Troy lands ‘Tour de Donut’ bicycle event that seeks 3,000 riders

The Tour de Donut bicycle event that has been based in Darke County has outgrown that area and will move to Troy in Miami County next year.
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The Tour de Donut bicycle event that has been based in Darke County has outgrown that area and will move to Troy in Miami County next year.

A decade-old bicycle ride that uses donuts as its centerpiece will move to Troy from Darke County in 2017 with the hope of attracting up to 3,000 riders.

The move of the Tour de Donut event was announced Tuesday at Troy City Hall.

Roger Bowersock, event founder, said the Sept. 16 ride will start and end at the Troy Public Square.

He said a larger venue with more offerings for participants was sought on the road to selecting Troy.

The tour offers riders three distances — 15, 30 and 64 miles — and includes participants eating donuts at stops along the way, if desired. Time is deducted from the riders’ time for each donut consumed.

Bowersock said the event has attracted a wide range of participants from the serious rider to those out looking for fun.

“It is not just serious athletes that participate in this thing,” he said.

Troy Mayor Mike Beamish said the event’s journey to Troy was “exciting news” for the city, which he said strives to be bicycle friendly.

Bowersock said the Tour de Donut held for 10 years in neighboring Darke County, most recently in Arcanum, needed more room and more activities for participants.

The discussion about moving the event in Troy began in the city’s downtown when he and friends were gathered at Basil’s restaurant, he said.

“Troy was the frontrunner from the beginning,” Bowersock said. “We believe, with the city of Troy’s help, the hotels that are offered, the additional outside activities … we can continue to grow this event even more.”

A former professional bicycle racer, Bowersock said the event was born after he participated in a bike ride, the Donut Derby, in Pennsylvania.

“This is not a job for me. It’s a goofy hobby,” he said.

Beamish thanked Bowersock for choosing Troy, saying the community also is offering on Sept. 16 the annual Taste of Troy downtown, an Alzheimer’s walk and the WACO Fly-In at nearby Waco Field.

The routes for the rides and the donut stops along the way are still being determined.

Diana Thompson, executive director of the Miami County Visitors and Convention Bureau, said the Troy Main Street downtown organization said it would offer a concert before the ride for the enjoyment of the tour participants.

“We are going to have upwards of 3,000, at least, new visitors to the area. They are going to discover this wonderful historic community, shop in the shops, dine. A lot of them, I believe about 50 percent, come in the night before,” she said.

Volunteers will be needed to help at the donut stops, with high school groups providing support at past events, Bowersock said. Anyone interested in assisting at a donut stop or volunteering with organizers is asked to email info@rocketshipsports.com.

Registration for the ride, limited the past few years to 2,000 riders, begins Jan. 1. A 3,000 rider limit is set for 2017. More information is available at www.thetourdedonut.com.