Over Memorial Day weekend, as the country celebrated the unofficial kickoff of summer, we celebrated our very own kickoff of the 2014 Tour de Fat season. The Tour de Fat is our favorite holiday. It combines the joy of Christmas morning, the costumed creativity of Halloween, the togetherness of Thanksgiving, and the gorgeous weather and freedom of the 4th of July. And what’s more? It does all of this on bikes. If that doesn’t sound festive, then we just don’t know what does.
For those of you who are not already acquainted with Tour de Fat, it is our travelling philanthropic bicycle carnival. The event includes a costumed bicycle parade, New Belgium beer, unconventional entertainment and music, interactive artwork, and feats of bicycle strength.
The free event, which raises money for local cycling nonprofits and advocacy through beer sales and donations, has donated more than $3 million to cycling nonprofits since its inception. We work closely with the local bike nonprofits in the cities the Tour visits, and they have proven to be amazing partners. From BikeWalk NC, Triangle Spokes Group, and the Bike Co-op in Durham, to SWIMBA, Boise Bicycle Project, and Treasure Valley Cycling Alliance in Boise, to San Diego County Bicycle Coalition and SDMBA in San Diego, these people bring their "A" game. Be on the lookout for the nonprofits at Tour de Fat when it rolls through your town, and give a high five and a hug to their volunteers who you’ll see pouring beer and helping out.
In addition to the local cycling nonprofits that we’re engaging with in each TdF city, we’re also partnering with People for Bikes at all Tour stops. PfB is a national organization that does a stellar job of keeping folks informed and connected to bicycle related issues and legislation in their area. By signing up for their email list, you can easily stay in the know about legislation and initiatives in your area, and connect with your local or national representative to weigh in on the issues if you’re so inclined. PfB will be at each stop of TdF this summer, engaging with folks to talk about cycling issues in your hometown.
As our beloved coworker and Senator of Tour de Fat nonprofit relations says, we’re not anti-car, we’re pro bikes. And we’re for all bikes. We think that much of the power of TdF and PfB is in their ability to break down barriers between road cyclists, mountain bikers, commuters, and those who ride once a year, and just bring everyone together to celebrate a common love of fun and of moving forward (on a bike seat). After all, we’re more effective when we work together, and we work together better when we’re having fun.
Hope to see you out on the bike trails this summer. And don’t forget to check out our calendar to find the TdF stop in your neck of the woods.
Ride On! -- Ginger