It was about 54 degrees F, not too cold, at 1:18 pm under November-grey skies, the air misty and with a hint of fog.
Locked Rhododendron (my road bike) to the rack outside the Bike Project and went downstairs to register for Cranksgiving 2017. Cranksgiving is an event where participants ride bikes to area grocery stores and buy various Thanksgiving-type food items for the Central Illinois Food Bank. Mostly it’s just a non-competitive food drive, but there were silly “prizes” for the first person to finish and the person who collected the most food.
On registering I received a “manifest” of needed items and a nifty spoke card.
This would be my fourth (at least the fourth, I’m pretty sure), Cranksgiving.
In the past it has taken me most of a Sunday afternoon to do the circuit of grocery stores in Champaign, Savoy, and Urbana for Cranksgiving. But this year it was on Saturday, and I had to teach a yoga class at three. So instead of going to several stores decided just to have a pleasant ride to Aldi in Urbana and pick up all the items from one store.
To start the event, the participants gathered outside the Bike Project for a group photo
And off we went!
After stopping at the ATM, headed toward Main Street, observing the so-recently turning leaves
Traffic was light on East Main Street.
Near the grove of oak trees by the train tracks, across from the Dart plastics factory checked for foxes but didn’t see any.
Stopped briefly at Weaver Park for a fall-status view.
Then continued on East Main to University Avenue. Was not sure exactly how to get down University from Main Street to the Aldi store–there was not a direct path and it involved crossing some pretty fast vehicle traffic. So crossed University and walked just outside the left side of the road. Was not crazy about this choice and resolved to do something different on the way back.
Got to Aldi, which was not too crowded,
and directly picked up stuffing mix, mashed potatoes, corn, cranberry sauce, and a boxed kit for sweet potato pie.
Paid for the items and tucked the receipt, with my manifest, into the envelope provided by the Cranksgiving organizers, packed the goods in my backpack, and headed back.
Noticed a sidewalk along University Avenue and rode on it.
I know sidewalks are supposed to be verboten to bikes, but as long as you watch for pedestrians, there are places where riding on them just makes more sense than threading through fast traffic.
Got back to the Bike Project just in time for someone making a delivery to leave the door open (he, uninformed about Cranksgiving, was about to lock it, for security reasons, and leave!)
Guess I was the first one back.
Didn’t feel the kind of satisfied fatigue that I had in previous, all-afternoon Cranksgivings, but was done in time to teach my 3:00 yoga class, and it still was good to have been a part of the event!