According to my fitness app, I burned 389 calories during the nearly 8-mile bike ride Saturday morning during the first Road Doughs event. The ride ended at Duck Donuts in Dilworth, where I proceeded to eat more than 389 calories worth of doughnuts. (Cinnamon Sugar and Maple Bacon, if you must know.)
But burning calories isn’t the point of Road Doughs, the series of bike ride organized by Cece Stronach. Or at least not the main point. The main point is to get people riding their bikes around the city.
I participated in an early version of Road Doughs a few months ago with Stronach, 26, who ditched her car and started traveling primarily by bike in August 2014. Back then, we met uptown and rode to a Joe’s Doughs pop-up at The Beer Growler in South End.
The first official Road Doughs was Saturday, the second day of BIKE! Charlotte, and I participated along with 24 other people. We met at Freedom Park, took a route that wound through Dilworth, Sedgefield and all the way up to the Rail Trail before finishing at Duck. We rode at a comfortable pace using a mix of trails and mostly-residential roads.
The next event is 9 a.m. May 7, starting at the corner of Kings Drive and Pearl Parkway near the Metropolitan. There’ll be one last BIKE! Charlotte Road Doughs May 14, then the ride will be monthly. (Join the Facebook group or go to www.roaddoughs.com for info about upcoming rides.)
After Saturday’s ride, I asked Stronach a few questions via email.
What inspired Road Doughs?
“As community leaders, my friends and I are constantly discussing how we can break down more barriers in this city to eliminate exclusivity and I think biking around the city is one of the best things you can do to feel better connected to places and the people in those places. And everybody loves donuts.”
What level of biker do you need to be to come on the ride?
“We welcome all riders that feel comfortable riding on the road, and a helmet is required. All rides will be between 8-10 miles and we keep a conversational pace. Warning! There are certainly some hills in Charlotte.”
What do you hope people get out of a Road Doughs ride?
“Road Doughs is like a new way of breaking bread with your neighbor. When we arrive at a donut destination there usually isn’t enough bike parking or seating for all of us so we get creative and end up sitting on the ground in a group. There is something so special about that kind of gathering between people. …
“Increasing bike-awareness to non-cyclists in the city is also very important to me. I extend the invite for everyone to come and meet us at our donut destinations, even if you arrive by car! Road Doughs is about breaking down barriers and building community.
“Our rides always meet in a different neighborhood and have various donut destinations so that we can explore different areas and sample all of the donuts Charlotte has to offer.
“In my mind, bikeability is not just measured by what the city has done for its people, but also by each of our individual perspectives and willingness to try something new.”
Photos: Corey Inscoe; Road Doughs Facebook group