Tour de Fat hits the road in 2009

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TDF22New Belgium Brewery's rollicking Tour de Fat bicycle festival hits the road again to 11 western cities this summer and fall.

The traveling circus-style event hosted by the Fort Collins, Colorado-based brewery preaches sustainability in its message to participants. That message is flavored with a healthy dose of suds.

This year, the festival starts by visiting Chicago, followed by Minneapolis, Seattle, Portland, Boise, Fort Collins, Denver, San Francisco, San Diego, Tempe and Austin (dates below).

Truckee, California, and Durango, Colorado, were dropped from last year's tour; Minneapolis and San Diego have been added.

Nine years

This is the ninth year that the makers of Fat Tire beer have sponsored the festival to “spread the good word about the positive societal offerings of the bicycle.”

I enjoyed the Tour de Fat last year at Gas Works Park in Seattle. It started with a ride around town featuring the performers and locals, many of whom wore costumes and decorated their bikes.

TDF25There was lots of entertainment, such as Portland's Sprockettes (at left) who performed their dance routines on bikes. There were jugglers and comic kung-fu fighters on the other stages, as well as the jazzy March Forth Marching Band band.

Particpants could ride a collection of crazy bikes or compete in the “slow race” — the last one to finish wins.


Proceeds from the beer garden went to local charities. In Seattle the Bike Works and Bicycle Alliance of Washington were the beneficiaries.

A highlight of the show was the awarding of a New Belgium commuter bike to a person who donated her car to charity and promised to go car-free for a year.

You can check all the details for this year as they become available at the Follow Your Folly website.

Here's the list of cities Tour de Fat will visit in 2009:

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

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