Every city in America has a Saturday morning Donut Ride, where a handful of riders beats up on everyone else, and everyone else marks “success” in terms of how far they got before getting kicked out the back.
Seth Davidson/Kare Dehlie Thorstad
Jack from Illinois (not his real name), always despised the Donut Ride for being a “preenfest.” He wasn’t wrong. Local racers who get “coached” and who are on a “program,” tend to avoid the ‘Nut because it adds little to your fitness but can subtract lots. And of course there is a huge contingent of riders, thousands actually, who wouldn’t be caught dead on the DR because they hate group rides, they don’t like aggressive pelotons, they are in it for relaxation, or [ fill in your reason here ].
To those folks, I say, “No problem. You do your thing, I’ll do mine.”
But there is another group of riders out there who really should be on the Donut Ride. I was dropping down the hill this morning to the start of the ride, and I passed a guy riding a very nice bike, wearing a very nice kit, and looking pretty darned fit. “On your way to the Donut?” I asked.
“Ha,” he answered. “I wish.”
“What do you mean?”
“That ride is too fast for me.”
“Come on, man, give it a try. You look like you could handle it. It’s not hard anyway, especially if you sit in.”
“I’ve seen that pack come by,” he said enviously. “Too fast for me.”
“Okay,” I shrugged, and went on, but I could tell how badly he wanted to give it a try and I felt sorry for him because he was going to spend the rest of his riding days wondering about something that really wasn’t worth wondering about.
If you’re one of those people who wonder what the local Saturday beatdown ride is like, you owe it to yourself to give it a chance. Even if you hate it, you’ll at least have the satisfaction of having tried. More likely, especially if you’re a fairly hopeless wanker, you’ll get your head staved in sometime around the first or second acceleration, and the thrill you get from first riding with, and then getting ejected from, the middle of the surging, bucking pack will leave you happier and more elated than you’ve been since you first lied to your wife about the cost of your Giant TCR with electronic drivetrain.
Here, then, is a compendium of what you’ll find out if you take the plunge, swallow your pounding heart, gird your quivering loins, and toe the Saturday group ride starting line:
See you next week!