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Cranksgiving 2011 charity bike ride w/ photos

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  • Tone
    I thought I would share some Cranksgiving spirit with the RootsRadicals list. As some of you know I started Cranksgiving, a charity bike messenger alleycat
    Message 1 of 4 , Nov 21, 2011
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      I thought I would share some Cranksgiving spirit with the RootsRadicals
      list. As some of you know I started Cranksgiving, a charity bike
      messenger alleycat race, in New York City back during the fall of 1999.
      It was like a scavenger hunt on two wheels in which checkpoints of the
      variable-routed course were supermarkets where food was bought to be
      donated later in time for the Thanksgiving holiday. Store receipts acted
      to proove cyclists had gone to the appropriate checkpoints. Anyway, I
      continued organizing Cranksgiving in New York for eight years while it
      slowly grew and during that time people in other cities began emulating
      my efforts starting with a messenger couple I know from LA in 2001. In
      2007 I moved from NYC and tried to start Cranksgiving up in York, PA
      while an x-messenger friend of mine back in NYC kept the tradition alive
      there.

      For the past four years I built up the event in York, PA, but usually
      year after year I debated more and more whether to continue doing it. It
      is a lot of work for one person to pull off… at least the way I like to
      do it. You see, I am a bit obsessive compulsive and have a graphic arts
      background to boot, so I like things to look sharp while running as
      smoothly as possible. This year I finally decided not to do it, but a
      funny thing happened. Two or three local York, PA past-attendees wanted
      to take it over from me, so after twelve years I was able to actually
      ride in a Cranksgiving!
      I partnered up with a cyclist buddy of mine native to the area and we
      bought about three times what the manifest called for at each store.
      Actually, the deal was he would buy and I would fly… more like a grounded
      cargo plane that is. I carried all the stuff and watched the bikes while
      he went into the stores. I did buy out an entire shelf of canned mixed
      vegetables at our second stop where we swapped places to change it up a
      bit, but he pretty much shelled out the money for everything else while I
      hauled the load. A fair trade he thought. At our last store my buddy
      rolled a shopping cart in because the plan was for us to buy as many
      turkeys as we could as well. Unfortunately, even though I think I could
      haul over ten turkeys the store only had eight fifteen pound turkeys left
      in the freezer bin, so we had to settle for that. Here are two photos of
      my Big Dummy loaded with the turkeys at the finish of the race:

      http://www.cranksgiving.net/XtraLoads/CranksgivingYork2011-Back.jpg
      …and…
      http://www.cranksgiving.net/XtraLoads/CranksgivingYork2011-Side.jpg

      Normally the right side of my Big Dummy carries my dog these days, but I
      think a flock of five frozen turkeys is a decent replacement. Something
      else that was amusing is that the organizers this year also offered a ten
      minute time deduction if an optional turkey was bought. Unfortunately, my
      riding buddy split up all the receipts evenly, so according to the rules
      my manifest packet did not have enough ten minute deductions to place in
      the top three. If all the turkeys I carried had actually counted, then my
      time would have been only 29 minutes and I would have won. I am totally
      fine with that because the winner bought extra stuff as well as a turkey.
      Separate from the race, he also drove his pick up around for two weeks
      before the race collecting scrap metal, which he sold off so he could
      afford to buy twelve other turkeys for donation as well. He not only won
      first place, but he was also recognized as the most charitable. In
      previous years he usually won that charitable award as well, but this
      year he was eyeing my bike differently with envy. He said he was thinking
      of getting a long-tail bike himself, so I told him it would be “on”
      between him and I during next year’s Cranksgiving if he did. Little does
      he know I am confident I can top or at least match his twelve
      pick-up-carried turkeys on my Big Dummy. I am pretty sure if I had a
      heavyweight contractor-sized garbage bag on each side I could load up
      seven turkeys in each bag. I guess we’ll see. I know the turkeys I
      carried were each about fifteen pounds a piece, so that would potentially
      make 210 pounds of turkey next year, but how much would fourteen turkeys
      cost? I guess we’ll see too since prices could very well go up.

