This year is our 12th annual Pumpkinvine Bike Ride. The ride on June 18 is important to the Friends of the Pumpkinvine because it is one of the principle ways we raised funds for our organization and trail development.
For the first time, we’re having two staging areas: Goshen’s Abshire Park that we used for 10 years; and the Shipshewana Flea Market. We decided on two locations to start because we were running out of parking at Abshire Park. For that reason, we moved the start to Goshen High School last year, but we discovered that the problems of bikers having to cross U.S. 33 and two sets of railroad tracks were more than we anticipated. There were too many delays and too much traffic. At one point, a train was completely stopped on the 9th Street railroad line. The main Norfolk Southern line has 80 trains a day, and they are very long. As much as we like the high school, getting to and from it was not easy.
So now we are taking the bold step of starting in two places and changing the routes and SAG stops in the most radical way we’ve ever done. The new routes have added new wrinkles for those who have done the ride before. How will people respond?
The reality is that taking risks is part of the bike-ride package. We risk bad weather, competition from other rides, and accidents. It’s part of running an event with 1,000 bikers. We organize and anticipate as many contingencies as possible. That’s all we can reasonably do.