With the Sequim Food Bank unable to take food donations because of COVID-19 protocols, the annual Cranksgiving event — an event that looks each year to donate hundreds of pounds of food for the area’s hungry — is getting modified for its 2020 iteration.
Participants are encouraged to bike, walk or drive to the Cranksgiving tent between 8 a.m.-noon Saturday, Nov. 21, at the Sequim Food Bank, 144 W. Alder St., to drop of a monetary donation and show support for the community organization.
Participants will receive a Cranksgiving mask and an entry number for the raffle, with prizes later mailed to winners.
Donations to the Sequim Food Bank, 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, are tax-deductable.
For more information, contact organizer Thomas F. Coonelly at Coonelly@olypen.com or 360-681-7053.
Starting as one of several annual bike messenger “alley cat” races in New York City, Cranksgiving is held the Saturday before Thanksgiving as a way for cyclists to socialize, compete and enjoy themselves while gathering food for local soup kitchens or food banks in time for the Thanksgiving holiday.
Instead of a straight race between a start and a finish or between multiple check points going from one check point to another, Cranksgiving involves required stops with several choices and routing options. The original idea behind the race structure is to mimic the average workday of a courier and winds up a kind of scavenger hunt on wheels.
Since its beginnings in 1999 it has been adopted by organizers in numerous cities in one form or another where all types of cyclists participate, having fun while benefiting a local charity. To date, more than 150 cities nationwide have announced their participation.
In 2010, a small group of cyclists organized Sequim’s first Cranksgiving; about 30 or so riders and families competed in the first local event and in keeping with tradition winners in various categories were each awarded a traditional trophy can.
Sequim is among the smallest cities in the country to host an event.
Last year, Sequim’s ninth-annual Cranksgiving event, 46 riders wheeled their way from store to store and tallied 2,465 pounds and $323 in cash donations for food bank. Port Angeles held its second Cranksgiving and gathered 1,000 pounds of food for the PA Food Bank — up from 400 pounds in its inaugural event.
Editor’s note: the Nov. 11 edition had an incorrect date printed for the 2020 Sequim Cranksgiving event. — MD