Monday, June 27, 2011

GOBA 2011

1 st day setup before rain

1 st day arrivals

More new arrivals

Good friend Steve with new friend Mikki
Parade line up to Kenton
Kenton bike parking
Typical rest stop
Port-A-Jon line
Extra long lunch stop line

Good friend Dave Gave us a great personal tour in 05

My Father's Day T-Shirt
Into the fog

Had to try one
Very Tasty

Eat there in Delaware Over 100 yrs old

Typical rural roads


Joke from friend

Ohio to Erie Trail
Paul, Arnie and Barb 2 Catrikes and a Trident New Friends
Downtown Bellefontaine Closing Ceremony
Camp mates in London Loved my orange shirt and helmet
More new friends, Dave and Leanne Met through Steve and Mikki
Bellefontaine filling up
To say it was a great trip is an understatement. We started in Kenton. I arrived about 2 pm just before it started to rain. I got my tent set up and threw my bags in. It rained for a few hours but, finally let up. People stated milling about and were getting ready for the parade through town. We lined up, some in costume as we cycled into Kenton for the opening ceremony. It was quite a spectacle especially for the  townspeople. The next morning we headed for Marion. Fog and mist prevailed but the 50+ miles was well endured. The rain and wet subsided and presented with sunshine as we headed in to town. My tent was able to dry out. I found a great local bar with $2 drafts and super pork barbecue. The next day we headed for Delaware. Again in the morning mist and fog, but no rain. This was a great rejuvenated town with lots of restaurants, bars and charm. I ate at Buns, a 100 yr old restaurant with one of my original GOBA friends, Donna. It was a lay over town and I did the next day's optional ride of 50+ miles. It was on that ride that the skies darkened and the rain poured. I ducked under a patio at someones house only to find it was a deck. The rain continued to saturate me. Fortunately, their garage was open and I was able to duck inside. 10 minutes later the skies quieted and I continued the ride. It became very hot and humid and I was grateful for the cool soaking. When I returned to camp, I relaxed on my trike under a tree, with some new found friends. That night I headed into town on my bike. I hit a few places and later found my friend Dave to share more food and new friends. The next few days the wind picked up into London. Slow and steady wins the race. The layover day ride was 26 miles into a strong head wind. The good news was there was the same tailwind on the way back. It was there that I met Dave and Leanne, some new friends introduced to me by Steve and Mikke. After 2 days in London (not much in that town) we headed for Bellefontaine for the closing ceremony. The weather held up and it was a great show with contestants singing funny GOBA songs. We finally headed back to Kenton on a sunny day.Some people think it's all about the ride. I usually ride by myself at home and continued that tradition on GOBA. For me it's about the people you meet. Standing in line for the shower and meeting different people helps make the time past. Going on the ride by yourself is not lonely. Just look for a GOBA bracelet and you can share a seat for dinner.
Some funny things that happened to me.
Talking to a women about were I live in NJ while in the Port-a-Jon.
Hearing ON YOUR LEFT by someone on a beach cruiser in FLIP-FLOPS.
Some great things that happened to me.
Reunite with old friends and making new ones.
Sharing a beer after the ride with my new friend Carol.
Eating a Fried Bologna sandwich for the fist time.
Hearing ON YOUR LEFT and later hearing HI MARTY.
Visiting places I have never been to. 
GOBA does a fantastic job of coordinating 2700 cyclists through small towns in Ohio. Hazardous roads are well marked. Dangerous and busy intersections are manned for your safety. Police hold traffic for you going in and out of layover towns. GOBA is inexpensive. For your $200 you get your bags transported, camping at fairgrounds or schools, showers, sag support, route maps, bus transportation into town and back and information on local towns and attractions. You do have to pay for all food including rest stops. Many meals are offered through local churches and organizations at very reasonable prices. If you choose to camp indoors, there is a fee. It ranged from $3.50-$10 per night. $10 is a bit high, especially when you are sleeping on the floor of a gymnasium with 150 other people. Personally I like the privacy of my own tent. You can also opt to stay in a motel with transportation services at a additional cost.
It is funny how you can get up at 5 am, wait on line for showers, port-a-jons, food, ride 400 miles in the rain and wind for 7 days and come home saying what a great time I had.
GOBA is something to consider for your Bucket List.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Going To GOBA

Tomorrow I leave for GOBA. 7 days of cycling around Ohio. This year takes us from Kenton through Marion, Delaware, London, Bellefontaine and back to Kenton. 259 to 416 miles of some great cycling. The weather shows scattered thunderstorms, but you know how that goes.  With BikeFlorida and my work commutes I have become quite accustomed to foul weather.  Besides you can't trust the weather predictions.  I am looking forward to getting away and just pedaling to my hearts content along with 2700 other cycling enthusiast.  When I return I will report back.  In the meantime.

