Saturday, November 13, 2010

A hearty bunch

Up until mid-week, we were pretty sure this year's Cranksgiving was going to smash pretty much any standard we'd set through the first three editions. We had good buzz, lots of interest and beautiful weather.

But it's Nebraska in November, so when things went south weather-wise on Friday, we tempered our enthusiasm a bit. Luckily, we had a lot of people more than willing to ride when it was chilly and wet, and we did, indeed, break a record.

We'll probably amend the numbers a bit on Monday or Tuesday, but here's what we have right now:
  • 35 riders (down a bit, obviously)
  • More than 1,345 pounds of food (our second-highest total, but with the smallest turnout)
  • More than $1,200 in cash donations (WAY past last year's total of $658)
Despite being light on riders, which we knew was going to happen, we managed to blow away last year's fundraising total. As a reminder, the Food Bank can turn our $1,000 in cash into more than $9,000 of food. That's a huge, huge impact, people. Thank you to those who gave their time and effort, and to those who helped us reach such a huge number.

And we had prizes, too. The two prizes below were raffled off, with all proceeds going to the Food Bank. (Thanks to Bike Masters for the bike and Chrome for the jersey.)

  • Chrome Coveted jersey: Mark Stursma
  • Origin 8 Cykle 3: Martin Bixby
And here are the category winners:

Women's geared
  1. Suzanne Wilson (her third golden crank)
  2. Angie Eikenberry
  3. Julie Harris
Men's geared
  1. Larry Wilson
  2. Tim Campbell
  3. David Randlemann
Men's single-speed/fixed
  1. Mike Douglas (his third golden crank)
  2. Lucas Marshall
  3. Tom Solberg
*We had no women's single-speed/fixed riders, and no trailer-class entrants this year.

So that's that. Thanks again to all of our sponsors (they're listed on the sidebar to the right), and thanks to our volunteers, riders and contributors. We can't make this happen without you.

If you have pictures, please send them our way and we'll update this post - bredemske at
Finally, mark your calendars for next year: November 12, 2011

Friday, November 12, 2010

Yes, it's going to be cold

Bundle up, and keep in mind you don't have to ride all over tarnation to get what you need. We'd rather have you present and having fun on a shortened journey than at home with a cup of hot chocolate.

Mmmm ... hot chocolate ...

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Last-minute details

True to form, Saturday's weather could well be a mixed bag. The current forecast calls for mid-30s and a 30 percent chance of snow showers.

Pretty awesome, huh?

This is, of course, after the forecast said 42 and sunny, 55 and sunny, 50 and sunny and, finally, back to 42 and sunny. Sigh.

So yes, we may have some snow flying around. But we've had that before - during the first edition of Cranksgiving Omaha in 2007. If snow isn't your thing, please don't cancel your Cranksgiving plans.

Though the idea of Cranksgiving is a race, the main objective is to raise funds and supplies for the Food Bank. If you don't want to embark upon a snowy odyssey, you can take your grocery list, roll down to Target (one mile away), shop in comfort - heck, stop at Starbucks - and roll back whenever you see fit.

Sure, you won't be eligible for the podium, but keep in mind what podium-winners get: old, spray-painted bike parts on a rope. Your odds of getting something cool in the prize drawing are much better than winning old, spray-painted bike parts on a rope.

But you can't win either of them if you're not there. See you Saturday.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Cranksgiving is Saturday!

Well, we're just a few days away from Cranksgiving Omaha 2010. Thank you in advance to those who plan on riding, volunteering or donating — you make the event go. All the planning in the world won't matter if people aren't willing to support the cause.

Every year we have an FAQ of sorts before the event to better explain things. Here it is:

Time: The race starts at noon, but you need to be there around 11:15 to check in, sign the waiver (in which you promise not to get killed — or at least not blame us for it) and get your bike ready. The shopping list will be distributed at 11:50, and the Le Mans start is at noon. You'll like the Le Mans start. It's fun. Really.

What's this gonna cost me?
Whatever you spend on the items on the list. There's no entry fee. The items will cost around 20 bucks, probably. We will have a raffle this year, so if you want to win a bike or a sweet, sweet Chrome jersey, you'll need more cash. Everybody who rides Cranksgiving gets one ticket toward the raffle. If you want more chances to win, you'll have to go above and beyond. We'll fill in those details on Saturday.

What do I need to bring?
You'll need, at a mininum: A bag to carry your stuff, a helmet (required — no exceptions) and some money.

How do I collect all of this?
Your list will have 10 items to buy. They need to come from 10 different stores. You can do that in whatever order you please. As long as you have 10 receipts when you come back, it's no problem.

Are there different divisions?
Yup — geared, fixed/single-speed and trailer, for both men and women. The trailer division will be scored by weight, not time like the other ones. Prizes will be awarded to the top three in each division.

About that trailer division ...
The idea of the trailer division is to carry as much stuff as possible. In 2008, the guy who won had more than 200 pounds in there. So yes, get multiples of things if you're feeling the urge. And if you buy stuff that's not on the list (like super-heavy laundry detergent or something like that), you won't get credit. But that doesn't mean you can't buy it (wink-wink, etc.)

You mentioned prizes.
We have a generous group of companies/individuals who have agreed to donate some bike-related goods. Those sponsor prizes will be handed out through a random drawing. Prizes from riding fast will be different, though still cool.

What if it's cold?
Right now, the 10-day forecast says a high of 52 on Saturday. But we're in Nebraska, and it's November. It could be anything.

No, really cold!
Dress warmer.

Better ride fast. And if snow isn't your thing (whose thing is it, really?), nobody will bat an eye if you get the list, run down to Target (less than a mile away) and bring back all of the stuff. Or if you donate $20. We don't expect you to have a miserable day on the bike.

What are we going to do afterward?
Hang out, give out prizes and eat. We'll have two or three kinds of soup and maybe some cookies. You're welcome to bring food to share with the masses as well. Just shoot me an email — bredemske at gmail dot com to let me know.

Can I donate something if I can't make the ride?
Yes, you absolutely should! There's an online form here, or you can drop by Bike Masters and give it to them. If you make an online donation, please type CRANKSGIVING OMAHA in the comments/special instructions field

How will this whole thing work?
You'll check in, preferably around 11:15 so we can get you signed in, then at about 11:50 you'll get your shopping list. At noon, you'll hop on your bike and ride. Whenever you get back, you'll check in and weigh your bag. After that, you're done. Grab some food. At 3 p.m., we'll pull tickets for the raffle. Do feel free to hang out, too. Bike Masters has been kind enough to host us, so check their stuff out.

Is this a family-friendly event?
Yes, to a point. My three-year-old son will be wandering around the shop, probably stacking cans and stuff, but that's about it. If you're thinking of bringing kids, keep in mind the nature of retail in Northwest Omaha. Lots of strip malls, and a reasonably large amount of traffic. For that reason, we ask that all participants be experienced riders. You don't have to do thousands of miles each year, but you need to be able to handle yourself on a busy street.

I think that's it — email or post a comment if you have other questions. I'll try to get 'em answered pronto. And thanks for being a part of what could be a pretty cool event.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Almost time ...

We're about 10 days out from Cranksgiving Omaha 2010. So far the weather looks good, the sponsors are lined up and excitement is high.

What we're looking for right now is volunteers to make some soup. We traditionally have a beer/cheese soup and chili. For chili, you can make your own recipe - we'll dump it all together. For the beer/cheese, we'll send the recipe and dump it all together.

You'd need to make a double batch of whatever you choose. And you can certainly choose - we just need five people for each kind of soup.

Interested? Drop Rafal a line - rafald1 at