Sunday, December 02, 2012

Cranksgiving in Buffalo

New Event Alert!

Hopefully this will occur annually, but GO Bike Buffalo helped Buffalo join other cities in the nation to collect food for food pantries, community outreach centers and such.  This year the collected items went to Food Not Bombs, an organization that prepares a meal and distributes it en masse from a central location.

Some participants took the event with a grain of salt (ha, ha, ha, ooh, ok, stop) and cruised around at a leisurely pace, while there was also a group which came in unibody team spandex and were obviously out to win.  Our little group of three took the middle ground. If you look in the above photo, you will see our bikes lying on the ground (note the red panniers), so that all those people running had to leap over our bikes and then carry theirs out of the middle of the pile, effectively slowing them down. This is what our little group called "strategy".  Poor Jason, one of our group members.  I think he has a competitive streak in him, which we frustrated.

The objective of the event was to go to three checkpoints and five grocery stores and buy at least one item on a list from each store.  Keep in mind that you had to carry it all using your bike/body and that the items included canned goods and 5lb bags of flour.

The middle checkpoint required arrivals to use their hand to make a crayon turkey drawing, do a shot of Wild Turkey (actually optional) and write about what you were thankful for.  The end point was the GO Bike workshop, complete with beer and really nice volunteer made food.  Shout Out to GO Bike Buffalo for making this happen and showing us how to have a good time.  BUFFALO, BUFFALO, BUFFALO! (Portland, OR did not participate- hear the taunt)

The Small City Advantage

Buffalo is a small city.  There is almost nothing that is not highly accessible to cyclists.  It is with great joy that I am and more frequently surrounded by people who are not afraid to hop on a bicycle to meet up.  On this occasion, 3 separate small groups all showed up for breakfast on bicycles.  While two of them are without cars, the other three all chose to go by bike anyways.  And I was out on the commercial strip (don't read that as stip mall or chain store alley, but a strip of bona fide independently owned small businesses) IN MY CAR, on the way back from a "carry something huge" errand and found myself in a gridlock of car traffic. It struck me suddenly that I rarely experience this frustration anymore. On a bike, I would have passed all of the cars (carefully) or not been on that street riding at all.  There is such joy to be found in life.