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.