Lisa and I decided, at the last minute, to check out the 2010 Cranksgiving ride last weekend. I’d heard about the charity ride a couple of years ago but never got around to actually participating.

It’s pretty cool to say the least. Cranksgiving is an organized ride approximately 24 miles in length, is a loop on commonly ridden roads – think Dogfish training ride, and stops by five supermarkets. Participants are asked to buy in total about $10-$20 worth of canned goods at one or more of the grocery stores. Riders are asked to carry the goods back to the start where they are displayed to show the enormity of hundreds of people donating the goods to Food Outreach. However, at a few stops the St. Louis Adventure Group (SLAG) worked sag so riders didn’t have to lug heavy cans on their backs – you definitely want a messenger bag or backpack.

Apparently the St. Louis version is the fastest growing and had the largest turnout last year – 500 riders. This year’s addition saw over 800 people and it was quite impressive seeing everyone riding single file (mostly) down Adams Road to Ballas.

We went in style as I borrowed the GORC full-squish BOB trailer and towed all the goods we purchased back to the start/finish. The cross bike felt a little squirrely near the end with about 30 pounds of canned goods following behind. And let me clarify the importance of the start/finish ….. at the Schlafly Bottleworks in Maplewood. The organizers, BicycleWorks, among others, know what riders want after a workout. Yup. Carbs.

Yes, it wasn’t on dirt, and no, it didn’t involve building trail, but it was for a good cause, got us on our bikes, and was very enjoyable… and great beer. I’d recommend it to other GORCers to attend the 2011 edition.

Here’s some snaps we captured throughout the day.
Hybrid Turkey

Rolling start in Maplewood with police escort

Straub’s in Webster Groves getting the treatment. Pick your canned goods wisely or you will pay, literally.

Determining the dynamic load bearing optimization flow ratio. I never solved the equation.

World’s most useful kickstand

Approaching Cranksgiving headquarters – I smell hops. Notice the World Cup socks driving the bus that failed to achieve any semblance of speed and proved my lack of endurance and stamina is, in fact, quite real.

The wall of donations that arrived by bike. This is an early shot before the sag wagons arrived with about the same amount of goods.

Bottleworks bike parking.

We saw the entire range of two-wheeled rides; cross bikes, clapped out beaters, tandems, NEXT/Pacific/enter-chinese-extreme-brand-here 11 inch travel freeride rigs, mountain bikes, hybrids, road bikes made of rusty steel, “” made of nice steel, titanium wonder rigs, carbon fibre – that’s proper English – for the French-made Look featherweights, vintage Klein crust bikes featuring never-before-seen Brooks premium saddles, a bike with a fur saddle (extinct megafauna?), kids bikes, trikes for adults who never learned to ride and would prefer to slide under a Prius at a 4-way stop, hippies on 75cm road bikes with head tubes longer than your top tube, racers on race bikes, moms on race bikes, moms on hybrids, dads on powder blue Varsities, and on and on. You get the idea. All walks of life, all budgets, all liking the bike riding part. Better than the Moonlight Ramble (not as crowded), safer than the old Critical Mass disasters (less scary participants featuring kwik-kopy manifestos).

Drink on, you deserve it. Hot Liquor Porter, I’ll have another. Next year – wide right turns tandem with BOB trailer?