Seriously, this year's Tour de Fat in Chicago was incredible. We're not just paying Chicago lip service, either. The Windy City gave our carnies the complete package as far as good-timeage goes. It began with blue skies and a high temperature that didn't require any of us to take our shirts off. Some of us might have anyway, but it's because we wanted to, not because we needed to. We promise.
Don't take us at our word, though. We have definitive proof that Chicago was totally awesome. Here are some pictures — and maybe some words — so that you can make the decision for yourself. We're pretty sure you'll have to choose between "The Chicago Tour de Fat was awesome," or "The Chicago Tour de Fat was super megaton awesome."
Costumes, costumes and more costumes. It seemed that just about every ballyhoo seeker was wearing some sort of get-up. Take this picture, for instance. Not only are the three main subjects in regalia (yes, we are insinuating the Mario™ franchise is royalty), but so is the dude photo-bombing them. Hang loose, freedom-loving photo-bomber.
People had fun — like this guy. He was hoola hooping before the festival even kicked off. Throughout the day the hoola hoop station, pedal-bike misting tent, life-sized Connect 4, Portaoke (it's karaoke in a non-disgusting portable toilet), and thunderdome were swarmed by many a beer-drinking, smile-toting happy person. Chicago sure knows how to channel the inner-child.
Alright, the Portaoke is a little disgusting, but not, like, too gross.
The parade was a big one. Thousands of Chicagoans took to the streets around Palmer Square in force. There were tall bikes, chopper bikes, cruiser bikes, bikes that were barely staying together and flashy road bikes. In short, an assortment of bikes — and people — surely made an impression on the motorists we were riding alongside.
The slow bike contest was extra slow. If you've seen a slow bike contest, you know what that means. If you haven't, well, allow me to explain. Slow ride is exactly like every other race, except it's the complete opposite. The last rider to cross the finish line wins. The catch? You can't stop moving, and your feet can't touch the ground. It's a show of balance, slowness and sheer determination. Also, people usually fall over, which, more often than not, is funny.
Mucca Pazza killed it. 'Nuff said.
There were tons of families hanging around and making memories. We're fans of memories, so this made us very happy.
The Car for Bike trade was radical. This fine gentleman — name Johnny — traded in his truck for a sweet two-wheel, pedal-powered whip. He then rode off into the sunset, and was likely seen again.
Reggie Watts mystified the crowd with a set of music + improv comedy in a fine close-out to the Chicago Tour de Fat. Thanks Reggie. You were Reg-tastic. Or should we say Watt-erful? Do either of those work?
Really though, a lot of Chicagoans joined us for a wonderful Saturday. Attendance climbed well past the 2012 turnout, which translated into a whole lot more money for West Town Bikes, our Chicago nonprofit partner.
Thanks for such a great time Chicago. Now we're setting our sights on Minneapolis (<cough> July 27 in Loring Park <cough>). We're confident the Twin Cities will be just as much fun.
Cheers — Nic The Intern