The memory that CSU senior Jason Rand recalls best from one Saturday at 8 a.m. last year, is that of a full-grown man in a furry white bunny suit, swerving through Fort Collins on a bicycle in a drunken haze.
And that image, as strange as it was, is not the exception but rather the rule when New Belgium Brewery’s annual Tour de Fat rolls through town this Saturday.
“People go all out and look just absolutely crazy for this thing,” Rand said.
Fort Collins’ own New Belgium has hosted the Tour de Fat since 2000. This year the tour will make it’s way through 11 Western cities — including Denver, San Francisco, Boise and San Diego — in an attempt to promote the positive effects of using a bicycle, rather than a motor vehicle.
Fort Collins leads the way when it comes to having a big turnout, said Tour de Fat and New Belgium Spokesperson Bryan Simpson.
“We had about 10,000 folks participate last year,” Simpson said, adding that he expects similar numbers this coming Saturday.
Bike registration, which requires riders to sign a liability waiver, begins at 9 a.m. at the New Belgium Brewery, located at 500 Linden St., followed by the highly anticipated bike parade through the city. A copy of the registration waiver can be accessed on New Belgium’s Web site.
“I remember I was at work last year when I saw the mass of people riding by in full costume,” said senior biomedical sciences student Brandi Redwine. “I had no idea what the hell was going on.”
Following the parade, Simpson said participants can enjoy a fair-like atmosphere of food, live music, various types of entertainment and New Belgium’s finest beers.
“It’s important to remember that we’re here to celebrate the bicycle,” Simpson said, “The beer is just in the background.”
Staff writer Katelyn McNamera can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.