This weekend Tour de Fat is where it’s at

I admit, I’ve thought about it.

This Saturday, someone will get a new bike from New Belgium Brewing. And all you have to do is turn over your car keys and agree to commute by bike for the next year.

It’s tempting.

I mean, my little car is just two years away from the age of consent. And I’ve been using it less and less in recent years as I’ve turned from driving to biking, transit and walking, and my clients no longer seem to feel a need to see me in person in this digital age.

In fact, my tax records show I put less than one thousand miles on my car last year; many Angelenos do more than that in a slow month.

There also seems to be a perfect symmetry to it, since New Belgium is located in my hometown, and makes one of my two favorite beers — and trust me, I’ve probably tried a few thousand beers just to get it down that far. Though which of those two I like best seems to vary from day to day, depending on my mood and what I happen to have on hand.

And I doubt I have to tell you which one I find myself craving as Tour de Fat approaches.

Someone will be riding this bike home — and to work for the next year.

But then there are days like Wednesday, when I ferried three people home from a meeting on a rainy night. And that’s a damn hard thing to do on a bike.

So I’ll be keeping my car, if somewhat reluctantly.

But I will be riding bright and early to the first-ever Los Angeles edition of the Tour de Fat on Saturday, scheduled to take place from 9 am to 5 pm this Saturday, October 23 at Los Angeles Historic State Park just east of Chinatown.

It just happens to be happening just two weeks after a surprisingly successful CicLAvia, leaving local cyclists lusting for another fun bike event.

And from what I’ve heard, Tour de Fat is a hell of a lot of fun.

There’ll be a bike parade through the streets of Downtown starting around 11. And music and entertainment — and yes, beer — throughout the afternoon.

Tentative Schedule:

  • 10:00 a.m.     Bike Parade Registration
  • 11:00 a.m.     Bike Parade Launch
  • 12:00 p.m.     Performances Begin
  • 12:20 p.m.     The SLOW RIDE
  • 1:30 p.m.       Great Bike Story Contest for New Belgium Cruiser Bike
  • 2:35 p.m.       Car-for-Bike Trade Celebration
  • 4:50 p.m.       Faux Finale
  • 4:55 p.m.       Faux-Real finale
  • 5:00 p.m.       Curtain Closes

Acts:

In fact, I have it on good authority that the New Belgium people were teaching their volunteers the proper way to pour a beer on Wednesday evening, just one floor below the LACBC board meeting.

And yet, they didn’t send a single pint our way or ask for any volunteers to test their efforts.

But the event is free — and no, the beer isn’t — but any money raised will go to a good cause. Or three, since it’s a fundraiser for C.I.C.L.E., LACBC and the Bicycle Kitchen.

You can preregister here to save some time waiting in line. And costumes are strongly encouraged.

Personally, I’m thinking about going as a MAMIL.

Remember, biking under the influence is illegal in California, so limit your alcohol consumption just like you would if you were driving. And 25% of the biking fatalities in the U.S. involve cyclists who have been drinking, so have fun, but be careful on your way home.

.………

Council hearings are scheduled for the proposed anti-harassment ordinance before the Transportation Committee on Wednesday the 27th, and the far less bike-friendly territory of the Public Safety Committee on Monday, November 1st. Full details on Streetsblog and LAist.

.………

Looks like LADOT has lots of bike racks, and wants your suggestions on where to put them (be nice). Romance is in the air as the Car-Less Valley Girl falls in back in love with her bike. Long Beach bike maven Charlie Gandy provides an online slide show showing what’s next for our bike friendly neighbors to the south. Speaking of Long Beach, it looks like the biking expats are going to hole up in Portland for the winter. Bike planning continues to spread throughout the county as West Hollywood gears up for a new Bike Task Force. One more reason to ride — you hardly ever hear about police finding a mummified body on a bike. Biking to the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition; check out the double-decker tall bike. Riding from Alaska to Key West to raise awareness for suicide prevention. Bicycling offers a good examination on the state of helmet design; thanks to Stanley for the heads-up. A graphic comparison of bike share programs around the world shows the U.S. has some work to do. Instead of having a basket on your bike, why not have bike that is a basket. A Colorado Springs cyclist slowly recovers two months after being left for dead by a hit-and-run driver. Why is Nashville’s new bike share program being kept under wraps? A bike rider in Ohio is convicted of dragging a dog behind his bike, in what his lawyer claims was a misguided attempt to help a stray pup. Schmuck. New York prepares to crack down on scofflaw cyclists — and speeders too — but apparently, things are so good in Brooklyn the only thing left to complain about is bikes. Mountain Bike magazine bites the dust. The BBC looks at the surge in American cycling, as we struggle to overcome a century of auto-centric planning. Italian cyclist Franco Pellizotti is cleared of doping charges. Biking through the streets of Adelaide naked from the waist down.

Finally, congratulations to Simi Valley cyclist Katie Cook, the newest national BMX champ.

And to think she only took off her training wheels two years ago.

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