Saturday Is Tour de Fat, a Benefit for Better Biking Disguised as a Party

How do you feel about ridiculous spectacles? Do you like beer? Music? Fundraisers for Denver nonprofit organizations that advocate year in and year out for bike-friendly streets?

Fort Collins-based New Belgium Brewery’s annual Tour de Fat — a “traveling celebration of all things bikes” — returns to Denver’s City Park on Saturday, and you can get all those things then and there.

Named for the brewery’s signature Fat Tire Amber Ale, the festival raises money for BikeDenver and Denver Cruiser Ride — two groups that have fought for years to make Denver more bikeable. Here’s what you should know about Saturday.

The “Car Traitor” Swap

Everything about Tour de Fat is outlandish, but there’s a very logical element to it too. It’s expensive to own a car — annual costs come to about $8,700 on average when you add up car payments, gas, upkeep, parking, and insurance, according to AAA. That’s why each year New Belgium picks a “car traitor” who agrees to swap her or his car for $2,250 toward a commuter bike and gear. The winner blogs about the car-free experience for a year. (You can still apply.)

A Massive Bike Ride

Saturday’s festival begins, as usual, with a parade of bikes at 11 a.m. (Registration starts at 10.) Thousands will participate. Don’t be the black sheep without a costume — the experienced will tell you that it doesn’t have to make sense, as long as it’s expressive.

Here’s the bike ride route:

Screen Shot 2016-09-07 at 11.15.57 AM
Image: Google Maps

A Pre-Ride Ride on the Broadway Bike Lane

Before the main ride, BikeDenver will host a get-together at Illegal Pete’s on South Broadway starting at 9 a.m. From there, everyone will ride to City Park for the parade, using the half-mile Broadway bike lane for the first leg.

Bands, Beer, and Performance Art

Entry to the festival is free, and once inside New Belgium beer will be on sale for $5 a pop (you can buy food too). There’s more information about all the activities, music, and other performances at the festival’s website.

BikeDenver is still looking for volunteers to help, so sign up if you can. Happy Tour de Fat.