The Howard County Office of Transportation and the Downtown Columbia Partnership are joining together to present Cranksgiving 2021, a local food drive and family biking event, on Nov. 13, from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Cranksgiving is a national initiative dubbed “a food drive on two wheels.”
The event is designed to provide active recreation for local residents, raise awareness about the county’s bikable pathway system and generate food items for individuals and families served by Grassroots Crisis Intervention Center, Howard County’s 24-hour crisis intervention center and shelter for people who are homeless.
“Cranksgiving is a fun, family-friendly event for our residents to give back this season,” said Howard County Executive Calvin Ball. “This is a great opportunity to gather together, hop on your bikes, and make sure that all our residents, no matter their situation, have a warm meal this Thanksgiving.”
Registered participants will bicycle from their homes to the Cranksgiving 2021 drop off site at Azlon Plaza in the Merriweather District of Downtown Columbia, picking up food items along that way at nearby grocery stores. A variety of route options will be provided for bicyclists.
Grassroots is in need of canned fruit, chicken, tuna, Chef Boyardee, Spaghettios, chili, chunky soups, Dinty Moore beef stew, baked beans with meat, Libby’s corned beef, Vienna sausages, and Spam and peanut butter and jelly.
The Office of Transportation, within the Howard County Department of County Administration, oversees transportation planning efforts related to bicycle and pedestrian facilities, public transportation services, comprehensive regional planning, and Transportation Demand Management. It also oversees Complete Streets policy implementation, e-scooter permitting, and the Howard County Bikeshare program.
The Downtown Columbia Partnership was established to market and promote Downtown Columbia and its businesses, implement beautification projects, sponsor cultural arts programs, support transportation and safety initiatives and other activities that enhance the live, work, play environment envisioned for Downtown Columbia in the Downtown Columbia Plan, unanimously adopted by the Howard County Council in 2010.
The Downtown Columbia Partnership presents a variety of races and biking events to encourage a healthy lifestyle and introduce Downtown Columbia’s natural assets to the public. Cranksgiving shirts are available on a first come basis to individuals registered for the event. There will prizes for those who donate the most food items by the end of the event. Participants may also donate directly to the Cranksgiving fund at Grassroots here.
Biking for Cranksgiving? Here are links to routes from area grocery stores to Azlon Plaza along with mileage.
- Dorsey’s Search Village Center to Azlon Plaza 3.7 miles (Giant)
- Oakland Mills Village Center to Azlon Plaza 1.3 miles
- Harper’s Choice Village Center to Azlon Plaza 2.3 miles (Safeway)
- Owen Brown Village Center to Azlon Plaza 3.3 miles (Giant)
- Hickory Ridge Village Center to Azlon Plaza 2.2 miles (Giant)
- River Hill Village Center to Azlon Plaza 6.1 miles (Giant)
- Kings Contrivance Village Center to Azlon Plaza 3.7 miles (Harris Teeter)
- Columbia Town Center (Vantage Point) to Azlon Plaza 1.6 miles (Lidl and Whole Foods)
- Long Reach Village Center to Azlon Plaza 3.5 miles
- Wilde Lake Village Center to Azlon Plaza 1.7 miles (David’s Natural Market)
- Main Street Ellicott City to Azlon Plaza 7.4 miles
- Main Street Elkridge to Azlon Plaza 10.3 miles
- Historic Savage Mill to Azlon Plaza 8.7 miles