COLUMBUS — More than a thousand bike riders from across the country will spend three nights in Troy in June while touring western Ohio on the 32nd annual Great Ohio Bicycle Adventure.
City Park will host the cyclists from Wednesday afternoon, June 24, until Saturday morning, June 27. The loop for the weeklong biking-camping tour June 20-27 starts and finishes in Sidney. Other overnight stops are in Wapakoneta (June 21-22) and Versailles (June 23).
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. Participants typically hail from about 40 states and several countries. Various route options allow the cyclists to ride between about 150 and 400 miles for the week.
The 2020 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 will be GOBA’s fourth overnight stay in Troy and the first in seven years. The previous visits were two-night stops at Community Park in 2003, 2007 and 2013.
“Troy has long been a popular destination on GOBA,” Pierron said. “The city is well-versed in hosting large events, and the community really makes the cyclists feel special. The park and other facilities, such as Hobart Arena and Treasure Island, are top-notch. The thriving downtown offers lots for riders to see and do.”
Pierron said the WACO Air Museum just outside of Troy is a good fit for the 2020 GOBA theme — “Fly Wright, Leap Boldly” — that celebrates western Ohioans’ achievements in air and space. Troy’s proximity to the Dayton area will allow the cyclists to take optional rides to the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force and the Wright brothers sites, he said.
Stan Kegley, project manager for the city of Troy Engineering Department, once again will serve as the local coordinator for GOBA planning. He and other community leaders are reaching out to organizations, businesses and government officials for support and to find residents to lead committees such as food, emergency planning, entertainment and information. The committees will begin assembling volunteers in early 2020.
For school and community groups, GOBA is a fundraising opportunity to feed riders, provide entertainment, shuttle luggage in camp, transport riders to hotels and offer indoor sleeping space. GOBA registration includes tent camping at the overnight sites, but some riders prefer hotels or other lodging.
Pierron said City Park, which GOBA will rent, is well-suited for GOBA because of its shady campsites and access to bike trails and river recreation. The park also offers plenty of parking for GOBA’s traveling entourage of shower trucks, luggage trucks, medical vehicles, ham radio operators, bike mechanics, staff and others. Indoor locations in the community will be used for entertainment, dining and other activities.
To learn more about GOBA or register to ride, visit goba.com.
Columbus Outdoor Pursuits, founded in 1939, is a volunteer-based participatory organization created to provide opportunities and education for outdoor recreation. Activities include bicycling, flat- and whitewater boating and backpacking. COP’s events include the Tour of the Scioto River Valley, which began in 1962 and is the longest-running bicycling tour in North America.