New Belgium produces six beers, including the bike-inspired ‘Fat Tire Amber Ale’. The company’s Tour de Fat is an annual “cycling circus”, now in its seventh year.
It aims to increase awareness and participation in cycling as the sustainable transportation alternative. Last year Tour de Fat travelled to 11 US cities, attracted more than 31,000 people and raised more than $166,000.
Chris Winn, Tour de Fat’s coordinator, said: “Tour de Fat is a one of a kind, must-see summer event. People and bikes parade around decorated in outrageous costumes, great musicians take to the solar-powered stage, and fascinating performers entertain with creative antics, all while we raise money for local organisations that support the two-wheeled lifestyle.”
Tour de Fat is free to participants, but money spent on beer and New Belgium Brewing soft-goods goes towards local charities.
New for this year, one volunteer in each city will commit to live car-free for one year, as part of the Car-for-Bike Trade Program. The individual will sign over their car title and in exchange get a hand-built New Belgium commuter bike. The selected volunteer will chronicle the trials and triumphs along their car-free journey. The volunteer is chosen after submitting a video or letter describing themselves and their desire to live car-free.
At the Carbon e-Racer Kiosk participants can see how much they will help the environment by making a commitment to join Team Wonderbike. Team Wonderbike members promise to commute by bike at least once a month for a year.
The Tour de Fat has bands which play from solar-powered stages and that are transported in solar-powered trailers.
And check out the Sprockettes, a minibike dance troupe from Portland, Oregon.
But what about the baby aardvark ballerinas mentioned in the headline? They’re from Circus Contraption, “a potpourri of circus oddities, including whimsical costumes, original music, baby aardvark ballerinas and a beetle tamer.”
Even if you’re not partial to the silly Rowan Atkinson character, this particular, bike-themed snippet from the movie Mr. Bean’s Holiday is a classic:
It would have been slightly more realistic if the riders in the peleton were shown wearing local French club strips rather than plain jerseys. It might also have been funnier if there were some incredulous reactions from the riders being overtaken by Mr. Bean on his shopping bike. But it’s still a great clip, and a warm, funny and touching movie. Music’s good too.