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[Sticky] How to Organize a Cranksgiving

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The Route, Shopping List, Promotion

The basic idea for Cranksgiving is pretty simple. Anyone wanting to organize a Cranksgiving-style ride primarily needs to obtain a list of shopping items desired by a local charity. Once a list of needed products is acquired, a list of the local stores carrying those items has to be compiled. After both, the lists are in hand determine what stores the riders should have to go to and what items the riders should buy at each location, then assemble them accordingly on a manifest master-copy. This determination should be chosen according to whatever manner seems appropriate depending on the desired complexity of the routing options and distances involved for the ride. Once the manifest master-copy is finalized all an organizer needs to do is set a date, time, and location for the start of the ride, then promote the event.


Of course, an organizer must also make enough copies of the manifest for all the expected riders. These copies will be distributed to the riders a few minutes before the actual start of the ride. Later on as the riders are finishing, they will hand in the store receipts from their item purchases. The receipts will prove that they went to all the correct "checkpoints" and gathered all the right "packages". It is also very helpful to have the copies of the manifest printed directly on envelopes or taped to individual envelopes along with instructions for riders to write their names and/or rider numbers on them. This provides a single pouch for the riders to collect their receipts in, so all the receipts can be easily kept track of after the ride. 


Naturally, there is one thing still left to do after the ride. The last element of Cranksgiving is donating all the purchased items to your local charity! Having the riders themselves participate in the donation process is highly recommended. Even though one person may have won the ride, having everyone involved in the charitable act of giving provides all the riders with a sense of accomplishment.


If someone out there would like to establish a Cranksgiving ride in their own town, we just have a few requests in order to use the "Cranksgiving" name. First of all, riders must use bicycles as their only means of transportation. After all, why would you call it "Cranks-giving" if cycling was not involved? Secondly, no entry fee or registration charge should ever be collected! The point of the ride is for charity, so anyone running the event should be doing it out of the kindness of their heart. Besides, the items riders purchase during the course of the ride could be considered an entry fee. The last and probably the most important request is everything people buy along their routes should all be donated to a local charity.

Apart from those guidelines, things are pretty flexible. Naturally, the original intent was to make sure the less fortunate could have a decent meal over the Thanksgiving holiday, so it would be nice to have any Cranksgiving events held on the Saturday before Thanksgiving. This would ideally establish an annual charitable cycling holiday of sorts across the country, which would be incredible. However, we should never limit ourselves from being charitable the rest of the year if possible, so if there is a charitable cycling event someone out there is organizing and would like to call Cranksgiving, then go ahead.