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Lots of Interesting Bike Events Coming Up in C-U

In this week’s column, I’m going to spotlight some upcoming events in the Champaign-Urbana bicycling community. From food drives to speakers, collective rides to light giveaways, there’s something for everyone in the near future in C-U.

After the jump, there will be details about these happenings:

Light Up the Night is a free bike light giveaway sponsored by several local organizations. The first giveaway was last night, but fear not, if you’re still in stealth mode, there will be another opportunity to get free bike lights next Monday, October 27, from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the corner of Illinois and Lincoln, as well as another on-campus location which is yet to be determined. Volunteers will install blinking head and tail lights on your bike free of charge.

Pedaling Toward a Greener Globe is a presentation by the fine folks at, the third installment in the Champaign Public Library’s Earth Smart series. It will take place this Sunday, October 26, in Robeson Pavilion A & B at the Champaign Public Library. According to the library’s website, the presentation will focus on “navigating CU on a bicycle and the environmental benefits of biking (not to mention saving money).”

Friday, October 31, is the date for C-U’s next Critical Mass ride. At 5:15 p.m. on the last Friday of every month, bike riders converge at the Alma Mater for a collective bike ride to “see what it might be like if the streets of our cities were more friendly to bicycles. When bicyclists ride together we’re hard to ignore or dismiss.”

Then on November 16, a combination of food drive, scavenger hunt and alley cat race called Cranksgiving will be held to benefit the Eastern Illinois Food Bank. Cranksgiving is an event that has caught on in other cities nationwide like New York, Ann Arbor and Omaha, but this will be C-U’s inaugural edition. Different food items will be assigned different point values, and participants will travel to community grocery stores to compete to gather the most food items. An entry fee of at least $5 will be required and will be used by participants to purchase food from the grocery stores. Come join the fun at the Independent Media Center as registration begins at noon and the madness starts at 1 p.m. Following the “race,” an after-party will be held at the IMC featuring music from World’s First Flying Machine. If you didn’t participate in the food drive, you can still get into the after-party by donating at least five canned food items.

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