This Month Cyclists Will Ride and Eat at Annual Tour de Donut in Austin

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By Becky FogelNovember 2, 2016 2:08 pm

The Standard’s news roundup gives you a quick hit of interesting, sometimes irreverent, and breaking news stories from all over the state.

There’s an athletic event coming up in Austin that even Homer Simpson might love: it’s called the Tour de Donut.

Cyclists pound back pastries at different shops while racing around the city. But this donut dash is not unique to Texas.

I chatted with Pam LeBlanc, a reporter at the Austin American-Statesman who covers fitness, about the November 13 contest:

So, Pam, where else does the Tour de Donut happen?

“Apparently these races take place all over the country. And they started in Illinois maybe 30 years ago…And it started as a spoof of the Tour de France basically.”

And how exactly does this whole donut-eating, cycling competition work?

“So these cyclists get on their bikes and they ride whatever the route and there’s periodic stops along the way, eat as many donuts, as they can, and keep riding…you get a certain number of minute deducted from your time…so if you eat a whole lot of donuts you could actually have a negative donut time.”

Okay, so more donuts mean you get more minutes deducted from your overall racing time. So, do any of the racers have a real game plan on when to actually eat the donuts?

“This one guy, this competitive food eater who’s coming down from New York…and his strategy is to eat most of his donuts at the first stop…and then goes to the second stop…and he tries to pack in a few more at the third stop…and he says his strategy to eat as many as he can early in the race.”

No matter how many donuts the cyclists eat – there’s one thing they have to keep in mind – the Tour de Donut has a strict no barfing rule.

And if the thought of donuts has you hungry, maybe the thought of airplane food could help curb your appetite.

But Fort Worth-based carrier American Airlines is trying to change that. Conor Shine, who covers aviation for the Dallas Morning News, says American Airlines has been in the process of updating their menus. 

“They’ve tapped several different chefs from around the country,” Shine says. 

Chef Julian Barsotti, best known for his Italian cuisine at three Dallas restaurants, will debut his new menu for the airline on domestic flights this week. He is definitely upping the airline’s gourmet game with dishes like peppercorn-crusted tenderloin and coconut curry with vegetables. 

Shine says spiffed-up menus are a growing trend in the airline industry as carriers try to compete in a culture that increasingly celebrates celebrity chefs.

The man who founded Texas’s iconic Schlitterbahn Waterparks and Resorts has died.

89-year-old Bob Henry passed away Monday – the news was announced in a Facebook post on Tuesday. The post said that when Henry and his wife came to New Braunfels five decades ago, “he hoped to have a business where the whole family could work together. It was a dream that was the foundation of Schlitterbahn.”