Known for riding off the front of group rides only to be caught in the first mile, CJ got back on a road bike and realized he must win the Donut Derby at least once in his life. Regularly pledging he's "not a climber," he can be found as a regular attendee of Trexlertown's Thursday Night Training Criterium or sitting on the couch watching Paris-Roubaix reruns. CJ has been a constant rider of the Hell of Hunterdon in New Jersey and races the Tour of the Battenkill before going into seasonal hiding on cross-country ski trails.

Events: Cranksgiving 2017 powered by Doylestown Bike Works

Events: Cranksgiving 2017 powered by Doylestown Bike Works

(2017) Growth, for the lack of a better word, is good. The 2016 Cranksgiving hauled in nearly 6,000 pounds of food during Doylestown’s edition of the donation group ride benefitting the Bucks County Housing Group Food Pantry. This year, with 25% more preregistered riders, there were aspirations of overcoming last year’s total. That’s why the sixth annual Cranksgiving powered by Doylestown Bike Works was a display for growth.

 

Consider six years ago when riders informally rode the fundraiser with food stowed on his/ her person for the entire route. Rumor has it riders could choose the order of the grocery stores. This limited the donations to how much one rider could carry. The donation totals were born of sweat and pedal pushing along with a bit of machismo. Now riders casually stroll out of a grocery store on a carefully laid out route. Instead of carrying the items, riders place their freshly purchased goods in the arms of volunteers watching and waiting. The volunteers keep an eye on the dozens of bikes with blinking lights in exchange for items to be donated. Riders were asked to keep their donations within the items listed on the cue sheet.

  The first stop, Giant Food Stores saw the most cyclists in one stop. The first stop but the farthest store, riders enjoyed the warmth light Sunday shopping crowd.

The first stop, Giant Food Stores saw the most cyclists in one stop. The first stop but the farthest store, riders enjoyed the warmth light Sunday shopping crowd.

I plopped my contribution into the cart proud to see how much the cycling community was coming through. Large boxes of diapers took up the first shopping cart ready for collection. Canned foods and other non-perishable items were listed to refill the Food Pantry. Growth was evident again when Doylestown Bike Works parked their rental truck at the first stop. The need to rent a moving truck to collect the food from all three stops is a remarkable sign of production.

 

  The cue sheet recommendations of what participants should purchase.

The cue sheet recommendations of what participants should purchase.

The ride departed with temperatures in the twenties. That did not deter the participants considering last year’s event was held in slightly warmer conditions. That is, these hardy riders shirked at the fact that it was a bit colder than some would classify as comfortable. The two or three climbs in the early portion of the long route helped in warming everyone up.

 

With two more stops located near the start/ finish line, riders filled more carts and baskets to benefit the Bucks County Housing Group Food Pantry. This is the portion of the ride when the event is strung out. There are fewer cyclists seen. Acme Grocery Store gave Cranksgiving participants their own checkout lane to keep people together.

 

While all participants were making their way to the finish area, employees of Doylestown Bike Works were making their way to the grocery stores with the rental truck. The truck would go off to the food pantry where it would be weighed and estimated. With a 25% increase in participation, would the event see a correlation in food collection? Last year Cranksgiving hauled in 5,937 pounds of food exactly. This year participants brought in a remarkable 7,324 pounds according to Erik Clare, Director of Development at the Bucks County Housing Group. That's nearly a 25% increase in collection. More participants certainly meant more food collected.

  Military surplus meets food trucks. The Mission BBQ truck is definitely eye catching.

Military surplus meets food trucks. The Mission BBQ truck is definitely eye catching.

As riders returned from both the short and long course, a massive black military food truck produced by Mission BBQ greeted them. Participants were given a complimentary meal to warm them up after donating goods. The Doylestown Bike Works tent stayed on site at the event start/ finish until well after noon. If any hint is given that next year’s event will increase the amount of donations it can be found in the numbers. More people equal more wallets to open for donations. If we can create a pun toward the negative connotation quote from Wall Street about greed, it can be positive to state that growth, for a donation event for those struggling during the giving season is a good thing.

 

An original version of this article incorrectly reported the 2015 Cranksgiving totals as 7,000 pounds. The amount was just under 6,000 and has been adjusted here.

Review: Long Rifle Soap Company’s Beard Oil

Review: Long Rifle Soap Company’s Beard Oil

Rides We Like: Green Hills Farm (Pearl S. Buck House)

Rides We Like: Green Hills Farm (Pearl S. Buck House)