Festival Preview: ID : New Belgium’s Tour de Fat returns for one engagement in Boise, Idaho.

image courtesy of New Belgium Brewing Not much really needs to be said about this festival centered on bicycles, the outdoors, and of course beer. For those curious what city(or cities) will be getting a visit from NB in the Northwest we’ve highlighted them.

If you haven’t experienced Tour de Fat, you just haven’t had enough fun on two wheels.  In its 12th season, New Belgium Brewing’s traveling celebration of all things bicycle will make its mark on 13 cities this year, singing the praises of the bike life while raising funds for local non-profits.  Tour de Fat is more than an event; it’s a rite of passage that includes a costumed bicycle parade, New Belgium beer, eye-popping entertainment, local food, bizarre bike contests and much more.

A highlight of Tour de Fat is the annual car-for-bike swap. At each Tour de Fat stop, one person will hand over his or her car keys and commit to one year of living car-free. Tour de Fat is now seeking volunteers to accept the swapper challenge. Each car-for-bike swapper will receive a hand-built Black Sheep (http://www.blacksheepbikes.com/) commuter bike in return for their car.

Volunteers are chosen after submitting an application describing their desire to live sans-car.  To submit, go to the New Belgium Tour de Fat Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/TourDeFat), click on events and your city of choice, and upload your application in one of three formats: video (two minutes or less, please), photo or the written word.

“The car-for-bike swap epitomizes Tour de Fat, wherein one brave soul makes the commitment to live car-free while inspiring others to think about driving alternatives,” said Bryan Simpson, spokesman for New Belgium. “We’re building a network of folks who originally said they’d leave their car behind for a year, but are still living car-free today.”

Tour de Fat kicks off in Durham, NC on June 25 and wraps up in Austin, TX on October 22.

A few tidbits about Tour de Fat:

  • Tour de Fat encourages everybody to team up and present each city with the most colorful, respectful and creative bike parade ever witnessed. (Hint: No one stands out like the guy who was too cool for a costume!)
  • Tour de Fat seeks to leave as small an environmental imprint as possible and composts and recycles waste.  The waste diversion rate for 2010 was 91 percent.
  • Tour de Fat is free to attend, but beer and merchandise proceeds go to local cycling non-profits. During its lifespan, Tour de Fat events have raised more than $1.75 million for philanthropy.  Last year Tour de Fat raised $331,428.
  • All musical acts perform on a solar-powered stage decorated with recycled materials; trucks and transport use biofuel sourced from recycled waste oils; and all vendors operate off the grid.
  • This is a pro-bike celebration, not an anti-car rally…non-cyclists are more than welcome to join the festivities.

See http://www.facebook.com/TourDeFat for the Tour de Fat credo, schedules, videos and to submit your entry to swap your gas guzzler for a shiny new bicycle.

Tour de Fat 2011 will cycle through each of the following cities:

June 25 – Durham, NC, Diamond View Park
July 9 – Nashville, TN, Centennial Park
July 16 – Chicago, IL, Palmer Square
July 23 – Minneapolis, MN, Loring Park
July 30 – Milwaukee, WI, Humboldt Park

August 20 – Boise, ID, Ann Morrison Park

September 3 – Ft. Collins, CO, Civic Center Park
September 10 – Denver, CO, City Park
September 24 – San Francisco, CA, Golden Gate Park
October 1 – San Diego, CA, Balboa Park
October 8 – Los Angeles, CA, L.A. Historic Park
October 15 – Tempe, AZ, Tempe Town Lake
October 22 – Austin, TX, Fiesta Garden

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 eight year-round beers; Fat Tire Amber Ale, Ranger IPA, 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.

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