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[Sticky] How to Organize Cranksgiving  


Member Admin
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 16
25/07/2019 4:48 pm  

The Route, Shopping List, Promotion

The basic idea for Cranksgiving is pretty simple. Anyone wanting to organize a Cranksgiving-style ride primarily needs to obtain a list of shopping items desired by a local charity. Once a list of needed products is acquired, a list of the local stores carrying those items has to be compiled. After both, the lists are in hand determine what stores the riders should have to go to and what items the riders should buy at each location, then assemble them accordingly on a manifest master-copy. This determination should be chosen according to whatever manner seems appropriate depending on the desired complexity of the routing options and distances involved for the ride. Once the manifest master-copy is finalized all an organizer needs to do is set a date, time, and location for the start of the ride, then promote the event.


Of course, an organizer must also make enough copies of the manifest for all the expected riders. These copies will be distributed to the riders a few minutes before the actual start of the ride. Later on as the riders are finishing, they will hand in the store receipts from their item purchases. The receipts will prove that they went to all the correct "checkpoints" and gathered all the right "packages". It is also very helpful to have the copies of the manifest printed directly on envelopes or taped to individual envelopes along with instructions for riders to write their names and/or rider numbers on them. This provides a single pouch for the riders to collect their receipts in, so all the receipts can be easily kept track of after the ride. 


Naturally, there is one thing still left to do after the ride. The last element of Cranksgiving is donating all the purchased items to your local charity! Having the riders themselves participate in the donation process is highly recommended. Even though one person may have won the ride, having everyone involved in the charitable act of giving provides all the riders with a sense of accomplishment.


If someone out there would like to establish a Cranksgiving ride in their own town, we just have a few requests in order to use the "Cranksgiving" name. First of all, riders must use bicycles as their only means of transportation. After all, why would you call it "Cranks-giving" if cycling was not involved? Secondly, no entry fee or registration charge should ever be collected! The point of the ride is for charity, so anyone running the event should be doing it out of the kindness of their heart. Besides, the items riders purchase during the course of the ride could be considered an entry fee. The last and probably the most important request is everything people buy along their routes should all be donated to a local charity.

Apart from those guidelines, things are pretty flexible. Naturally, the original intent was to make sure the less fortunate could have a decent meal over the Thanksgiving holiday, so it would be nice to have any Cranksgiving events held on the Saturday before Thanksgiving. This would ideally establish an annual charitable cycling holiday of sorts across the country, which would be incredible. However, we should never limit ourselves from being charitable the rest of the year if possible, so if there is a charitable cycling event someone out there is organizing and would like to call Cranksgiving, then go ahead.


  • PamelaMurray
    November 2015
    Is there a new waiver? I found an old one from 2012. Is the same?
  • pbrito
    October 2016
    Can I get a link to the waiver from?
  • philly_crankster_CJ
    October 2016
    I don't have the waiver handy, but we are starting to get the ball rolling in earnest here in Philadelphia. I had one note I wanted to drop about organizing logistics: Dealing with the actual, physical food that is collected. Back when I was participating in York (2007 - 2011), we would ride directly to the food bank as a group to drop off our donations. It was great!

    Here's the rub with Philadelphia: The Philabundance warehouse is just beyond the 'city' proper, in an industrial district that is fairly difficult to get to via bicycle. Not only that, but it is closed on weekends, and therefore they do not accept weekend drop-offs. We finish our ride at a South Philadelphia bar, which means that all the food collected by riders for the event has to somehow get transported to Philabundance on Monday.

    One HUGE help is having an *insider* at our food bank. The Philabundance IT Manager is a big cyclist, and I think his first Cranksgiving might have been the second-ever Cranksgiving Philly. Ever since then, we have asked for his help in facilitating food transport. He lives around the block from the finish bar, and so the first year, he loaded up his personal vehicle with the Cranksgiving donations and drove it into work with him on Monday.

    The next few years, he was able to borrow one of the company vans/trucks, and since he has keys/codes/etc, we were able to do a 'black ops' drop-off after the event, once all participants have left.

    We have reached a critical limit now. After 2015's collection of 2-ish tons, taking multiple trips in a cargo van just isn't sensible anymore. Our Philabundance guy is now working directly with the Director of Food Drives etc etc. to ensure we have a huge box truck in front of the finishing bar, and special arrangements to have hands on deck at the warehouse for dropping off, even though they are technically closed on weekends.

    I'm glad that Cranksgiving Philly has reached the point where it was literally problematic to deal with that much food collection. But super thankful we have our Philabundance hook-up to streamline things and have inside pull (e.g. box trucks and warehouse workers for this year) that we wouldn't normally have.

    How does everyone else deal with the food collection?


  • pbrito
    October 2016
    I still deliver the food myself, last year we collected a little over 100lbs of food and I just waited until Monday to deliver the food myself. I, unfortunately, drive the food there (I do not want to risk breaking any glass food items via bike travel)
  • philly_crankster_CJ
    October 2016
    Our food bank specifically wants plastic containers for all of its donations (not just us, but in general), due to breakage concerns. You might want to check into it.


This topic was modified 12 months ago by admin