This morning was my second Tour de Donut. Last year was quite the experience as I crashed at the start line while only moving 3 mph and at the finish of the race I ended with a bloodied up knee, flat tire, 6 eaten donuts and vomit to top it off. I ended up in 9th place.
This year I expected to do a whole lot better seeing as I didn’t expect to crash or have to change a flat. I also expected to eat more donuts which subtracts 3 minutes off your total time for each pastry eaten.
I arrived at the event in plenty of time to check in and get my bike ready. I didn’t eat any breakfast seeing as I was going to be stuffing my face with donuts soon enough. The race consists of three laps of 7 miles. Between each lap, you stop and try to eat as many donuts as you can.
As the gun time neared I ventured toward the start line. I wanted to be near the front because the event is part serious, and part fun ride…which means there are lots of kids and families. I didn’t want to be running any of them over.
The race started and within 200 yards I found myself in the lead. I was dodging all the potholes that were littered across all the roads. The race organizers had marked them all with flourescent green paint, but at some points there were so many the entire road looked green. About a mile into the race I was still in the lead and was pulling another guy. My heart-rate was a little high so I decided to slow up a bit and wait for some more riders whom I was sure were going to catch us. Sure enough some guys caught up and I was able to draft behind a couple of them. More guys arrived towards the lead and the pace started to get frantic. A rider came flying up and I heard someone yell, “Let him take the pace.” Just as he came flying by, he angrily swerved over to the left of the road and unleashed a litany of words I can’t type in this post. His rear wheel was flat.
Two other riders came up and I noticed that it was the Fat Cyclist and one of his buddies. They decided to break away so I took off with them. Within a few minutes we were far ahead of the entire field. I was struggling a little bit to stay on their wheels around the corners. After each turn I would have to push hard to catch back up. We were staying around 23-25 mph and although we were only 4 miles in, I was excited at the prospect of being one of the first three riders headed into the first pit stop to stuff my face with donuts.
We were on a straightaway heading through a neighborhood and I was sitting on their wheels trying to recover a little…and then everything changed. Although all the potholes were marked, there was a small bump in the middle of the road where the asphalt dipped down and back up. It is hardly noticeable in a car and people walking wouldn’t notice it either…but on a bike, going 23 mph, it can be a disaster.
My front wheel took the momentum and popped up into the air. The force threw my left hand off the handle bars and I tried to keep the wheel straight with my right hand. I knew I was in trouble as within a micro-second the wheel had served left and then hard right. I was going over. In slow motion my body was careening over my bike and I was looking at the Fat Cyclist and his buddy fly off into the distance. “There goes my top three…and this is going to hurt,” I thought. Then I hit the asphalt moving from 23 mph to zero. Within a few seconds I had skidded to a stop, my shoes had come out of the pedals and my bike was laying a few feet away from me. Some guy who was doing yard work in front of one of the houses screamed out, “Are you OK?”
I scrambled to my feet and besides the burning sensation across the entire left side of my body, I didn’t think I was in too bad of shape. I told the guy I was fine and started to check out my bike to see what kind of damage was done. It wasn’t until this point that the rest of the field had caught up. I was amazed that us first three riders were that far ahead. None of these guys had any clue what had happened to me. They probably assumed I just had some mechanical problems with my bike. I noticed that my seat had been ripped along with my handle bar, but other than the chain coming off, it looked safe enough to ride. I jumped back on my bike and labored the rest of the 2 miles toward the first donut eating station.
I pulled in and it seemed like there were a few dozen people who had passed me. I arrived at one of the tables full of donuts and immediately smashed two together, and took a large bite. While trying to chew and gulp the large glazed donuts I looked towards my left side. Blood was streaming down my leg and my knee looked pretty bashed up. I also noticed my sock was bloody by my ankle. The side of my thigh towards my hip stung a lot, and my cycling shorts were a little shredded. I knew there was some good road rash under there but didn’t want to look at it at that moment. My shoulder felt a little sore as well.
I finished the first two donuts and smashed another two together. My leg was starting to stiffen up. The donuts felt sickening going down so after three and four I decided to eat one more. After five, I jumped back on my bike and headed out for the second loop.
As you start the second loop there are a ton of people to be passed. Most people typically eat 1-2 donuts and many don’t eat any…so while I was stuffing my face they kept going. There is a lot of swerving around people which can be fun when there isn’t potholes to be dodged as well. Towards the last 1-2 miles of lap 2 I caught a group of decent riders. One guy had a Kona Ironman Jersey on. I told him that it was awesome and he quickly responded back that he had never done a triathlon, but just liked the jersey. I told him I wasn’t as impressed…we laughed and then he rode behind me for the rest of lap 2. By the time we were entering donut eating station 2 there was a small handful of people that I was pulling in. They all thanked me as I stopped for more donuts.
I again grabbed 2 and smashed them together. At this time it was hot, my heart rate had been going too high for around 40 minutes and my raod rash was starting to burn. I poured some water over the wounds and that stung even more. I finished donuts 6-7 and decided one more was all I could do. I finished number 8 and headed out for the final lap.
The last lap was fun because I was able to jump on with a group of riders from infinite cycles. As I headed towards the finish my leg was starting to hurt, even more than the loads of glazed goodness sitting in my belly. I headed to a medical tent and the guy proceeded to scrape the asphalt out of the wounds on my knee. As I pulled down my shorts to look at the wound a couple people started to gather around. They were in awe of the wounds that you can get during a “fun” ride. People should quit taking these things so serious.
I ended up taking 6th place out of 72 riders in my division. My total time was 1:03:45, but the adjusted time with the 8 donuts eaten was 39:45. This years vomit was limited to a few chunks and I look forward to crashing again next year. Maybe my wounds will be healed by then.