On Sunday Anne and I participated in a charity bicycle ride called CranksGiving.  The object of the ride was to gather can goods for the local food pantries.  This is the season for food pantry restocking.  On Saturday morning I found our empty Scouting-for-Food bag hanging on our front door.  This coming Saturday the same pack of Cub Scouts that left the empty bag will be back to collect a full bag that we will leave out on the porch.  For years Anne and I led this activity.  Scouting-for-Food was an event that left you feeling good afterwards.  Sunday’s CranksGiving event gave us that same feeling, plus a lot of muscle soreness.

We arrived early for the ride.  It was scheduled to start at noon and we were there before 11:30.  We registered, got our maps, studied the route and decided to do the long ride of twenty-five miles.  We biked from home to the starting point at the Atomic Cowboy.  By the end of the day we had both ridden thirty-eight miles.

Since we had gotten there so early, we decided to leave a little early too.  The rest of the peloton must not have left on time, because it wasn’t until about the halfway point that the rest of the riders started to catch up with us.  The route was structured around about a half dozen grocery store stops.  Kayak Women would have loved this ride, imagine going to six different grokkery stores in one day.  Some of the stores were on the upscale side, like Straub’s in Webster Groves and maybe Trader Joe’s in Brentwood?  Nah, the home of three buck Chuck is definitely not upscale.  Others were definitely more plebian like the Save-A-Lot on the Hill, Shop n’ Save in Shrewsbury and the Foodland in Carondelet.  They saved the best for last though, the exotic Jay’s International Food Company.

Jay’s is on South Grand which is a very ethnically diverse neighborhood in Saint Louis.  Up until then we had been mainly buying canned tuna.  You see, by this time, it was all about meeting our cost bogey (twenty dollars per person) without incurring too much of a weight penalty.  The plethora of foreign canned meats at Jay’s was a little overwhelming.  We settled upon canned salmon, figuring that any pantry patron wouldn’t know what to do with any of the more exotic alternatives any better than we did.

Sundays have always been my favorite day of the week to go biking on.  Weekdays what with people working are just too busy on the road for truly enjoyable cycling.  Saturdays are even worse. what with people trying to cram a week’s worth of personal business into just one day.  But Sundays are the rest days, the days people relax on.  When you bike on Sunday, not only do you take advantage of the fact that other people aren’t running around as crazy as they normally do, but as you cycle around town you often get to observe them doing things that are interesting.  One such observation came while passing Tower Grove Park.  There were several hundred people engaged in a kickball tournament.  I remember kickball as a Catholic grade school recess activity.  I had no idea that it had graduated to a sport.

Upon returning to the Atomic Cowboy we dumped our load on to the trophy pile.  We went inside and had something to eat, nachos to die for, and something to drink, beer.  Throughout the ride we saw friends.  We saw Kubie, Tory, Audrey and Tom, all from Team Kaldis.  After our refreshments we biked home into the gathering gloom and the first sprinkles of Sunday’s rain.

5 thoughts on “CranksGiving

  1. In my old Sault Ste. Siberian neighborhood, we used to play kickball in the street. I have read (somewhere, not sure where) that folks our age have resurrected kickball and made it a kind of middle-aged sport. I’m not sure I would enjoy that. As far as I’m concerned, the memories of the old days are the best. Back when I could beat the neighborhood boys. And still *cared* to beat them…

  2. Atomic Cowboy?? that must be one of those “cowboy bars” you were always taking Dan to during his impressionable youth. But it sounds like a place I need to visit…. I haven’t been to St. L in a long time – need to fix that.

    and yes, the Planet A2 does have an adult kickball league now. sounds like fun, and a fine reason to drink a beer. (like I need a reason.) Banana – I think they play at Vet’s so we should grab a beer next summer/fall and go watch them!

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