Tour de Fat – Fun for All and Success for Local Cycling Non-Profits By: Nicole

Early morning rainy weather was not enough to dampen the spirits of the several thousand costumed individuals that showed up to Loring Park for the Tour de Fat, an event celebrating bicycles and sustainability. Sponsored by New Belgium Brewery, the event travels nationwide and provides a fun day for all, while raising money for local non-profits. The benefactors of this year’s Tour de Fat (total reported $16,218 – KSTP) were the Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota, Minneapolis Off-Road Cyclists (MOCA) and the Midtown Greenway Coalition. Money is raised through a combination of beer and merchandise sales and additional donations.

The day started off with threatening clouds that led to two short but heavy rain bursts. The first sent volunteers scrambling to protect merchandise and repair leaks in tents. The second occurred as the parade was underway. Over 400 people attended the parade, and from what I could tell, had great fun, despite the soaking.

The remainder of the day proceeded in sunshine with a variety of events to choose from: bands on a choice of stages, games to play, delicious food to eat from local vendors and the popular Unique Bike Corral, where you can expand your horizons on what a ‘bike’ is and take one out for a test ride, some of which can support multiple people.

Lastly, there is a procession for the ‘death’ of a car as a lucky person is chosen who is willing to sign a pledge and trade in their vehicle. This year went to Mark Schanzenbach
who was the proud winner of a custom bicycle, a joint effort between New Belgium and Black Sheep Bikes, a bike builder out of Fort Collins, CO.

The Tour de Fat continues to grow in popularity by providing a fun and waste-free day for all attendees. If you missed out on this event, you can mark your calendar for September 11th, 2011 which is the New Belgium-sponsored Urban Assault Ride, a large scavenger hunt completed on bicycles.

Check back soon for bonus coverage from last Saturday’s event.

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