Cranksgiving Fun

Cranksgiving Gives Back

Shift Modern Cyclery - Be Ready To Ride.

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Last year, the inaugural Cranksgiving Little Rock gave the cycling community a unique opportunity to have a great time while helping the Arkansas Rice Depot serve those in need. Soon after the event, organizer Shana Buterbaugh gave us her 5 reasons why Cranksgiving should be an annual event. We listened. The Second Annual Cranksgiving Little Rock benefiting The Van was bigger, better and more bountiful.

Joe, Tina and I lined up in the parking lot of the downtown Post Office on E. Capitol Avenue with dozens of other cyclists, many wearing proper Thanksgiving attire. We received our pet turkey that would have to ride with us for the entire adventure and return safely to the finish.

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Shana also handed us a fourth team member for the day, Shannon. We almost felt sorry for him since we have our own brand of humor, but he fit right in and played along with us, adding to the fun. We got our manifest with a list of stores that we would have to go to, in order, with a list of items to purchase for The Van. We also received a list of tasks to complete around town, usually involving a selfie posted on social media with the hastag #cranksgivingLR as proof. Each team was assigned to one of three routes and given an hour and a half to get the list and the tasks completed.

Our route started at Stratton’s Market on 3rd Street which we reached in a matter of just a few minutes. The next stop had us filming a trailer for Sharknado 4 at the State Capitol on our way to the Riverdale Walmart where we crossed “get a picture of one of your team hugging a stranger” off our list.

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Hugs all around
Hugs all around

Riding through Alsopp Park toward our next store stop at the Hillcrest Kroger, we knocked out our selfies of someone jumping off a swing, fitting our entire team in a tiny space, and solving a riddle about a court of love and taking a picture on the tennis courts. While we were at Kroger, a firetruck pulled up and we were able to share the Cranksgiving story with the firemen. Our next stop would be the Family Dollar store on 12th Street. We cut down to Monroe and across Markham to get to the 12th Street corridor bike lanes for a swift flat trip to Family Dollar where we picked up the non-food items on our list, baby wipes, bacterial gel, toothpaste, toothbrushes, you know the stuff that helps you feel fresh and clean. Somehow a whole bunch of us hit this spot at one time. The guys at the checkout were interested in what we were doing and sent us off with a “Happy Thanksgiving”.

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We weren’t the only ones spreading the Cranksgiving love. Many on the Ladies of CARVE team were wearing turkey shirts and colorful autumn tutus. Their conspicuous appearance led to a lot of questions and when they explained why they needed to hug a stranger, the stranger not only took the hug, but then gave the team money to purchase an extra share of the bounty. That hug will warm the belly of a hungry person this winter.

Ladies of CARVE, photo credit Wendy Kelley
Ladies of CARVE, photo credit Wendy Kelley

The wind was brutal, it was chilly and we were fighting headwind all the way to the Food Giant on Main Street for our last grocery stop. We added the last items to our backpacks full of canned vegetables, tuna, rice, dry beans, oatmeal, beef jerky, breakfast bars, ramen and all the hygiene items from Family Dollar. Our selfie scavenger list required one of us to lie down somewhere on the grounds of MacArthur Park and play a game of cornchip cornhole trying to toss fritos into the prone teammates mouth. I volunteered because honestly, after 12 miles of riding, shopping, and selfie taking, I was hungry. The next riddle answer we needed a picture for was a mat or a rug. What more beautiful place near MacArthur Park than the entryway to the Arts Center for a welcome mat picture. We had no more purchases to make, but we did have craft time at Stonesthrow to do. With our hand print turkeys taped to our helmets, we were finally done and on our way back to the starting point where a meal donated by the fabulous Three Fold Noodles and Dumpling Company , beer from Stonesthrow and Apple Blossom Brewing, and dessert from the local dreamery, I mean creamery, Loblolly,  who seems to show up wherever and whenever there is a cool charity event going down.

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I had the puppy chow ice cream, but I hear the flavor of the day was a scoop of pumpkin buttermilk with a scoop of salted caramel. Go get a ice cream pint or two, a cold mug of frothy goodness, or a bowl of dumplings and tell them how much it means to have local businesses supporting events like this one.

Norfork Adventure Supply
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Sally handing out ice cream to all the participants and a few folks who just wandered up

Along with sponsors Spokes Little Rock, Chainwheel, Three Fold, Stonesthrow and Apple Blossom, prizes and giveaways were also donated by Hillcrest Waterbugs, Swiftwick socks, Blue Canoe Brewing, and Crave boxes. Many thanks to Shana Buturbaugh and her team for all the weeks of hard work that went into this event. We hope to see you all next year for Cranksgiving part 3.

Watch for a follow up on more ways you can partner with The Van to help those in need around Little Rock.

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Ozark Outdoor Supply

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