Mark your calendar for Oct. 23 when the Tour de Fat visits L.A. for the first time

I don’t do press releases.

Not that I don’t get a lot of them these days. I seem to find them popping up in my inbox with surprising regularity these days.

But for the most part, it’s just a missive from some corporate hack trying to get me to shill a new MP3 player or New York travel, or some other thing that’s only tangentially related to bikes. And even on the rare occasion when it is actually bike related, it’s usually just an attempt to get a little free advertising.

Today, I’m going to make an exception, if only in hopes that they may reward me with a few bottles of my favorite beer, which just happens to come from my hometown — although this one runs a close second.

On the other hand, it’s also for a good cause.

The Tour de Fat has been rolling across the U.S. for 11 years now. Now finally, the nation’s biggest and best roving bike fest is coming to the nation’s second largest city, which often treats its cyclists like #2, as well.

From all reports, it’s a great time. And it will help promote cycling in the city at a time when we desperately need promoting, while contributing to the coffers of local non-profit bike organizations.

And one lucky Angeleno will get free bike in exchange for promising to live car-free for the next year.

So herewith is the full shill, fresh from my inbox.

New Belgium Brewing’s Tour de Fat Spins into 13 Cities this Season

Come ride, dance and experience the ultimate freedom: trading your car for a bike!

Ft. Collins, CO, April 15, 2010 – Clip a card in your spokes and fluff the rainbow wig …Tour de Fat is back for its 11th season! New Belgium Brewing’s traveling celebration of all things bicycle rolls through 13 cities this year, raising money and sharing bike love. At each Tour de Fat stop, one person will help honor mankind’s greatest invention, the bicycle, by handing over their car keys and committing to a year of car-free living.

For the fourth year in a row, Tour de Fat is looking for volunteers to accept the swapper challenge. One volunteer in each city will give up their car and receive a hand-built Black Sheep (http://www.blacksheepbikes.com/) commuter bike. The volunteer is chosen after submitting a video or essay describing their desire to live sans-car for a year.  To submit an application, log on to http://www.newbelgium.com/tour-de-fat.

“The car-for-bike swap is the pinnacle of the day, illustrating one person’s true belief in all that a bicycle can offer,” said Bryan Simpson, spokesman for New Belgium. “Bikes represent freedom, fun, fitness and folly while helping the environment. It’s a way of life that we live and share at New Belgium.”

Tour de Fat kicks off in Chicago on June 26 and wraps up in Austin on October 30, with first-year debuts in two cities, Milwaukee and Los Angeles. The tour originated in Ft. Collins, Colorado to increase awareness and participation in cycling as a sustainable form of transportation.  Since then, it has become a rite of passage celebrated by bike enthusiasts of all skill levels across the land.

Why Tour de Fat is a Must-Attend Event:

  • Tour de Fat encourages everyone to embrace their inner-cyclist and ride the streets as a cohesive carnival of creativity. Each show begins with a costumed bike parade that stops traffic and turns heads along the way.  (Costumes are highlyencouraged!)
  • Tour de Fat seeks to leave as small an environmental imprint as possible and composts and recycles waste from each tour stop.  The waste diversion rate for 2009 was 94 percent.
  • Tour de Fat is free to participants, but beer and merchandise proceeds go to local cycling non-profits. So far, Tour de Fat events have raised more than $1.25 million for philanthropy.
  • All musical acts perform on a solar-powered stage with decorations made from recycled materials, trucks and transport use biofuel sourced from recycled waste oils, and all vendors operate off the grid.
  • This is a pro-bike celebration, not an anti-car rally…non-cyclists are more than welcome to join the festivities.

See http://www.newbelgium.com/tour-de-fat for the Tour de Fat credo, schedules, videos and to submit your entry to swap your gas guzzler for a shiny new bicycle.  Also visit our Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/New-Belgium-Tour-de-Fat/10150099069050417?ref=ts.

Tour de Fat 2010 will cycle through each of the following cities:

June 26 – Chicago, Palmer Square Park

July 3 – Milwaukee, Humboldt Park

July 10 – Minneapolis, Loring Park

July 31 – Seattle, Gasworks Park

August 14 – Portland, Waterfront Park

August 21 – Boise, Anne Morrison Park

September 4 – Fort Collins, Mothership

September 11 – Denver, City Park

September 25 – San Francisco, Lindley Meadows in Golden Gate Park

October 2 – San Diego, Balboa Park

October 9 – Tempe, Tempe Town Park

October 23 – Los Angeles, L.A. Historic Park

October 30 – Austin, Fiesta Gardens

About New Belgium Brewing Company

New Belgium Brewing Company, makers of Fat Tire Amber Ale and a host of Belgian-inspired beers, began operations in a tiny Fort Collins basement in 1991. Today, the third largest craft brewer in the U.S., New Belgium produces eight year-round beers; Fat Tire Amber Ale, Ranger IPA, Sunshine Wheat, Blue Paddle Pilsner, 1554 Black Ale, Abbey, Mothership Wit and Trippel, as well as a host of seasonal releases.  In addition to producing world-class beers, New Belgium takes pride in being a responsible corporate role model with progressive programs such as employee ownership, open book management and a commitment to environmental stewardship.  For more information, visit www.newbelgium.com.

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