GOBA to bring thousands to NW Ohio

BOWLING GREEN, Ohio (WTVG) - The City of Bowling Green is getting ready for more than 1,300 bicyclists to fill the streets, all for a seven-day bicycle ride that takes them around Northwest Ohio, starting and ending in Bowling Green.

It's the Great Ohio Bicycle Adventure -- or GOBA.

Tom Blicze, Camp Services Director with GOBA says, "It's a tradition. This is a great opportunity, it's planned well, and it gives people a recreational way to enjoy cycling."

Thousands of bicyclists have been touring different parts of Ohio for more than 30 years. And this year, it's Northwest Ohio's turn.

Wendy Chambers, Director of Convention and Visitors Bureau in Bowling Green says, "This year, Bowling Green is the start and the finish. We've never been in that position before. We've had it throughout the week. But Bowling Green is the start and the finish, then they're going to go on to Fremont, Oregon, which are two newbies, then Port Clinton and they'll come back to Bowling Green next weekend."

Chambers says that it takes a city 6-8 months of planning to host the kickoff. But it takes even more to actually facilitate a tour like this.

Tom Blicze works with the tour by setting up camp amenities ahead of the cyclists. He describes the process: "It's like a moving city. We have shower trucks come with us, luggage trucks carry their luggage. And we're very fortunate, these small community organizations along our routes provide snack and lunch stops."

Tom Vanden Eynden rides with GOBA. He says it's the sense of community that brings him back to it. "So much of my riding is by myself or with a small group,” he says. “To see a thousand people out there with me, it kind of makes me feel not so lonely."

The GOBA events kickoff with a parade in downtown Bowling Green tomorrow, but Chambers says that weather may influence the location. She suggests checking Visit BG Ohio or Go BG Ohio for updates.

For events and route information, visit GOBA.