      By the way, www.Cranksgiving.org, which is the New York site, has 34
      confirmed Cranksgiving-hosting cities listed for 2011. There are photo
      galleries and great videos of the NYC event on there too. This year was
      Philadelphia’s first Cranksgiving, which was put on by two young cats,
      who had driven out to all four York, PA Cranksgivings I organized until
      my convincing finally got them to do their own. When I started this event
      back in ’99, I never thought it would blow up like it has. It was just
      another messenger race run in a totally different way from other
      alleycats with the idea of messengers giving back a little since some
      messengers have it hard enough that they have to go to soup kitchens at
      times themselves. It was only in 2001 when LA began their Cranksgiving
      that I realized Cranksgiving literally had the potential to go
      coast-to-coast. Later when I moved to York, PA and Cranksgiving had grown
      beyond the messenger sub-culture I realized something more profound about
      Cranksgiving. There were now three important reasons for Cranksgiving,
      which should be specifically directed to the broader cycling communities
      in any city or town where it might exist:

      1) To bring cyclists together for a social event to help form and build
      more cohesive local cycling communities, which might in turn help
      revitalize downtown neighborhoods affected by urban sprawl and/or suburban
      developments.
      2) To actively demonstrate to ourselves and the greater community that
      cycling is a viable and efficient day-to-day method of transportation
      within our downtown neighborhoods, which not only promotes good health,
      but also reduces the dependence on automobiles and all the monetary and
      environmental costs of that enclosed separatist form of transportation.
      3) To utilize grass roots efforts by local people to support a charitable
      cause in their own communities without the dependence of national or
      global corporations, which may only have their own public relations
      interests in mind.

      With all of that said, I hope everyone enjoyed the read, and I also wish
      everyone has a happy Thanksgiving. For all those international
      Xtracyclists in countries without a Thanksgiving, I wish you the best too
      as we should all be thankful for what we have no matter where we are
      Ride safe,
      _TONE_
    • Neil Schneider
      This is very cool! I forwarded your email to a local group, to see if maybe we can get something started in San Diego. Thanks for starting this! Neil ...
      Message 2 of 4 , Nov 21, 2011
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        This is very cool! I forwarded your email to a local group, to see if maybe we
        can get something started in San Diego.

        Thanks for starting this!

