(With thanks to Marcello for the title)
Pumpkin Ridge Gardens, our CSA (community-supported agriculture), has subscriber days at the farm. In October, we are invited to come out and pick our pumpkin, presumably to carve. I've driven out there off and on, and come home with entirely too many pumpkins - some to cook, some to carve, and so on. Fitz went out there once and came back with, again, too many pumpkins, including a massive Hubbard squash that James talked him into taking home. We turned that one into a pie (or three), but breaking into it involved a circular saw. In the kitchen. (Hubbard squash makes better-tasting pumpkin pies than pumpkin)
We don't carve pumpkins for Halloween anymore - no one ever comes to our house. We get candy "just in case", and eat it all ourselves.
I do like getting seed pumpkins and pie pumpkins. And I needed more green tomatoes and hot peppers to finish off some leftover brine from the Pickled Green Tomatoes project.
Trying to limit our pumpkin intake, I considered riding out there. About 40 miles round trip; the farm is right off Pumpkin Ridge Rd, maybe 1.5 miles or so up the hill. One pannier and one bike bucket installation later, I was headed west and north. Not raining, 60s and muggy.
Original plan was to follow my "get to Portland Velo/Intel Ronler Acres" route, but cut under Hwy 26 before Cornelius Pass Rd, and maybe drop in on Susan. Not. Path very definitely closed. Back to the complete original route - Evergreen/Sewell/Meek/Jackson School/West Union... Road closed. WHAT? After riding over a mile of grooved pavement on Evergreen, I was just a tad grouchy. Investigating showed that the road, while closed to automobile traffic, was quite passable by bicycle. Right on Shadybrook, and then up Pumpkin Ridge Rd.
Parked the bike, went though the "you rode your bike HERE?", picked out two SMALL pie pumpkins, then got permission from Polly to pick some green tomatoes and hot peppers. Did that, then enjoyed some hot cider. I did this entire ride on a Dutch Baby for breakfast and cider. Visited with Polly some more, then picked some basil, and stowed everything in the bucket and pannier. It all fit quite nicely. While I was out foraging, a couple on a tandem showed up, so I wasn't the only crazy person there :-)
Snagged 4 grape leaves on the way out (makes the pickles crisp), then headed on home. Fitz had said "well, it is all downhill from there!". Well, yeah, coming down Pumpkin Ridge. Rollers and a few short steep bits all the way home.
Almost felt like the tandem with all that extra weight, except the wheelbase was a bit short, and it was just me. At the top of the very last climb (SW Park Way), stopped and chatted for a bit with my former co-worker/neighbor who was on his way home on his walk. He's retired (I am jealous) and having a great time.
Coming through our elementary school, I saw a couple cutting the grass, and a very little guy on a bicycle. He couldn't have been older than 5. So I slowed down, because little people on two wheels are just a tiny bit unpredictable. As I passed him, I think he said "race you!" and he took off. I actually couldn't give him a race, because the pumpkins and the speed bumps wouldn't have worked well together. So he was zipping off ahead, and when I got to the turn onto the road, he zipped off ahead of me. I think he was riding over 12 mph on that teeny little bike. I thought I would just let him win it, and halfway down the block, he turned back to the school. He was a cutie :-)
A whisper under 40 miles, and my legs got a workout pushing that extra weight up the rollers and rises.