With Cranksgiving making its’ return to Indianapolis in 2019 we have been taking a look back at the event’s first run here in the Circle City. Cranksgiving took place from 2012 to 2014 here in Indianapolis, and was a continuously-growing success. What you are about to read below is the recap article from the 2013 event.

To register for Cranksgiving 2019 visit: www.cranksgivingindy.com

The 2nd Annual Cranksgiving Indy bike ride food drive was a success! 99 riders braved sub freezing temperatures to hit the streets of Indianapolis where they shopped and returned with food that was donated to Second Helpings – a local organization that transforms lives through the power of food.

Riders arrived at the Indy Bike Hub at historic City Market only knowing that they were going to ride 10-15 miles and would be purchasing and gathering food along the way.  Upon arrival they received their manifest that revealed where we would be sending them.

Check In

Two of the locations were not set up as retail establishments, so we provided the riders with trading tokens to trade for food at South Circle Farm and the Green Bean Delivery van parked along the Cultural Trail.  At Kroger and the Winter Farmer’s Market riders would spend another $5-10 (or more!) to purchase the designated food items.

Manifest & Tokens

After receiving their manifests, riders plotted and planned their route and strategy for the ride with the assistance of IndyCog & the Indianapolis Cultural Trail Foundation who were on hand with maps and expert knowledge on how to get around downtown.  There is no pre-defined order in which the riders must visit the four checkpoints – it is up to each rider!

Shortly before 10:30 am, Cranksgiving organizer Nathan Smurdon gathered the riders for the pre-ride briefing to remind everyone to ride safely & enjoy exploring urban Indianapolis as they gathered food and snapped photos to share and enter in the photo contest.  Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard was also on hand to thank everyone for participating.

PreRide Brief

Just prior to departure, Nathan threw a last minute curveball at the riders explaining that because the Winter Farmer’s Market is right next door to the Indy Bike Hub, it could not be a rider’s first or last stop – that would be too easy!  This caused a bit of scrambling as riders re-plotted their course.

Over the next hour or two, riders visited the four checkpoints.


Although there were fewer riders this year more food was collected compared to 2012.  By the end of the day, riders returned with nearly 500 pounds of food for Second Helpings!

After finishing, many riders headed up to the Tomlinson Tap Room where they enjoyed some Indiana craft brewed beer.  Special shout out to Flat 12 Brewery who donated a keg of their Flat Jack Pumpkin Ale – all proceeds from that tap will be donated to Second Helpings as well!

To register for Cranksgiving 2019 visit: www.cranksgivingindy.com