I’m not quite sure how I stumbled upon the Tour De Donut bike ride that is held in Troy, Ohio, but I knew I wanted to participate. Although I am not a huge donut fan, I AM a fan of riding bikes in quirky and fun group rides. For the Tour De Donut you pick the distance you want to ride from 3 choices. The longer the ride, the more donut stops where you attempt to eat as many donuts as possible before continuing the ride. Each donut you manage to eat takes 5 minutes off your final ride time. Then there is the bonus stop for a special Glazer donut which takes 10 minutes off your ride time per donut.
My sister and her husband signed up to do the ride with me – I signed up for the Full ride while they signed up for the Mini. This would be the first time they had done anything like this before.
We excitedly headed out to Troy, OH with Kevin driving – even though he didn’t sign up to ride, he decided to come along last minute. We checked in the night before the ride, got our bibs and walked around downtown listening to the live bands that were playing.
In the morning Kevin dropped us off close to the start and we were ready to ride! I bought a giant donut dog toy and strapped it to the front of my bike. Everyone got a kick out of it – especially when I told them I was giving it to JoJo when we got back home. I was quite proud of myself for figuring out a way to decorate my bike and then recycle the decorations after the ride! 🙂
They set the riders off in 3 waves – the riders with the furthest distance first, then my wave, then the Mini. It was quite congested at the start and a bit hard to get going, but that’s how it is for basically every group ride I have ever done. I just took it slow until the cyclists started to spread out on the road.
I had assumed the ride was flat, and to my surprise there were actually a few hills on the route. The most notable one was at mile 5 and since I have been avoiding hills because I hate them I was really hoping that wasn’t going the be a preview of what the whole ride would be like. There were a few other hills after that, but nothing major. (Not like PA hills anyway!) I enjoyed the sunshine and nice weather as I pedaled along looking at the surrounding farmlands.
At the first donut stop I pulled my bike out of the way and debated how many donuts I wanted to try to eat. People were remarking at the guy who ate 21 donuts at that stop before continuing on. I’ll pass on that – one will do. I made my way over to one of the volunteers who had a giant box filled with donuts and took one as he marked my bib. I bought a small pack of wipes to bring with, but didn’t need them because they had baby wipes to wipe the glaze off your hands – awesome! This was really well thought out!
After finishing my one and only donut I headed back out. They were calling for rain and I wanted to be done before it started. Shortly after leaving the stop, I noticed a cyclist writhing on the grass on the side of the road holding his stomach – and puking. Was this the cyclist who ate 21 donuts? Do they still count if you puke them back up? As far as I know this is a fun ride with no prizes at the end so I am not quite sure why anyone would want to eat so many that they threw up, but I am an extremely non-competitive person so I will never understand people that have the desire to try to win no matter what.
I pedaled a steady pace to the second donut stop where I drank a few cups of water and skipped eating any donuts. That one was sitting like a lump in my stomach already – I had no intention to eat more ’til I puked.
I was told that the second donut stop was at mile 24, but according to Strava I was already at mile 29 – of what was advertised as a 32 mile ride. It wasn’t making sense. I overheard people debating if it was a 32 or 36 mile ride. I texted Kevin letting him know where I was on the course and he wrote back that someone finished the route I was doing and their fitness app logged 40 miles. OK – I know I can ride 40 miles no problem (I do the 75ish miles of the MS City to Shore every year), but man is that rough when you think you are almost done with something and then realize you still have longer to go. I made the most of it by chatting to other cyclists along the way – nothing could be done about it and hey, I was riding my bike on a beautiful day!
Unfortunately that beautiful day decided to dump rain on us for a chunk of the ride. It was a warm rain, but it still felt good. We were all completely soaked and my hands kept slipping of my handlebars. Looking around everyone was still smiling and having a blast.
The rain eventually stopped as we made our way to the bonus Glazer stop. There were 2 choices: Orange Creamsicle and a crunch flavor. I chose the orange – and it was good. By this time even though I had only eaten 2 donuts and there was an abundance of baby wipes I had managed to get glaze on everything – the dog toy, my camera, my bike, me…it was nuts.
I hopped back on my bike and headed for the final bit of the course. Kevin messaged me that my sister and brother in law finished their ride. I was so happy and proud they completed their first (of hopefully many more) bike race! I let them know I was on the home stretch and pedaled my way to the finish line. They were there waiting for me as I got my medal and we chatted about how our rides went. Turns out the Mini ride, which was advertised as a 16 mile ride, ended up being 20 miles. That is the ONLY complaint I have about the ride – just let people know what the actual mileage is – especially for people who are new to things like this – it is a real blow to realize you have to keep going when you think you are going to be done soon.
Other than that we had a wonderful time. We relaxed near the finish area and enjoyed the live music for a bit before heading back to our hotel. I am pretty sure I will be back next year! 🙂