For most of us, Thanksgiving is all about the three F’s: Food, Football, and Family time. But as we unleash our inner glutton, fall into a food coma, and bicker with loved ones over some football player’s latest fail, it’s important to remember those less fortunate. There are families across Arkansas who can’t afford to put food on the table, much less partake in a Thanksgiving feast. And it’s for these families that cyclists, local stores and streets served as the scene for a combined bike ride/food drive/scavenger hunt on November 22 – all with the goal of gathering food for the Arkansas Rice Depot.
Cranksgiving (Part bike ride, part food drive, part scavenger hunt) started as one of several annual bike messenger “alleycat” races in New York City. Each year it is held on the Saturday before Thanksgiving as a way for messengers and other urban cyclists to socialize, compete, and enjoy themselves while also raising food for local soup kitchens or food pantries in time for the Thanksgiving holiday. It is one of the only alleycats focused on raising donations for good causes. Ever since its beginnings in 1999 it has been adopted by organizers in numerous cities in one form or another where all types of cyclists participate to have fun while benefiting a local charity.
And I’ve got five fantastic reasons why you should participate next year:
5. It’s just $10 to $20.
Let’s face it, the $10 would probably otherwise feed your Starbucks addiction or some other “not so necessary” item. Instead, you can spend the $20 on an incredibly worthy cause and buy yourself some good karma. Every stop along the route requires you to purchase a non-perishable food item at one of the grocery stores.
4. Scavenger hunts are awesome.
It’s not often we use our deductive skills for anything other than getting out of a parking ticket. Alleycat races use lots of skills, mental and otherwise. Give the gears in your head — and on your bike — a good spin.
3. You can bond with new BFFs
Need some new friends? You can mix and mingle with fellow charitable givers over an afternoon of cruising the city. It’s a great place to meet new people. Plus, you will meet some of nicest and most charitable cyclist in the U.S. right here in Arkansas!
2. There are prizes.
Ok, so it’s not totally unselfish. Even if you’re in it for the right reasons, prizes are still tons of fun. And the more charitable you are, the better your chances.
1. It’s an amazing way to give back at Thanksgiving.
Most of us live a pretty abundant existence, and it’s easy to forget that there are hungry people out there. But indeed there are, and right in our own backyard. All food collected during the race will benefit the very worthy Arkansas Rice Depot, who’s been providing sensible solutions to hunger in Arkansas for 32 years.
What the participants had to collect:
Rice Depot List – Vienna Sausage, Chef Boyardee, Canned Vegetables, Soup or Soup packets, Dried Beans, Granola Bars, Canned Fruit, (Food banks get a lot of pineapple donated. Their clients love it when other kinds of fruit are available.), Boxed Meals, (e.g. Hamburger Helper), Pasta and Pasta Sauce, Applesauce, Instant Oatmeal, Cereal, Canned chicken/tuna. Bonus – Chocolate – People don’t need it, but think about being in their shoes and how nice it would be to be given a cookie or brownie mix along with your essentials . Look for the one that is add water only.
What the participants had to do:
(All Pictures had to be posted with #cranksgiving #Littlerock on Cranksgiving Little Rock Facebook page.)
- Selfie with entire team at the State Capitol #cranksgiving #Littlerock
- Selfie with Walmart sign on 2510 Cantrell Rd, Little Rock, AR 72202 #cranksgiving #Littlerock (buy items off list here)
- Selfie with entire team’s reflection in something other than a mirror
- Selfie with one of the members of the team standing in front of (or interacting) with a statue
- Selfie with Kroger sign on 614 Beechwood St, Little Rock, AR 72205 #cranksgiving #Littlerock (buy items off list here)
- Selfie with a teammate pumping gas in a stranger’s car
- Selife with man with a beard shaking hands with someone on your team
- Selife with entire team staging a Kung-Fu battle on the sidewalk outside a prestigious hotel
- Get all your teammates inside shopping carts (except for whoever is pushing the carts and whoever is taking the photo) and roll the carts from end of the super market to the other side of the parking lot.
- Selfie with a team member helping to carry a stranger’s groceries
- Selfie with Edward’s Food Giant sign on 1701 Main St. Little Rock, AR 72206 #cranksgiving #Littlerock (buy items off list here)
Love the idea of Cranksgiving, but able to ride through Little Rock streets? We get it. Consider making a donation!
And if that doesn’t convince you, take a look at the photos from this year’s Cranksgiving Little Rock. Cranksgiving 2015 is already scheduled for Saturday November 21, 2015, put it on your calendar.
And now the video:
It’s an amazing way to give back at Thanksgiving. Most of us live a pretty abundant existence, and it’s easy to forget that there are hungry people out there. But indeed there are, and right in our own backyard. All food collected during this year’s race benefited the very worthy Arkansas Rice Depot, who’s been providing sensible solutions to hunger in Arkansas for 32 years.