On Pumpkins and Other Weighty Matters

01 Nov

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?

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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.


Posted by on November 1, 2011 in Dirt Trails


3 responses to “On Pumpkins and Other Weighty Matters

  1. Rachel Unger

    November 10, 2011 at 8:12 am

    112 lbs is inspiring. 🙂 I think the most I tend to carry is the weekly grocery run – I’ve hauled home a large box of cat litter, so that might be the most. You list to one side when you have that in a pannier.
    On century rides, I have my rack and a trunk bag with my camera, extra tubes, hand sanitizer, a snack-pack of Kleenex, and extra Gu.

  2. ladyfleur

    November 10, 2011 at 9:19 am

    I bungeed a box of cat litter from Costco to the top of my rack once. It was balanced left-to-right, but the center of gravity was too high so I didn’t do that again. But I know I’ve carried more weight in groceries than a 35 pounds box of cat litter. I suspect I’ve carried 40 pounds between two large panniers on the back, the top of the rack and my front basket.


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