BG family ready for another excellent GOBA adventure

The Great Ohio Bicycle Adventure is making a stop in Bowling Green this year and, with its last stop in
the city being in 2015, the participants are more than ready to hit the road.
Caroline Metzker is excited for this year’s GOBA, especially since it starts across from her house.
Metzker and her sister, Lisa Kennie, will be participating in their fifth GOBA this year. Joining them
will be Metzker’s husband, Mike, and her brother-in-law and his son, Rick and Luke Diefenderfer.
This group of riders excites Metzker because it will be a nice bonding experience for everyone involved,
she said, and the start of the adventure falling a day before Father’s Day only makes it better. A
particularly strong bond on the trip Metzker is ready to reinforce is that with her sister, who lives in
Alaska.
“This is an opportunity for us to spend a week together, doing nothing but the thing we love doing,”
Metzker said.
Aside from her family members, Metzker wants to catch up with the eclectic regulars of GOBA she has
gotten to know over the years. The various people she has met come from all corners of the country.
The community she has become a part of in GOBA plays into another feature of the journey she enjoys — the
hospitality of everyone involved. Whether it be her fellow riders or the residents of the towns they
pass through, there is always someone to offer a helping hand and a warm smile.
“There’s always friendships to be made,” Metzker said, “We’re always encouraging each other.”
The hospitality is not only shown from the other riders, but the residents of the towns they peddle
through. The various towns they pass through organize food vendors, live entertainment and other
interesting stops to make exploring each locale on the route a memorable experience.
One of Metzker’s favorite memories was stopping by an Amish community and experiencing the wonderful
assortment of food they had prepared. Seeing the different cultures of each town and community they pass
through on their journey provides an educational and personal experience for the participants.
The GOBA is not something that someone can decide to do on a whim.
Metzker and her husband have put in the legwork to ensure they are prepared for the trip. Their
preparation is at its most rigorous on the weekends nearing the start of the adventure. They increase
their weekend mileage by 10-mile increments, riding 50 miles the weekend before the GOBA kicks off.
Their training and the GOBA itself are supplemented by the appropriate equipment. Alongside the typical
helmets and pads used for safe cycling, they also wear shoes that clip to the pedals, assisting them in
their footing while pedaling. Their bikes of preference are Giants, and they have been using them for
years.
The training and equipment preparation are part of the experience, Metzker said. The long stretches of
riding are not completely serious either, as many participants enjoy playing music for those around
them, telling jokes to keep everyone’s spirits up and wearing goofy costumes for the first night’s
costume contest — an event which Metzker has proudly won the last two years.
Overall, the GOBA provides a balanced mixture of a summer vacation and tough exercise, Metzker said. The
experience the GOBA offers is not something that can be had driving the same route in a vehicle, since
there are many memories made off the beaten path.
GOBA has provided its participants with moments to reminisce on fondly, and if Metzker’s excitement
toward this year’s annual adventure is anything to go off, it’s shaping up to do the same thing again.