Saturday, November 15, 2008

cranksgiving '08...

details from brean...

If you're not familiar with this race, it takes place the weekend before Thanksgiving. There's no registration fee, but you're going to need to bring cash with you, because the checkpoints are all grocery stores. At these grocery stores, you're going to have to leave your bike outside, run in, and purchase a specified food item. A bag & a lock is absolutely essential! Once you've collected all of the food items and have finished the race, we do a group ride to drop off all of our donations. Keep all of your receipts, because I'm going to check them to make sure you made it to each of the checkpoints.

God willing, we will again be donating our food to Fraternite Notre Dame, a society of charitable french nuns who help needy people in Chicagao and around the world. The nuns really appreciate our donations and rely upon them to plan and make their holiday meals for those in need.

Therefore, food must be brought back in useable and presentable condition. I am reall strict about this.

Also, you must have receipts. I pick stores that time stamp and itemize their receipts, and I check them all. No stealing.

No working with others, eiither. This is an individual event. You must go in and buy your own stuff, and you may not have someone watching your bike.

a normal bag should do for the minimum amount. i work with Sister Mary of the Gospel in putting together a menu that is manageable. i also try to give the racers a vegan option.

i am trying to make it so that you will be able to drop off food at the afterparty or to the sisters. i am not yet sure if they will be meeting us with a van at the afterparty or at another location.

i consider cranksgiving to be a true alleycat (it was designed by tone, a messenger in new york, in the 90's to be an alleycat event in which messengers could feel good about giving. as the number of messengers declined, tone opened up the event to "civilians.") so, in keeping with that spirit, you will not know the distance of the race. it will be a mystery even as you start the race. but don't worry. it will be between 3 and 53 miles long.

even though cranksgiving is not focused on messengers anymore, you are still going to have to think and act like a messenger. you will have to plan your route on the go, you will have to think fast while you deal with clueless people (and you should be polite as possible), and you will have to be safe --messengers know their limits or they don't last long.

it's a real race, but you don't have to be overly competitive in it. it's for charity. you are doing good by participating. winning should be third on the list of priorities (safety, charity, winning). the prizes aren't that great, anyway. look at the flyer --do you see any sponsors?

but, within the bounds of safety and charity, be as competitive as you feel safe with. here's a story: at the 2005 cranksgiving, andy white came in first, and i followed seconds later, with ken coming in a few seconds behind me. then ken handed andy the sack of potatoes he had dropped while unlocking his bike. if ken hadn't stopped to pick up the potatoes, andy would have been dq'd, and ken would probably have beaten me and won the whole thing.

don't be ken.

see you cats there...rain, shine, or hungover...peace.

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