Sep 232007
 
Authors: Chris Seegers

As the 2007 Tour de Fat kicked off Saturday morning the streets were filled with fun-seeking bikers looking to spend a day in wild costumes and riding through Fort Collins accompanied by thousands of their fellow enthusiasts. And this year boasted more participants than ever before.

About 4800 people participated in the bike tour around the city and approximately 3800 returned to New Belgium to be officially counted, New Belgium spokesperson Chris Winn, also known as the Reverend C. Ballyhoo, said. The previous year’s count was approximately 2,000 people.

“It was a huge success,” said Winn. “Rarely do you get a community of people on the same page.”

“The tour was awesome,” New Belgium brewer Andy Sturm said. “This was by far the craziest one yet.”

Dressing up in crazy attire is a vital part of Tour de Fat and the costumes ranged from superheroes, pirates, gorillas, sperm cells and even the occasional guy dressed up in prom dresses.

Sturm was one of four people dressed up as the characters as the TV series “Teletubbies.”

“Its great to see this many bikes out,” said Sturm. “We’ve been to the tour four years and its great to see the turn out.”

Once the bike tour ended, participants returned to the New Belgium Brewing Company to enjoy a day of music, magic acts, bike shows and, of course, beer.

Colorado Springs resident, Tyler Campbell, was part of a group of jugglers who were amusing the crowd throughout the day and had only good things to say about the tour.

“We went to the tour at Durango and it was great fun,” said Campbell. “It’s a gathering of awesome people having a good time.”

Campbell went on to say that his favorite part of the day is the crazy costumes and custom bikes. He said that he is already thinking up costume ideas for next year’s tour.

Another highlight during the day was the bike/car trade where one lucky participant trades in his or her car for a customized bicycle.

“The trade went awesome,” said Winn. “We had a girl trade a ’95 Saturn for a customized Black Sheep bicycle.”

The car that was traded will be sold to raise money for non-profit organizations that are involved in the Tour de Fat.

Amidst all of the micro brew and partying, Tour de Fat has a more serious note and is not about getting drunk and rowdy, said Winn.

“This is a bike festival, not a beer festival,” he said. “We gave up trying to host beer festivals a long time ago.”

The tour is all about family, building community relationships, and also raising money for the bicycle infrastructure of Fort Collins, Winn said. And he went on to say that the world is changing and we must adapt our living styles to make a positive impact on the environment and our community.

Staff writer Chris Seegers can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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