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Tuesday, July 01, 2008

On the Donut Trail ... Part II

Anyone who's visited this Web site for any length of time knows that I think donuts and cycling are a sweet combination!

The 20th anniversary of the original Tour de Donut is coming up July 12 in beautiful Staunton, Ill., and I couldn't think of a better way of getting ready for the event by taking part Sunday in the Belleville Area Bicycling and Eating Society's Donut Trail ride through South St. Louis, then participating in Staunton's Fourth of July celebration parade.

I wrote about the test run of the Donut Trail ride back in November, and about a dozen -- an appropriate number for a donut ride -- cyclists showed up for our first official version of the ride.

Yes, that's me in the photo taken by ride leader Thomas Carter leading the peloton from World's Fair Donuts to Eddie's Southtown Donuts in South St. Louis!

The route was sightly altered from the first version of the event, but the idea was still the same. The plan was to hit five donut shops, although only four were open. Unlike the Tour de Donut, there were no time bonuses to be had by eating lots of donuts, so most of us were content with eating one donut per shop. I did splurge and ate two at my favorite of the shops, the Donut Drive-In.

After spending five days pushing along my heavy mountain bike on the Katy Trail, it was amazingly easy to ride my road bike on the somewhat hilly course.

After the Donut Trail ride was done, it was off to Staunton where I had a new cycling challenge. I rode a trike for the first time. With the help of another trike rider, we hauled several signs promoting Tour de Donut, the upcoming Tour de Coal in Benld, Ill., and the proposed ITS Trail between Staunton and Benld.

At first, I wonder whether I was going to able to pull such a big load, but I soon figured out how to position my feet on the pedals and get the thing roling. I think paradegoers were facinated by the contraption, designed by John Fritsche.

I love the way Staunton has embraced the Tour de Donut. The city once again will have a Rib Festival to coinside with Tour de Donut and take advantage of the numerous out-of-town visitors, and Tour de Donut participants will be happy to know that Main Street in downtown Staunton has been repaved, giving cyclists a much smoother ride!

Speaking of Tour de Donut, I was delighted to find out that my nephew, Julius Parod, will be bringing his mom's (and my sister's) tandem with him to Tour de Donut this year. Yes, my nephew and I will be teamming up on the tandem, and we believe we have a solid shot of winning the tandem division this year!

Julius just finished the mountainous Bike Virginia ride last week, so he'll be ready for the considerably smaller hills near Staunton. I have total confidence he will eat more than his share of donuts!

I still find it hard to believe 20 years after I helped fellow officers of the Mid-America Bicycle Club create the ride that it's still around. The 20th anniversary of the Tour de Donut should be a special event, and you have until July 10 to sign up online. No day-of-ride registrations will be accepted.

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