Chilly temperatures didn’t keep a crowd of avid, community-minded bicyclists from setting records — and helping their Sequim neighbors with food this holiday season.
A record high of 66 participants at Saturday’s Sequim Cranksgiving event turned out to collect 2,885 pounds worth of food along with $4,935 in donations for the Sequim Food Bank, organizer Tom Coonelly noted.
The friendly competition that boosts the food bank each year sees participants ride to local grocery stores, purchase needed food items, and bring those items back to the facility at 144 W. Alder St.
This year’s Cranksgiving saw seven teams comprised of 33 total riders gather 1,917 pounds of food. The top team was 3 Crabs, who gathered 1,096 pounds.
There were also 33 individual riders, who collectively gathered 968 pounds.
This year’s event winners include: Fastest finisher Randy Barber, who gathered 30 pounds of food in 30 minutes, breaking his own event record of 35 minutes; The Big Kahuna Daryl Knuth, whose 351 pounds of food was the most by an individual rider; The Little Kahuna Lee Bowman, whose 10 pounds was the least gathered by an individual rider; MEGAWATT Ben Rivera, who gathered the most on an ebike with 73 pounds, and youngest riders Amara (10) and Rayna (8) Buggy.
Food bank executive director Andra Smith told Coonelly that while bicyclists were gathering food Saturday morning, Sequim Food Bank staff and volunteers distributed food to 88 families.
“They will have enough food at Thanksgiving because of generous people like you and everyone who was a part of Cranksgiving,” she wrote.
Sequim’s event is one of the smallest of more than 100 cities in the country hosting a similar Cranksgiving event (see cranksgiving.org). Cranksgiving started as one of several annual bike messenger “alley cat” races in New York City. Each year it is held on 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.