I had the opportunity to meet up with last years Harrisburg edition of the nationwide Thanksgiving holiday bicycle race called Cranksgiving and I wasn't about to miss this years event. Cranksgiving is an event where you get a manifest with instructions and shopping list of food needed at the Central PA Food Bank and a list of stores you have to visit. You are given the "ready, set go..." and you are off to collect the goods. At the end, you had in your sheet, receipts and food items for the food bank. Along the way, you joke and harass your fellow "competitors", entertain odd looks from a bunch of people in bicycle gear racing through stores and trying to bribe the cashiers to not accept "Bill's Payment".
We had a slightly larger group this year and the bulk of the pack stuck together and made it more fun in stores with a single cashier and a line of a half-dozen cyclists trying to buy a can or two of canned yams.
Weather for this event in recent years has been seasonally pleasant. It's always a hit or miss for this time of year, but the sun seems to shine down on us. This year added a stop at Pedal Pusher bicycle shop to collect a sticker.
If you want to shave a few minutes off your time and you can't come up with a suitable shortcut, you can always purchase a turkey along the way to knock 10 minutes off your time. Savvy competitors are smart to make this the last store and make it the stop that within the last mile of the end. Carrying a 25lb turkey a short distance proves to be a challenge. My cowrker Dave and I showed up at the food bank first this year each struggling back with our single turkey a piece. The unicycling Power Ranger was the only person to make it back a head of us, but as he only had a single wheel, we allowed him an amended route.
The next person in was our friend "Bang" from a local "adventure runner club" with just a short while behind us... but thoroughly showed us up by producing 3 turkeys from her multiple backpacks. Way to go! The next "team" that flowed into the finish was AA, Deathwish and Curtis.... They had stashed a wagon at the last grocery store and proceeded to load it up with about 9 turkeys that they dived up to give their one guy a finishing time of 30min and the overall victory. Well played gentlemen!
The day was very rewarding. We got to help out a good cause and donate some food for families in need and have an absolute blast doing it. To quote Cathy Pardionton, one of the event helpers, "About 20 people rode 15 miles, visited six stores, collected 882 pounds of food(442pounds turkey) for the central PA food bank....and that is Cranksgiving!"
Hope you can decide to join us next year! The more the merrier.