Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Could You Trade Your Car for a Bike?

Could You Trade Your Car for a Bike?

New Belgium’s Tour de Fat Celebrates Pedal Power in San Francisco July 19, Golden Gate Park Speedway

Volunteers can Apply for Tour de Fat’s Car-for-Bike Trade Program, an Opportunity to Trade in Four Wheels for Two.

The Tour de Fat, New Belgium Brewing’s traveling celebration of all things bicycle, is cycling into the bay area once again. The festival spreads the good word about the myriad benefits of cycling and celebrates mankind’s greatest invention…the bike. Over the last eight years, Tour de Fat has captured the imagination of thousands with record-setting parades, eye-popping entertainment, death-defying contests of bicycle skill and precision, and, of course, New Belgium beer. Nine more cities across the west are slated through October.

Opening each show with a costumed bike parade, Tour de Fat celebrates the power of the bike. Born in Ft. Collins, Colorado to increase awareness and participation in cycling as a sustainable form of transportation, Tour de Fat has grown into a national rite of passage for cycling advocates and bon vivants alike.

This year San Francisco will to take part in Tour de Fat’s Car-for-Bike Trade program, where a volunteer will commit to live car-free for one year. The dedicated individual will sign over their car title and receive a custom-fitted Black Sheep commuter bike in exchange. The selected candidate will chronicle the trials and triumphs along their car-free journey. The volunteer is chosen after submitting a video or essay describing their desire to live car-free. For more information, log onto http://www.followyourfolly.com/pdf/biketrade.pdf. To see the car-for-bike trade in Chicago on July 21 log onto http://www.tour-de-fat.com/tour-de-fat-chicago-2008/.

“Last year some rules and regulations kept us from doing the trade in California, but this year the hurdles are cleared and we’re looking for a taker,” said Chris Winn, Tour de Fat’s coordinator and event evangelist. “So if you’re willing to get rid of the gas guzzler and not-so-green machine in your life we’d love to hear from you.” Tour de Fat is free to participants, but beer and merchandise proceeds from the San Francisco stop will go to the San Francisco Bike Coalition, which encourages people to use their bicycle for everyday transportation and Bay Area Trail Council, a non-profit organization forming a trail around the San Francisco Bay for people to enjoy the outdoors with activities such as biking, hiking and jogging. New Belgium’s philanthropic cycling circus helped 26 non-profit organizations in 2007 and raised more than $245,000. “Tour de Fat is all things ridiculous, but the most important thing is that people think a little more about cycling, recycling and adding some folly to the day. So grab your bike, put on a costume and come hang out with us,” continued Winn. Tour de Fat seeks to leave as small an environmental imprint as possible and composts and recycles waste from each tour stop. The waste diversion rate goal for this year is 95%. All musical acts will perform on a solar-powered stage, trucks and transport utilize B100 biodiesel fuel, and all vendors operate off the grid.

Highlights of Tour De Fat:
As part of the Car-for-Bike Trade Program, each Tour de Fat stop will have a funeral for the departed car complete with a Mardi Gras-esque funeral procession. This funeral will be followed, later in the day, by a celebration of the arrival of the Car-for-Bike volunteer’s custom commuter bike.
At the Team Wonderlounge, participants can join Team Wonderbike, New Belgium’s bicycling commuter advocacy program. Team Wonderbikers pledge to commute by bike, not car, as often as possible. Currently, 11,000 people have pledged not to drive 9 million miles in the next twelve months.
Tour de Fat 2008 has a new revival stage for performers with 100% solar-powered sound and decorations made from recycled materials. The stage will be transported in solar-powered trailers and the Tour de Fat crew will travel on B100 biodiesel fuel.
Festival-goers can participate in the pre-event bicycle parade and try out new rideable art bikes
This is a pro-bike celebration, not an anti-car rally…non-cyclists are more than welcome to join the festivities.

Tour de Fat 2008 will cycle through each of the following cities:
June 21: Chicago, IL
July 19: San Francisco, CA
July 26 : Truckee, CA
Aug. 2: Seattle, WA
Aug. 16: Portland, OR
Aug. 23: Boise, ID
Sept. 6: New Belgium Brewing (Ft. Collins, CO)
Sept. 13: Denver, CO
Sept. 20: Durango, CO
Oct. 11: Tempe, AZ
Oct. 18: Austin, TX
Don’t know what to expect?
To see videos and to learn more about the Car-for-Bike Trade Program log onto http://www.tour-de-fat.com/. For more information on New Belgium, visit www.newbelgium.com.

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