New Belgium’s annual philanthropic, costume-clad bike tour once again finds its way to local streets as the 7th annual Tour de Fat hits Fort Collins Saturday at 11 a.m.
And organizers estimate it to be even bigger and more successful than ever.
The Tour De Fat began in 2000 and initially toured six cities spread across the Western United States. It has been growing each year since and now includes 11 cities, including San Francisco, Portland and Durango, with the attendance in each city skyrocketing.
“The Tour De Fat was started as a tour of bikes and beers,” said Tour De Fat spokesperson Brian Simpson. “We team up with local non-profit organizations and all the money made during the day is given to the organizations.”
Alternative modes of transportation has been a hot topic in local and national news and the New Belgium Brewing Company is taking a stance on the issue by hosting events such as the Tour De Fat.
“The idea behind the Tour De Fat was a way to reach out to the bike community and to advance bike advocacy,” Simpson said.
Simpson also said the focus of the day is not drinking, but rather raising awareness in the community and raising funds to support local organizations.
“The tour is just like anything else, you get what you put into it,” said Simpson.
Simpson also described the events that would take place during the day of the tour.
“The bike tour starts at 11 a.m., will go through Old Town and get back to New Belgium around 12 p.m.,” said Simpson. “We’ll tap the kegs at 12 p.m. and there will be a ceremony and then the activities will start and continue on all day.”
The activities that attendees can look forward to are live bands, a magic show, bike raffles and $3 cups of beer. New Belgium has also come up with a new activity that is sure to draw attention.
“This is the first year of the bike trade. We are having someone trade their car for a custom bike and then the car will be sold and the money given to non-profit organizations,” said Simpson.
He went on to say that they have done this in every city of the tour except in California where it is illegal and that they have chosen two people for the Fort Collins trade, one from Loveland and one from Fort Collins.
The idea behind the bike/car trade is to endorse using a bicycle as a primary means of transportation rather than a motor vehicle.
Students are gearing up for the event as they plan their costumes and get their bikes in running order.
“I’m going to bring my dog and dress him up as a pig,” said Chase Pearl a senior business major.
Pearl wasn’t sure of what he was going to wear but guaranteed that it will be sexy and show some skin.
“I’m excited about the tour,” said Luke Smith a senior health and exercise science major. “I didn’t make it last year but I’m stoked to see all the crazy people of Fort Collins get together and have a good time.”
Having a good time is on the agenda for Saturday, but Brian Simpson wants people to remember what the tour is really about.
“If we can take a few cars off the road each year that would be great,” said Simpson.
Staff writer Chris Seegers can be reached at email@example.com.