Sunday, 30 September 2012

The Donut Ride

Not many informal group rides can claim their own Wikipedia page, but The Donut Ride has been a Toronto cycling tradition since 1976.  The group meets on Saturdays, Sundays and statutory holidays year-round for a Tour of Toronto.  Due to the relatively 'late' start (9AM) I usually only roll out once or twice a year with the Donut, but it's a nice way to mix it up with some of the city's top riders on a beautiful fall day.

One of my work colleagues has been part of the Donut since the beginning, he told me he rode it once with a triathlete from Colorado who had won the Hawaii Ironman twice - he couldn't remember his name, but sounds a lot like Tim DeBoom.  I was sort of hoping The Lion King himself, Mario Cipollini, was going to make an appearance as he was in Ontario for a charity Gran Fondo on Sunday down in Niagara, but no such luck.
"If this is wrong, I don't want to be right"
While the camaraderie is fun and the romp up Keele is a red-lining type of effort, the first hour of the ride rolling out of the city is painfully slow.  Being out of shape and just happy to be out on the bike under a bright blue sky, I slotted in with the peloton and enjoyed the day.  There were a few attacks up Keele that got the heart jumping, but the biggest challenge of the day was dealing with a broken cleat in my left shoe which made it impossible to clip in, and not possible to pull up with my left foot.  Of course the break came early in the ride so it was 90+K of one-and-a-half legging it. 
Busted cleat makes for some interesting riding.
The group takes a break for double espressos and pastries in Richmond Hill before hammering down Leslie back into the city. 
Refuel stop.
No need for bars and gels when there's a mountain of pastries stuffed with chocolate, jam and cheese available. 
That's a lot of jam in that pastry.
Strava details for the ride:

Here's the trailer for the 2007 documentary on The Donut Ride, featuring a cameo from the Morning Glory Cycling Club's aspiring pro Derreck Ivey at 1:02 into the clip.  Oh - and don't try to be 'cool' like the numerous guys in this video without helmets - I only saw two non-helmeted riders this weekend, but going for a ride without a lid is just plain crazy - buckle up!!