If Bicycles Ruled the Road

New Belgium Brewing’s Tour de Fat rolls into Denver today, bringing with it a whimsical bike parade, a killer music lineup and an estimated 10,000 people to the west end of City Park. And while beer will be flowing, the event transcends a keg party. It’s about community-building and sustainability through cycling. People in costumes generally outnumber the under-dressed three to one. Skits, bike competitions and a car-for-bike swap are interwoven between acts by the Yo-Yo People, Dovekins and the Venezuelan dance band Los Amigos Invisibles.

“The bicycle has a romance for people at different points in their life,” says Tour de Fat’s spokesman Matt Kowal. “When we’re kids, riding in our Underoos, it’s our first taste of freedom. Later, when we’re adolescents, it’s the quickest way to get to your girlfriend’s house. Then, when you don’t have any time to get your heart rate up, there’s that bike again.”

Indeed, it was a love of pedal power that moved the Fort Collins-based brewing company’s co-founder, Jeff Lebesch, to adventure through Belgium on a bicycle trip that inspired him to come home and brew, brew, brew. It’s only fitting, then, that the company is hosting its twelfth year of a touring bike festival that will hit thirteen U.S. cities before the year is out.

The pro-bike (but not anti-car) event runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free, but $5 is the suggested donation for parade participants; beer is $5 a pint. All proceeds benefit the BikeDenver and Denver Cruisers organizations. For more information, go to www.newbelgium.com.
Sat., Sept. 10, 2011


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