By Charles Pekow
Boulder and Colorado Springs will get a new boost to promote bicycling this summer. New Belgium’s Tour de Fat traveling beer and bike festival will be adding those cities to its list this year, as well as returning to Boise, ID, Fort Collins, CO and Denver. But the events, which raise money for local bike advocates and other non-profits, are taking a different shape than they traditionally have.
Fort Collins-based New Belgium Brewery is expanding its road show from 12 to 33 cities in this 18th year of the tour. To do so, it is replacing the daytime weekend events with evening activities, some on weeknights as it would run out of seasonal weekends otherwise. This means ending the traditional costumed bike parades as traffic gets heavier later in the day and it’s harder to get permits. New Belgium still encourages attendees to wear costumes. And this year, the tour has booked bigger acts, and so is charging admission for the first time.
After touring the East and South earlier, the show returns to New Belgium’s home region in Boise on Saturday, August 12 at Outlaw Field at Idaho Botanical Garden. Rock band Blackberry Smoke will headline. The Southwest Idaho Mountain Bike Association, Boise Bicycle Project and Treasure Valley Cycling Association will split the proceeds.
Then the show rolls down to Colorado for four performances, starting Friday, August 25 in Boulder, at Boulder Theater, where rock band Wilderado performs. Community Cycles benefits.
The following evening, you’ve got your choice of attending an event at the National Western Complex in Denver to listen to the pop duo Capital Cities among other entertainment to support advocacy group Bike Denver and the ride organizer Denver Cruiser Ride. Or you can get another shot at hearing Wilderado at Pikes Peak Center for the benefit of Upa Downa (that’s an outdoor adventure promoter, not a musical act).
Finally, as the summer season winds down, New Belgium’s touring act returns home to Fort Collins on Labor Day Weekend, with performances Saturday, Sept. 2 by rockers All American Rejects and X Ambassadors in Civic Center Park to benefit Bike Fort Collins, the Overland Mountain Bike Club, Ft. Collins Bike CO-OP and the Ciclismo Youth Foundation.
For details and tickets, see https://www.newbelgium.com/events/tour-de-fat.