Things We Love: Picks from John Esterly

John Esterly
Photo by Stephanie Ewen

The Pumpkin Pedaler Bicycle Tour, which celebrates its fourth annual ride this year, is a casual, late-fall jaunt featuring stops at many of Columbus' favorite haunts. Proceeds benefit programs and services for children on the autism spectrum in Central Ohio. This year's ride kicks off at noon on Sunday, Oct. 28, at BrewDog Franklinton (visit for more info). Founder John Esterly has lived in Columbus for almost 20 years. Here are a few things he loves.

Land-Grant Brewing Company

Our (slightly) older sibling Land-Grant has been a part of the Pumpkin Pedaler since the beginning. Although I've been a fan of its beer since its doors opened (Glory is my favorite), it's the brewery's dedication to the community that I love the most.

Daric Gill

Gill has crafted the Grand Prize trophy for our ride every year, adding a Halloween theme to his popular ToeHeads series. In addition to ToeHeads, Gill also paints hyper-realistic stills in his "Absolute" series. His art can be found all over Columbus, from COSI to the Angry Baker.

Third Hand Bike Co-Op

Need your bike fixed? Want to learn how to do it yourself? Third Hand offers open shop hours and clinics for cyclists at its central Columbus location. Third Hand has also provided pre-ride inspections and repairs for our riders every year.

The North Market

When someone comes in from out of town, the North Market is the first place I take them. So much of what makes Columbus an awesome city is found under its roof. Our family always makes a stop at the Market after playground time at Goodale Park — Jeni's for the kids, Stauf's for mom and dad!

Giving Back

I can't say enough about the sense of pride here in Columbus. It takes a lot of folks to make the wheels turn during the Pumpkin Pedaler. From giving up time to volunteer on a weekend, to businesses having food and drinks ready for our riders, to Brothers Drake throwing its doors open on a day it's normally closed. I'm humbled by the support we get from the community.