A Moment on the Podium: 2011 Tour de Donut Race Report

07.18.2011 | 11:02 am

201107181101.jpg A “This Would Be A Nice Selection of Fat Cyclist Stuff” Note from Fatty: Did you know that the Fat Cyclist Gear pre-order ends tomorrow? No? Well, it does. And you still haven’t ordered anything (unless you have). I suspect that this is because you are overwhelmed by the shear number of cool things there are to order.

So I’m going to help you, by telling you the three things you should get, even if you don’t get anything else. Because you will be very glad you did (yes, of course you can get other things too; I will not hold that against you).

  1. Jersey (Women’s sizing available too): This is perhaps the classiest jersey you will ever own. Even the fact that it has my logo across the front and back can’t stop its sheer awesome classiness.
  2. Bibs (Women’s sizing available too): These bibs will go great with all your jerseys, not just your Fat Cyclist jersey. And they say “Team Fatty” on your butt, exactly where it should be
  3. Socks: These socks are my favorite. I wear them all the time (I’ve run two marathons in them), not just for riding. They’re very lightweight wool, very comfortable, and make excellent puppets, in a pinch. Seriously, they’re good for both cool and warm weather.
  4. Bottle: I’m moving to a new style of bottle — Specialized Purist Watergate — this year because it’s genuinely the best bottle I’ve ever used. And I’m offering it at the cheapest price you will find it. And with the most awesome design. Seriously, you should get a bunch of these; you will not want to use any other bottle once you try these.

A “Hey, I’m Totally Photogenic” Note from Fatty: My post today is of course about the Tour de Donut, but a local paper — the Daily Herald — also covered the race, including a couple of photos of Kenny and me. Here’s my favorite:


Be sure to check out the story here, especially the photographs.

The Night Before

Friday night. Me. Staring at the ceiling. Unable to sleep. I had a race the next morning — the first (and let’s face it, probably only) race I was to be the title sponsor of: The FatCyclist.com Tour de Donut.

I had a serious dilemma, and that dilemma came in the form of a vivid recollection from the previous year when I had done this race.

In 2010, I had eaten thirteen donuts, which had gotten me on the podium for my age group. But it had also made me feel absolutely lousy for the rest of the day.

I didn’t want to feel that sick again. But I also didn’t want to turn in a sub-par performance at the race.

Eventually, I drifted off to sleep. Still undecided on my strategy for the race.

Before the Race

The Hammer and I woke up at 5:15am, as usual. But not just to do this race. See, The Hammer also has a good memory, and did not want to force down a bunch of donuts again. Instead, she planned to take it easy around the course, riding with the twins.

Which meant The Hammer needed a workout prior to the race.

So we did an 8.3-mile trail run — including 1235 feet of climbingjust a couple hours before the Tour de Donut.

This has nothing to do with the race, by the way. I’m just kind of in the mood to brag about having done a longish run before doing a bike race.

Wait, I probably should have put “bike race” in quotes.

Anyway, The Hammer and I got back, gathered the twins and their new mountain bikes, and headed out.

Here, I was told I needed to say a few words to the crowd:

That’s Race Director Rod Martin to the right. Clearly, he is riveted by my speech.  

I think I mostly talked about how the proceeds from this event are going to some really great causes, including a new blanket warmer for the Huntsman Cancer Institutue Center in the local hospital — a simple, practical thing that would give some comfort to people as they got chemo treatments.

Then we lined up.

Left to right in the Team Fatty kit: Kenny, me, The IT Guy, Heather.

I don’t think Heather and the IT Guy are taking this race very seriously.

Further back in the line, The Hammer got a shot of the twins in their first race starting line.


The twins don’t look particularly concerned.

Then, moments before the race began, I finally settled on my race strategy.

I looked over at Kenny and said, “Let’s go hard.”

When Non-Serious People Take a Non-Serious Race Seriously

The gun went off and Kenny and I took off. Since we were about five rows back, it took a little bit of snaking around people before we got close to the front.

And then I saw the guy I was sure was going to pull us the rest of the race: a guy with calves as big as my quads.

“Let’s tuck in behind this guy,” I said to Kenny.

We — along with a couple of other guys near the front — settled in as the Sir Calves-a-Lot pulled with the strength of ten men.

Then, maybe 200 yards later, Sir Calves-a-Lot stopped pedaling, pulled over to the left, and just coasted.

Evidently, he was done.

I shrugged and swerved around the other two guys who were drafting behind the man who I just renamed “He With the Ineffectually Large Calves.”

And just like that, a third into the first lap of the race, Kenny and I were in front of everyone.

