I like pumpkins. I like the way they look, all orange and round (or not). I like the way they taste, whether sweet and spiced or roasted and savory. Pumpkin pie, pumpkin soup, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin ravioli. Pumpkins make me smile at a time of year when it’s getting colder and darker by the day.
So it only makes sense that I would look forward to the annual Pumpkin Ride hosted by ROMP, the local mountain bike club. The ride starts at about 3000′ on the ridge line, then drops down to a pumpkin farm on the coast where we select as big or as many pumpkins as we’re willing to haul back up to the ridge. Costumes are strongly encouraged, as if hauling pumpkins uphill on a bike wasn’t silly enough.
The record pumpkin weight dragged back up to the top is an unbelievable 112 pounds, made possible by a BOB trailer. This year’s winning weight was a mere 38 pounds, strapped directly on the bike with some engineering ingenuity and duct tape, of course. Still outstanding.
The next day, as Dick and I headed out for a brunch and grocery shopping ride I wondered: how do my overstuffed grocery runs compare to the winning pumpkin haul? With Dick along, I was able to buy a lot more than usual, including a full bar restock at Bev Mo and full soda restock along with a modest amount of other items at Trader Joes. The numbers: 35 pounds for Dick, 21 pounds for me. Not 112 pounds carried up 3000 feet, but it was no sweat even without a trailer. I could have even added a medium pumpkin or two.
What’s the most weight you’ve carried on your bike?
Before anyone wonders why this post about a mountain bike ride doesn’t talk about the ride at all, here’s a video of the best part–the totally awesome loooong descent down Wittemore Gulch with over a dozen switchbacks sharply cut into the hillside. I can see why the downhillers shuttle this run.