The latest week-long state bicycle tour to announce its route is the Great Ohio Bicycle Adventure, celebrating its 23rd year.
The 2011 route keeps to the largely flat countryside to the north and west of Columbus, offering a respite for those who might have struggled through the Appalachian foothills of southeastern Ohio in the 2010 GOBA.
With 5 days of bicycling and 2 layover days with optional riding, GOBA covers between 259 and 416 miles of road next year from June 18-25.
The loop starts in Kenton, traveling clockwise to Marion, Delaware, London, and Bellfontaine before returning home. Layover days are in Delaware and London.
Last year's ride drew cyclists from 38 states, as well as Japan, England, Puerto Rico, and Ontario and Manitoba, Canada.
Some of the highlights of the 2011 bike tour include Ohio Caverns, Amish country, Wyandot Popcorn Museum, President Warren G. Harding's home and memorial and the Huber Machinery Museum.
One of the largest
Cyclists can visit the Strawberry Festival while in London and catch bus rides to the Columbus Zoo and US Air Force museum on layover days.
At 2,500 to 3,000 cyclists, GOBA is one of the larger week-long mass bike tours in the nation. Many others, such as all the Colorado bike tours and Bicycle Ride Across Georgia (BRAG) are limited to 2,000 bicyclists.
The largest in the US is also the oldest. The Register's Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa draws 8,000 registered riders and even more independents and support crews. The route announcement for the 39th RAGBRAI is scheduled for Jan. 29, 2011.
See Across State Bicycle Tours for more long-distance state rides in 2011.