Honking with doughnuts: ride to eat

When the Alliance for Biking and Walking’s Benchmarking Report was released last month, I wrote about a group of cyclists – those folks who have no option but to ride bikes where they need to go – that seemed to me to be underrepresented in the usual (a least my usual) bicycling media. The Report made me think of another underrepresented group:

Bicycling and Walking in the U.S.: 2010 Benchmarking Report, p. 41

That’s right – cyclists caught in the act of indulging in treats like doughnuts.

It’s no secret that cyclists can eat. And eat and eat and eat. And drink. And drink and drink and drink. The ability to eat just about anything I want is probably my top reason for riding as much as I do. Regarding doughnuts, as a displaced yankee down here in the south, one of the main things I miss from the north is cake doughnuts. I’m not talking about the gooey sweetened circles of fat produced by Krispy Kreme and the like. I’m thinking of the barely sweet dense, yet soft and moist doughnuts made in the kitchens of the old diners in places like Casco and Rangeley, Maine. Molasses, apple cider, plain, and chocolate “sinkers” so perfect for dunking in your morning cup of coffee it launched that ubiquitous brand (which I believe has gone downhill since I worked there when I was in high school).

That’s why I’m teaching myself to make doughnuts in my own kitchen. To turn a phrase from Greg Brown back on itself – when you can’t get it out there, you better look for it at home.

Now with a few experiments under my belt, wrestling with the frying process, and over-fried, under-cooked or rubbery attempts foisted off on polite friends and co-workers, I’m almost happy with the results. Today I greeted my friends who gathered at my house for a 40-mile ride with some pre-ride gingerbread cake doughnuts. I’d tell you the recipe but it’s a trade secret. Here’s an idea of the process and the results:

Start with the right flavors: real molasses and fresh ginger

As with bikes, it helps to have the right tools.

Doughnut holes fresh from the fryer.

The perfect group ride.

(Apologies for the poor-quality photos. I’m waiting for the new camera to return from Mexico with my tandem partner/fiancee.)

These definitely kept me riding for the duration, and the couple of remaining holes went perfectly with a warm cup of coffee to warm me up after the ride.

Last week I test-piloted a batch of banana-nut cake doughnuts and handed them out to the Haiti-benefit riders on their way through Saxapahaw. (I figured bananas and bike bikes go hand-in-hand, or rather, cleat-in-pedal.) Judging by the fact that they were gone in a matter of minutes, I know I’m not the only one who lives by the credo “Ride to Eat.”


1 Response to “Honking with doughnuts: ride to eat”

  1. 1 T R Ever March 26, 2010 at 9:20 pm

    this reminds me of when we used to go for rides and stop and have Chinese Buffet for lunch….
    and toasted doughnuts.

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