Thanksgiving Food Drives by Bike

Bicyclists are a mostly generous tribe, and there are a couple food drives happening this weekend in Ohio and New York, namely the “Gobbler Gives Bike Tour” in Dayton, Ohio and the 16th annual “Cranksgiving” in New York City.

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But “Cranksgiving” isn’t an isolated event in NYC, friends; several bicycle-driven food drives have happened the past few weekends all around the United States and parts of Canada, and this weekend more than 30 locations across the U.S. (plus one in Puerto Rico!) are happening. We highlight two below.


New York City – November 22

“Cranksgiving” is a food drive on two wheels. Part bike ride, part charity, part scavenger hunt, it has been held in New York City since 1999, and has expanded to dozens of cities as a grassroots event since then. Last year in New York City, more than 350 riders collected over 1,445 pounds of canned goods, cranberry sauce, potatoes, stuffing, corn, pasta, baby food, pies, and seven whole turkeys for The Bowery Mission. Plus they donated 700 jars of baby food to Nazareth Housing and The New York Foundling.

All of the food collected at grocery stores will be donated to The Bowery Mission. Every year, we provide to help hundreds of needy families with a wealth of food during the week of Thanksgiving. Registration is in person, not online on November 22 from 12:30pm to 2pm. The ‘start line’ will be at Solar One at 23rd Street and the East River.

According to event organizers, the plan is simple. After registration, just show up, grab a manifest, figure out the best route, and start riding when they say “GO!”. Bring a bag, some cash (about $15-$20), and a lock because you’ll need to lock up outside of grocery stores all over the city.

You can ride any kind of bike you want (see FAQs below). There is a longer ride for experienced riders, and a shorter one for people who might be doing this for the first time. The event finishes at The Pit at Chrystie Street and Broome.

According to organizers, if you finish after 5pm and no bikes are around, you can bring your donations to the Bowery Mission: 227 Bowery. Don’t miss the after party at the Chrome Store at 238 Mulberry Street and awards! Even if you come in last, there’s a good chance there will be a prize for you.

Love the idea of Cranksgiving, but don’t want to ride through NYC streets? We get it. Consider making a donation! All funds raised will be split 80/20 between City Harvest, and the New York Bike Messenger Foundation, whose funding makes this event possible. The NYBMF is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization and donations are tax-deductible. Help us reach our goal of $5,000 at our GoFundMe site .

Fun Cranksgiving FAQs:

Do I need to ride a fixed gear bike?

Not at all. Very few rides are “fixed-gear only”. Cranksgiving is definitely not one of them. You can ride any kind of bike you want. We often have tandems, tall bikes, choppers, and penny farthings.

Can I ride a Citibike?

I mean, I’m not going to tell you not to, but it would certainly be challenging finding docking stations at all the right spots.

How much does it cost to register?

It’s free to register, but you’ll need cash to buy food at the grocery stores. $10-$15 should suffice.

Can I register online?

No. Registration will only take place at the beginning of the event. Registration will begin at 12:30pm and the ride will begin at 2pm.

This is such a great idea! How do I throw a Cranksgiving in my own town?

Cranksgiving is a simple event to throw because it requires minimal volunteer effort. Read our How-To Guide for a great starting point.

Cranksgiving 2012 video:




Dayton, OH – November 23

On Sunday, November 23, Miami Valley area cyclists in southwestern Ohio are invited to join Tomfoolery Outdoors and The Foodbank Dayton for a food delivery by bicycle. The “Gobbler Gives Bike Tour” will celebrate the season of giving with a fun bike ride and food drive. Participants are asked to load up their panniers, baskets, backpacks, trailers with food items and then pedal 17 miles from Adventures on the Great Miami to the Foodbank Dayton.

Entry fee is $40 per person that includes t-shirt and celebrations at halfway mark and finish line. Food and proceeds benefit The Foodbank Dayton. You must register by November 17 at noon to guarantee a tour t-shirt. Online registration closes at noon on November 21. Ride day registration is available for $50. Ride begins at noon.

“A food drive that is delivered to our warehouse by bicycle!” said Foodbank Dayton’s Community Relations Director Lora Davenport. “We are so excited to see people getting active while making a difference in so many lives. Each dollar raised will provide four meals for those in need and the food delivered with prevent many from going hungry during the holidays.”

Register for the ride here.


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