Thanksgiving is just around the corner and we want to give a shout out to a great cycling fundraiser held all across the country – Cranksgiving. Called a food drive on two wheels, most Cranksgiving cycling events will be held the weekend of November 21 and 22nd. That gives you plenty of time to find or organize your own Cranksgiving event and still enjoy your Thanksgiving turkey, after having a great time with other cyclists helping local nonprofit groups and food banks. For a map of scheduled events this year, see http://www.cranksgiving.org/index.html.
Founded in 1999 the first Cranksgiving was organized by a group of bike messengers in New York City. That explains why it’s less like a traditional charity ride and more like an urban scavenger hunt for cyclists. Participants get a shopping and location list, hop on their bikes, and ride to various grocery stores in their area to buy non-perishable foods, which are later donated to local charities. All you need to participate is a bike, a bike lock, and $10-15 for food donations. Last year in New York City, more than 350 riders took part in its Cranksgiving – collecting about 1,445 pounds of canned goods for the Bowery Mission and donating 700 jars of baby food to children’s charities.
What? No Cranksgiving event is scheduled for your area? You could still be a hero and organize this new holiday tradition. Start by obtaining a list of shopping items desired by a local charity and match with local grocery stores which carry these items. After both the lists are made, determine what items the riders should buy at each location and a good route for your ride to acquire the desired items at these stores. Once the master-copy is finalized, all you need to do is set a date, time, and location for the start of the ride, and then promote the event. There are a few more rules to follow, but overall it’s a pretty simple – with no registration fees and lots of great national publicity. For more information, check out http://www.cranksgiving.org/forum/discussion/2/how-to-organize-cranksgiving