Proving far more successful and long-lived than such holiday spinoffs as Crunks-giving or Rama-Drunk, the bike ride/food drive known as Cranksgiving has been collecting canned goods and foodstuffs for food banks and the like since 1997, first in New York City and now in over 28 cities across these United States.
Here's the drill: You bring the bike, along with about $20, some manner of bag, a bike lock and a camera (if you want to participate in the photo scavenger hunt), and show up to the Rathskeller's biergarten by 11 a.m. (enter from the alley off of Cleveland Street). From there, you'll be given a list of places around downtown Indy where you can buy food items. There's no pre-set route, but the rider who doesn't get lost should end up racking up 15 miles' worth of pedaling by the time she returns to the biergarten, where the awards ceremony and after-party starts from 2 p.m.
The food will head to Second Helpings, the food rescue/culinary training program that's also the guest/beneficiary of honor at Tonic Ball, the fundraiser/concert/art show taking place Friday night in Fountain Square. Nathan Smurdon, chief exploration officer at ActiveIndy Tours, notes that "we are NOT promoting this as a race," but rather as a ride that will encourage participants to explore downtown while using new bike lanes and the Cultural Trail. He says this may not quite be the first Cranksgiving in Indy - other, less widely-promoted "alleycat"-style races have taken place around this time locally - but it is the first one that's open to all with a bike.
Saturday: Cyclocross at Marian
Tomorrow's (Nov. 17) IndyCycloplex Cross, open to all racing levels and sanctioned by USA Cycling, is the seventh and penultimate race of the 2012 Indiana Cyclocross Cup. It'll take place at Marian University, which has reinvigorated the Major Taylor Velodrome since taking over its operation and that of the Lake Sullivan Sport Complex last May. The first race of the Indy Cycloplex starts at 10 a.m. and the final at 2 p.m. Race fees depend on the category and range from $10-35 for single events to $45-50 dollars for multiple race registration.