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GOBA shares tips to make riders feel welcome

| June 15, 2014

COLUMBUS – During the week of June 14-21, up to 3,000 bicyclists from all over the country taking part in the Great Ohio Bicycle Adventure will pass through Coshocton. They will travel 50 miles per day over Ohio’s wonderful rural roads, visiting tourist attractions and enjoying the countryside.

As you can imagine, a group this size requires lots of support. As they pass, you will see ambulances, ham radio volunteers, bike shops, police and other support vehicles following them.

The riders also depend on the service in the area through which they pass. The tour does pre-arrange for three food stops with local non-profit groups about every 15 miles along the way: Morning snack, lunch and afternoon snack. However, riders look for additional snacks and beverages to keep their energy level up for the entire route. Individuals, restaurants and groceries along the route are encouraged to be of help June 16-18, while the riders will be in Coshocton. Restaurants and groceries that are open should expect some riders to stop.

As you know, Ohio can be hot during June. This makes plenty of drinking water crucial to a safe bicycle ride. Although water is distributed at several places along the route, it may not be where they need it. Therefore, the most welcome sight to the riders of GOBA is a, “Free Dirking Water,” sign in a front yard or front window. This need not be anything more than a spigot that they can fill their water bottles from. Many youngsters do this at their home, which gives them the chance to meet people from all over the world, and the satisfaction of knowing they have helped out. On an especially hot, sunny day, riders also appreciate a shady spot to sit in your yard as well as children with hoses along the road spraying them with cool water as they pass. Of course, the youngster will ask them if they want squirted first.

If you would be so kind as to offer water, GOBA suggests putting a sign to that effect just before your location, to give the bicyclists time to slow down and stop.

Kids’ lemonade stands also are encouraged. The riders are delighted to see this, and will gratefully take a break to buy a drink and take a rest, especially if you have shade to offer in your yard. GOBA doesn’t encourage sandwiches, or more elaborate foods, because of the pre-arranged food stops.

Also, if you can possibly avoid driving on the bicyclists route during the day that they pass through that will lessen the congestion of the roads. If, however, you must drive on the same route as the cyclists, please use extra caution in approaching and passing them.

Another request GOBA has is to keep your pets on a leash or in other confinement for the day that the tour passes. This will add greatly to the pleasant biking experience in your area.

Finally, any sign of welcome you might wish to make would delight the bicyclists. After all, they are here to learn about rural Ohio, and your area. The best way to do this is to talk with the people that live there. Therefore, we encourage you to bring out some lawn chairs and invite them to sit for a while and talk. Our riders always think this is the best part of the tour, and the local residents that do this seem to really enjoy it too.

We sincerely appreciate your assistance in these matters and your warm hospitality. We invite your comments and suggestions about GOBA, which can be sent to: GOBA, 1525 Bethel Road, Suite 100, Columbus, OH 43220, or you can call 614-273-0805.

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Category: People & Places

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