Saturday’s freezing, windy, snowy evening was a good reminder of the plight of those who lack warm clothing, a bicycle, money to feed themselves, and a warm place to which to return after a “night on the streets” of Albany.
Twenty-three riders showed up at 7 PM for 2013’s Cranksgiving Alley Cat “race” – an international event that gives riders a chance to have some fun while helping others.
Armed with shiny new spoke cards, we started with a quick run from the Soldiers and Sailors Monument in Washington Park to the Price Chopper on Madison and then returned to the Monument for a new manifest. The “A manifest” riders collected canned goods and extras. The “B” riders carried a juice/soda from each stop and the other extras. (We even hit a 2-for-1 special on potato chips.)
Snow flurries with 20-degree temperatures were augmented by a steady west wind as we then headed straight into the wind and snow toward the Westgate Plaza and Colvin Ave. for combined stops (thank you Jay and Stacy for combining these) at Hannaford and Price Chopper. While still freezing and with some slippery spots on the pavement, it was back to the Monument to unload and pick up the last manifest for a short crosswind ride to the Delaware Ave. Price Chopper. Riders assembled at the Madison Café at Swan to complete filling the boxes and then helping load the Homeless Action Committee (HAC) van. We had seven large size boxes plus two more in Stacy’s truck for later drop off. The average spent was $19 which equals $437 or about 200 lbs of food donated to HAC. Many hands make light work!
Our ride leaders presented us each with an embossed Cranksgiving pint glass, a nice memento of a great evening. Everyone had a good time and will hopefully return for next year. It is nice to see riders come out and ride to help those without and recovering from addiction. Riders were indebted to Jay and Stacy for a well-organized event and particularly to Stacy who staffed the pickup vehicle at the Monument. Thanks to everyone. We are always open to ideas and future volunteers for 2014.
At 9 PM, it was time to face the wind again and head back to a warm house.