There are three categories you can race/ride in: SPEED (Women/Men), CARGO (Women/Men), and TEAM. Find out more about each category below. For tips and tricks from previous Sweep racers of each category, check out some of our rider profiles!
Individual cyclists must earn at least 50 points to finish the SWEEP successfully. This category is designed so that you can do an easy or a more difficult version, depending on how much you want to ride or donate; you can customize it as much as you like. But if you'd like to win some prizes, you'll have to choose a more challenging course.
Example: Buy (2) cans of beans from "STORE A". If it's a store that's worth 10 points, it'll be located closer to the race start or finish. If it's a store that's worth 30 points, it'll be further away in the city. We will give you the addresses for the stores, but it's up to you to look them up on your map or smartphone.
Part of the challenge is creating the most efficient route to go shopping! However you want to "choose your own adventure," you MUST bring back receipts for all of your purchases and be back at the SF & Marin Food Bank by 4PM to finish. The top five men and women will win great prizes!
SPEED RIDER PROFILES:
Individual cyclists bring back the heaviest load of food from the designated grocery stores. The top 5 men and women who bring in the most amount of food (by weight) wins awesome prizes! You must first buy all of the items specified on your manifest. You must also keep your receipts for for these purchases.
Once you've completed your manifest, then you may bring in as many additional food items as you can to the finish (SF-Marin Food Bank, 900 Pennsylvania Avenue). No receipts are needed for the additional items and they can be purchased anywhere. You can also purchase the additional food in larger quantities, such as entire cases of canned goods and 50lb bags of rice or beans. No glass, no perishables. You are welcome to make multiple trips by going back and forth between the stores and the SF-Marin Food Bank. Just be sure to return to the SF & Marin Food Bank by 4PM sharp or you'll be disqualified!
Additionally, fundraising helps, so get your friends and family to give you money so you can do more shopping! However, glass or perishable items WILL NOT be accepted. Do not buy bulk items (e.g. rice from a bulk dispenser that you bag yourself) as the SF & Marin Food Bank doesn't accept them; only pre-packaged items are allowed.
CARGO RIDER PROFILES:
The rules for the team category are very similar to that of the cargo category, except that you and up to four other teammates bring back as much food as possible (see The Race section below for more details). The heaviest load wins! The team category was introduced in 2015 and we were blown away by the pedal power of just 5 teams consisting of 17 people in total. Together, these 5 teams brought in 49.7% of the total 12,218lbs of food in that year's Sweep!
Registration: NO race-day registration; teams MUST pre-register on Eventbrite! Each team can have a maximum of FIVE (5) members (co-ed okay). Each team member needs to register for their own ticket. Be sure to tell us the name of the team you're on when you check in on race day!
The Race: At the start of the race, each team will be given one manifest - or shopping list - for the entire team. Each team member must purchase the food items listed for each store, however you only need one receipt for the entire team from that store. For example, if the manifest says you need to buy 2 jars of nut butter from "STORE A" and you have a team of 4 people, your team will need to leave "STORE A" with 8 jars of nut butter and one receipt. We will give you the names and addresses for the stores, but it's up to you to look them up on a map or smartphone. Checkpoints can be completed in any order. No doubling up of purchases at one store - they must be bought separately at the specified locations. You must keep your receipts for for these purchases.
Once you've completed your manifest, then you may bring in as many additional food items as you can to the finish (SF-Marin Food Bank, 900 Pennsylvania Avenue). No receipts are needed for the additional items and they can be purchased anywhere. You can also purchase the additional food in larger quantities, such as entire cases of canned goods and 50lb bags of rice or beans. No glass, no perishables. You are welcome to make multiple trips by going back and forth between the stores and the SF-Marin Food Bank.
Scoring: Bring back all of the food listed on the manifest WITH RECEIPTS BEFORE 4PM to complete the race; late finishers will be disqualified. Any teams without their entire group after the 4PM will also be disqualified. Each food collection bin at the food bank is approximately 3.5' x 3.5' and 3' deep. The team that fills up a bin with the most amount of food (by weight) wins!
What should I bring?
Bring a backpack/messenger bag, rack and panniers, box or crate (whatever you rock to the grocery store), a lock, and money to buy items (suggested $25-50, whatever is comfy, everything helps!).
How can I be disqualified?
You must bring back the minimum items on your shopping list, as well as proof of purchase -- so don't lose your receipts! (The only exception to this rule is for the additional food items purchased for the CARGO and TEAM categories.) Keep your receipts in a safe place.
The end of the race is at 4:00PM sharp at the SF-Marin Food Bank (900 Pennsylvania Avenue). If you arrive at 4:01PM, we'll have to disqualify you, so be on time! The Food Bank also officially closes at 4:00PM, so you'll have to enter / exit out of the small side gate after that. And no electric bikes or motor-assisted vehicles are allowed.
Are food donations tax deductible?
For food donations (food purchased by riders during the Sweep) – the SFMFB can provide a letter with their tax ID, and riders can submit that letter and any receipts for tax purposes.
What shouldn't I do during the Sweep?
Please ride safely and ride respectfully of others, wear a helmet, and obey traffic laws. We don't want you or anyone else to get hurt! And no electric bikes or motor-assisted bicycles are allowed.
What should I do during the Sweep?
Have fun with old and new friends!