        Neil

        Tone wrote:
        > I thought I would share some Cranksgiving spirit with the RootsRadicals
        > list. As some of you know I started Cranksgiving, a charity bike messenger
        alleycat race, in New York City back during the fall of 1999. It was like a
        scavenger hunt on two wheels in which checkpoints of the variable-routed
        course were supermarkets where food was bought to be donated later in time
        for the Thanksgiving holiday. Store receipts acted to proove cyclists had
        gone to the appropriate checkpoints. Anyway, I continued organizing
        Cranksgiving in New York for eight years while it slowly grew and during
        that time people in other cities began emulating my efforts starting with a
        messenger couple I know from LA in 2001. In 2007 I moved from NYC and tried
        to start Cranksgiving up in York, PA while an x-messenger friend of mine
        back in NYC kept the tradition alive there.
        >
        > For the past four years I built up the event in York, PA, but usually
        > year after year I debated more and more whether to continue doing it. It is
        a lot of work for one person to pull off… at least the way I like to do it.
        You see, I am a bit obsessive compulsive and have a graphic arts background
        to boot, so I like things to look sharp while running as smoothly as
        possible. This year I finally decided not to do it, but a funny thing
        happened. Two or three local York, PA past-attendees wanted to take it over
        from me, so after twelve years I was able to actually ride in a
        Cranksgiving!
        > I partnered up with a cyclist buddy of mine native to the area and we
        > bought about three times what the manifest called for at each store.
        Actually, the deal was he would buy and I would fly… more like a grounded
        cargo plane that is. I carried all the stuff and watched the bikes while he
        went into the stores. I did buy out an entire shelf of canned mixed
        vegetables at our second stop where we swapped places to change it up a bit,
        but he pretty much shelled out the money for everything else while I hauled
        the load. A fair trade he thought. At our last store my buddy rolled a
        shopping cart in because the plan was for us to buy as many turkeys as we
        could as well. Unfortunately, even though I think I could haul over ten
        turkeys the store only had eight fifteen pound turkeys left in the freezer
        bin, so we had to settle for that. Here are two photos of my Big Dummy
        loaded with the turkeys at the finish of the race:
        >
        > http://www.cranksgiving.net/XtraLoads/CranksgivingYork2011-Back.jpg …and…
        > http://www.cranksgiving.net/XtraLoads/CranksgivingYork2011-Side.jpg
        >
        > Normally the right side of my Big Dummy carries my dog these days, but I
        > think a flock of five frozen turkeys is a decent replacement. Something else
        that was amusing is that the organizers this year also offered a ten minute
        time deduction if an optional turkey was bought. Unfortunately, my riding
        buddy split up all the receipts evenly, so according to the rules my
        manifest packet did not have enough ten minute deductions to place in the
        top three. If all the turkeys I carried had actually counted, then my time
        would have been only 29 minutes and I would have won. I am totally fine with
        that because the winner bought extra stuff as well as a turkey. Separate
        from the race, he also drove his pick up around for two weeks before the
        race collecting scrap metal, which he sold off so he could afford to buy
        twelve other turkeys for donation as well. He not only won first place, but
        he was also recognized as the most charitable. In previous years he usually
        won that charitable award as well, but this year he was eyeing my bike
        differently with envy. He said he was thinking of getting a long-tail bike
        himself, so I told him it would be “on” between him and I during next year’s
        Cranksgiving if he did. Little does he know I am confident I can top or at
        least match his twelve
        > pick-up-carried turkeys on my Big Dummy. I am pretty sure if I had a
        heavyweight contractor-sized garbage bag on each side I could load up seven
        turkeys in each bag. I guess we’ll see. I know the turkeys I carried were
        each about fifteen pounds a piece, so that would potentially make 210 pounds
        of turkey next year, but how much would fourteen turkeys cost? I guess we’ll
        see too since prices could very well go up.
        >
        > By the way, www.Cranksgiving.org, which is the New York site, has 34
        > confirmed Cranksgiving-hosting cities listed for 2011. There are photo
        galleries and great videos of the NYC event on there too. This year was
        Philadelphia’s first Cranksgiving, which was put on by two young cats, who
        had driven out to all four York, PA Cranksgivings I organized until my
        convincing finally got them to do their own. When I started this event back
        in ’99, I never thought it would blow up like it has. It was just another
        messenger race run in a totally different way from other alleycats with the
        idea of messengers giving back a little since some messengers have it hard
        enough that they have to go to soup kitchens at times themselves. It was
        only in 2001 when LA began their Cranksgiving that I realized Cranksgiving
        literally had the potential to go
        > coast-to-coast. Later when I moved to York, PA and Cranksgiving had grown
        beyond the messenger sub-culture I realized something more profound about
        Cranksgiving. There were now three important reasons for Cranksgiving, which
        should be specifically directed to the broader cycling communities in any
        city or town where it might exist:
        >
        > 1) To bring cyclists together for a social event to help form and build more
        cohesive local cycling communities, which might in turn help revitalize
        downtown neighborhoods affected by urban sprawl and/or suburban
        developments.
        > 2) To actively demonstrate to ourselves and the greater community that
        cycling is a viable and efficient day-to-day method of transportation within
        our downtown neighborhoods, which not only promotes good health, but also
        reduces the dependence on automobiles and all the monetary and environmental
        costs of that enclosed separatist form of transportation. 3) To utilize
        grass roots efforts by local people to support a charitable cause in their
        own communities without the dependence of national or global corporations,
        which may only have their own public relations interests in mind.
        >
        > With all of that said, I hope everyone enjoyed the read, and I also wish
        > everyone has a happy Thanksgiving. For all those international
        > Xtracyclists in countries without a Thanksgiving, I wish you the best too as
        we should all be thankful for what we have no matter where we are Ride safe,
        > _TONE_
        >
        >
        >
      • Tone
        Neil, San Diego does not seem to be listed on this year’s Cranksgiving.org list, but for some reason I seem to recall it happening there in a previous year.
        Message 3 of 4 , Nov 21, 2011
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          Neil,

          San Diego does not seem to be listed on this year’s Cranksgiving.org
          list, but for some reason I seem to recall it happening there in a
          previous year. Regardless of whether it has happened in the past or not,
          I am happy to hear my post might entice you or people you know to attempt
          your own Cranksgiving!


          Everyone,

          Here is just a little more about my own Cranksgiving experience this
          year, which might give you some incentive to start one up your own city.
          Let me tell you something personal that happened to me after the race,
          which I did not include in the previous post.

