GALLIA COUNTY — A Gallia resident is one of roughly 50 riders who took part in the Across Ohio Bicycle Adventure where cyclists rode from Liberty, Indiana, across Ohio and finished at Marshall University in Huntington, W.Va.
“They’re doing it for fun,” said the event’s Tour Director Maureen Capehart. “It’s not a fundraiser. This is their vacation and fun for themselves.”
The ride is considered a border-to-border journey, held at the end of July annually since 1998. Riders travel 60 to 65 miles a day over the course of seven days.
Riders came through Gallia and stayed at Gallia Academy High School, Friday, and ended their journey in Huntington, Saturday. Riders started their quest on the previous Sunday. They rode to Lebanon, Ohio, then to Dayton, then to Washington Courthouse, Lancaster, Athens and then onto Gallipolis.
“Our routes are kind of random,” said Capehart. “Sometimes we will have a theme in our choices and we try to do something different every year.”
Gallia resident Charlie Baker is also taking part in the event.
“This Across Ohio ride let’s me go places I would never go,” said Baker. “I’ve actually ridden 83 of the 88 counties in Ohio and my goal is to get all 88 done. I’ve ridden now for 25 years and kept a log for each year.”
Baker said he has ridden over 247,000 miles in his biking career.
“I love cycling in the state of Ohio and I like to cycle Gallia but I also want to see other parts of the state too,” said Baker. “Cycling keeps me healthy. About five to six years ago I was a type-two diabetic. By adjusting my diet and cycling like 15,000 miles that year, I was able to reverse the diabetes and for me that’s the most important thing. In the meantime, I became addicted to cycling. I try to cycle almost every day. This year, I’m averaging almost 40 miles a day for the whole year.”
Baker said that he and some friends ride frequently to and from a bakery between Oak Hill and Jackson once a week or more if able.
“It’s 35 miles from my house so the round trip is like 70 miles,” said Baker. “We eat and drink coffee and tell stories and then we come home.”
Dean Wright can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2103.