Posted By: Andrew Sprowell
"Ballyho, Bikes, and Beer" define the Tour de Fat, according to New Belgium Spokesperson Bryan Simpson. The annual bike parade, hosted by Fort Collins' own New Belgium Brewing Company, is a "celebration of the bike as a viable form of transportation."
Though the Tour de Fat will have traveled to eleven cities countrywide by October 2009, Fort Collins proudly claims a home field advantage to the zany, exuberant and iconic pedalfest that started in the Choice City ten years ago.
Pumped to attend? Whip up the paper mache, head to the thrift store, and oil your bike chain. You'll need to start brainstorming costume ideas and read the "Ten Commandments of the Tour de Fat" to get ready.
Simpson's best advice for the parade? "Wear a costume, and keep an open mind...throw your preconceptions out the window." His favorite aspect of the parade is the exodus of the biking community, a phenomenon he describes as "tribal intermingling," as well as the Tour de Fat ideology that "every bike is a good bike."
Entry to the parade is free and open all. However, in addition to scoring one of New Belgium's mouth-watering brews, every penny of your $5 donation will support several local bike nonprofits including the Diamond Peaks Mountain Bike Patrol.
The Tour de Fat will depart from the New Belgium Brewery on 500 N Linden Street at 10am Saturday and follow a meandering loop eastward to City Park. While event registration starts at 9am, be sure to follow the ninth commandment of the Tour de Fat: "Thou shall rise early." The parade is sure to draw thousands—last year's Tour cranked its way past the 10K mark—so visit New Belgium's website to pre-register and avoid the line. For more info, get the Fat and Skinny at the event website, or check out the Facebook event here.