Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A quick thank you...

There's a bunch of follow-up to be done, but for the moment, let me start off by saying a bunch of thanks yous right here and right now.

First of all, huge thanks to everyone who came out, rode, donated, and overall kicked ass. Near the end there, I announced that the total haul was 852 lbs of food. But I was wrong. I wasn't counting the non-race donations, and I was totaling individual weights, and rounding-error stack-up blahblahblah... well John from Food Gatherers shot me an email yesterday and when they weighed it all on the big scale back at the warehouse - 1005 lbs.

Holy Guacamole, folks... that's half a ton.
I was hoping to do better than last year, and secretly, I dreamed of 1000 as a target for this year, and well... there we are. Speechless, me.

OK, I take that back, not exactly speechless. I'll go on here a little because there's more thank yous to pass along. Cranksgiving Ann Arbor had a bunch of very generous sponsors this year, and I am grateful for their generous support. My goal with the prizes was to have an incentive for people to haul lots of food and do it fast. Not just riding fast, but not just carrying heavy cargo, either. It worked out better than I could've hoped. 41 people, 1000lbs of food. That averages out to ~25 lbs each. Wow.

Attracting people to benefit a good cause goes a lot easier when there are prizes to be won too. I will admit to some amount of flat-out cold-calling, and it just goes to show how classy some folks are - our sponsors came through and made the prize pool splendid indeed.

Special Huuuuge Thanks to Emily and all the folks at Surly. They chipped in this huge prize pack of really cool stuff (jerseys, hubs, hats, flasks, tools, and more...) that arrived just in time, and I was very glad to be able to spread that stuff around to the people who hauled in food. I wasn't planning on having a title sponsor, but if you count it by the prize donations, Surly was it. They make cool stuff - you should check them out. (One day, when I have space and money for it, I'm getting myself a Big Dummy. I swear... hauling big stuff without the trailer hassle? Sign me up.)

But that's not all - importantly (to me), Swobo came through early on (months ago) in the prize donations, and that support was a big part of trying to make a good event. Thanks Stevil, for the support and donation, and indirectly, motivational support. People talk about community of bike people, and everyone knows the people in their neighborhood, but when you see it come from all the way over in a different time zone, I know that people on bikes, wherever they are, are the good kind of people. (and if you haven't read Stevil's blog, you should. good times, that.)

But let's not forget all the other sponsors... Go with what you know, right? Well... I have a tendency to reach out to suppliers of my drug(s) of choice, and when it comes to around town, it's Arbor Brewing Company and Mighty Good Coffee.

Rene and Matt at ABC are just...well, pillars of the community around here. Not only do they make tasty beer, but they sponsor lots of events for good causes, are active with developing a vibrant downtown, and put their money back into the community. I, for one, and very glad they're here. Thanks to Matt and Rene and Beth for the contribution of the mug club membership. When Rex had first pick at prizes, the mug club was the first thing he wanted, and for good reason.

Dave at MGC not only chipped in coffee beans and tires to the prize pool, but brought brewed coffee to the race for everyone. OK, I lie... Wendy actually brought it. But Mighty Good Coffee is good bike people, and good coffee people, and that's goodness to go around. I got the impression that they pedal beans to your door...(?) Invested in local community, making good product, environmentally conscious? Sweet.

And still in Michigan... a big thanks to Velocity in Grand Rapids and The Hub Of Detroit for helping out with the prize pool. Velocity makes sweet rims, and wheels, and all kinds of other stuff, and has been supporting and promoting racing for as long as I can remember. The Hub (aka Back Alley Bikes) is not only a bike shop, but as half of what they do is a place for a local cycling outreach and education. Bringing more bikes to more people in the city, and sharing knowledge. Good stuff.

And not to forget Yancopads for their support - they make sweet hats and frame-protecting pads for your urban bike-padding needs, and their generous support for this and other events around these parts.

OK, so that wasn't exactly quick thank yous, but that's just because I go on and on. So I'm going to stop now. I'll get results posted after I type 'em in... soon, soon, I swear.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

more support

Emily over at Surly just let me know that they're sending a care package our way... which is so very very cool of them.

