Monday, June 24, 2013

GOBA 2013

I just completed my 5 th GOBA and it was awesome. 398 miles in 7 days. I rode all days including the lay-over days. 50 flat miles didn't seem like much of a challenge so I opted to carry my own gear. There were a lot of recumbents this year. 50% of them were trikes. Although, I took my faired trike on GOBA the last 2 years, it seemed to be a bigger hit this year. People would ask how fast does it go and would constantly take pictures. I gave many test rides. The trike is a good venue for such a trip with it's built in mobile chair. When I walked to the port-a-jon, one boy said to me, "This is the first time I saw you off the bike". I had to be careful not to get a bedsore.
Our first day out was Urbana to Troy. It began to rain just as I finished packing up my tent. It rained hard for a good few hours. Fortunately, it stopped before setting up camp again. Those extra 35 lbs took their toll on me in the grinding straight 5 mile stretches of corn and wheat fields with there relentless winds. I was tired after setting up and was glad tomorrow was a lay-over day. That night the skies cleared and we enjoyed a great out door concert. The next day was an out and back to Dayton on paved bike paths. It was great not carrying my gear. Ohio has over 300 miles of connecting paved bike paths. We can thank Huffy. During the 1930s, Huffy participated in the revival of the American cycling industry and so began the creation of the first Ohio bike paths. The following day was another 50 miler to Greenville. I was concerned about hauling my gear as it was a one nighter with no recovery day. I did get some luggage tags in case things go too much for me. It was another day past long straight fields with what seemed to be endless head winds. I don't consider Ohio to be a pretty state for cycling (sorry Dave), but it has some of the nicest folks you want to meet. What makes GOBA such a nice ride is it's 50 mile gentle terrain. I love riding through small town America and stopping at some local place for breakfast or lunch. It's a great way to chat with the locals. The evening activities seem to blend together with bands playing in town and civic groups offering up inexpensive meals. The following day was my hump day to New Bremen. I knew if I could make it there loaded, I could finish the trip. It wasn't much of a town but the people had a lot of spirit and offered up some good home cooked food and music. I took a tour of the Bicycle Museum of America. There is a picture of me on a Penny-farthing. Very cool. The weather was great with cool mornings and evenings. Perfect for riding and sleeping. My layover ride was sweet and relaxed. You never know what you will find on GOBA. For dinner, a Assisted Living Facility sponsored a buffet meal. Salad bar with all the fixings, soup, cold cuts, fruit, delicious breads and pastry, fresh coffee and iced lemonade. All for a donation. It was the best meal all week and hard to leave. The next day was off to Sidney. It was the nicest ride all week. Gentle twisting roller's through the country side. I actually enjoyed some of the big climbs. The last nights song contest was a blast and draws a big crowd. Everybody says there good byes and hugs, thankful for another great week. For me it was my best GOBA ever. Seeing my old friends again and meeting new ones is what GOBA is all about. It's not just the ride but the adventure along the way.
My trike handled the 35 lb load without a hitch. Slow and steady was my motto. When people asked, I said my name is "Marty" but most call me "On Your Left". No mechanical breakdowns or flats, just smooth sailing.  I don't think I will go self supported on a tour like this again but now have a better feel for being self contained and know a trike is a perfect platform.
Enjoy the pics.

Opening ceremony parade ride into Urbana

Entrance to Dayton

Getting ready for evening entertainment

Heading into town for dinner

Typical long  stretch of road

Arriving in New Bremen


Beautiful bike path

My seat for the concert

Last day sunrise

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