I don’t participate in a lot of organized bike rides because most of them are too darn long and fast. Plus, if you want to know a secret, I’m not that jazzed about riding for the sake of riding. However, I do like the “social” rides, which are more about fun than miles. Last weekend I went on a Doughnut Ride, organized as part of Freezing Saddles.
I will say this about the bike community – they’re much better about organizing events around food (and drink) than the paddling community. Despite the oft-quoted (and stupid, IMHO) slogan of “we paddle to eat”, in fact, most of my kayaking meals are at the level of canned tuna eaten sitting on a driftwood log on a muddy beach. I guess the water vs. land thing is the root of it - it’s easy to organize bike rides around restaurants. In contrast, many of my kayak trips start and end at desolate boat ramps miles from any food except for maybe a creepy general store staffed by an extra from Deliverance, and there aren’t many brew pubs to visit in the middle of the Chesapeake Bay.
The ride started in Bethesda, so I had to do a pre-ride ride. I rode into Rosslyn on the Custis, then over into Georgetown. As I passed the former Jack’s Boathouse I felt melancholia for paddling days gone by. I stopped to use a Porta-potty by Potomac Boat Club and let me say: I have camped at some nasty campgrounds and visited many a neglected boat ramp – but never have I seen a Porta-john like that. ‘Nuff said. As I climbed the continuous uphill grade of the CCT at Jesse speed (that means slowly) a couple of people I recognized whizzed by me. On my “To Do” list – get faster! As I got into Bethesda a woman, seeing my Freezing Saddles hang-tag, called out to me and we rode the last couple of blocks to the meeting place together.
|At the Start|
The group met at 202 Donuts in Bethesda. In the online discussion before the ride people realized that with six stops this trip was going to offer the opportunity to eat more donuts than anyone (except maybe Homer Simpson) was going to be able to handle, so we agreed to share. At Bethesda I got a taste of someone’s basic vanilla frosted donut, and it was generally agreed that this was a pretty poor product, to the extent that there was debate over whether it was better or worse than packaged donuts.
The group next headed into Georgetown - right back where I had come from. The Cap Crescent Trail is straight downhill in this direction – a pleasure! We stopped at District Doughnut at Cady's Alley, where I got a maple pecan doughnut and a cup of coffee. This was a distinct improvement over 202, but still nothing to write home about.
Next we crossed Key Bridge and took a rather circuitous and confused route (including some backtracking) down to Sugar Shack on Columbia Pike in Arlington. This place, in my opinion, offered the best doughnut of the day. I bought a blueberry cake donut and went beyond taking a taste - I ate half of it. I texted home at that point and Valerie asked me to pick up a doughnut for her, which I did. I had been peeling off layers as I rode and was low on storage space – I wound up carrying the doughnuts in one of my water bottle cages.
The group was continuing on to additional stops as Astro in DC and then two more stops in Maryland, but I was out of time and close to home, so I said goodbye to the group and headed home.
Calories consumed might have exceed calories burned, but it was fun!