Cranksgiving 2019: Bicycle scavenger hunt food drive to be held to benefit Amos House

Cranksgiving gears up for holiday giving

On Saturday, November 23rd, Providence bicyclists are going to crank up the holiday goodwill. Part food drive, part scavenger hunt, part bike ride – “Cranksgiving” is a nationwide event that connects people with the provisions they need around Thanksgiving. This year, the Providence version is being presented by Recycle-a-Bike, an Olneyville community bike shop, and Providence Bike Jam, a monthly social group ride. 

Participants can either ride solo, with a pre-determined team, or with a team that will be organized at the start. Each team will get a list of food, clothing, and other items needed by Amos House, a Providence homeless shelter. They will also get a list of local stores they have to ride to, where they can buy no more than 5 items at each location. With no set route, riders and teams will see who can get the most items the fastest before heading back to Recycle-a-Bike for a party. Organizers will collect receipts and keep time to determine the winners. 

“Cranksgiving is a unique way to have fun while giving back,” said Gregory Guertin, executive director of Recycle-a-Bike in a press release. “We love giving people a chance to explore the city by bicycle while also collecting much-needed items for our neighbors in need.” 

While there is no cost to register and no requirement for how many items each person has to buy, participants should expect to spend about $10-25 dollars on items like non-perishable foods, socks, toiletries, and more. Extra points will be given for bulkier and heavier items like pillows, books, and diapers – which riders can carry with bike trailers, cargo bikes, or with expert bungee-cord skills. 

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“Last year, Amos House provided over 140,000 free meals and over 15,000 hygiene packets to the community,” said Jessica Salter, Chief Philanthropy Officer of Amos House in a press release. “We are only able to do this with the help of our network of donors throughout this state.  Each time someone donates a higher cost item like a pound of coffee, it frees up funds for us to invest in fresh protein and produce.  And because 100% of our hygiene items are donated, we truly depend on the community to be able to provide this vital service.  We are immensely grateful to everyone who is marking this month of giving thanks by participating in Cranskgiving.”

After the ride, Cranksgiving will wrap up with a party at Recycle-a-Bike, with food and drink provided. 

“I participated in a Cranksgiving ride up in Boston,” said Liza Burkin in the press release, an organizer of the Providence Bike Jam ride that happens on the last Friday night of every month. “It was so fun and fulfilling – when I moved back to Providence I knew I had to help grow it here.” 

Providence’s second annual Cranksgiving will be on Saturday, November 23rd, from 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm, beginning and ending at Recycle-a-Bike, 1911 Westminster Street. The rain date will be Sunday, November 24th