OK folks, it's time for another installment of "Let's go to the..." And where are we going today (you may ask)? Well, we're going to the carnie shop. This is an awesome stop for you because regardless if you can make it to the Brewery for a tour, there is no way a (sensible) tour guide (like myself) would take you back there. It's pretty far off the tour route, not to mentioned laced with thousands of potential safety threats (like sparks, lots and lots of sparks). The carnie shop is also the place I called home for the first stretch of my New Belgium tenure. So this is a real treat for everybody (you and me).
But first some background. The carnies are a a few dudes that spend their time fully committed to the Tour de Fat. Now I realize that the Tour de Fat (henceforth TdF) doesn't stop in a city near you for almost 5 months, but there is a lot of work to be done, namely building wacky stuff. And in building all that wacky stuff these carnies need a workspace that fits their specific needs. So here at HQ they have carved out their own workspace affectionately called "the carnie shop". It's deep in the bowels of the building, held up with concrete walls and capped with a very tall ceiling (this is handy, since stink rises and the carnies are not known for personal hygiene (take it from me, I used to be one)). The shop is filled to the brim with metal (and plenty of other stuff) that one day will be turned into something cool (and most likely ride-able), it is also filled with tools; wrenches, hammers, a welder, etc.... And it is through these tools (and some good ol' fashioned ingenuity) that the carnies build the amazing things that we all get to enjoy come TdF season. Take this for instance:
I don't even know what that is, but I am going to go ahead and guarantee it's a good time. There are some wheels and tires, not to mention some horns and a crank. If I had to guess (which I don't) I'd say it is some sort of horn machine, but that's just crazy (the wacky factor on that is through the roof). And then we have this carousel looking device:
The carnies and myself gave this one a spin in the hallway outside the shop, and let me tell you, that drain almost came in handy (I was very dizzy (I almost threw up)). I also like how it is painted all black, the color lends it a sense of evil fun, which describes that device perfectly, "evil fun". That also perfectly describes one of the carnies, Pete. Here he is looking down a pipe of some kind:
Then we have Pete's toolbox:
Yes, it is pin stripped. How cool is that. These carnies love taking it to the hoop in everything that they do.
Then there is Todd:
Here he is on the phone, I'm sure it's very important carnie business (finding a new corn-dog vendor? (maybe locating a new fryer for funnel cakes? (your guess is as good as mine))).
But then there are the weird things about the carnie shop. Coming up next is a short photo essay depicting some of the things these guys call decor.
Then there is the carnies stash of raw materials, in this stash you will find old bike frames, used up brewery parts, pipes and rods of all lengths and widths not to mention a seemingly endless supply of old chain:
The other awesome reason to go back to the carnie shop is the overwhelming supply of sunflower seeds. They have an astounding flavor variety and trash buckets located in all the strategic places for spitting shells. It is a little like heaven back there (if your definition of heaven is anything like mine) and I am glad I got to take you folks through it. And in the end, make sure you keep tuned in for the release of the upcoming (twenty-ten) dates for the TdF. From the looks of the shop it's going to be better than ever.