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Supermarket Street Sweep: Ride Your Bike for the SF Food Bank!

Photo by Jonathan Koshi

On December 3, San Francisco's cycling community will come together once again for the 6th Annual Supermarket Street Sweep, a charity event to benefit the San Francisco Food Bank. The race brings together all types of cyclists—casual riders, commuters, messengers, competitors, etc.—to help feed the city's hungry by picking up food from various grocery stores around town. This year, there are two ways that you can participate: ride in the race—speed or cargo—or fundraise at Firstgiving. To ride, just show up at Cupid's Span (Folsom & Embarcadero) on Saturday, December 3 at noon.

Originally inspired by New York City's annual Cranksgiving alleycat, the event has grown from 80 racers in its first year to 170 racers who toughed out the rain in 2010. Organizers offer racers two routes: speed, where winners are ranked in order of finish, and cargo, where winners are ranked in order of weight they bring back. Despite last year's rain, riders brought in a total of 6,920 lbs of food, all donated to the San Francisco Food Bank.

Both races unleash riders on the city with a manifest of required grocery stores and food items they must buy at each store, but the cargo race rewards riders who go above and beyond their manifest, awarding points for all additional non-perishable food items that riders bring to the finish. Cargo racers have used everything from panniers to doggy trailers to carry as much food as possible.

As always, the race has plenty of sponsors who have donated amazing prizes for the cause, and organizers post about all of the prizes on the official event blog. Prizes are doled out at the race's after party, with free beer from 21st Amendment. This year's afterparty location is yet to be determined, so if you have a warehouse space you're willing to donate to the cause, contact the race organizers through their blog.