Saturday, July 10, 2010

Tour de Fat

I took this week off of running. Completely. I didn't even run the measily .6 of a mile to the gym. Instead, I hopped on my bike and vowed to see as much of Minneapolis possible in one week's time.

After peddling my way through a gajillion miles on my tiny fixed gear, I figured there was no better way to end my weeklong bike tour than by attending the Minneapolis leg of Tour de Fat, the traveling bike festival sponsored by New Belgium Brewing.
I first stumbled upon Tour de Fat when I was living in San Francisco a couple of summers ago. I had vaguely heard of it, but didn't realize the grandeur of the festival until I ran into thousands of bikes stacked alongside each other in Golden Gate Park. Every bike imaginable was there: Mountain bikes, road bikes, colorful bikes, hipster bikes, children's bikes, unicycles, everything. It was an amazing site to see, and I had to head into the carnival to see what all the bike excitement was about.

Where I was first introduced to the Tour. From the San Francisco leg, circa summer of 2008.
The Tour acts as one massive fundraiser to promote the awesomeness of biking and the funness of human-powered transportation. It's free to get in and to ride your bike in the parade, but everything else comes at a feel-good-for-donating cost. Even the beer tokens go toward bicycle and environmental charities. How sweet is that?

If you're near one of the 13 cities lucky enough to be visited by the too-brief Tour (really, only 6 hours?), definitely stop by the cavalcade of craziness and costumes, bikes and beer. Just do your best not to breathe in the overwhelming stench of dirty, smelly hipsters. They are everywhere.

This morning's gathering in Loring Park.
Waiting in line at Le Tigre......Where we watched dudes play music only using bike parts.
The larger of two stages where some punk accordion/strings players performed. Their music sounded identical to Gogol Bordello, which I ... luckily ... happen to love.
Try your hand at some of their crazy bikes.
Go get 'em!


  1. Oh, that looks like a whole lot of fun! Thanks for including the tour dates in that last photo. I think I need to get over to San Francisco in September...

  2. Hi A,
    Way to get out there on your bike! It must have been so fun just biking all around Minneapolis! I need to explore the city a little more too:) The festival looks like fun...great pictures too!

    When I get back from Cali we will figure something out on the Wednesday night races:) I can't wait....I think it will be a blast! Have a great week A!

  3. That Tour de Fat looks like a lot of fun. New Belgium Fat Tire is actually one of my husbands favorite beers! I want to find one of these festivals. Even though, you couldn't run, it looks like you had a great time.

  4. Looks like great fun A - you are hardcore if you're riding a fixie! That would be brutal out here...

    Have a great week!

  5. That is just awesome! Thanks for sharing this.

  6. A- why didn't you call and invite me? I would have come! :)

  7. That looks amazing. I can't believe I missed it. I love anything to do with bicycles. I am going to add it to my list of must do for next year.

  8. I went to Tour De Fat last year and it was a lot of fun. However it looks like the one in Minneapolis is much, much bigger than the one Tempe hosts. I'm so jealous!

    It was really cool to see such a diverse, eclectic group of people meeting together because the love bikes. Pretty cool.

  9. Wow -- really cool!

    Just found you and am looking forward to following your journey!!

  10. I can't wait for "Le Tour" to come to Boise in August! I have always missed it due to working weekends. I will definitely have to check it out.

    I am new to following your blog and a new runner, your posts are inspiring, thank you!

  11. This looks like a blast and New Belgium Brewing makes some great beer. I wish I could do this but they come nowhere close to FL.