Tag Archives: weekend ride

I recently spent some time in Philadelphia. While there I enjoyed a few rides, but the most enjoyable one was Trek of Philadelphia’s Doughnut Ride.

Add a casual doughnut ride to 30 Days of Biking in April

by John Brown

Recently I spent some time in the cradle of liberty, Philadelphia. While there I enjoyed a few rides, but the most enjoyable one was the Trek of Philadelphia’s Doughnut Ride. I was reminded of the joys of simple rides and good company, rather than difficult efforts and a competitive pace. Now with 30 days of Biking a little over a month away here is a fun idea you may want to consider with friends, as warmer weather moves our way.

The Doughnut Ride

We left the shop at 7:30 a.m. with a group of eight. Our bikes were a mishmash of road bikes, commuter rigs, single-speed, and an e-bike. When we departed the shop and headed toward the center city, it was immediately clear the pace would be conversational. Our cruise headed out on the river drive bike path, through Fairmount Park, and toward the center city. Rather than stay on the path, we crossed the falls bridge onto West River Drive. On the weekends, Philadelphia closes West River Drive so we had our run of the entire roadway. After a bit of riding and a lot of talking, we found ourselves at the end of West River Drive and at the base of the Art Museum.

At the Art Museum, our ride began to slip through the surrounding neighborhoods until we reached our hallowed destination – Federal Doughnuts.

After stuffing our faces with warm doughnuts we hopped back on our bikes. Full of sugar and fat, we returned to the bike shop along the same route. Ultimately, the ride took under two hours, including the time spent eating. Everyone had fun, the conversation was great, and we all got the chance to meet new people.

Why does this ride work?

The ride was great because the pace and route are clearly stated in advance. Therefore, everyone knew what to expect and where to go. The route itself was carefully chosen to promote great conversation and a casual pace. By including traffic-free paths and streets and a casual destination, every rider could enjoy the trip stress-free. Additionally, the pace is controlled by the ride’s start time. As an example, a competitive-minded rider has a list of fast-paced rides leaving on Saturday morning, so there would be no need to come to the Doughnut Ride to try and get a killer workout with so many other options. From start to finish, this ride is a winner.

How to plan your ride

If you already lead rides for a local club or shop, then setting up a casual ride should be easy for you. If this is your first attempt at leading an organized ride then there are a few things to remember. First off, you want people to be at your ride! To make sure you have attendees, start talking about and advertising (if you’re working with a local club or shop) a minimum of two weeks in advance. Also, ensure all your information explains the pace and payoff (in this case, doughnuts) for your ride to build interest. Finally, make sure your route is friendly to a group of riders. As an example, I’ve been on a few rides that required riders to be single-file almost the entire time due to narrow roadways. in contrast, the Doughnut ride promoted conversation with wide paths and clear roads.

According to Paul T. at Perennial Cycle, Minneapolis does a great job with these types of rides and has a lot of them. Watch for the upcoming events there this season.

About John Brown, the author

As a lifelong cyclist and consummate tinkerer, John operates Browns Bicycle in Richfield, MN. It all started for him in grade school when the bike bug bit and that particular fever is still there. Now, and over the past thirty years, he has worked at every level in the bike industry. Starting, like most, sweeping floors and learning anything he could about bikes. He eventually graduated as a service manager and then to a store manager.  Through the years, he has spent extensive time designing and sourcing bicycles and parts for some of the largest bike companies in the world. All the while focusing on helping as many people as possible enjoy the love of riding a bike. In that pursuit, he has taught classes (both scheduled and impromptu) on all things bikes. John also believes in helping every rider attain their optimal fit on the bike of their dreams. Please feel free to stop in any time and talk about bikes, fit, parts, or just share your latest ride. You can also see more of John’s tricks and tips on the Brown Bicycle Facebook Page.

A film & music festival to test out your multi-day bike touring skills

The 17th Annual Square Lake Film & Music Festival is the perfect way to experience multi-day bike touring. Just north of Stillwater, MN. This unique, bike-friendly, outdoor festival is August 10-11,2019. Over the weekend, with your camping gear shuttled free, enjoy local music on the outdoor stage. Plus short film & animation sets inside their theater-barn. You will experience multi-day bike touring fun, with a new beat for your ride home.

Music on stage with complementing movie screen adds to the fun.

Experience multi-day bike touring fun

Great music will include performances by Saltee, The Owls and The Cactus Blossoms. This is a family-friendly festival! So, in between sets enjoy some of Minnesota’s best local locally-made independent short films on one of the two screens.

Bikers entering the festival.

How far is the ride?

The festival is located on a private hobby farm, just north of Stillwater and only a few miles past the Gateway Bike Trail. Facilitated rides depart from Minneapolis and St Paul. Overnight “camping” on the festival lawn is free. Along with complimentary sag wagon support to carry your gear out to the event and back. Morning yoga and sound meditation are also provided for free to campers on Sunday morning.
Facilitated rides leave from the Twin Cities the morning of the event, with meeting
spots, in Minneapolis at the Hub Bicycle Shop and Summit Brewery in St Paul.  The 30-mile ride out to the festival utilizes the scenic Gateway Trail to its endpoint at Pine Point Park in Stillwater.  From Pine Point, the festival grounds are three miles further. Peace Coffee will again provide sag wagons to haul bikers’ camping gear. Overnight “camping” on the large lawn is also provided for free.

The festivals first “star score”

In partnership with the Minnesota Astronomical Society, banjo/guitar player Mike Rosetto will be playing a music set specifically designed to be heard while star gazing at the festival.  Telescopes will be set up to project images of the stars over the festival onto a large movie screen in the event of clouds!

Stars over the festival onto a large movie screen

How much does the event cost?

Bikers who attend the festival receive half-price tickets when purchased in advance. Regular price tickets are $30 from now through July 10th and $35 after that for attendees arriving by car.  Bikers receive a steep discount – only $15 when tickets are purchased in advance.  Tickets sales are capped at 400, and of that, almost half are sold to bikers. So try multi-day bike touring and enjoy a music festival that will put a beat into your pedal stroke.