Sometimes the Combination of Beer and Bikes Can Mix


Photo Credits to New Belgium Brewing)

It is not a natural relationship, beer and bikes, but New Belgium, a beer brewing company located in Fort Collins, CO, has made it one. New Belgium's Tour de Fat announced this week that they reached a million dollar milestone this year in money raised for 24 non-profit organizations.

It has been nine years that New Belgium has been hosting the Tour de Fat, which is a celebration of getting folks to turn in their car keys in exchange for pedals. This year they toured 11 cities, including Chicago, San Fransisco, and Austin, Texas. They hosted over 15,000 paraders, swapped 11 cars for bicycles through their Car-For-bike-Swap, and raised over $250,000, which brings their grand (nine year) total to $1,015,196.
Beyond the non-profit funds, the most important thing that this yearly tour provides is recognition for sustaining the earth by biking rather than driving whenever possible. At each of the Tour de Fat stops, bikers pledged not to drive several miles over the next twelve months. To keep things fun, New Belgium also brought with them one hand-made custom bike to trade with one lucky participant in their Car-For-bike-Swap.

The swap entails having one person commit to living car free for a period of one year, and in exchange for their vehicle, they receive the fancy-schmancy hand-built commuter bike. In turn for the cool bike, the swappers commit themselves to pedaling to work, out to dinner, and to accomplish most errands throughout this next year.

"This was our second year for the car-for-bike swap," said Chris Winn, Tour de Fat's event coordinator. "It's always a kick to see the enthusiasm our swappers have about turning over the keys and starting a new journey—they all have incredible stories and serve as an inspiration."

The tour itself is also an example of leaving as little carbon footprint as possible. During each public celebration, all waste is either composted or recycled. The center stage, used for announcements, presentations, and musical acts, is powered from solar electricity cells, and all booths and vendors promised to remain off grid for the duration of the tour. Also, all the trucks that are used to transport the tour and its members were set-up to use biofuel, which was sourced from recycled waste oils.

"It was another record-breaking year and magnificent to see so many people come out to support the best invention on earth, and learn about more ways we all can all make a difference," said Winn. "We look forward to next year, but until then, enjoy the winter and don't stop pedaling!"

To see videos from the Tour de Fat stops and to read blog postings from the journey this year, check out www.tour-de-fat.com. For more information on New Belgium Brewing visit http://www.newbelgium.com/.

2008 Tour de Fat Breakdown City-by-City
June 21, 2008 — Chicago, IL
$11,878 - Total Funds Raised
82% of Tours Waste Diverted from Landfill
400 Parade Riders
1,500 Attended

July 19, 2008 — San Francisco, CA
$19,158 - Total Funds Raised
92% of Tours Waste Diverted from Landfill
300 Parade Riders
4,000 Attended

July 26, 2008 — Truckee, CA
$11,966 - Total Funds Raised
95% of Tours Waste Diverted from Landfill
400 Parade Riders
1,800 Attended

August 2, 2008 — Seattle, WA
$6,153 - Total Funds Raised
97% of Tours Waste Diverted from Landfill
300 Parade Riders
1,100 Attended

August 16, 2008 — Portland, OR
$6,401 - Total Funds Raised
93% of Tours Waste Diverted from Landfill
800 Parade Riders
2,000 Attended

August 23, 2008 — Boise, ID
$36,685 - Total Funds Raised
91% of Tours Waste Diverted from Landfill
2,000 Parade Riders
5,000 Attended

September 6, 2008 — Ft. Collins, CO
$62,586 - Total Funds Raised
92% of Tours Waste Diverted from Landfill
7,000 Parade Riders
11,000 Attended

September 13, 2008 — Denver, CO
$19,191 - Total Funds Raised
93% of Tours Waste Diverted from Landfill
1,000 Parade Riders
3,000 Attended

September 20, 2008 — Durango, CO
$17,298 - Total Funds Raised
88% of Tours Waste Diverted from Landfill
500 Parade Riders
2,500 Attended

October 11, 2008 — Tempe, AZ
$53,785 - Total Funds Raised
95% of Tours Waste Diverted from Landfill
1,800 Parade Riders
7,000 Attended

October 18, 2008 — Austin, TX
$11,909 - Total Funds Raised
85% of Tours Waste Diverted from Landfill
600 Parade Riders
2,500 Attended

Grand Totals
$257,010 - Total Funds Raised
91% of Tours Waste Diverted from Landfill
15,100 Parade Riders
41,400 Attended

More biking campaigns to join
Celebrate Bike to Work Day
Biking America with We Add Up to Raise Awareness and Fight Global Warming
"Change Your World" Encourages Alternatives to Car

Tags: Beer | Bike-Friendly World | Biking | Colorado

WHAT'S HOT ON FACEBOOK