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Re: [rootsradicals] Cranksgiving 2011 charity bike ride w/ photos

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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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