          After the race the whole group biked to the food bank to donate the food
          then dispersed, but one of the organizers rode back with me on the back
          on my Big Dummy. He had to return to the finish because the other
          organizer was still waiting for a few stragglers. While we waited and
          talked, a couple of them showed and were able to ride to the food bank
          themselves to donate their stuff, but two more riders were still out
          there. Eventually the two organizers had to go, but I stuck around
          talking to two other people from the event. One of those people had the
          cell phone number of one of the last two riders, so he called him. They
          had just left their last checkpoint. By this time it was just after 1pm,
          so the food bank had closed and the two remaining riders did not know
          where to donate the food. I offered to rendezvous with them on their way
          back to the finish, so I could take all their food from them and bike it
          to the food bank myself. I figured I could leave the non perishable food
          on the doorstep, and the worst that could happen would be it might get
          stolen by someone in need anyway.

          It turned out the two last riders were a father and daughter. It was
          their first time riding in Cranksgiving and obviously the father was
          riding slow and taking side streets to make sure his daughter was safe.
          She was only twelve… born in 1999, the year I started Cranksgiving! We
          stood around and talked for a while on a street corner after unloading
          their food onto my cargo bike, and eventually it came out that I had
          originally started the event. The little girl was shy, but very pleased
          to meet the founder of the event. She was so innocent and naïve, that she
          tugged on her dad’s arm and whispered into his ear to ask me something.
          She wanted to know why it was called Cranksgiving, so I obviously gladly
          explained. In her triple-fat-goose coat she still looked like she might
          be cold, but with her braces-filled smile she said she was only a little
          tired. Following a closed course eight mile benefit ride during the
          summer, this had been the longest bike ride she had ever done. Her father
          proudly teased her about braving the cold, the traffic, and the entire
          ride while also helping others in the process. She said she was glad she
          decided to ride with her father, and I was moved by her positive
          experience. Here was a young girl about to blossom into womanhood and she
          most likely left the event with so much more than just pride and a great
          father-daughter adventure. She left with more self confidence as well as
          the first hand knowledge she could safely ride around her city on a bike,
          which means in the future she might actually think twice about taking a
          car to perform shopping errands or go visit local friends.

          Just some more food for thought,
          _TONE_
        • Liz W Durham
          Tone, Thanks for the post! I love the spirit and energy and good will of Cranksgiving and am happy to see, read, hear of it each year. I don t think I ever
          Message 4 of 4 , Nov 21, 2011
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            Tone,
            Thanks for the post! I love the spirit and energy and good will of Cranksgiving and am happy to see, read, hear of it  each year.
            I don't think I ever realized though that you were the originator of it. Many thanks to you for all your effort and commitment to it...and hurray! for being able to ride in one this year.

            On Nov 21, 2011 1:33 PM, "Tone" <tone@...> wrote:
             

            I thought I would share some Cranksgiving spirit with the RootsRadicals
            list. As some of you know I started Cranksgiving, a charity bike
            messenger alleycat race, in New York City back during the fall of 1999.
            It was like a scavenger hunt on two wheels in which checkpoints of the
            variable-routed course were supermarkets where food was bought to be
            donated later in time for the Thanksgiving holiday. Store receipts acted
            to proove cyclists had gone to the appropriate checkpoints. Anyway, I
            continued organizing Cranksgiving in New York for eight years while it
            slowly grew and during that time people in other cities began emulating
            my efforts starting with a messenger couple I know from LA in 2001. In
            2007 I moved from NYC and tried to start Cranksgiving up in York, PA
            while an x-messenger friend of mine back in NYC kept the tradition alive
            there.

