TUESDAY AUG 16 / 2016 / by Andrew Talati

Babes and Donuts Amy Tan and ClaireAmy Tan and Claire Louise

Amy’s friends Katie, Brian, Sarah and Claire asked if she was going to have a going away party, but with being the centre of attention not really her thing and after some conversations with Ryan and Lewis (ACDC), they suggested a cruisy afternoon ride instead.

Claire latter stepped in to run the whole thing after Amy  became a bit overwhelmed about what to do after inviting 500 of her closest friends.

So with Amy confessing to not being the greatest route or event planner, she was happy for Claire to be the social co-ordinator and so began the 2.5 weeks of planning and organising donuts for along the way.

Babes and donuts – what’s in the name?

Babes and Donuts at Southbank Promenade approaching Princess-Bridge

With Amy’s regular Track night not being run, (the girls were affectionately known as #Trackbabes) a few friends suggested doing the Tour de Burbs ride which wasn’t that attractive with the ‘potential of being dropped, it’s really hard, I’m unfit, it’s too hard – No’ in essence.

After a bit of convincing, Amy headed down to the start of the ride being totally unprepared and being accompanied by her heavy work backpack, no snacks to nibble on for energy but one of the riders, Kit, stayed back with her.

Post road, a group headed off to Mesina for ice cream so with everyone wearing their nicest cycling kit, Amy thought that one of the riders was a babe and they were all babes so the ride was referred to as Tour de Babes (both men and women).

And then there were donuts

Babes and Donuts - table of donuts

Then add one professional rider Brendan Canty, an NRS (National Road Series) rider who rode with the Search2Retain team.  One day Amy saw Brendan on social media eating a donut and though that’s cool, he’s Pro and smashing down donuts and posting about his favourites.

So after seeing a lot of other people being into donuts she thought that if it’s good enough for Brendan Canty, then I’m sure its good enough for us. This lead to Amy bringing donuts to the track nights as a thank you to Leena Jones kindly helping Amy out fixing her bike. So started the whole donuts  ‘track snacks’.

The sadness behind the farewell

After Amy’s sister become very sick, she decided to support her older big sister and head across to Perth to help with her long rehabilitation process to recovery. Amy’s parents are moving there permanently and will join her younger brother. The most impressive thing is experiencing the impact that her sister has had on all of her friends and colleagues that helped bring everyone closer together.

The positive impact in the local community

Babes-and-Donuts_Amy approaching the Polly-Woodside at South WharfAmy crossing the yarra river towards the Pollywoodside - South Wharf

Amy was very touched and moved by not only the people who came to the Babes and Donuts ride but those who couldn’t make it who sent along their best wishes.  In the 3 short years of being involved in cycling, Amy has tried many different things, different types of riding, groups, racing and met so many people along the way and made amazing friends.

Her modesty was adorable, ‘People actually turned up to come riding with me, it’s a Saturday and people have things on, but they made the time to ride and have a bit of a laugh and enjoy one another’s company.’

Giving back to cycling

Babes and Donuts Bunch togetherAmy with her supportive community enjoying some post ride donuts - photo courtesy Reese Masita

When Amy started 3 years ago, she not only didn’t know how to ride a road bike but, she didn’t know anyone. Despite this, everyone was so supportive and encouraging, whether racing crits (Criteriums), road or track.

So Amy has given back far more than she has received and ‘makes it easier to enjoy’ for new people to cycling as much as she has.

Why Amy is so special

Amy and Claire Celebrating babes and donuts
Claire and Amy - photo courtesy Claire Louise

After Claireattempted her first ascent training ride (organised by Bicycle Network), being very inexperienced and terrible being an understatement, Amy stayed with her and provided ongoing support and boosting her morale. If it wasn’t for Amy she would have quit then and there and the friendship has since blossomed.

‘I think she is the most vibrant, loving person who will go above and beyond for anybody and I thought it was important to organise something to honour this.’

Every single time I see her she makes me smile

Meredith Clark and friends at the Start of the Babes and Donuts rideMeredith Clark at the far right at the start

‘She is the happiest person I know and I feel we should give a little bit back before she leaves.’ They have been great friends since Amy joined St Kilda Cycling Club on their beginner’s ride. ‘She is a scream and is fantastic but she is just full of the most amazing positiveness and energy. There aren’t many people in the world like that and she is very special.’

What an amazing day

Babes and Donuts Approaching South Wharf BridgeBabes and Donuts Approaching South Wharf Bridge

Babes and Donuts riding through DocklandsBabes and Donuts riding through Docklands

Babes and Donuts riding along the Yarra river in AbbotsfordBabes and Donuts riding along the Yarra river at Abbotsford

Babes and Donuts River crossing on the Merri Creek bike pathBabes and Donuts River crossing on the Merri Creek bike path