COSHOCTON -- Julie Van Winkle, director of the 26th annual Great Ohio Bicycle Adventure (GOBA), announced Nov. 25 that the 2014 tour, June 14-21, will feature a route in the northeastern quadrant of Ohio, which will include Coshocton.
The expected 2,500 riders will start gathering for the tour on Saturday, June 14, at the Richland County Fairgrounds in Mansfield. They will begin cycling on Sunday, June 15, covering an average of 50 miles per day, and will overnight in Orrville on Sunday, Coshocton on Monday and Tuesday, Mount Vernon on Wednesday and Thursday, Bucyrus on Friday, and will return to Mansfield on Saturday, June 21.
Some of the many attractions featured on this tour include the Richland Carrousel Park, Roscoe Village, Monticello III Canal Boat, Mohawk Dam, Kokosing Gap Trail, Historic Woodward Opera House, Lincoln Highway, Secrest Arboretum, Charles Mill Lake, Orrville Railroad Museum, Holmes County Trail, Millersburg, Underground Railroad sites, Bucyrus' own 50's Memories at Carl's Gas Station, and other historic sites, covered bridges, and nature areas.
"We are so excited to welcome the GOBA riders to Coshocton once again for a two-night stay," said Jan Myers, director of the Coshocton Visitors Bureau. "This will be the fifth time GOBA has been to Coshocton as part of their tour. The last time they were here was in 2008. Most of them will be staying at the Lake Park Complex and spending time visiting our attractions, shops and restaurants. It is always so fun to see all the bicycles everywhere throughout the community when they are here."
The fun-filled week will include the traditional bicycle parade and the gala opening ceremonies in Mansfield; family-oriented entertainment each night; two layover days offering bicycle loops of 50- or 100-miles to Zoar Village, Sugarcreek, or Utica; swimming; optional excursions to Zoar Village, Sugarcreek, Rolling Ridge Ranch, Dawes Arboretum, or a cruise on Buckeye Lake; and the ever-popular GOBA Song Contest.
"The 2014 GOBA tour features the theme 'Take a Ride on the Wild Side!' and offers a ride that promises to be a little bit hilly, a little bit wild, a lot family-friendly, and 100 percent joy," Van Winkle stated.
Held annually in June, GOBA features bicycle touring at a leisurely pace, for approximately 50 miles per day for one week. This will be the twenty-sixth year for GOBA. The tour is owned and organized by Columbus Outdoor Pursuits, a nonprofit organization, for the benefit of bicycle-related projects in Ohio. In 2013, 2,300 people from 40 states; the District of Columbia; Japan; Switzerland; and Manitoba, Ontario, and Nova Scotia, Canada, took part in the tour. Included in this number were many families: nearly 20% of the participants are children traveling with their parents, making GOBA the largest family-oriented bicycle tour in the world.
Over the past twenty-five years GOBA has been instrumental in generating nearly $10 million in tourism revenues in the towns along the route, as well as in providing access to Ohio's rural treasures to people from all over the country. "Some of the best experiences on GOBA come from the interaction with the people and places that we find in the great towns of Ohio," Van Winkle stated.
Those interested in receiving registration information and tour details can request a brochure by calling 614-273-0811, or by visiting the web site at www.goba.com.
Brochures will also be available by February in many Ohio bicycle shops. Advance registration is required with a deadline of May 14, 2014.