MIAMI COUNTY — More than 3,000 riders — and several thousands of donuts and unaccounted calories — hit the scenic roadways of Miami County for the annual Tour De Donut event on Saturday.
“Head Donut” Roger Bowersock said the weather was perfect for the event, which welcomed cyclists of all ages to the start and finish lines at the downtown Troy Public Square.
“It gets bigger and better every year,” Bowersock said. “All in all, the event went great.”
The Tour de Donut is a unique bicycle event, where your ability to eat donuts is just as important as your ability to ride your bicycle fast. The event is a mass start timed ride where riders visit donut stops and eat donuts. For each donut the rider eats during the ride (and keeps down) they have 5 minutes deducted from their ride time.
Bowersock said he and a team of volunteers are already working on improving upon the unique event for next year’s ride.
“There’s always things you can change and tweak and improve upon,” Bowersock said.
Bowersock said he will work on improving the cyclist routes out in the county for next year. He also said the short distance, family friendly ride on the Great Miami River bike path was successful, especially with families with young riders or riders who aren’t comfortable riding on the roadways.
Bowersock said it “makes me smile” knowing 200 riders participated on the “Donut Hole” bike path route to pass along their love of cycling to the younger generation with a short 9.72-mile ride.
“They are the future of cycling so letting them ride on the bike path will hopefully get them excited to maybe one day join the big ride,” he said.
Bowersock said a local Boy Scout troop assisted cyclists at various sections of the short ride to cross bridges and such.
Bowersock there are hundreds of hours worth of behind-the-scenes work to allow the one-day event go smoothly. Bowersock confirmed there were a few cyclist-on-cyclist accidents, but no motor vehicle versus cyclists accidents were reported. Bowersock said 10 Miami County Sheriff’s Office deputies set up throughout the road course to help with traffic and rider safety.
Bowersock also said he was pleased to hear residents getting into the spirit of the sport on the sidelines.
“There was a family outside of Troy that set up ‘Burma Shave’ signs of encouragement and cheered on the riders as they went past. That was cool to hear from our riders, they really enjoyed that,” Bowersock said.
Miami County Visitors Bureau’s assistant director Leiann Stewart said the routes highlight Miami County’s scenic landmarks and points of interest in Miami County like the Eldean Bridge, Garbry Big Woods Reserve and the Indian Creek Distillery as well as downtown Troy’s restaurants and activities for the riders and visitors to enjoy. Stewart said hotels around the county were booked for the weekend as well as those who took advantage of camping at Troy’s Community Park and rented the river’s Shoal tents for another unique experience. She said the economic impact of the event has not been confirmed yet. She said events around the downtown Public Square were well attended by both riders and the locals.
Ryke Lythe, 37, of Lorain, said it was his second time participating in the Tour de Donut. Lythe rode the event’s longest route, the 60- mile Double D challenge. Lythe, who participates in several charity bike rides, said he stayed in a hotel in Troy and rode around town Friday night stopping at the Donut Jam concert the evening before the race.
“It’s a fun ride. I definitely will be back,” he said.
Lythe said he finished third in his age group for the second year in a row. Lythe raises money through bike races for Cleveland Clinic’s VeloSano cancer research charity rides, cystic fibrosis and the Multiple Sclerosis Society.
Reach Melanie Yingst at firstname.lastname@example.org
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