Ohio or Bust! Good Times with Good Friends During the 2021 Cruise to Columbus
There are many different backroads from Iowa to Ohio, and Dave and Sandy Ruhs have traveled on a good share of them. Dave has been the force behind planning, coordinating, and leading the Goodguys Cruise to Columbus for many years now and has developed a knack for creating interesting routes and finding fun sights and stops along the way.
The Cruise to Columbus is the annual multi-day caravan curving through the highways and byways of the central United States, beginning at the Goodguys Speedway Motors Heartland Nationals in Des Moines, Iowa, and traveling to the Summit Racing Nationals presented by PPG in Columbus, Ohio. Dave always manages to find great stops for all the cruising participants to enjoy and the 2021 cruise continued the tradition of Good Sights, Good Times, and Good Fun.
Cruises like this are about the journey as well as the destination. Sure, we could get to Ohio quickly with a more direct route, but this event is geared toward making great memories with some great people. Many in the group are repeat attendees who have done all the cruises since the beginning. These veterans, along with Dave and Sandy, welcome and encourage any and all of the new faces joining the cruise. Cruising the backroads in an old classic or hot rod is only part of the fun. The sights along the way and the friendships that are formed during that week are priceless memories. This year there were around 25 hot rods, which represented more than 12 states.
From the Sunday evening kickoff party following the Speedway Motors Heartland Nationals, to the arrival in Columbus in time for the kickoff party for the Summit Racing Nationals, the Cruise to Columbus provides many opportunities to catch up with friends, meet new people, and enjoy time on the road in your vintage ride. If you’ve never done the Cruise to Columbus, consider joining us next year. You’ll see some great sights, make new friends, and add to your hot rod memories.
The cruise begins with a kickoff party held on Sunday evening after the Heartland Nationals. Dave and Sandy Ruhs graciously host the gathering at their shop, with good friends Tony, Mike, and Tony’s son Andrew cooking up some great food. After the cookout Dave goes over the week’s itinerary and answers any questions. This is when introductions are done by all participants there’s time for everyone to mingle.
Antique Car Museum of Iowa
Housed inside the Xtreme Arena in Coralville, the Antique Car Museum of Iowa showcases more than 80 cars and trucks dating from 1899 to 1965. There’s also an original Skelly gas station, automobilia like license plates and gas pumps, plus informational material and short films to watch and enjoy. It’s a great stop for any car enthusiast traveling through the area.
Par-A-Dice Hotel and Casino
East Peoria, IL
Anyone feeling lucky? Besides being a fun place to stop and spend the evening on Monday, the Par-A-Dice hosted a cruise night that made it an especially enjoyable night for our travelers. We’ve been here before on the Cruise to Columbus and it’s always a good time.
Doug and Betty Dean were gracious enough to invite us to their farm for coffee and donuts on our second day of road tripping. Think of it as cars and coffee, country style. It was a fun, laid-back morning spent chatting with fellow cruisers and checking out some of the cool rides and projects Doug has in the works.
Route 66 and Pontiac Oakland Museum
Our destination on Tuesday was the city of Pontiac, not far from Chicago and one of the original stops along Route 66. Two museums – the Route 66 Museum and the Pontiac Oakland Museum – kept us occupied and entertained for hours, and the quaint city offered plenty of opportunities for photos, lunch, and sightseeing.
It’s tough to have a cruise to the Summit Racing Nationals without stopping at Summit Racing’s flagship store in Tallmadge, Ohio. This was our final stop on our final day before we turned south to cruise into Columbus. It was cool to see the massive facility where so many performance parts are stored, sold, and shipped all over the country – and the world. Needless to say, some of our group did some stocking up while we were there!
Goodguys 2021 Cruise to Columbus Photo Extra!
Photos by John & Julia Aschenberg