CHICAGO — It’s a bike ride and a food drive, a Jefferson Park bike shop hosted a ‘Cranksgiving.’
With the holiday season shifting into gear, Cosmic Bikes on Milwaukee Avenue is bringing cycling enthusiasts together on a journey to give back.
It was an idea that started in New York and Cosmic Bikes hosted its first ‘Cranksgiving’ last year.
“We were shocked by how well it went; it was really frigid that day and we had a good turnout. We really had a pile of goods at the end of the event,” Chris Strodder from Cosmic Bikes said.
Chris Stodder and Justyna Frank, the shop owners, designed the drive where participants receive a list of specific items including canned foods and dry goods they can purchase.
“We also give them a list of stores, suggest locally owned also include your standard grocery stores located nearby people can make their own choice,” Frank said.
They choose their own route and roll out, coming back to the shop to drop off their donations and celebrate.
All of the donations benefit New Hope Community Food Pantry serving the northwest side at a time when needs across the city have grown with the new arrivals of thousands of asylum seekers.
“It is nice that familiar faces come by to say hi and we all feel like we’re contributing to the greater good,” Frank said.
During the colder months when business at the bike shop slows down — Frank and Stodder say Cranksgiving is a welcome reminder of the larger community they’re apart of.
“Makes us feel needed special to have so many people show up,” Strodder said.