#CranksgivingNOVA – Ride Report

Monday, November 25, 2019

By Leslie Tierstein

Cranksgiving is a “bike ride [that] combines [a] donation drive and scavenger hunt for a good cause.” Cranksgiving was started by bike messengers in New York City in 1999. It has since spread to many cities throughout the US.

Dates and suggested donations vary by location. Most rides seem to be held the Saturday before Thanksgiving. The first Cranksgiving ride in the DC area took place this year, sponsored by Bike Arlington. The donations on our “manifest” concentrated on clothing. The beneficiary of the collection was A-SPAN, the Arlington Street People’s Assistance Network.

I had great fun during the ride – navigating between the six locations and visiting them. Some were old haunts – I had just been to Phoenix Bikes the night before, to participate in their Friendsgiving potluck; I was thrilled to go to Casual Adventure, where I’ve been a customer for years; and I’m at the Crystal City Water Park quite often.  It was  the first time I had been in the Target in Potomac Yards, and to Hops ‘n Shine, although I’ve ridden by it countless times on my way to Delray. (Gotta get back there and actually buy something to eat and/or drink when there’s more time and when the weather is nicer – there’s a great outdoor patio.) And Los Tios is also definitely worth another visit.

My team (“the Schleppers”) carried our acquisitions from the shopping list – both donations from the participating businesses and items we bought –  back to Ireland’s Four Courts on our bikes. Once there, the organizers toted up our score while we enjoyed the company and the food and drink. Oh – there are individual and team prizes – for most points (based on items collected, places visited, and bonus points – take a picture of a car blocking a bike lane or the new Quincy Street protected lane! Do a Thanksgiving dance! Play chess at the Water Park!) I think the prizes were pretty good, but I don’t know for sure – my team came in fourth! Drat. Next year!)

Two of the people on my team were from Virginia, two from DC, and one from Maryland. Between us, we knew the territory pretty well, so improvising routes was no problem. Two of the DC’ers commuted every day to Crystal City. One of them did most of his riding commuting and was looking for a recreational club. I recommended PPTC, but with a warning that many rides start out of town – he doesn’t have a car.

Next year PPTC could have a team. Or two. Or three. It’s a great opportunity to contribute to a worthy cause, while combining biking, shopping, eating, and making friends or

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