town. Optional rides will visit the Bicycle Museum of America in New Bremen and the National Museum of the United States Air Force in Dayton. The final optional ride is a 100 mile loop to Bellefontaine, which includes a 50 mile cutoff for those who don’t want to travel the entire distance.
The 2020 Great Ohio Bicycle Adventure will cover flat to rolling terrain on paved, low-traffic roads with some climbs out of river valleys and a few small hills. The ride will cover approximately 150 to 400 miles, depending on if riders take the shortcuts and go out on the optional rides.
“We are excited that GOBA will be calling Sidney home for a few days in 2020,” Sidney Mayor Mike Barhorst said. “The Great Ohio Bicycle Adventure has already been added to the calendar of Sidney’s bicentennial events. The first-ever Sidney Music & Arts Festival will be held during the time GOBA participants are here, so there will be plenty of activities for bicycle enthusiasts of all ages.”
The 2020 Great Ohio Bicycle Adventure will start on June 20 in Sidney with a bicycling costume contest, a parade to downtown and a festival with arts, music and food.
Cyclists will travel to Wapakoneta on June 21, a trip covering 50 to 55 miles with a shortcut of approximately 15 mile available.
June 22 will be a layover day in Wapak with an optional loop of 50 to 55 miles to New Bremen.
Bikers will travel from Wapakoneta to Versailles on June 23, a trip of 50 to 55 miles with a shortcut of approximately 15 mile available.
Riders will travel from Versailles to Troy on June 24, a trip of 50 to 55 miles with a shortcut of approximately 15 mile available.
June 25 will be a layover day in Troy with an optional loop of approximately 50 to 55 miles to Dayton, which includes possible stops at the National Museum of the United States Air Force and downtown Dayton.
June 26 also will be a layover day in Troy with an optional 100 mile century ride to Bellefontaine, which includes a 50 mile cutoff loop for those who don’t want to make the entire trip.
The ride will conclude June 27 as cyclists travel approximately 35 to 40 miles from Troy to Sidney.
“I’m looking forward to GOBA’s return,” Shelby County Commissioner Bob Guillozet said. “We enjoyed a very positive experience the last time they were here, and from the feedback I heard at the time, the participants did as well. I’m sure that’s one reason they are coming back.”
During overnight stays and layover days, host towns offer family-friendly activities in camp and provide shuttles to events, attractions, eateries and services. Participants will be able to visit the Armstrong Air & Space Museum in Wapakoneta and take rides in biplanes at the WACO Air Museum in Troy among many other activities.
Overnight camping is included in the GOBA registration fee, and luggage trucks transport camping gear to the next host town where there are amenities including shower trucks and indoor activity space. Indoor accommodations often are available, but riders must make their own arrangements.
Registration is available until June 15, 2020, or when the limit of 1,500 riders is reached. Adult early bird registration, available Nov. 25 until Dec. 31, is $295. Adult registration from Jan. 1 to April 30 is $320, adult registration from May 1 to May 20 is $345, and adult registration from May 20 to June 15 is $400.
From Nov. 25 to May 20, registration for children ages 6-15 is $95 and registration for children ages 2-5 is free. Children younger than 2 are not permitted in the Great Ohio Bicycle Adventure.
GOBA started in 1989 and has stopped in more than 60 communities throughout the Buckeye State in the decades since its inception. It previously visited Sidney in 1998 and 2013.
The Great Ohio Bicycle Adventure hasn’t visited this region since 2013, Pierron said.
“Our riders have really enjoyed the experiences we’ve had there so we decided this would be a good year to come back,” he said.
Sidney is an ideal location because it’s conveniently located near Interstate 75 and has ample parking at the Shelby County Fairgrounds for riders to park their cars for the week, Pierron said. It also is a great location to connect the loop of communities featured on this year’s tour, he said.
GOBA is hosted by Columbus Outdoor Pursuits, a non-profit group that has promoted outdoor recreation for 80 years.
For more information about the Great Ohio Bicycle Adventure, visit its website at https://goba.com/.
Reach the writer at firstname.lastname@example.org or 937-538-4824.