Bicycles

Great Ohio Bicycle Adventure returning to BG this summer

From BG CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU More than a thousand bike riders from across the country will visit Bowling Green in June for the Great Ohio Bicycle Adventure. The 31st annual tour will start and finish at the Wood County Fairgrounds. GOBA cyclists will arrive in Bowling Green on Saturday, June 15, and begin their weeklong journey on Sunday morning by pedaling east to Fremont. They’ll also have overnight stops in Port Clinton (three nights) and Oregon (two nights) before returning to Bowling Green on Saturday, June 22, to complete the long loop route. GOBA is a noncompetitive ride that is billed as a fun, family-oriented event for cyclists of all ages. It seeks to promote bicycle tourism in Ohio by showcasing a different region of the state each year. The 2019 tour is expected to draw 1,200 to 1,500 cyclists, according to GOBA Director Jeff Pierron of Columbus Outdoor Pursuits, the nonprofit organization that organizes the ride. The visit to Bowling Green will be the fifth for GOBA, the most of any Ohio community. GOBA had overnight stays at Bowling Green State University in 1993 and 2000, at the fairgrounds in 2009 and at Bowling Green High School in 2015. “Bowling Green has shown GOBA riders much hospitality over the years, so we are eager to return,” Pierron said. “The community is cycling-friendly and has wonderful events and attractions that appeal to the diverse interests of our group.” GOBA riders typically hail from about 40 states and several countries. Pierron said the city’s easy highway access, proximity to major airports, and many lodging and dining options make Bowling Green an ideal starting and ending location for GOBA. Pierron also credited the strong support of the Bowling Green Convention & Visitors Bureau, which works with local organizations, businesses and government officials to assemble the volunteers and services necessary for the event. For community groups, GOBA is a fundraising opportunity to feed riders, provide entertainment, shuttle luggage in camp and offer indoor sleeping space in exchange for donations. GOBA registration includes tent camping at the overnight sites, but many riders prefer hotels or other lodging. “GOBAville” at the fairgrounds will open at noon Saturday, June 15. Activities are planned throughout the afternoon and early evening at the camp and in the community, including a downtown festival and a parade of bicycles decorated for GOBA’s “Come Sail Away” theme. The festival and parade will be open to the public. Wendy Chambers, executive director of the visitors bureau, is coordinating Bowling Green’s efforts to welcome GOBA riders, including outreach to local restaurants and hotels. Chambers also is recruiting residents to lead committees such as food, emergency planning, entertainment and information. The committees will begin assembling volunteers in January of 2019.  “BG loves GOBA and is so excited to host them for the fifth time over the last 25 years…

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