Cranksgiving returns for its sixth year of helping charitable operations replenish food banks across the USA. The local leg of the cycling event has, for five years now, sponsored a food drive alley cat race and ride -- a fun version of a scavenger hunt for nonperishable goods benefiting the Camillus House. The event is simple and with no sign-up fee, the $10 required goes toward the purchase of the items on the checklist. The "race" is not a competition per se, as folks can do it at their own pace as long as the items are collected and donated.
Participants will receive a map and manifest/checklist when they register before the race and will travel the ten to 17 miles (depending on route choice) to find designated grocery stores. The organizers expect about two bucks to be spent per store and will require the purchase receipts, and as they say in their release, "...speed will be an obvious factor. However, knowing your way around the city and the aisles of a supermarket can be advantageous." All types of bikes are accepted as long as everyone remembers that the cause is the most important factor uniting the racers.
As an added bonus, and showing the increasing profile that cycling is beginning to enjoy in South Florida, NBC's Today Show will join the riders to participate and document the experience.
Last year's event had about 130 riders and this year, the organizers are encouraging participation as part of a team, group and/or organization, as well as individuals. The Today team will consist of Natalie Morales and Kerry Sanders with NBC 6's Jawan Strader and will certainly raise the event's profile; the team will also be filming for a segment on Cranksgiving for their Monday telecast.
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All great events have cool prizes and giveaways and Cranksgiving is no different, coming from a long line of sponsors like Ass Savers, Bike Nerds, Champ Bags, Chrome, Cinelli, KIND, Knog, and more.
Founded by Brother Mathais Barrett over 50 years ago at the behest of bishop Coleman Carroll to help feed the influx of Cuban refugees of the era, the Camillus House has grown as a full service center providing a "continuum of care" for South Florida's poor and homeless. Like most nonprofits, theirs is a continued struggle with funding and depends on events like this to remain operational and provide a service that neighboring communities have come under fire recently for failing to address humanely.
Cranksgiving gets going at 2 p.m. on Saturday, November 22 at the Stephen P. Clark Government Center Bulding, 101 NW First St., Miami. Visit themiamibikescene.com.