GOBA gets high marks from cyclists

A welcomed “tent city” in all the colors of the rainbow sprouted on virtually every patch of grass at the
Wood County Fairgrounds Tuesday. GOBA and its 2,700 riders came to town.
An overnight stop in Bowling Green marked day three of the Great Ohio Bicycle Adventure after starting
Sunday in Norwalk. The fairgrounds became a microcosm city for one day: Persons of all ages from walks
of life; thousands of bicycles built for one, two or three people; camping abodes ranging from pup tents
to spacious multi-room ones. Sweat-drenched clothing hung everywhere, from makeshift clotheslines to the
metal fence around the grandstand.
Carolyn and Stuart Luce, of Pottstown, Pa., along with their two sons, Joshua, 11, and Andrew, 5, sat on
the ground playing a card game while waiting for a shuttle to take them to City Park. It was the
couple’s 11th GOBA trip, Joshua’s sixth and Andrew’s second.
What keeps the family coming back each summer? “Torture,” laughed Carolyn Luce.
“We’ve done other rides, and GOBA is well organized, very family oriented,” said her husband. “The tours
do very well for us. … The riding is reasonable.” Luce said they had done bicycle trips in Virginia,
Georgia and Maryland, some of which involved hilly country. Now, the family does one bicycle trip a year
and prefers GOBA.
“I’m on a triple with my dad and brother,” announced Joshua, who graduated from riding in a small trailer
behind a parent’s bike to a double tandem to the triple tandem. He noted the heat and the humidity were
bad, “but the riding is just fine.”
“Andrew doesn’t seem to mind the heat as much,” commented Carolyn Luce. He went from a trailer last year
to the triple tandem this summer.
Joe Dandurand of Huron brought his son, Joseph, who turns 7 today. Dandurand’s brother, Father Michael
Dandurand of St. Thomas More University Parish, had invited the family to celebrate the boy’s birthday
on Tuesday night at his house.
“It was perfect for us,” said the dad. His wife, Becky, drove to Bowling Green along with other family
members. She was also taking Joseph home last night, as his first three days on the trip were just a
trial run. Her husband traded his tandem bike for a road model and will finish the week solo.
Wearing a helmet with a large plastic green frog on it because he likes them, Joseph agreed the weather
was too hot. The father shared his son’s comment after lunch, “ ‘Dad, I think I could take a nap on my
bike.’”
This is Dandurand’s second GOBA ride, and he hopes to include his daughter, Sophie, 11, next year. “It’s
challenging. When you’re done with the ride it’s so relaxing. Each city has been so welcoming. If you
pace yourself, it’s a great way to see the countryside and spend time as a family.”
Retiree Edith Trowbridge of Montpelier, on at least her seventh GOBA trip, is riding solo. “I do a lot of
other bicycle trips (about three a year), but this is really the best supported one I’ve ever been on in
any country. Good entertainment. … This is a real family-friendly one.” She found Elmore’s bicycle
trail fabulous and suggested other towns look at it.
She didn’t plan to do too much sightseeing since she’d been to Bowling Green frequently when her daughter
attended the university many years ago. Riding on to Defiance today, Trowbridge said she moved her
camper there and planned to “spring” her snoodle dog, Skeeter, from his kennel and spend some quality
time with him.
Steve and Rosa Moltz of Dayton each take a week off from their jobs in the Dayton area to travel with
GOBA, his 11th trip and her sixth.
“I love to eat. I love to camp. And I love biking,” he explained. “And we like going to different towns
and adventuring around Ohio. It’s a good organization. They do well, planning with the events and so
forth. I’ve been on different bike trips. This is different. It’s one of the most organized trips they
have. We look forward to it every year. … They set the routes for you. You join the ride and enjoy
yourself.”
Rosa Moltz said she liked the social part of it. “You meet all kinds of people from different places all
around the United States and Canada. I like to meet people.” She said she comes back every year because
of the challenge of riding 50 miles a day and riding it together with her husband.
The couple marveled how very honest their fellow riders are. Participants do not need to lock their bikes
or worry about what they leave in their tents.
“It’s really a different group of people,” he said. “It’s almost like a family reunion. You may not see
them for a year, but you can pick up on the conversation” when you see them on the next trip.
 
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