“Let’s work together,” I said. And we set about being the fastest guys there were in a race nobody cares about going fast in.

We took short, intense pulls, building a larger and larger gap.

Moment of Terror

And then, partway into that first lap, I almost died.

For real.

Kenny and I were hauling. I was pulling. We were coming to a left-hand turn in a four-way intersection.

I was very nearly into the turn when I saw it: a minivan coming from our left side, going through and not slowing down. As far as it was concerned, it had no reason to; it had the right of way, we had the stop sign.

Kenny yelled. I grabbed two handsful of brake. I saw the terrified face of the driver of the van as he went by, missing me by a foot or so.

“I thought you were dead,” said Kenny.

“Me too,” I said, and Kenny took his next turn pulling.

The Donut Strategy

Kenny and I pulled into the donut eating station. Since we were first, we had our pick of where to stop. We pulled all the way forward and dug in.

I did not know how many donuts I wanted to eat. Last year, I had eaten eight the first go-round. I knew I didn’t want to eat that many this time.


Kenny kept a close eye on me, matching me, donut for donut.


After four — yes, just four! — Kenny said, “Let’s roll.”

I knew I could have easily eaten another two donuts without any discomfort whatsoever, but I was having a ball tearing up the course with Kenny and didn’t want to give that up just to beat him by eating more donuts.

So off we went. We had a couple of people to re-catch who had eaten either very few or no donuts at all.

We had high confidence we would be able to do so.

Elsewhere on Team Fatty

If a race is supposed to be silly, the most ridiculous thing you can do is take it seriously. Which means, I think, that Kenny and I were the most ridiculous people on the course.

Luckily, not every rider on Team Fatty was being as foolish as Kenny and I.

Take, for example, KanyonKris and his wife Jolene. They had borrowed my tandem for the day, decorated innertubes as donuts, and were riding in seriously awesome style:


They then made valiant attempts at eating donuts:



Honestly, though, look at them. People must see them wearing FatCyclist jerseys and get so confused.

Meanwhile, The IT Guy and Heather rode — and ate — together, reprising their highly effective working-together strategy from the Rockwell Relay.

You’re not going to win if you aren’t shoving donuts into your face at top speed, you know.

I dunno. It doesn’t really look like he’s enjoying eating that to me.

The Hammer noted that after eating seven donuts, “Heather looked totally green.”

It is not known at this time whether The IT Guy mooned Heather during this race.

The Twins Rip Up The Course

And what about the twins? They were having a great time riding with The Hammer.






Riding bikes and eating all the donuts they wanted — could there be a better day?

Of course, the twins also learned a valuable lesson: donuts are great…until they’re not.

eating four? Maybe not such a good idea.

And Now, Back to Kenny’s and My Race

Kenny and I hammered through the second lap, quickly reclaiming our position near the front of the field.

We ate four donuts again. Rod — the race director — stopped by as we did and rolled his eyes. “You’re not even trying” he exclaimed.

So we ate another, bringing our total to nine. Meanwhile, The Hammer came by (she and the twins did a shortened version of the race) and told me, “Don’t you expect a single moment of sympathy if you make yourself sick on donuts today!”

Very well. Nine seemed like a good place to stop.

Kenny and I got back into our rhythm, taking short turns pulling on our third — and final — lap.

We powered up to the finish line, me in front, ready to claim my first place position — at least for time; I expected that I had not eaten enough donuts to claim the overall victory.

I put my head down, giving it all I had, ready to sprint.

But there, blocking my line to the finish line, was a monster SUV.

I sat up and slowed down ’til I could get by. Kenny did too, and we crossed together. A guy we had passed a couple minutes ago, however, snaked by, claiming first-to-finish honors.

Dude had only eaten two donuts, though.



Heather’s 7-donut binge paid off: she took second in the women’s division:

They had me stand in the podium picture for all the awards. Which may in fact have been the most ridiculous part of a thoroughly ridiculous day.  

Kenny and I got up on the podium for our age group (35-54), thinking we had taken 2nd and 3rd place, with a finishing time of 56:29 and an adjusted time of 29:29.


There’s an injustice, here, though. Shane Morris got overlooked somehow — he was the real 2nd place winner. So Kenny and I claim co-third place, since our times were identical (I’m the one who kept the trophy, though).

You know what’s sad, though? It’s the “If only” factor. If Kenny and I had eaten just one more donut each, that would have dropped our time by enough to place us in co-first place (assuming we each ate that hypothetical donut in less than 21 seconds, which we hypothetically for sure would have done).

That’s the way the Tour de Donut goes, though — you walk a fine line between how many you can eat and how many you should eat.

And since I felt fine the rest of the day, I’m claiming victory.

