Back from biking!

Back from biking!

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I’m back home now from the Great Ohio Bicycle Adventure (GOBA). It was a long week and we had fun but I am definitely glad to be back at home and sleeping in my actual bed.

The week started out last Saturday evening in Kenton, OH and we woke up the next morning at 5:30 a.m. to head out to Marion, OH. It was a 58-mile ride that day and the morning was really foggy but the rain held out on us, which was really nice. When we arrived to Marion, we found out that we were staying the night at a fairground. They actually had a really nice set-up for us. My family put our two tents right next to an ice cream booth and we got milkshakes after we were all set up. That night, we explored Marion a little and enjoyed the entertainment that the city had provided for us.

One of the events was a game show modeled after the television show ”Minute to Win It.” My sister and I love that show so we wanted to be contestants. The host of the show picked the two of us to go head-to-head in a challenge called “Junk in the Trunk.” If you’ve never seen the show before, this challenge involves a tissue box being tied around your waist with about 8 ping pong balls inside. The point of the challenge is to get all of these balls outside of the box that is on your lower back without using your hands. Molly and I were dancing around and doing backbends until all of our ping pong balls flew all over the stage and we ended in a tie.

The next day we woke up before the sun again to ride 50 miles to Delaware, OH. We were in Delaware all day Monday and Tuesday because Tuesday was a layover day. Those days are optional for riders and the tents stay put that day. While we were in Delaware, my family and I visited a local pool, saw a movie at America’s oldest continuously running movie theatre called the Strand Theatre, did our laundry at a local laundromat and rode about 30 miles out of town to cross the long causeway over a lake.

Wednesday morning we headed to London, which was a 58-mile ride and we were there for two days because Thursday was another layover day. Wednesday night we had our first relaxing night. We spent a few hours just sitting inside the air-conditioned auditorium inside the high school where we were camping. Then after that we walked to a local church that was hosting a dinner for the GOBA riders. The meal was really good. It was $5 for a shredded chicken sandwich, a loaded baked potato, a salad and a drink.

The next night in London was the London Strawberry Festival that they have each year and it was really neat to be there to be a part of it. They had a pageant for the locals and we stayed to watch that for a few hours. There were about eight categories of both girls and boys starting with 20 month-olds. The young kids were so cute and they basically just had to walk on stage, spin around, and answer what their name was, how old they were and what their favorite thing was. The older kids had more difficult questions to answer but it was really entertaining to watch. Molly and I split some fried strawberries since it was the strawberry festival and it was only appropriate. :]

Friday was our trip to Bellefontaine, which was 56 miles. It rained for about the first hour and was mostly up hill so I’d say that was the hardest day so far. We were all soaked by the time we got to the first snack stop but we dried out by the time we arrived to Bellefontaine. Here, we had dinner at Bob Evans and then headed into downtown to enjoy the block party and the annual GOBA song contest. The song contest consists of GOBA riders singing comical parodies of songs that they created about the Great Ohio Bicycle Adventure. It’s fun every year and it really brings everyone together to celebrate the last night of the trip.

Saturday we rode 42 miles back to Kenton, which was where our car was parked and our journey had began a week before. It was a really great trip overall, the snack stops along the way each day were so great and all of the small towns were extremely welcoming to this large group. My sister, mom and I wore matching outfits for most of the rides and a lot of riders really got a kick out of that and commented on how we looked like triplets.

Throughout the week, we rode 310 miles. It was a great experience again, as it was last year. I’m excited to travel to a bunch of new places throughout my life and hopefully continue bike riding in the future. :]

-Shannon

Bicycling across Ohio

Bicycling across Ohio

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I can’t believe this time of year is already here but it is time for GOBA! What does GOBA stand for? The Great Ohio Bicycle Adventure, of course! My mom, dad, sister and I are going on GOBA again this year and we are currently preparing for it.

This is a week-long bicycle trip that takes place in Ohio. Every year, the trip is in a different part of Ohio and this year it is right outside of the Columbus area.  Each day we wake up around 6 a.m. and pack everything up to head out to a new city. We bike ride about 55 miles a day to get to each new city and our luggage and tents are carried by semi-trucks.

There’s somewhere between 2,000 and 3,000 people that participate in GOBA each year and it is such an awesome site to see – all of the bicyclists riding through the countryside, in the city and on the road to arrive at a camp where we all can explore a new city for the evening. It is a lot of work but it is also so much fun. GOBA is not a race (although some hardcore riders act like it is) so people can just go at their own pace to arrive at the camp whenever they’d like. The reason we wake up so early in the morning is for two reasons. Reason #1 is to beat the heat and reason #2 is to get to the camp ahead of most people to get a good spot to set up our tents (preferably under a tree or on a soft patch of grass).

Every year, they alternate flat terrain and hills and this year happens to be a flat year. Last year was pretty rough with all of the hills. Some of these hills would continue going upwards for a couple miles and we had to walk our bikes because it got too hard. The nice thing about hills though is that when there’s an up, there’s always a down and we were able to coast a little bit and let our legs rest while the wheels did the work. With this year being a flat year, we’re not going to have that same luxury so it will be a challenge as well but I’m excited to take it on!

Here’s the website if you’d like to read more about GOBA: http://goba.com/

Last year, I called into WRMU 91.1 FM once and did a report on-air about how the trip was going and this year I will be doing a few reports as well. They will be online as podcasts after the trip is over, so if you miss them, you’ll still be able to hear them. I’ll also be tweeting throughout our journey so you can follow me @shannonbrys3 if you’d like to get my updates and read about what the trip is like. :]

Also, if you want to listen to last year’s bike trip podcast to get a little taste of what it’s like you can click here and scroll down until you see “Great Ohio Bike Adventure With WRMU’s Shannon Brys podcast”.

So I’m going to go and get back to packing. I will definitely write all about the trip when I get back! Let’s all hope for dry weather :]

Have a great week and think of me out there on my bike!

-Shannon