On the Saturday before Thanksgiving, bicyclists from around NYC join together to participate in the annual Cranksgiving Alleycat Race to give back to the community. For those unfamiliar with alleycat races, they are made for cyclists and bike messengers to test their skills winding through traffic and skipping red lights in a scavenger hunt-like race. Cranksgiving is a little different in the sense that it is one of the only alleycat races that is designed to donate to charity.
The 12th annual Cranksgiving race began in Tompkins Square Park in the East Village on Saturday November 20th, with over 200 competing riders. Each cyclist was given a manifesto with the location of 16 different supermarkets in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens. The rules were simple; cyclists had to ride to 4 different supermarkets and buy one of the listed items (canned beans, breaded stuffing, chicken soup, etc) at each store. Additionally, each cyclist had to buy two cans of baby food and drop each can at two different checkpoints. Speed was only half the battle. The race involved a lot of strategic planning. No doubt the more experienced bike messenger, of whom there were a lot, navigated their routes between supermarkets and checkpoints with amazing skill. The messenger above rode a tall bike and managed to finish in the top 30 cyclists! In the past 2 years Cranksgiving participants have donated over $2000 in food to Saint Mary’s soup kitchen on the Lower East Side. Additionally, two Nazareth Housing & Hudson Guild each received over 100 jars of baby food.
If anyone noticed a bunch of crazy cyclists frantically riding around NY yesterday leave your comments below!