(Next year, though: 10 donuts.)


  1. Comment by RodNeeds2Ride | 07.18.2011 | 11:21 am

    SERIOUSLY great event Fatty! The twins were SUPER cute munching away on those glazed bits of heaven. It was good to see all of the FC jerseys in the race – let’s get even more out next year!

    Thanks again for making this whole thing even more fun Fatty!

    Posting this on Utah Tour de Donut’s FB page right now.

    Big thanks to you and all your fellow Rotarians, Rod. I know you guys don’t seek out credit, but you certainly deserve it! – FC

  2. Comment by Matt | 07.18.2011 | 11:33 am

    Isn’t hammering off the front for a fun event exactly what you busted Lance’s chops for in your Livestrong Davis report? Duuuude?

    No, having the event set up so that he and his friends got to take off a few minutes before anyone else did, so it would be impossible for anyone to ride with him is what I was busting his chops for. – FC

  3. Comment by stuckinmypedals | 07.18.2011 | 11:39 am

    Looks like it was a great day for an awesome cause. Way to go, Fatty and team!

  4. Comment by Jason | 07.18.2011 | 11:42 am

    Fatty, it was great to meet you, the Hammer and the Twins at the event. I stopped by briefly whilst you were registering and said hi. You were all so gracious and personable, I really appreciated it. You guys are fantastic people, it was fun to have you at the event!

    Thanks, Jason! Good to meet you too! – FC

  5. Comment by Mark J. | 07.18.2011 | 12:18 pm

    Sounds like a blast Fatty. The twins are adorable. Need to get them some bigger helmets though!

    The helmets are brand new (bought them with the bikes) and fit just right. – FC

  6. Comment by Susie H | 07.18.2011 | 12:55 pm

    Treks? The twins have Treks? My husband thinks you rock! (Of course, he’s riding high on the fact that our 16 year old mountain biking nephew visiting from TN thinks his Trek rocks as well!)

  7. Comment by Mike | 07.18.2011 | 1:03 pm

    Looks like a blast, I’m already planning on making the trip out for next year. The website said someone did 28 last year and was going for 31 this time around, what happened with that?

    You’re talking about Regan, who was the undefeated champ of the race — a total legend. He and his family were in HI during the race this year; he’ll have to come back and defend his title next year! – FC

  8. Comment by roan | 07.18.2011 | 1:06 pm

    Seriously beautiful riding, write up and pics. Actually the pics really hit home. It’s a ‘toss up’ between A green Heather and one of the twins signaling 4 donuts, both engrossing.

  9. Comment by Jenni | 07.18.2011 | 1:06 pm

    Can someone please get Kenny a bottle of sunscreen? Wow.

  10. Comment by Lyn Nave | 07.18.2011 | 1:15 pm

    Donuts and bike races. I like the yin and yang of it.

  11. Comment by Scartissue | 07.18.2011 | 1:19 pm

    Although we have never met I was staring at yours and Kenny’s rear-ends. I was hoping to stay with you on the first lap, but ended hitting a bump, lost control, and flew over my handlebars. My dreams of sharing a podium with Fatty ended, but I still finished (eating 8 donuts) and ended in 6th place.

    There were some serious road hazards on that course. Glad you’re OK! – FC

  12. Comment by Paul A. | 07.18.2011 | 1:22 pm

    I have to admit that eating donuts on a ride was MUCH harder than I had anticipated. Pulling into the first station I had planned to eat like 8 donuts, but quickly realized at the point I didn’t want to eat any, so i settled with 4. On the second lap I cruised the donut section without stopping to eat and have felt good about my decision until reading this and seeing that the twins ate as many as me. Oh well, it was still a great event and I can not wait to do it again next year.

  13. Comment by Nancy S | 07.18.2011 | 2:11 pm

    Loved your coverage of the Tour de Donut! I wish it was reasonable to attend, but I live in Minnesota. Perhaps, one day, TdD could be a multi city event. With Minneapolis being the #1 city for cycling, it seems a logical choice for initial expansion.

    Your advice for folks that are having difficulty narrowing down what FC gear to buy was great. I think you must have peeked at my order from last week, as that was my exact order. Or maybe I’m just that smart. SO excited to get the gear this fall!

  14. Comment by Clydesteve | 07.18.2011 | 2:45 pm

    Fatty – It is as if you & The Hammer are channeling me and my wife.

    I would totally take the ride flat out on a meaningless fun race route, my wife would totally go at it for fun and minimal doughnuts, with little kids if possible.

  15. Comment by DuaneH | 07.18.2011 | 3:25 pm

    Fatty – Congrats!

