Sean Walker of Springfield returned a pair of weeks back from the Denver Post Ride the Rockies Bicycle Tour.
There, Walker was with about 2,500 cyclists in his very first big ride after the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are all just itching to trip with people today and to be alongside one another and to be a device once more, to take pleasure in every single other’s business and to have the dialogue and to satisfy aged pals,” Walker mentioned not long ago.
On Saturday, Walker and his spouse, Jennifer Ronen Walker, will be on a lot more familiar footing when the Tour de Donut returns to Staunton following a year’s absence. Virtually 1,000 cyclists are signed up, according to race officials.
The few has been driving in the Tour de Donut because 2014, while Sean Walker started out racing in it competitively in 2016. Sean Walker is from Gillespie, and Jennifer Walker is from Hillsboro.
There are two donut stops on the 34-mile rolling route. Cyclists get 5 minutes deducted from their in general race moments for each and every donut eaten and recorded.
Hasselberg explained the race will go by way of 500 dozen donuts, glazed only.
“I never know how it happened, but we turned around the many years a person of the biggest bicycle rides in the area,” Hasselberg mentioned. “Possibly due to the fact it was quirky and special. We never just take ourselves as well very seriously.”
Hasselberg admitted “cabin fever” may possibly be spiking the figures this year.
“Wild Travels,” a journey collection celebrating the uniqueness of The usa in its “abnormal, eccentric and downright quirky people today, spots and functions” and broadcast on PBS stations in 170 marketplaces, will be in Staunton documenting the party on race working day, Hasselberg stated.
Staunton is about 50 minutes south of Springfield.
Sean Walker, an account govt for Kelly Companies, has pocketed a pair of fourth-spot finishes in the competitive division racing for SLF MotionRacing.
Walker and his spouse began out doing the Tour de Donut like most every person else: to cling out with buddies and have exciting. When each are from the Staunton spot, neither arrived into cycling right until about a ten years back.
“We did our initial trip in 2014,” Sean Walker, 51, recalled. “At that time, I nevertheless had my hybrid bicycle, and we ate the donuts and experienced a blast. I failed to even know there was a (aggressive) race, and it wasn’t in my selection.”
The very first calendar year he raced competitively in the Tour de Donut, Walker and some close friends acquired trapped more than a block back again from the starting up line, where by the critical racers had congregated.
“We ended up trapped with the donut eaters,” joked Walker, who still worked his way back again to a top rated 20 complete.
Walker reported it was Jennifer Walker who introduced bicycles property 1 day for the two to ride in community.
The next summer season, Walker did his initially triathlon, then created a bounce to a highway bicycle from a hybrid bicycle.
“I fell in like with it,” Walker admitted. “There are some items in your lifestyle you walk into, and you never know you happen to be good at. I was a purely natural on the bicycle, for whichever reason. I took to it like Forrest Gump to the military.”
Walker connected with a group from BikeTek and commenced “asking all sorts of issues.” When an individual suggested he hook up with a racing staff, Walker innocently requested if people really raced bikes.
They did, and he did. For the past various several years, he’s raced for Blake Young’s racing workforce out of Pawnee.
A recovering alcoholic, Walker explained biking has improved his everyday living for the much better.
“My whole everyday living is wrapped all-around it now,” Walker said, “from schooling in the off season to racing. What I have discovered is that it’s a lot easier to exchange your habit with a further habit which is a lot more excellent than it is to combat it out and not transform matters.
“Just before I commenced all this, it was two to three bottles of wine everyday before I could go to sleep, 7 times a week, 365 times a calendar year. This is so fantastic for my mind. I am an govt, and I am in product sales, and I’ve been in management positions most of my profession. When I am out driving, I can float off in your intellect, and I can think about factors. That is when I do the job on my revenue pitches and function on leadership concerns. I contact it likely down a worm gap.
“The subsequent matter I know, I get off the bike, and I’m like, oh amazing, I’ve solved some problems.”
Jennifer Walker qualified prospects a group trip for the Springfield Bicycle Club and has worked with new cyclists making an attempt to triumph over pounds attain.
A person over-the-highway truck driver, Walker recalled, was “drained of becoming unhealthy” and acquired a bicycle in advance of joining her team.
“The extra you talk with the cycling group, a lot of men and women do get on bikes to get rid of excess weight or fight a dependency or what not,” she stated.
Jennifer Walker, 47, reported she felt inhibited by know-how — tied to her career as a graphic designer and regularly on social media — and discovered cycling “releasing” and a way to join to the outdoor all over again.
“It can be a excellent pressure reliever,” said Walker, now the director of communications for the Illinois State Dental Society, “just to do a little something the place you let your hair blow in the wind and you get away from every little thing else in everyday living.”
People today putting up photos of on their own carrying their “I Survived the Tour de Donut” T-shirt has become a modern sport of types, Hasselberg said. People today have posted from Oman and South Africa, he mentioned, and the T-shirt is usually a discussion starter.
“Of all the shirts they’re going to bring (on vacation), that is the a person they want to because it is really intriguing. It’s a ton of exciting.”
Sean Walker explained he’s glad the Tour de Donut is back again in a whole lot of means, while for him, there is no halting for donuts through the race.
“(In biking) you are observing much less and fewer road races, and the criteria (races) are not developing,” he pointed out. “We’re getting rid of street races. This staying a street race, there is often something to search forward to since you happen to be not going all-around in circles.
“You’ve got received 34 miles to figure out how you’re going to acquire this point. It can be extremely strategic.
“The really serious racers (you should not stop). You go straight by way of. There are a lot of donuts to eat at the conclude.”
For a lot more details or to signal, take a look at the Tour de Donut’s webpage.
Make contact with Steven Spearie: 217-622-1788, [email protected], twitter.com/@StevenSpearie.