Seattle Cranksgiving 2014

Happy Cranksgiving, everyone! Cranksgiving defined by Seattle Bike Blog:

Cranksgiving is a food drive scavenger hunt by bike exploring some of Seattle’s most unique food vendors and grocery stores to gather food for Rainier Valley Food Bank.

I took a bunch of pictures over seven hours and 20 miles: Flickr set of all 90 pictures. 105 riders participated and Seattle Bike Blog is sure to post a recap with more data soon.

Participants were allowed to form teams of three. We were nine (but five of them were kids). Alyssa on her Xtracycle EdgeRunner with CycleFab/Haulin’-Colin-attached Burley Piccolo trailer bike and one kid, Dave on his regular bike with trailer bike, me on my Surly Big Dummy with two kids, and Barbara on regular bike with kid bike coupled behind with FollowMe Tandem coupler and one kid.

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Here’s the manifest:

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In an effort to finally get to the finish line on time, I created a route map ahead of time and warned friends we’d only hit two grocery stores on the way. I didn’t bring my route instructions with me so we didn’t quite stick to this, but just for future reference and the sake of sharing, here’s my flat-as-possible route from Gas Works to Rainier Valley via Capitol Hill and Beacon Hill because we really didn’t want to ride Lake Washington Boulevard again after last year’s many brushes with people driving too close for comfort.

And were were ten minutes late anyway! But we had tons of fun and I did all the photo challenges, which was a blast.

Even without my carefully curated directions, we avoided busy streets until Beacon Avenue South after playing on the zip line in Jefferson Park–and this part of Beacon was on my route anyway. However, everyone passed cautiously. So refreshing and not at all like Lake Washington Boulevard last year.

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Something new for me this year is I rode in Rainier Avenue for the first time. No sidewalk, all street. Just 3/4 of a mile from turning in our manifest at the Royal Room to the Rainier Valley Food Bank and then back again. But only because I happened to be heading over at the same time as a bunch of Point 83 bike club members so I felt safe in the pack.

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The food bank was hopping. I went for a few heavy items (turkey, big spaghetti squash, two big bags of rice) rather than a lot of little things, but next year we’ll go for bulk and variety to better utilize having a cargo bike.

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The after party in the Royal Room was great. The kids thawed out and ate while prizes were distributed. My seven-year old wore his Halloween Blue Angels costume and got the loudest applause in the costume contest which was incredibly exciting for him. Everyone else in costume chose prizes, too, because there were a lot of prizes to go around!

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Alyssa and Dave rode the whole way home, but Barbara and I opted to take the light rail. We managed to fit all three bikes and five people in the upper Westlake Station elevator. I don’t think much more could be crammed in there, but it’s tempting to try.

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In addition to the missing map, I didn’t get our clothing quite right. This is our fourth Cranksgiving (and Seattle’s fifth) so I should know this by now, but I let the kids wear regular shoes instead of snow boots. So I draped my old rain jacket like an apron over my seven-year old’s legs and feet and my new rain jacket over the five-year old’s. It almost did the trick.

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It didnt’ occur to me until we got to South Lake Union that I should put my rain spat shoe covers over my five-year old’s feet because even having borrowed a pair of wool socks from Barbara, his toes were still cold. Anything that works well for rain will work well for warmth, but I often forget that. So we stopped by MOHAI for that one extra layer.

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And took a moment to appreciate the view. This is at about 5:15 p.m.–already dark!

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