Cranksgiving returns to Cedar Rapids this Sunday

Cranksgiving Cedar Rapids 2019

NewBo City Market — Sunday, Nov. 17 at 10 a.m.

Jav Ducker/Little Village

Cedar Rapidians should bundle up if they want to participate in this year’s Cranksgiving — a cycling scavenger hunt and food drive that benefits a local food pantry.

Cyclists will be given a manifest on Sunday, Nov. 17 with a list of items (totaling around $20) that need to be purchased from specific stores in the area. The items must then be brought to Loaves and Fishes Food Pantry, 1285 3rd Ave SE, to be donated.

Having participants go to the food pantry is an important element of the event, because it gives them a chance to see how beneficial a resource it is to the community, said Logan Orcutt, co-owner of Goldfinch Cyclery. The Cedar Rapids bike store is the organizer of the event and brought the first Cranksgiving to the city in 2017.

While Sunday’s scavenger hunt doesn’t start until 11 a.m., cyclists should plan on arriving at NewBo City Market at 10 a.m. to check in, plan their route and grab some breakfast to fuel up for the ride. Breakfast will be provided by Roasters NewBo and La Reyna.

After completing the scavenger hunt and donating the purchased items, cyclists should make their way back to NewBo City Market for an after-party, where a free T-shirt and pint from Lion Bridge Brewing Company are waiting. Every item donated/purchased also earns participants a raffle ticket for a chance to win prizes — so make sure to hold onto those receipts.

Last year’s event had around 150 participants, and roughly 2,000 pounds of food and hygiene items were donated.

“It was incredible,” Orcutt said. “We basically filled the food pantry to the brim.”

Cedar Rapids Cranksgiving 2018 — courtesy of Logan Orcutt

Cranksgiving originated in New York City in 1999. Now, 20 years later, there are close to 100 independently organized Cranksgivings across the country, including Iowa’s events in Cedar Falls, Clinton, West Burlington, Sioux City and Iowa City. The latter recently celebrated its first Cranksgiving.

“There’s the obvious benefit and takeaway of giving back to the community, but it’s also a really valuable way to get people on their bikes,” Orcutt said. “If someone can ride over 20 miles in November, then maybe it’ll get them thinking of riding their bike to work in the spring.”

Orcutt also mentioned that the event will be happening regardless of the weather, because people are reliant on the food pantry either way. “Elements will not deter this event from happening,” he said.

Cyclists will be able to register for the ride on Sunday at NewBo City Market, but people are encouraged to register online to ensure they get a T-shirt.

Thoughts? Tips? A cute picture of a dog? Share them with LV »


World of Bikes presents:


Come talk with our experts about ways to stay on the bike this winter! Find out more at World of Bikes.

Get Started

The Future is Unwritten

You look to Little Village for today’s stories. Your sustaining support will help us write tomorrow’s.


$10/mo or $120/year
The cost of doing this work really adds up! Your contribution at this level will cover telephone and internet expenses for one month at the LV editorial offices.


$20/mo or $240/year
$240 is enough to cover one month’s costs for sending out our weekly entertainment newsletter, The Weekender. Make a contribution at this level to put a little more oomph on your support and your weekend.


$30/mo or $360/year
(AUTO-RENEW) connects eastern Iowa culture with the world. Your contribution at this level will cover the site’s hosting costs for three months. A bold move for our boldest supporters!

All monthly and annual contributors receive:

  • Recognition on our Supporters page (aliases welcome)
  • Exclusive early access when we release new half-price gift cards
  • Access to a secret Facebook group where you can connect with other supporters and discuss the latest news and upcoming events (and maybe swap pet pics?) with the LV staff
  • Invitations to periodic publisher chats (held virtually for now) to meet with Matt and give him a piece of your mind, ask your burning questions and hear more about the future plans for Little Village, Bread & Butter Magazine, Witching Hour Festival and our other endeavors.