A Man, His Pickles, and a 40-ounce
Getting to Know the Pickle Posse of Jonesboro, Arkansas
An architect, a dentist, a public relations executive, a medical device representative, a general manager for a car dealership, and a high school principal walk into a bar.
No, this is not the opening line for a funny joke.
This is actually real life, though it is still funny, because all these guys arrived to the bar on their bicycles, all wearing their matching bright white kits. What’s more, they call themselves the Pickle Posse.
The group of six men, ranging in age from 35 to 50, all bonded over their affinity for pickle juice after one member, Jeff Chastain, experienced severe leg cramps.
“I had just finished a half marathon where I had PR’d, so I was exhausted,” says Chastain, “I had less than 20 minutes to change into my kit and then head to a charity bike ride I had committed to, but my legs were cramping up bad. A guy (the dentist) noticed my problem and offered me a jar of store-bought pickle juice. It worked like magic. From that point on, there were endless jokes about the ‘magic pickles,’ and that just stuck. We decided we would call ourselves the Pickle Posse.”
The Posse enjoys riding and socializing together, motivating each other to push a little more, go a little further. They also enjoy the occasional alcoholic beverage … across the county line, of course, as Jonesboro, Arkansas, is a dry community.
“We like to think of ourselves as the drinkers with the cycling problem,” laughs Chastain. “We enjoy the local beverages wherever the bike takes us. Sometimes that’s just a 40-ounce in a parking lot!”
Most times, though, their bikes take them to gravel rides they describe as “epic” and “extreme.”
Chastain specifically mentions the Land Run 100, a ride that takes place on rural roads surrounding Stillwater, Oklahoma. Much of the ride’s challenges are defined by the weather that takes place near the event. When rain hits the dirt roads, the dirt becomes “peanut butter mud.”
“They warned us about riding our bike in that mud,” says Chastain. “They said, ‘Do NOT ride in our mud. It will break your bike.’ We did it anyway. And four out of six of our bikes broke. Guess we should have listened!” he says. “This year, we’ll be walking through the mud.”
And walk they will—in stark, white kits.
“Most people save their worst kits for this ride,” says Chastain. “So we thought, why not do something metal and wear white?”
As for the green sleeve, Chastain says he just likes the color. (He swears it’s not because pickles are green.) And the rooster?
“It’s a team secret,” says Chastain. “If I told you I’d have to kill you.”