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Cranksgiving bike challenge collects food for Thanksgiving

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People have been participating in a happening called Cranksgiving since 1999. At first it may sound like an event where people embrace their inner Scrooge during the holiday season, but it's actually quite the opposite. With its roots in New York City, this charity bike ride idea has spread across the country. The lively jaunt is a way to collect donations for local food banks, and will most likely knock any bah-humbug feelings aside in favor of some holiday cheer.

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Cranksgiving is a scavenger hunt with teams of bicyclists. From the event's website: "You show up, you grab a manifest, you figure out the best route, and when we say 'GO', you start. Make sure you've got a bag and a lock, because you're going to need to lock up to run into grocery stores." All kinds bikes are welcome too -- even tandem bicycles and penny farthings.

Registering for this family-friendly event is free (no pre-registration, simply register when you show up), but be sure to bring some cash. Event organizers recommend carrying $10 to $15, because you'll be buying food at grocery stores to be donated later. Cranksgiving begins at 2 p.m. Saturday, November 13 in Gold Metal Park (900 S. Second St., Minneapolis). For more details, visit the Cranksgiving website.