Thousands of “cyclists” don amusing, unique costumes and ride around the city. Sounds like fun right? The main, big daddy of cruiser rides, the Tour De Fat was and always will be hosted in Fort Collins, Colorado. This is where the ingenious creator of the event resides at the New Belgium Brewing Co. These freaky, beer drinking fundraisers have grown so popular that they are now celebrated in 12 cities across the country. It’s a free event (really helps get a lot of people to come!), yet all the proceeds from the beer, merchandise sales, and donations from the parade help local bicycle nonprofits. Awesome!
The fundraiser always starts with the parade of wacky people, sometimes on even more wacky bikes, cruising around the city streets. Then the beer starts flowin’ and stages start rockin’ with high-class musicians and comical acts. Ordinary parks and parking lots transform into intoxicated adult playgrounds of beer and bicycle joy.
The street corners and sidelines will be filled with spectators (who are usually dressed up in colorful costumes as well) cheering on the parading bikers. Everybody and anybody can join the parade or leave the parade at anytime. I probably took 6-9 riding breaks to enjoy the spectacle of all the other riders as they passed with great cheers and hand-hurting high fives. The energy here was stupendous and full of bicycle philanthropists!
The Official 10 TDF Commandments:
- Put no means of transport before thy bike
- Honor all other bikes. All bikes are good bikes, and all those who ride them are good people
- May every generation come forth
- Thou shall come as a participant not a spectator: It’s a costumed celebration of human powered transportation
- Thou shalt not bring booze; But enjoy the supplied malted adult refreshments responsibly
- New Belgium shalt not profit: Our goal is to raise money for bicycle and environmental charities. On any other day, dressing like a freak and hanging out in the park with thine buddies might be reason for being called a Philanderer, but today thou ist a Philanthropist!
- Remember the purpose, and bring not your pooches
- Keep the day true with thy good juju: The ride is free, but we suggest a $5 donation to the good bike advocates who are putting it on for you
- Thou shall rise early … once we’re full, we will handle overflow like a restaurant or bar: one in, one out
- Thou shalt not steal thy neighbors’ bike
From Denver, head North on I-25 or 287 to Fort Collins.