Crank It Out 

On Thanksgiving Day, you're likely to consume more than a day's worth of calories in a single meal. So why not burn more than a day's worth of calories on a 40-mile bike ride a few days prior to the big feast? Surely, that will magically even out.

The second annual Cranksgiving, a 40-mile race across the city on Saturday, November 23rd, just might be the answer to staving off Thanksgiving food guilt. And since all proceeds from the event benefit the Mid-South Food Bank, it may help stave off the guilt of privilege as well.

Cranksgiving organizer Carter Chappell says those who aren't comfortable biking for more than 30 miles on open roads probably shouldn't attempt the race, but they're also offering a 12-mile fun ride with soul music and a conversational pace.

For those attempting the long haul, the race begins at Bluff City Sports (769 S. Cooper) at 9 a.m. From there, cyclists can take any route they wish to a handful of required checkpoints at Midtown Bike Company on South Main, Movie & Pizza Company in Harbor Town, Shelby Forest General Store in Meeman-Shelby Forest, Victory Bicycle Studio on Broad, and Peddler Bike Shop on Highland. At each checkpoint, riders will receive a punch on their race card.

"[Cranksgiving events] have been happening in cities around the nation since 1999. Most cities do a scavenger hunt to grocery stores with the participants having lists of needed items to donate. Eventually, I'd like to see Memphis have enough participants at our Cranksgiving to make this a viable option for our event," Chappell says. "However, I felt that with our smallish cycling community, for the first few years, I'd just do a more traditional checkpoint race plus a fun ride and people would donate money directly to the Mid-South Food Bank."

After the race, there's an after-party at Bluff City Sports. Memphis' bike polo team will be playing, and all race attendees are invited to try out the sport. Bike polo helmets and mallets will be provided.

Cranksgiving 2013, Saturday, November 23rd, 9 a.m. Bluff City Sports (769 S. Cooper). $10.

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