Sep 022010
 
Authors: Matt Miller

Since June, Fort Collins resident Jordan Twiggs has seen people in cities across the U.S. take to the streets to share their love of bikes, beer, and dressing like idiots.

 Twiggs has dedicated five months of his life to travel the country to visit every stop of New Belgium’s Tour De Fat, but nothing will compare to what will take place at 9 a.m. Saturday when the tour comes back to it’s home city.

 “Other states will never touch the monstrosity that Fort Collins has,” Twiggs said.  He added that the biggest he’s seen was the 8,000 people who took to the streets in Boise, Idaho. Fort Collins has them beaten by a landslide. 

“People are so excited in Fort Collins because they know the company and they know how much they give to the community,” Twiggs said. “It would be cool to think that they dress up and participate as a token of appreciation for what they do.” 

The event began in 2000 as a way to give back to the community and promote biking to six U.S. cities.  This year it spreads its message to 13 cities and has raised over $1.5 million for non-profit organizations.
 
Twiggs will complete his trek around the country at the end of October when the tour concludes in Texas.

New Belgium has always been closely tied to the biking community, said New Belgium spokesman Bryan Simpson.  The current CEO Jeff Lebesch created the company after biking through Belgium in 1989.

“We do all the other shows just to get to this one,” Simpson said. “You can really feel the hometown love.”

The brewing company likes to remind students and residents that this is a bike festival first and the beer comes second. 

“This is Fort Collins,” Simpson said. “We know how to have a good time, and we know about bikes, so everything should go smoothly.”

Fort Collins also works closely with New Belgium to put on the event without any problems.

“New Belgium has done a great job trying to minimize the effect of the event,” said Fort Collins Bike Coordinator Dave “DK” Kemp.

“They have been a big part of growing the local bike culture,” Kemp said. “It has had a tremendous effect on the Fort Collins bike community it is today.”

Kemp added that they are working to minimize the negative effects of the event and maximize the positive. Suggestions on how to have a good Tour can be found at http://fcgov.com/bicycling

Tour De Fat will have all the same attractions that people have come to love with a new finale that will be a surprise, Simpson said. The one big difference this year, however, is that it falls on the same day as the CSU-CU football game.

In recent years the event has drawn more than 10,000 people, but this year, due to the game, numbers could be quite different.

Simpson said it is hard to say how this will affect turnout.

“It was a matter of circumstance and coincidence,” Simpson said. “In some ways it’s not a bad coincidence.” 

Entertainment Editor Matt Miller can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com.

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