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Tour de Fat raises $600k for bike advocacy

Published October 30, 2015
New Belgium Brewing event series has raised more than $4 million in 16 years.

FORT COLLINS, Colo. (BRAIN) — New Belgium Brewing's Tour de Fat, a series of fun bike-and-beer events held around the country, raised nearly $650,000 for bike non-profits this year, bringing its total contribution over 16 years to more than $4 million.

Tour de Fat traveled to 10 cities between May and October this year, attracting a total of 112,000 beer and bike enthusiasts. New Belgium's hometown of Fort Collins had the most festival-goers, totaling 25,000 people; the Tour de Fat stop in Denver, Colorado, raised the most money ($113,305). This year's total of $647,668 for local nonprofits was up more than $20,000 from last year.

The events are free, but all proceeds from beer and merchandise sales and donations in each city go to local nonprofit organizations focused on making communities a better place to ride a bike.

Tour de Fat festivals include a costumed bike parade through city streets, followed by entertainment, New Belgium beer, bike-themed festivities, live music, carnival variety tents, local food trucks and more. At each stop, New Belgium works with local sustainability partners to divert waste from landfills, encouraging beer and bike fans to think twice about recycling.

Tour de Fat also hosted the ninth annual car-for-bike swap, where one role model in each city stepped on stage to trade in car keys and pledge to live car-free for one year. Each swapper received a $2,250 stipend to buy their own commuter bike in exchange for their car. Vehicles for Charity auctioned the swapped cars, with proceeds benefitting Tour De Fat's local nonprofit partners. Each of the swappers is encouraged to blog about their adventures at TradeMyCarForABike.Tumblr.com.

"What we've created can be hard to describe – part alter-ego beer festival; part cycling advocacy; part amazing, but sometimes perplexing entertainment, but when you put it all together it just works," said Paul Gruber, Tour de Fat's operations manager. "This year we passed the $4 million mark, an incredible feat, which means great things are happening in cycling communities across the country. That's the best part of this whole thing and we can't wait to do it again next year!"

Tour de Fat Breakdown City-by-City:

  • Washington, D.C. – May 30; Total Funds Raised: $65,334 (up $8,287 from 2014); Attendees: 9,000 (up 2,000 people from 2014)
  • Durham, N.C. – June 20; Total Funds Raised: $29,559 (up $4,135 from 2014); Attendees: 4,000
  • Chicago – July 11; Total Funds Raised: $51,141 (up $19,315 from 2014); Attendees: 8,000 (up 3,000 people from 2014)
  • Minneapolis – July 25; Total Funds Raised: $36,247; Attendees: 5,000
  • Boise, Idaho – Aug. 15; Total Funds Raised: $66,556; Attendees: 10,500 (up 500 from 2014)
  • Ft. Collins, Colo. – Sept. 5; Total Funds Raised: $94,241; Attendees: 25,000
  • Denver – Sept. 12; Total Funds Raised: $113,305 (up $12,302 from 2014); Attendees: 20,000 (up 2,000 from 2014)
  • San Francisco – Sept. 19; Total Funds Raised: $42,713 (up $540 from 2014); Attendees: 8,000 (up 500 from 2014)
  • San Diego – Sept. 26; Total Funds Raised: $43,003; Attendees: 7,500 (up 500 from 2014)
  • Tempe, Ariz. – Oct. 3; Total Funds Raised: $105,567 (up $5,567 from 2014); Attendees: 15,000

 

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