    Tour de Donut is alot of fun. I participated in one here in Houston in 2007 — 28 miles with two rest stops (donut stops). Since I’m a pretty big guy (and can never win a real cycling race) I really wanted to win! Each donut was worth 5 minutes — my gross time was 1 hr 48 min., my net time, minus 2 minutes (yep – 22 donuts!!). Thought I had the win in the bag — until the results were posted. A guy beat me by 2 minutes! All I had to do was eat one more lousy donut (I had 2 before the start as the donut smell was too appealing!) Oh well, it was all for a great cause. You are right about one thing, coming off a sugar high is horrible! I would love to take you on in a future Tour de Donut!!

  16. Comment by T Foster | 07.18.2011 | 4:53 pm

    I’m grinning and I wasn’t even there.

  17. Comment by Heidi | 07.18.2011 | 5:49 pm

    Yay, love seeing the twins having such a good time! (Boy, have they grown…)

  18. Comment by LMNOP | 07.18.2011 | 6:34 pm

    Thank you for doing this…my late father-in-law frequented the Huntsman Center….I may just have to come up for this next year…even though I don’t like donuts…could I eat Chocodiles instead?

    I wasn’t a total loser this weekend I did my first mini- tri :)

  19. Comment by LIz | 07.18.2011 | 8:06 pm

    Congrats to all and especially the twins! May it be the first of many races, but hopefully the others don’t leave them nauseated.

  20. Comment by Heather | 07.18.2011 | 8:14 pm

    Congrats to all! Now, what to order?

  21. Comment by Carl | 07.18.2011 | 8:18 pm

    Comment by Matt | 07.18.2011 | 11:33 am

    Isn’t hammering off the front for a fun event exactly what you busted Lance’s chops for in your Livestrong Davis report? Duuuude?

    Matt – in addition to what Fatty said… the Tour de Donut is a RACE, the LIVESTRONG Challenge is a charity RIDE.

  22. Comment by MattC | 07.18.2011 | 8:21 pm

    NINE DONUTS?? Great googly-moogly Fatty! I could have CRUSHED you both and not even broke a sweat! (and I’m afraid this type of race is the only one I’d actually stand a chance of that feat). I REALLY need to get up there one year…though the dude eating 28 is prob at/over my limit, and if he’s there next year that would put a slight-chink in my evil plan.

    Dang…donuts and bikes….it doesn’t get much better than that. Oh, and NOT being around, well, oh, let’s say 107 miles (such as the LIVESTRONG Davis route) would be good too. Though I think I would have done better on that particular route had there BEEN donuts…located somewhere around where SAG #3 was SUPPOSED to have been would be an EXCELLENT location. I mean for those who foolishly swoop by SAG’s 1 & 2, expecting to get some food and water BEFORE mile 45.

    OH well..live and learn…and eat donuts! LOTS of donuts! (do they have maple bars by chance? I can do a LOT of damage to a box or 2 of those!)

    In all seriousness, great job on your sponsorship AND your shared podium spot!

  23. Comment by davidh-marin,ca | 07.18.2011 | 9:13 pm

    @Comment by MattC | 07.18.2011 | 8:21 pm

    I’ll go if you go. That is of course if Fatty gives us more than 4 days notice. With our new FATTY Bib Shorts(across the backside) we’d be sure to get our pics in the paper. Now if you want donuts check out Voodoo Donuts in Portland, Or. http://voodoodoughnut.com/menu.php
    Maple Bar with Bacon strips on it, or the Capt’n Crunch (iced cake donut dipped in Captain Crunch) I’m contemplating having some sent down for Levis Gran Fondo-you’re riding of course?

    I second the cuteness of the twins. I’m sure it’s the camera lens distortion, but are they taller than Fatty?

    Lastly-A near death experience while blowing through a stop sign. Something tells me the Hammer may have come down on you both. Luuuucy-ya got some ’splainin to do.”"

  24. Comment by Nic Grillo | 07.18.2011 | 9:29 pm

    Looks like an awesome race! Seeing the picture of your tandem beach cruiser gave me a super awesome idea for next year. The wife and I on a tandem with our daughter behind on her trailer bike, and our little guy in his handlebar seat. Family on a bike!

  25. Comment by Nic Grillo | 07.18.2011 | 9:31 pm

    Oh and Davidh, I will happily chip in on those delicious sounding donuts for Levi’s!

  26. Comment by Scott R | 07.18.2011 | 11:55 pm

    Beautiful pics, Fatty, at what looked to be another great event. Great to see so many Fattys in attendance.

    I may be the only one, but when I see the twins in those jerseys, it reminds me of another image that always brings a tear to my eye – http://www.nancygbrinker.com/images/ngb_sgk_my_sister.jpg

    Wonderful tributes.

