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

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  • 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 1 of 4 , Nov 21, 2011
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      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

      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:


      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
      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,

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