The relaunch of Cranksgiving here in Indianapolis showed that the love for this unique event is still alive and well! The event saw 30 riders come in from all over the state of Indiana come together here in Indianapolis to enjoy what turned out to be a beautiful day of bike riding, exploration, and collecting food for our neighbors in need with the food being donated to the Mid-North Food Pantry.

This event sent riders crisscrossing around the city in search of those food items that are most in-demand this time of year: everything from fresh produce, to canned goods, to lotion and soap. Each rider group got to choose their own route allowing them to customize their own fun and create routes unique to them.

The ride kicked off at the Indy Bike Hub at the historic Indianapolis City Market. Upon arrival each rider was given their rider card that and provided them with 8 different checkpoint locations as well as a shopping list of food and personal items that are most needed by the Mid North Food Pantry. 

From there, riders could choose anything from the more family friendly destinations that were focused around approximately 5 miles of almost exclusively trail and greenway riding, to the more challenging destinations that would send them further out into the city on a more technical route of up 20-25 miles if they visited all 8 locations, or somewhere in between. Checkpoints were scattered all around downtown with those furthest from the start/finish located in Garfield Park to the south and Ransom Place to the north. The only rule that was that each rider or group had to stop at 3 destinations and purchase a minimum of 1 item from each.

However, with the introduction of some friendly competition in the form of a points system groups were buying far more than that at each location! Now, if you are thinking that we introduced this friendly competition aspect to encourage participants to buy more food items, you would be absolutely correct!

The ride kicked off shortly after 10:30 am after a pre-ride briefing to ensure everyone had a safe and fun day traversing the city. From there Mary Neu-Stoppelman from Mid-North Food Pantry shared what a big impact the event would have on the families it was benefitting. That set the stage for riders to roll out on their mission of fun and helping those in need here in Indy, and accomplish that mission they did!

Over the next couple of hours riders executed their planned routes, explored our beautiful city, had a ton of fun, and ultimately returned to City Market with smiles on their faces and a massive haul of food to donate.

Between the generosity of the participants and the introduction of a little friendly competition, at the end of the day the event’s 30 riders had collected more than 320 pounds of food! It was an amazing result for the return of CranksgivingIndy!

Next year’s ride will be Saturday, November 14, 2020. So, mark your calendars and bring your co-workers, friends and family to come and join the fun!