Among my personal herd of steeds, is my very own Surly. I do so enjoy it, and I'm not plugging them just because they're chipping in prizes. In a world of crazy carbon-ium, silly-low-spoke-count wheels, and all sorts of other shiny doo-dads, Surly makes solid bikes that ride really nice. Think about it next time you're shopping for a new bike.

Monday, November 17, 2008

it goes a little something like this...

What's Cranksgiving? - It's a food drive, on bikes, with prizes. Some might call it a race, but you don't have to be a racer to participate (there's two courses - fast/hard, and slow/determined).

When, Where, and How does it happen? - Sunday, November 23rd, 2008. Meet at Bandemer Park at the Main St. entrance (click here for a map) at 3:00 pm. Bring yourself, a bike, some money (to buy food), a lock (for parking outside the grocery stores), and something to carry food in while you're riding.

From the starting point, you'll go to local grocery stores (maps will be provided) and buy non-perishable food items - keeping the receipts to prove you bought them during Cranksgiving. After you've gone to all the stores on your course, you come back to the finish line where you'll drop off the food. Food Gatherers will be collecting and weighing the food, and there will be some post-Cranksgiving warm beverage, and socializing, and awarding of prizes.

Does it cost money? - Yes. But you're not giving the money to me - you're using it to buy food, and that food goes to Food Gatherers, who runs the food bank for Washtenaw County. How much money? - That depends on you - how much you buy/give. I would recommend bringing at least $10. You have to buy something from at least one store, but the prizes are geared towards hauling food, so the more you bring in, the better the winnings. (heh. get it? "geared"?)

Remember though - it's not about throwing money around. It's about how much food. Big cans of tuna, peanut butter, bags of rice, beans - they're nutritious, and cheap, and feed more people. My biggest nightmare is that people come in with 5 single-servings of ramen. My biggest dream is that people do like Adam and Matt and Ben and Natalie did last year, with 5lb bags of rice, 16 lb turkeys, bringing in 18lbs of pasta and peanut butter... that kind of thing.

What's the Course? - There's two: the Super Size course will be long. About 15 miles or so - kind of like last year, but not exactly the same - but probably 5 stores. Appetizer Course will have 3 stores on the route, so shorter.

What is there to win? - Well, everyone wins the satisfaction of knowing that they're helping people in need. But more specifically:
  • Grand Prize: Round-trip airfare for one, anywhere that NorthWest Airlines will take you on 50,000 frequent flyer miles. So there's restrictions based on their policies for "award travel", you know... blackout dates, etc. etc. but as long as you can navigate that, it's off you go.
  • Other Prizes: Merino Jerseys from Swobo, Rims from Velocity, Beer from Arbor Brewing Co. (mug club membership), pads/hats from Yancopads, coffee from Mighty Good Coffee, etc.
What the weather is crappy? - Rain/snow or shine, folks. Hunger knows no season, and neither do we. Wear gloves, dress warm, pedal hard.

Monday, November 10, 2008

so far, so good.

A flyer for the moment. Other sponsors TBA.

I'm still trying to figure out how to give away a plane ticket as a prize. I've got 50,000 frequent flyer miles to give away, which gets you a round-trip in the lower 48 on NorthWest. Should it be the grand prize for the fast ones, or the ones who bring in more food?

other stuff going on

Also happening the weekend of Cranksgiving... a multi-day event in Detroit - 6pm Saturday night for makin' with the tricks and skids, and 8pm Sunday night for the the alleycat and the party with the DJ. Check out Andrew's blog for details.

For the ambitious, do all three - show off your skills on Saturday in Detroit, show off your big heart (and hauling capacity) on Sunday afternoon in Ann Arbor at Cranksgiving, and then head back to The D on Saturday night to how off your speed and style and partyness.


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

we now return you...

... to your regularly scheduled race.

OK folks, it's been a little slack over the summer, but now that the Halloween festivities are over, and now that the election is (almost) over, what we have before us is - Cranksgiving. The plan is the same as earlier with two courses to choose from. The date? It's going to be the 23rd. Sunday. Afternoon. Daylight (or as much as we can get).

The good news I got today is that Velocity is chipping in to the prize pool too. How awesome is that? They're here in Michigan, make really sweet stuff, and they're really cool folks. Thanks to MD over in Grand Rapids.

Stay tuned folks, it's shapin' up. I'm getting that tingly Cranksgiving feeling again.