  27. Comment by AK_Chick | 07.19.2011 | 12:44 am

    That is hilarious! Since I live in Alaska and our state namesake airline (which is really a Seattle, WA based airline) is prohibitively expensive to fly from here to anywhere, I was unable to make the TdD. However, I did ride my first 50-miler of the season in 80.7 degree heat (I mean really, in ALASKA??? Okay Fairbanks does get that hot on a regular basis). I thought I was going to melt. Discovered Hammerman Perpeteum. That stuff really works and doesn’t taste bad either. I didn’t eat anything during my ride, but after it was over, I did partake of a hand packed patty cheeseburger, curly fries, and a 2/3rd of a piece of chocolate cake. NOM! As I have a very sensitive stomach, I don’t think I could actually eat any donuts in the TdD as I might throw-up. :) Congrats on your tie for 3rd. Also, Kenny has some big guns (biceps) for such a skinny guy! Dang!

  28. Comment by Cookster | 07.19.2011 | 2:48 am

    I only wish they could put one on here is Brisvagus Oz. Btw how did the fundraising go, did you get what you though you would?

  29. Comment by Pedalpink | 07.19.2011 | 4:39 am

    Loved the tandem donut pair, KanyonKris and Jolene. I’m still seeing you and The Hammer doing Leadville on a tandem 29′er. Definitely not the cruiser!

    Congratulations to the twins on their first race. It looks as if they had a wonderful time.

  30. Comment by davidh-marin,ca | 07.19.2011 | 8:48 am

    Just a question? Did the twins get their +3 Data in….I assume those bikes have a Garmin, or two. Based on pass blogs there are probably as many Garmin type devices as hydration packs around the house. (now that would make a picture)

  31. Comment by Mike Roadie | 07.19.2011 | 9:34 am

    SMH….but glad you all had fun!

  32. Comment by Matt | 07.19.2011 | 10:49 am

    Comment by Carl | 07.18.2011 | 8:18 pm

    Tomayto, tomahto…Fatty stated it himself in the heading “When Non-Serious People Take a Non-Serious Race Seriously”…sponsoring the “race” and then killing yourself to win it, just bad form. Love the Fatty, but don’t always have to see eye-to-eye with him. And, yes I have ordered the jersey/short combo, so I’m certainly not a hater.

    Agreed that you don’t have to see eye to eye with me; and thanks for ordering the jersey. FWIW, I had no expectation of winning or being on the podium this year and backed off the donuts to ensure it. For whatever reason, it seems other people backed off the donut consumption too! – FC

  33. Comment by Erik | 07.19.2011 | 1:58 pm

    OK, we have GOT do do a Tour de Donut in Denver. Can I franchise it?

    Yes, I’m serious.

    No, really.

    Quit laughing. Please.

  34. Comment by Anonymous | 07.19.2011 | 7:33 pm

    So, I am not a serious bike rider…and everything I heard about Tour de Doughnut was how silly and crazy it was supposed to be. When my husband and I pulled into the parking lot, I thought we had the wrong race. We were dressed as Reno 911 cops, full costume and wigs. The only costumes I saw were hundreds of riders dressed exactly like they were ready for Tour de France. Full kits, teams wearing uniforms, etc. The worst part about this race was on the 2nd lap my sister got swiped by a team of 3 riders sporting the “road safety” yellow jerseys. They passed her, swiped her, and kept going without even looking back because they were off to win the race. So, to Fatty and all the other people who put this race on, I would disagree that this is a mellow race about eating doughnuts. There are far to many people in this race who think they are really on the Tour and want to win at any cost. Relax people and if you aren’t going to eat any doughnuts why the HELL did you enter the race

    I am so sorry that happened. I hope your sister is OK! Your costumes were totally awesome, though. The race needs more people like you in order to counterbalance the people who — like me, I’m afraid — treated it too seriously. – FC

  35. Comment by davidh-marin,ca | 07.20.2011 | 12:06 am

    Bravo Anonymous!! There should be a penalty for failing to consume any doughnuts. And, anonymous, as an officer, you should have billyclubed those miscreants. Or however they do it on Reno 911.

  36. Comment by Galen | 07.20.2011 | 10:15 am

    Yes, anonymous, ironic that the “Ride with Respect” team swiped a rider causing them to wreck and kept going as if they had nothing to do with it. Even when confronted with the issue the team leader provided a mentally dull response. I’m actually glad none of their riders won, because if they did we were prepared to show our lack of appreciation for their conduct on the course.

    They probably didn’t even eat any donuts either…


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