New Belgium's Tour de Fat Turns 10
To Honor the Bicycle, New Belgium is Looking for Car-for-Bike Swappers;
Are you Willing?
Ft. Collins, CO – Tour de Fat, New Belgium Brewing’s traveling celebration of all things bicycle, rolls through 11 cities this season, adding San Diego and Minneapolis to the 2009 roster. This year, Tour de Fat celebrates a decade of honoring mankind’s greatest invention – the bike – and is ready to hit double-digits in style. Born in Ft. Collins, Colorado to increase awareness and participation in cycling as a sustainable form of transportation, Tour de Fat has grown into a national rite of passage for cycling advocates and bon vivants alike. Visit http://www.newbelgium.com/tour-de-fat to view schedules, videos and much more. The festival kicks off in Chicago on July 11 and the tour continues through October, with a grand finale in Austin on October 17.
Opening each show with a costumed bike parade through the host city, Tour de Fat celebrates the power of the bike by encouraging everyone to embrace their inner-cyclist and ride the streets as a rolling carnival of creativity. The festival also features a celebration of the inspirational car-for-bike swapper series (http://www.newbelgium.com/videos#107) in which brave souls hand over their car keys as a commitment to commute by bike.
For the third year in a row, Tour de Fat is looking for volunteers who accept this swapper challenge. As part of the program, one volunteer in each city will sign over their car title and receive a hand-built Black Sheep (http://www.blacksheepbikes.com/) commuter bike in exchange. The volunteer is chosen after submitting a video, or essay describing their desire to live sans car for a year. For more information, log onto http://www.newbelgium.com/tour-de-fat.
“The car-for-bike program is what gives Tour de Fat its deeper meaning as people make a life-changing commitment,” said New Belgium Spokesperson, Bryan Simpson. “Anyone is welcome to be a swapper – whether you’re an avid cyclist or just starting to rekindle your love for the bike. We can’t wait to meet more good people willing to forgo four wheels for two.”
To get people in the mood for summer riding and Tour de Fat festivities, New Belgium has a credo by which participants across the country are invited to read, chant and live by. Here are three of the Ten Commandments of Tour de Fat (visit http://www.newbelgium.com/tour-de-fat for the other seven).
- Put no means of transport before thy bike: Come by bike because not only are bikes fun, but they help stave off some of our most wicked ills: Traffic, obesity, and pollution. Tour de Fat has a solution: ride this day, every day, and definitely when Tour de Fat heads your way.
- Honor all other bikes: All bikes are good bikes, and all those who ride them are good people. This is the one Bike Festival that cherishes bicycle diversity on our Cruise-ade through town.
- May every generation come forth: This is a family friendly event. Costumes, bikes and a parade? We were thinking like kids when we created Tour de Fat.
Why Tour de Fat is the Must Attend Event of the Summer:
- Tour de Fat seeks to leave as small an environmental imprint as possible and composts and recycles waste from each tour stop. The waste diversion rate for 2008 was 92%.
- Tour de Fat is free to participants, but beer and merchandise proceeds go to local cycling non-profits. The philanthropic cycling circus helped 24 non-profit organizations in 2008 and raised more than $250,000, pushing Tour de Fat’s grand total for charitable giving to more than $1 million.
- All musical acts will perform on a solar-powered stage with decorations made from recycled materials, trucks and transport use biofuel sourced from recycled waste oils, and all vendors operate off the grid.
- At the Team Wonderlounge, participants can join Team Wonderbike, New Belgium’s bicycling commuter advocacy program. Team Wonderbikers pledge to commute by bike, not car, as often as possible. Currently, 16,000 people have pledged not to drive 15 million miles in the next twelve months.
- This is a pro-bike celebration, not an anti-car rally…non-cyclists are more than welcome to join the festivities.
- Costumes are highly encouraged!
“Now is a great time to start sewing, pasting and thrift-store shopping for your Tour de Fat costume. All costumes will be celebrated and some will even be rewarded,” said Simpson. “This year is a big year for us as Tour de Fat celebrates a decade’s worth of passionate bike advocacy. It’s going to be a ballyhoo and a half.”
Tour de Fat 2009 will cycle through each of the following cities:
Chicago 7/11 @ Palmer Square
Minneapolis 7/18 @ Parade Athletic Fields
Seattle 8/8 @ Gas Works Park
Portland 8/15 @ Waterfront Park
Boise 8/22 @ Ann Morrison Park
Fort Collins 9/5 @ New Belgium
Denver 9/12 @ City Park
San Francisco 9/26 @ Golden Gate Park
San Diego 10/3 @ Balboa Park
Tempe 10/10 @ Tempe Town Lake
Austin 10/17 @ Fiesta Gardens
For more information and to see videos of previous Tour de Fat stops, please visit http://www.newbelgium.com/tour-de-fat .
About New Belgium Brewing Company
New Belgium Brewing Company, makers of Fat Tire Amber Ale and a host of Belgian-inspired beers, began operations in a tiny Fort Collins basement in 1991. Today, the third largest craft brewer in the U.S., New Belgium produces seven year-round beers; Fat Tire Amber Ale, Sunshine Wheat, Blue Paddle Pilsner, 1554 Black Ale, Abbey, Mothership Wit and Trippel, as well as a host of seasonal releases. In addition to producing world-class beers, New Belgium takes pride in being a responsible corporate role model with progressive programs such as employee ownership, open book management and a commitment to environmental stewardship. For more information, visit www.newbelgium.com.