By Cecilia Fox
For the Miami Valley Today
TROY — Called the “The Sweetest Ride in Ohio,” the annual Tour de Donut just keeps getting sweeter. Now in its third year in Troy, the event is expected to draw about a thousand more cyclists than in 2017.
On Aug. 24, about 3,000 cyclists are expected to participate in this unique race, in which the abilities to ride and eat donuts go hand in hand. Riders will visit donut stops along the routes; the new 9.4 mile “Donut Hole,” the 19.7 mile mini, or the 34.4 mile full course. For each donut a cyclist eats, 5 minutes will be deducted from their ride time.
Organizer Roger Bowersock said the city of Troy has really embraced the event, which welcomes riders from across the United States and Canada.
“I love that we’re in Troy,” he said. “Everything that’s going on now is how we envisioned the event could be.”
The inaugural event in Troy drew 2,300 riders and has grown every year, Bowersock said. This year’s ride is the 13th in the event’s history, which began in Darke County.
In addition to the races, there will be a concert downtown on Friday and the “Sugar Buzz” bike, hike and paddle day on Sunday, when participants will be encouraged to check out local parks.
On Friday before the race, downtown Troy will again host the Donut Jam, an evening of music and fun. At 5 p.m., race packet pickup opens, as well as the bounce house, face painting, and concert. There will also be a donut eating competition onstage, beer and wine sales, and the Meet Your River exhibit.
Saturday’s festivities begin bright and early at 5:30 a.m. with registration. Concessions, vendors and family-friendly activities open at 7 a.m. and food trucks will begin serving an hour later. At 8:15 a.m., Troy Mayor Mike Beamish will welcome the riders and shortly after, there will be the ceremonial eating of the first donut before the race kicks off.
During the day Saturday there will be more music, a visit from Columbus Zoo animals, and WACO biplane rides.
“It’s all about fun,” Bowersock said. “At the end of the day it’s all about making people smile.”
New this year is the addition of a 9.4 mile race, the Donut Hole, which will showcase the local bike path. Bowersock said this provides an option for people who aren’t used to riding on the road, which he hopes will encourage more rides to participate.
Schuler’s Bakery in Springfield will provide this year’s Glazer donuts. To shave 10 minutes off their ride time, cyclists can choose between chocolate cream filled or iced raspberry donuts. While each of the 16,000 all-you-can-eat glazed yeast donuts deducts five minutes from a rider’s time, participants can only eat one of the special Glazer donuts.
Riders are also invited to participate in a costume contest, individually or as a group. Judges will decide who has the best donut-themed outfit or accessories.
The event will again partner with Be The Match, the national bone marrow donor program. Representatives will be on site providing information and registrations on ride day.