Team Laser Cats

Folks in Philadelphia who love bikes, cats, and snacks.

How to Make a Perfect CX Donut

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Swashbuckler Brewing

Team Laser Cats @ Swashbuckler! Photo by Hana Elum

We at Team Laser Cats tend to have unusual jobs and talents. For example, we have bike shop cats, hair stylist cat, chef cat, organic food coop food buyer cat, Laser Cats and Such cat boss: you get the idea. Up to this point, my profession (architect / adjunct professor) was definitely on the more “quotidian” or “normal” end of the spectrum. But this cat’s got some ~secrete talents~ that she’s been keeping under wraps for a little while, namely, a lifetime of making and designing. And when a lifetime of origami crafts, years of art classes in drawing/mixed media/ceramics, and a couple architecture degrees get harnessed, one can cough up a pretty awesome donut costume for Halloween (not to be humble about it or anything).



From the beginning, the costume needed to accommodate cyclocross racing, which not only involves a hunched over posture, but also a need for compactness and a certain level of secureness on the body for the dismounting aspect of the race. This defined the size the donut needed to be, which was from the shoulders to the hinge-point of the hips.

Me during the race - Smiling the Whole Time. Photo by Bill White

Me during the race – Smiling the Whole Time. Photo by Bill White

Upon inquiring about the fabric stores in south Philly, Laser Cat Meghan mentioned that not only do they feature great selections, but some of them also had great deals. I commuter biked down there one beautiful Saturday afternoon, and indeed, was able to purchase 3 swatches of cloth for a mere $2 each, and then stuffing for a marked down $5. Yes, the entire additional expense for this costume was a mere $11.

Race # Visibility On Point + Smile On Point / Photo by Lee @ Bicycle Therapy

Race Number Visibility On Point + Smile On Point / Photo by Lee @ Bicycle Therapy

They say the best design decisions come from restrictions, and I find this to be very true. Upon laying out the beige “donut” cloth, I discovered it was too small … which led to the decision to design out a “bite” to conserve cloth. This even improved the comfort of actually wearing the donut because the bulge would no longer cover my face: WINNING.

Me Against Renaissance Fair Backdrop / Photo by Krista Ciminera

Me Against Renaissance Fair Backdrop / Photo by Krista Ciminera

Details are also key, and I knew that what would really put this donut over the edge, was not only the pink glazing, but ~3 dimensional sprinkles~. (OK, I probably should add more from a design perspective, but I did run out of time. But this is me being an anal designer.) Also some twine and safety pins ensured that the front donut half would stay secure against my body even in hunched over “aero” race position.

Me with Giant Turkey Leg Post-Race / Photo by Hana Elum

Me with Giant Turkey Leg Post-Race / Photo by Hana Elum

The day of the race dawned, and I don’t think I stopped smiling the entire time I was a donut, nor during the race, nor afterwards while enjoying a caveperson-ish portion of turkey leg that Swashbuckler Race organizers offered as a wonderfully unique and delicious perk of racing. I was so happy to be part of this race and my teammates who were Wonder Woman (Roz), Hot Dog (Taylor), Toast (Taryn), and Laser Cat (Lindsay). Thank you teammates for being there, thank you Krista for hanging out in the far reaches of the Renaissance Fairground that we called our race course that day to cheer and take beautiful race photos for us, and thank you Swashbuckler Brewing Co for hosing this awesome race!

Swashbuckler Post Race

Dog named Giro, Lindsay, Taryn, Roz, Myself all Post-Race Vibe / Photo by Lee @ Bicycle Therapy


            I dedicate the creation of my donut to my dear late friend Brendan Schrader, who was the founder of Hive76. In their words, they are: “a community of makers and crafters organized around a shared workspace. We enable our members to invent, build, collaborate, and share skills. We promote science education and the do-it-yourself spirit in our greater community to enable people to make things awesome and make awesome things.” Brendan was someone who really took joy in creating and making, and enabling others to do so. One of the coolest things he made just for the fun and challenge of making it was a giant connect 4 game that was installed in front of the Art Museum for an ephemeral period of time. We miss you, Brendan.


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