            For the past four years I built up the event in York, PA, but usually
            year after year I debated more and more whether to continue doing it. It
            is a lot of work for one person to pull off… at least the way I like to
            do it. You see, I am a bit obsessive compulsive and have a graphic arts
            background to boot, so I like things to look sharp while running as
            smoothly as possible. This year I finally decided not to do it, but a
            funny thing happened. Two or three local York, PA past-attendees wanted
            to take it over from me, so after twelve years I was able to actually
            ride in a Cranksgiving!
            I partnered up with a cyclist buddy of mine native to the area and we
            bought about three times what the manifest called for at each store.
            Actually, the deal was he would buy and I would fly… more like a grounded
            cargo plane that is. I carried all the stuff and watched the bikes while
            he went into the stores. I did buy out an entire shelf of canned mixed
            vegetables at our second stop where we swapped places to change it up a
            bit, but he pretty much shelled out the money for everything else while I
            hauled the load. A fair trade he thought. At our last store my buddy
            rolled a shopping cart in because the plan was for us to buy as many
            turkeys as we could as well. Unfortunately, even though I think I could
            haul over ten turkeys the store only had eight fifteen pound turkeys left
            in the freezer bin, so we had to settle for that. Here are two photos of
            my Big Dummy loaded with the turkeys at the finish of the race:

            http://www.cranksgiving.net/XtraLoads/CranksgivingYork2011-Back.jpg
            …and…
            http://www.cranksgiving.net/XtraLoads/CranksgivingYork2011-Side.jpg

            Normally the right side of my Big Dummy carries my dog these days, but I
            think a flock of five frozen turkeys is a decent replacement. Something
            else that was amusing is that the organizers this year also offered a ten
            minute time deduction if an optional turkey was bought. Unfortunately, my
            riding buddy split up all the receipts evenly, so according to the rules
            my manifest packet did not have enough ten minute deductions to place in
            the top three. If all the turkeys I carried had actually counted, then my
            time would have been only 29 minutes and I would have won. I am totally
            fine with that because the winner bought extra stuff as well as a turkey.
            Separate from the race, he also drove his pick up around for two weeks
            before the race collecting scrap metal, which he sold off so he could
            afford to buy twelve other turkeys for donation as well. He not only won
            first place, but he was also recognized as the most charitable. In
            previous years he usually won that charitable award as well, but this
            year he was eyeing my bike differently with envy. He said he was thinking
            of getting a long-tail bike himself, so I told him it would be “on”
            between him and I during next year’s Cranksgiving if he did. Little does
            he know I am confident I can top or at least match his twelve
            pick-up-carried turkeys on my Big Dummy. I am pretty sure if I had a
            heavyweight contractor-sized garbage bag on each side I could load up
            seven turkeys in each bag. I guess we’ll see. I know the turkeys I
            carried were each about fifteen pounds a piece, so that would potentially
            make 210 pounds of turkey next year, but how much would fourteen turkeys
            cost? I guess we’ll see too since prices could very well go up.

            By the way, www.Cranksgiving.org, which is the New York site, has 34
            confirmed Cranksgiving-hosting cities listed for 2011. There are photo
            galleries and great videos of the NYC event on there too. This year was
            Philadelphia’s first Cranksgiving, which was put on by two young cats,
            who had driven out to all four York, PA Cranksgivings I organized until
            my convincing finally got them to do their own. When I started this event
            back in ’99, I never thought it would blow up like it has. It was just
            another messenger race run in a totally different way from other
            alleycats with the idea of messengers giving back a little since some
            messengers have it hard enough that they have to go to soup kitchens at
            times themselves. It was only in 2001 when LA began their Cranksgiving
            that I realized Cranksgiving literally had the potential to go
            coast-to-coast. Later when I moved to York, PA and Cranksgiving had grown
            beyond the messenger sub-culture I realized something more profound about
            Cranksgiving. There were now three important reasons for Cranksgiving,
            which should be specifically directed to the broader cycling communities
            in any city or town where it might exist:

            1) To bring cyclists together for a social event to help form and build
            more cohesive local cycling communities, which might in turn help
            revitalize downtown neighborhoods affected by urban sprawl and/or suburban
            developments.
            2) To actively demonstrate to ourselves and the greater community that
            cycling is a viable and efficient day-to-day method of transportation
            within our downtown neighborhoods, which not only promotes good health,
            but also reduces the dependence on automobiles and all the monetary and
            environmental costs of that enclosed separatist form of transportation.
            3) To utilize grass roots efforts by local people to support a charitable
            cause in their own communities without the dependence of national or
            global corporations, which may only have their own public relations
            interests in mind.

            With all of that said, I hope everyone enjoyed the read, and I also wish
            everyone has a happy Thanksgiving. For all those international
            Xtracyclists in countries without a Thanksgiving, I wish you the best too
            as we should all be thankful for what we have no matter where we are
            Ride safe,
            _TONE_

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