Beer before noon needs little justification in some people’s
books, but for those looking for a good reason to toss one back
while the day is still young, there’s the Tour de Fat,
coming to a main street near you this Saturday.
Billed as the “Ballyhoo
of Bikes and Beer,” the tour is bringing its brand of
two-wheeled fun to bike-savvy towns throughout the west, from
Seattle to Austin, Texas, and Boise, Idaho, to Flagstaff, Ariz.
“We got food, bands,
beer, and we got fun,” said organizer David Kemp, of New
Belgium Brewing Co., the Fort Collins sponsor of the caravan
and purveyor of the ever-popular Fat Tire beer. “We show
up with a beer fest in a back of a truck.”
day’s festivities begin with organized morning rides for
mountain and road riders (intermediate and beginner levels).
Although details of the routes were still being worked out,
registration takes place on Main Avenue between 12th and 13th
streets at 8:30 a.m. with a scheduled 9 a.m. departure.
If a slow coast is more your
speed first thing in the morning, there will be a cruiser parade,
sponsored by Durango Motorless Transit, on Main starting at
10 a.m., with a 9:30 a.m. registration time. The parade will
make its way down Main to its terminus, at which point cruisers
will take off on a leisurely tour of town and back to Main to
“tap the kegs,” Kemp said.
From 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., the
tour will roll out its brand of bike tomfoolery, including mini
bike races and games like the “paperboy challenge,”
“rim toss” and “ghost ride.” Barbecued
goods will be provided by Scoot n’ Blues and sushi from
East by Southwest, as well as New Belgium’s five brands
of beer. There also will be live music provided by Fort Collins
bands Leghorn and Drag the River, which Kemp described as having
a “country rock flair.” Seattle alternative band
Bicycle, which reportedly earned its name by riding from show
to show via bicycle, also will take to the stage to “mix
things up,” Kemp said.
And although fat on the frolicking,
the Tour de Fat actually has a noble cause.
“Our mission is to raise
money for cycling organizations across the U.S.,” said
The local benefactors of the Durango stop on the tour will be
Trails 2000, which will get proceeds from the $5 bike ride registration
fee, and the San Juan Mountains Association, which will collect
proceeds from the beer sales. Entry to the Main Avenue festival
Aside from this, Kemp said
the tour has a secondary goal: getting people to slow down and
enjoy the simpler pleasures of life. “We want to encourage
people to stop and smell the flowers,” said Kemp.
Thus, this year’s tribute
to the cruiser – the fat-tired, fendered, slow-moving,
upright handlebarred, spring-loaded, cushy-seated steeds of
yesteryear (or made to look like it.)
“Almost everyone has
loved a bike at some point in their life,” he said. “We
just want to encourage folks to remember that feeling.”