Doing bicycle donuts in a parking lot

When a parking lot has circles painted on the surface, how can you not do donuts on them?

Mysterious circles in parking lot

On birthday I went on a little bike ride. Along the way home is a YMCA with a mostly empty parking lot. This lot has painted about 8 to 12 circles, each about 15 feet in diameter.

What is the purpose of these circles? Social distancing events? Alien circles? Rocking launching pads?

15-foot diameter painted circles on parking lot

On past rides whenever I see these circles, sometimes I might ride half of the circle, and then continue on my way. But today is different. I took the day off for my birthday, I had plenty of time to enjoy my bike ride—and these unusual circles.

For seven minutes straight, I rode in circles and circles and circles. Doing donuts with my bike.

Strava will track you while doing donuts in a parking lot

All the while, the bike-tracking app Strava is running on my iPhone. After each ride with Strava, you get a map showing where you went. Here’s how Strava traced my route going around four of these circles.

Screenshot of Strava route showing me doing donuts in a parking lot

This is so much fun, let’s look at it in detail

Ok, so it’s not THAT accurate. This shows me riding in ONLY straight lines. But take as a whole, I’m impressed by how Strava picked up that I was generally doing four different circles. Even that part in the lower right that juts out a tad—that’s when I veered off a little so I could stop and take a photo of the parking lot.

Doing these repeated circles was really good bicycle training. I got better and better at staying right on the circle. It was so much fun!

Caught doing donuts

Eventually someone walked out to their car nearby these circles. Here’s this guy doing donuts in the parking lot with his bicycle, all decked out in reflective vest, reflective bands on a backpack, reflective wrist wrap. I thought about stopping, because it seemed a bit odd. But I figured just swallow it up, and keep going like I know what I’m doing.

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Melissa Bauer
3 years ago

Love this and anything like it that makes me feel like a kid again. 🙂

3 years ago

Love this!

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