This change is hard

The world-famous Donut Ride, despised by Jack from Illinois (not his real name) as a preening wankfest, derided by MMX as a one-trick pony that boils down to a single power climb on the Switchbacks, and loved by Wankmeister for both those reasons, has entered a new era. It happened thus.

G3: “Okay, we’re taking a survey. What do folks think of the current Donut route?”

Unison: “It blows.”

G3: “Okay, then.”

Problems with the Donut

A careful analysis revealed the following Donut flaws:

  1. Too much stopping.
  2. Too much wanking.
  3. Too much wheelsucking.
  4. Not enough climbing.
  5. Not enough sprunting.

The Donut’s route has changed numerous times during its illustrious history of more than thirty years. The Oldnut, which went through San Pedro and culminated in a sprunt at the Korean Bell, was a favorite until laziness took over, with large numbers of riders unable to handle the additional fifteen miles of riding. The Korean Bell sprunt was also rendered problematic when that entire side of San Pedro suffered a massive landslide and fell into the ocean.

Even the hardmen of the South Bay rebelled at having to clamber down a cliff, swim four miles, then remount for the finale.

Spicing up the Donut’s honey hole

The new route, instead of stopping at Marymount College and giving everyone a chance to flex and eye one another’s sweaty legs, continues up Crest to the radar domes. The addition of ten minutes’ hard climbing on top of the soften-em-up power climb on the Switchbacks has already changed the dynamic of the ride.

No longer do crazypants riders dash madly away at Trump National, hoping to eke out a sneakaway win on the Switchbacks. Now, the pace stays steady and measured as riders are ground up and and spit out in ones and twos all the way up the Switchbacks, with the final wreckage occurring on the first ramp going up to the radar domes. No longer does a massive attack at the bottom of the Switchbacks blow apart the group.

After some brief preening at the domes and a bit of reciprocal jocksniffing, the ride then descends all the way to PV Drive North and turns right into San Pedro. The descent, rather than being a completely insane dash to the death, is “neutral,” which means that everyone still goes full-on crazypants, but no one is allowed to claim victory.

Putting in some more climbing feet

The group takes PV Drive to Western and goes right, which remains neutral due to the deadly nature of riding a bicycle through the heart of San Pedro, where aggro soccer moms are going full-throttle in their SUV’s to finish picking up supplies at Wal-Mart before game time. At Miraleste the group turns right, the guillotine blade is again dropped, and the survivors climb up Miraleste, go left at Better Homes, and climb back up the Domes.

Whereas the old Donut route played heavily in favor of climbers, the new route is designed to eliminate all but the tiniest, most anorexic of riders. Participants still carrying around a few extra pounds from last Christmas can expect an outcome even more hopeless than usual. After regrouping at the domes, the ride continues back down PV South to Via Zumaya, where the sprunters can finally get revenge on the climbers by going straight home.

Full Donut Ride participants will, after ascending Via Zumaya, have earned their wings, not to mention a fistful of KOM’s. Critics note that the new Donut Ride has even less sprunting than the old one, which had none.

As the new organizers like to point out, all of whom are diminutive, veiny, twig-legged climbers, “Tough shit.”

16 thoughts on “This change is hard”

  1. After pre riding the route with G3 and Surfer Dan a few weeks ago.. it got my official seal of approval. The new route is even better than the one that only us ancient astronauts remember.

  2. I may have to join you on one of these. I like this route. May I be the first of thousands to suggest a possible change to refine your new route…(I know you will love
    that you have someone who is not a regular Donuter offering improvements! Ha!). If I were glazing this Donut, I would have riders continue past Western to turn right on Gaffey at Five Corners, giving a less hectic ride south. You could then turn up one of the disputed bike lanes that you fought for, showing the local complainers that people do actually use the lanes, and lots of them. You could maybe sprunt on Gaffey instead of being neutral on Western, giving those guys some hope, and making the climbers chase them all the way to the Domes. Please leave breadcrumbs on whichever route you adopt, as I will be searching for you from way in the dust off the back…

    1. Good luck with that! Half the group U-turned and went right back up the reservoir climb.

  3. I think your missing a turn in there somewhere…. seems you left out the El Cahon pass run…? About the only thing I can think of to make it a more enjoyable ride. ( coming from a 185lb tanker )

    1. People are already throwing in the towel, cutting the course, not even bothering. And the irony is, none of it was my idea. I told those “in charge” that in order to change the long-standing habits of sheep, you have to start in the off-season. You have to show up every ride. You have to announce the route every ride. You have to stop where you say you’re going to stop, regroup, etc.

      Instead it was a fuck of clusters.

      Brad sped off in San Pedro to take a short cut. We thought he was going home and said “See you!” but he turned back and said “Shhhhh!” with his finger over his lips. We saw him again at the top of Better Homes, but he bailed on Via Zumaya and maybe the second trip up the Domes as well. Those who came up with and agitated for the new route didn’t even do it. Totally lame.

      On the plus side, it’s a much-improved route, and even if the Pedro detour dies on the vine, the addition of the Domes after the Switchbacks will likely stay, at least for some. It totally changes the complexion of the climb up the Switchbacks and makes it a much more intensive beatdown. Ten thumbs up.

  4. Why not just do 6 or 7 repeats of Crenshaw from PCH to Crest? That way the descenders can stay in contention, the sprunters and wankers can skip a lap or two and pretend they won, and no one will get distracted by scenic coastline.

    1. The thought of going up Crenshaw even once makes my boner go away for the entire month of July.

  5. Can’t wait to get back to LA, back on the bike, and back to trying to keep up with all the Manorexic Masters…

  6. I regularly read this fantastic blog and am one of those guys who quietly pulls close to the curb whenever I see the Southbay Wheelmen in my rear-view mirror. Thought I would share with you my own crazy spin on riding PV. This past Saturday I did 14 laps (7 CW, 7 CCW) for 300 miles and nearly 24,000′.

    Not an impressive pace, but an interesting experience nonetheless. Nothing beats laps around the Palos Verdes drives after 1:30am. Hardly any cars or lights. Just you, the stars and the road.

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