Cyclists will have a chance to help feed Columbia families Saturday during the sixth annual Cranktivus food drive bike ride.
Cranktivus is a free event, but participants need to have a bike, a bag, a lock and $25 dollars to buy food. It will start at noon at Walt’s Bike Shop.
Participants will be given a grocery list and a list five different grocery stores. Cyclists will be asked to buy one item at each store, but they have the option of going to fewer stores if they are less-experienced cyclists. The food will be donated to Central Pantry in Columbia and each cyclist’s donation will add up to a complete meal to feed families this December.
Six years ago, Beth Sheppard founded the annual bike ride, which she modeled after a similar event called Cranksgiving. The name is a reference to Festivus, a secular alternative to Christmas. Sheppard said she wants to promote giving and the inclusion of all holidays.
“The beauty of this event is that it’s not a race, it’s not a competition and there’s no right or wrong way to do the ride,” Sheppard said.
Over 130 bikers donated two hours of their time to the 15-mile route last year, up from about 60 in 2017. That kind of growth has changed the way the bike ride is being done this year.
“We had so many people participate last year that all the stores ran out of food,” Sheppard said. “This year we’re kind of mixing it up in terms of not everyone getting the same thing as the person you’re riding with so we don’t wipe out all the grocery stores in the same place.”
You can bring your kids and get active. You don’t even have to ride your bike to donate. Instead, you can give monetary donations to the Food Bank for Central and Northeast Missouri.
“The weather is going to be great. It’s a ride for everyone, and you’re pretty much guaranteed to have a good time,” Sheppard said.
Everyone dresses up in holiday gear and joins in camaraderie for fun community service. Last year, the event collected almost 1,800 pounds of food.
“I’m looking forward to seeing people who have done it in years past come and do it again and bring a friend,” Sheppard said.
For more information or to register, you can visit Cranktivus’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/cranktivus.Supervising editor is Tynan Stewart.