Friday, June 10, 2011

2nd commute

Yesterday I did my 2nd 10 mile commute to work.  As you may recall my 1st commute ended in riding 4 miles in a down pour.  I was not prepared and had to have my clothes dried at work.  This time I was prepared.  I cycled in sandals and carried my uniform, sneakers and phone in plastic bags.  The weather was extremely hot but at 5:30 in the morning was reasonable comfortable and the ride very enjoyable.
People at work, thought I was crazy for riding in such heat.  I was really looking forward to the relaxing ride home.  When I got my bike outside the skies were darkening and rain was imminent.  As fate would have it the skies opened up 1 mile into the ride.  I was prepared for cool rain showers but not the pelting golf ball size hail.  I was on the 2.5 mile trail at that point and my 1 watt Planet bike headlight was ineffective.  I could barely see the path and had to slow down to a crawl so as to not run off the road.  I finally made it to a major road but the rain did not let up and the streets became flooding streams.  There were a few foot deep puddles where I could feel my feet wading through the warm waters.  I had the death grip on my handle bars.  The skies remained dark as midnight, thunder and lightning were about and the rain was relentless.  Needless to say I was scared for my life.  My thoughts were please don't let me fall off the bike.  Please don't let me get hit by a car.  Please don't let me get struck by lightning.  Just let me get home safe.
I was grateful to make it home safe and sound.  I dried myself off, dropped the clothes in the wash and sighed with relief.  It was one of the longest 10 miles I have ever done.  I was proud of myself and felt more like a true commuter. 
"That which doesn't kill us, makes us stronger"

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Racking Up The Miles

It's hot and it's been tough trying to get those long distance miles in.  Today at 90+ degrees with high humidity it was a struggle to do 32 miles.  It seems I am always looking for some shade.  My average has dropped significantly by 1 MPH.  It doesn't seem like much but when you are slow to begin with it hurts.  I am trying to commute more and hope to ride my 10 miles to work tomorrow on my Fuji.  That will give me an additional 20 miles of riding I would not do on a work day.
Compared to my outstanding mileage of last year I am right on target.  I am at 1805 miles as of today where last year I was at 2254 at the end of June.  I still have about 3 weeks to go before the end of June.  My near last week will be on GOBA in Ohio where I should easily manage between 3-400 miles.  If all goes according to plan I will exceed last years mileage at mid-year.  The second half of the year my be a little tougher.  I hope to add some miles by commuting more.  Time will tell.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

A long Shore Thing

Added trail in Atlantic Highlands

New bridge with bike lane to Sea Girt

View from bridge

view from bridge

Long Branch boardwalk and beach

Asbury Park Convention Center
It was another extremely hot day, but I was in the mood for something different.  I had to run an errand that was just 3 miles from the Henry Hudson bike trail.  The trail begins in Matawan and runs approximately 12 miles to Atlantic Highlands.  I decided to go for it and ride over the new bridge and down the shore line to Manasquan.  I love riding the shore and thought it would be a good place to cool off.  One thing I learned was 1 mile after the trail ends it starts up again at the marina for another 2 miles along the bay.  Very beautiful.  Another thing I leaned was the new bridge into Sea Girt has a designated bike lane.  The last thing I learned was, although the shore was cooler the winds were up from the south.  I had 20 miles of gusting headwinds.  I could hardly get my trike over 8 mph.  I was tempted to jump off sooner and return home, but the roads are high traffic and not enjoyable.  I stopped for a Jumbo Hot Dog and Large Pepsie at the Windmill restaurant.  Refueled I continued my journey.  I finally got to Manasquan where I picked up the Edger Felix Memorial Bikeway for another 5 miles and out of the wind.  About 15 miles from home the skies darkened and rain was on and off.  The rain was refreshing but I was concerned about Thunderstorms.  After 72.4 miles, I made it home unscathed.