Hanging out at the Tour de Fat Chicago

Tour de Fat Chicago tour truck

If you’re not familiar with New Belgium Brewing Company and their fairly well-known Fat Tire  Amber Ale then you might not be familiar with the annual Tour de Fat – their multi-city festival that spreads the love of biking, and of course beer, around the country.  This year 13 lucky cities are being visited by the Tour de Fat , including Minneapolis this past weekend and Chicago before that.  They call it a “Pedal-Powered Fundraiser of Sustainable Folly”  and I just heard that the Chicago festival raised $21,500 for West Town Bikes.  Nice work Chicago!

The House of Ding was able to attend this year, so we got our bikes out and headed up to Palmer Square early, so we could be part of the bike parade.  A lot of other people were there too, watching the pre-parade entertainment.

The Racketeers rocking to Lady Gaga

The Racketeers rocking to Lady Gaga

Mucca Pazza in a rare moment of pensive calm and quiet

Mucca Pazza in a rare moment of pensive calm and quiet

 

rhymanese twins

The Rhymanese Twins - fun bike raps and highly amusing parade commentary (Rose Parade commentators - eat your heart out)

People were gathering and gathering and by the time we headed out I think we had a couple of hundred bikes in our parade.   Here are some of the folks I saw lining up before we headed out for the parade itself.

The  art bike redone for the bike parade

I've encountered this bike before as the "Art Bike" - it was transformed for the bike parade.

Getting in position for the bike paradeBlue fluffy hats are always perfect for a parade

 

Great helmet! (Sorry, I did not get your name!)

Great helmet!

I don’t have any pictures from the parade itself – there were a lot of people riding verrrry slowly, so I was a little more focused on keeping upright without running into another bike than taking pictures.   The parade wound it’s way through the Logan Square neighborhood and surrounding areas, and then we headed back to the festival where we locked up our bikes and went in search of friends, entertainment, and of course, beer.

Tour de Fat bike parking

Tour de Fat bike parking

While we were locking up our bikes, we noticed this gentleman checking out our bikes.  He politely inquired  if I was the writer behind this very blog -and I replied that I was. Turns out that he is a regular reader! Hello Brad! Great to meet you!

mr ding and brad

Andrew and Brad, hanging out with my Omafiets

There were two stages set up for the entertainment,  games and fun activities for all ages, a crazy-bike corral, and of course, plenty of New Belgium Beer.

Tou de Fat Chicago - Main Stage

Tour de Fat Chicago - Main Stage

 

Tour de Fat Chicago - schedule of Events

Tour de Fat Chicago - schedule of Events

 

Tour de Fat Chicago - bike tire toss

Tour de Fat Chicago - bike tire toss

 

Tour de Fat Chicago - oversized game O' Connect-Four

Tour de Fat Chicago - oversized game O' Connect-Four

 

Tour de Fat Chicago - Crazy Bike Corral

Tour de Fat Chicago - Crazy Bike Corral

 

Crazy Princess Bikes

Crazy Princess Bikes

As we slowly made our way around the festival we ran into some old friends and made some new ones – like Alderman Rey Colon of the 35th Ward. Great hat Rey!

35th Ward Alderman Rey Colon and his New Belgium Cruiser

35th Ward Alderman Rey Colon and his New Belgium Cruiser

Old and new friends at the Tour de Fat Chicago

Old and new friends at the Tour de Fat Chicago

 

Some familiar faces at Tour de Fat Chicago

Some familiar faces at Tour de Fat Chicago

I meet a new bikey friend at the Tour de Fat - Chicago

I meet a new bikey friend at the Tour de Fat - Chicago

Along with all the crazy bikes and New Belgium cruisers,  there were a few members of the Chicago Cruisers in attendance with their sublime custom-updated classic bikes.  Have you seen their bike rides/parades around Humbolt Park and West Town? They have the most gorgeous bikes.

Classic Chicago cruiser bikes at Tour de Fat Chicago

Classic Chicago cruiser bikes at Tour de Fat Chicago

Another classic Chicago cruiser bike

Another classic Chicago cruiser bike

Yes, yes, we did manage to have just a little bit of fun at the Tour de Fat.  It was a hot muggy day, but we really didn’t mind.  If you missed this year’s fest, try to make it next year.  If the Tour is still en route to your city, be sure to check it out!

 

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