Cranksgiving in Northern Michigan

With help from the great Food Rescue of Northwest Michigan, we are hosting our 3rd Annual Cranksgiving on Sunday, November 22, 2020. 

Cranksgiving is part bicycle ride, part food drive that happens across the nation during November to benefit local charities and families as they prepare for Thanksgiving. It’s that simple. Ride bikes. Give back. Do good. 

  • Team UpDecide if you are riding as a team (2-5 awesome people suggested) or on your own in either the open (5-6 miles) or family (2-3 miles) division.
  • Register – There is no entry fee, but plan on spending $25/team on food items. 
  • Check the List – Norte will provide your team with a list of food items to collect.
  • Be Kind – We also challenge your team to commit at least one act of random kindness during your collection run. Let’s make people smile and make someone’s day. Here’s a list of inspirations

There are no winners, but teams are more than welcome to create their challenges and mini-games.


We will be hosting teams for three communities — Traverse City, Elk Rapids, and Suttons Bay. For all, we ask groups to arrive between 11 am and noon to check-in, pick up your list, and receive any additional instructions. Completing the order will take one to two hours. Once you have your items, please return them to your starting point. Norte will work with our partners to distribute the goods. 

  • Basics: November 22, 2020, check-in 11 am to noon. Meeting spots will be in Traverse City, Elk Rapids, and Suttons Bay. Meet at the Wheelhouse in T.C., the Chain Hub in Elk Rapids (Rotary Park), or Waterwheel Park in Suttons Bay.

By participating, you’re already a winner. There will be a few awards given for the best team and individual costumes. Dress up. Have fun. Spread joy. 


COVID-19 cases across the state are dramatically increase and new orders restrict gatherings to less then 26 people. First, except for added vigilance for taking precautions of mask-wearing and social distancing, if you registered for Suttons Bay or Elk Rapids, Cranksgiving will proceed as planned. For teams participating in Traverse City, here’s the new plan of action for this Sunday.


  1. Please choose a team captain. The team captain needs to send an email with their cell-phone number to Let Abby know if you have a team name as well. 
  2. Prep your team, tune-up the bikes, and get your costumes ready for Sunday. The weather looks November wonderful. 
  3. Be ready for a text message on Sunday at 11 am. The text message will have your mission, including items to purchase and locations to find them. We will text you along the way, asking for updates. Please don’t start at the Wheelhouse. You will start at your team’s own starting spot. 
  4. Return items to the Wheelhouse. Once you complete the shopping, bring your items to the Wheelhouse for collection. Food Rescue will have a mountain of banana boxes available for us to fill up.  
  5. Smile for the camera. Bring your entire team to the Wheelhouse. A photographer will be there to grab a team photo, which will be shared with your team captain later. 

Again, Elk Rapids and Suttons Bay will continue as planned, meeting at the Chain Hub (Rotary Park) and the Waterwheel Park, respectively.

Wherever you are, please continue to keep a social distance from people not in your family or social bubble. At the Wheelhouse, we ask that only one team at a time assemble on the patio. We also recommend that only one member of your team enter stores at a time. The other members can watch the bikes and entertain passersby with a turkey dance. 

Bonus Points for best turkey dance video!!!



  • A Bicycle – Each rider needs a functioning bicycle and the ability to ride 5-6 miles in the open division and 2-3 miles in the family division. Both divisions are quite doable. 
  • Money – Bring a minimum of $25 per team or your credit card. 
  • Grocery Getters – You’ll need a backpack, panniers, basket, or sweet cargo bike to get your goods from the store.
  • A Mask – For your safety and those of others, you ask that you wear a mask for Cranksgiving.


Norte is committed to keeping everyone happy and healthy while doing our part to stop the spread of the coronavirus. We ask that all riders join us in that responsibility.

  • Health CheckWe ask that families help us keep everyone safe. If you’re showing symptoms or feeling under the weather, please stay home and help keep others healthy.  You can send cheerleading text messages for your team!
  • Mask Up – Everyone on your team is going to need a face mask. When you arrive to check-in, everyone needs to wear a mask.
  • Safe Distance – This Cranksgiving, we will spread out the start times to ensure we don’t have large groups gathered at once. Check-in will be from 11am to noon. If you do run into a team not in your bubble, please give them a big hello and air high-five from six-feet away.
  • Wash Hands – What team can wash their hands the most? Extra bonus points for posting pics to social media of Cranksgiving teams washing up.


Have fun. Be kind. Ring your bell. This effort doesn’t require spandex. 

  • Teams must stay together.
  • Teams must follow the rules of the road.

Routes to stores will be a choose-your-own-adventure thing, but please be safe. For any questions, or to nominate other local food pantries, email

Cranksgiving Sponsor