The great thing about living in San Luis Obispo is the amazing sense of community because of all the public events that go on. The SLO Marathon, farmer’s market and bike month are just a few that come to mind right off the bat. Fortunately for me (and two of my co-workers), I was able to attend a new, up-and-coming community event, The Tour de Donut. The Tour de Donut took place this past Saturday, June 7th, and it was an awesome event.
When I tell most people about this event, the first thing they say is, “what is that?” It is basically a group bike ride around SLO to three different donut shops, followed by a time trial up a very large hill, Prefumo Canyon Road. At every donut shop stop, participants eat as many donuts as they can in ten minutes. For every donut they eat, they get a time bonus for the time trial. This combination of competitive eating and competitive riding seemed like a recipe for a stomach ache. It definitely was.
First stop was SLODOCO (this stands for SLO Donut Company for those unfamiliar with SLO). Here all of the riders signed up, paid a small entry fee, got their race number and listened to the race director give the instructions for the event. Every rider seemed excited to stuff their faces with donuts; that was a good thing because there were plenty of them. 27 dozen to be exact.
“Ready… set… go!” The first 5 minutes after the donut eating had begun were insanity. Everybody was stuffing donuts in their mouth and pouring water into their mouths after to wash the donuts down. The race was on and people were feeling good.
A good friend of mine was participating in the event and I would say he won the first stage of donut eating.
Yeah, that’s right. He ate ten donuts in the ten minutes at SLODOCO. My stomach hurt just watching him. From there, everyone packed up and had a nice little ride down the road to Freshh Donuts.
As you might have guessed, donut eating slowed down considerably at this stage. No one was sick by this point, but the initial excitement of unlimited donuts had disappeared. The donut leader after Freshh Donuts was at 16, and only a few people were even close to that. Luckily for the riders, they got a longer break on the next part of the group ride. Despite the ridiculous amount of donuts eaten, the riders still seemed in good spirits.
They rode out on a very scenic loop before arriving at the final (and my personal favorite) donut shop, Sunshine Donuts.
Unlike SLODOCO, we only had 6 dozen donuts available for riders here (of course they would have bought more if necessary… but it wasn’t). Most of the riders struggled to eat 1 donut at this stop.
Although some people (like the top female donut eater) seemed just fine. And yes, she did eat 10 donuts total.
When donut eating was all said and done, 408 donuts were eaten. That blows my mind. That is an average of 8.5 donuts a rider. Wow! Now it was time for the fun part: the two mile time trial up a gigantic hill.
All the riders got lined up and then the race started. Everyone left in waves, according to how many donuts they had eaten (the person eating the most leaving first, then person eating the second most second and so on). The hill climb was brutal. Everyone was in the zone and some people didn’t look very happy, but it was all for the sake of friendly competition.
All of the riders did amazingly awesome. Despite many malfunctioning bikes, the entire group finished the time trial.
Who won? This guy right here. Turns out that my roommate, Jimmy Kelley, is a monster when it comes to eating donuts and biking up steep hills. He even started two and a half minutes behind the person who ate the most donuts!
The female winner, Mary Jo Wright, was also dominant. She ate 8 donuts and then killed the uphill. Once all the finishers reached the finish, everyone caught their breath and then enjoyed the view.
The Tour de Donut was a successful event. I will definitely be there next year. It’s an open race, so anyone can participate (hopefully I’ll convince all of my GH Sports coworkers to get out there). You should get out there next June too and support the community with a neat event like this one. You’ll meet new people, have some fun, and eat a bunch of donuts.
~Tobin Villalva, GH Sports Staff
Credit to Joe Smith for the pictures