Get out and join others for some of the best biking events in the USA.
Tour-de-Fat festivities take place in a number of US cities, including: Portland, Seattle, Minneapolis, Boise, Fort Collins, Denver, San Francisco, San Diego, Temple and Austin. The day kicks off with a bike parade around the city streets and fancy dress is strongly encouraged because, as the Tour-de-Fat website puts it, “when everybody’s weird, nobody is”! The festival is a great chance to ride streets that are usually packed with cars and to see the pavement full of bicycles and cyclists of every description – truly an amazing sight! It’s difficult not to get carried away with the feeling of bicycling solidarity and the palpable sense of goodwill and good fun among all the participants.
The festivals themselves are organized and put on by New Belgium Beer,
whose Fat Tire Beer is named after a trip taken by one of the founders
of the company through Belgium on a fat tired bicycle. It is also a
company that takes an active interest in environmental issues, and
practices what it preaches. The New Belgium brewery in Fort Collins,
Colorado is one of the most environmentally friendly in the country,
employing energy efficient practices, recycling and environmentally
friendly energy usage. The company’s energy requirements are met partly
by recycled bio-gas and partly by power generated by wind farms, and it
takes a great deal of pride in recycling any waste it produces. Local
producers are also used to cut down on carbon emissions from freight.
Tour-de-Fat festivities take place in a number of US cities, including:
Portland, Seattle, Minneapolis, Boise, Fort Collins, Denver, San
Francisco, San Diego, Temple and Austin. The day kicks off with a bike
parade around the city streets and fancy dress is strongly encouraged
because, as the Tour-de-Fat website puts it, “when everybody’s weird,
nobody is”! The festival we went to was in Portland, and the parade was
a great chance to ride streets that are usually packed with cars.
Instead, the pavement was sidewalk to sidewalk full of bicycles and
cyclists of every description – truly an amazing sight, and it is
difficult not to get carried away with the feeling of bicycling
solidarity and the palpable sense of goodwill and good fun among all the
Once that was over, the other festivities got under way with music and
beer provided by the title sponsor, of course. The brewery does not
profit, however with all proceeds going to good causes. All in all, the
Tour-de-Fat was a fun and enriching experience – just a really cool
celebration of biking and cyclists. It is informal and really encourages
participation in cycling in a way that is inclusive and positive in that
it promotes environmental causes we can all believe in and support. As
for cost, there is no charge for attending, although a donation of $5
for participation in the parade is recommended and encouraged. Beer is
available, although the organizers urge that you do not bring your own,
and they also ask that dogs are left at home. But for $5, or whatever
you can afford, the Tour-de-Fat is a great day, and a great chance to
meet and enjoy a beer with like-minded people.
Visit the website at
New Belgium to find the Tour-de-Fat nearest to you.
Denver's Moonlight Classic
The Moonlight Classic is an annual fund raising bicycle event held in
Denver, Colorado. The event takes place in the state Capitol around a 10
mile course that is completely closed off to any other traffic – only
registered participants are allowed to cycle the course. The course
takes you past some of the city’s best known landmarks, with some
excellent snack stops along the way.
There are 2 rides organized. The first wave is at 10.30pm for families
who might want to get away a little earlier to make sure that bed time
is not too late, while the night owls among us can start with the
“gonzo” wave at 11.30. The ride is non-competitive, and there is a great
spirit among those taking part. There is something very special about
bicycles taking over the streets and riding together, with riders from
all walks of life. Eight thousand dollar racing road bikes can be seen
rubbing shoulders with town bikes pulling trailers with babies fast
asleep. Even unicycles can be seen pedaling along behind tricycles and
recumbent cycles. There is a real carnival atmosphere among
participants, aided by lots of crazy cyclists in fancy dress, and a
genuine feel good factor in taking part in an event that promotes
cycling in all its many guises, and also supports an extremely
Proceeds from the Moonlight Classic go toward a charity called Seniors
Inc. Seniors Inc was set up to support and promote the independence and
quality of life for the older members of our society. It is a non-profit
agency which helps senior citizens with money management, heating bills,
and assists with an Elder Care Planning Tool. It also provides Medicare
and Medicaid Counseling, and organizes programs such as the Senior
Companion Program and the Senior Community Service Employment Program to
help keep seniors involved and to continue their education and
And there is nothing quite like taking over streets that are usually
crammed with traffic. 2009 is the first year that the course has been
closed to all vehicular traffic, and it has definitely added something
to the atmosphere as well as to the safety of the event. The Moonlight
Classic is so much more than a ride through the city’s streets after
dark. Come and enjoy the live music, prize draws and the Outrageous
When you have finished riding, the evening is far from over. You can
enjoy a delicious, well earned early breakfast. The Irv Berlau Lunar
Breakfast is presented by Santigo’s, and is free to participants. The
meal is named after Irv Berlau, the man who originally brought the event
to Denver. As well as this, and the great snacks you will get along the
way at the midnight snack stops, you will also receive a specially
designed Moonlight Classic cotton t-shirt, a bag of free goodies from
the event sponsors, and who knows, you might also win one of the many
prizes being given away in one of the prize draws that take place
throughout the evening.
The Moonlight Classic is the best kind of bicycle event. Fun and
inclusive, and with something to put a smile on the face of cyclists of
For more details check out
The Moonlight Classic Website.
6 day Races on the CSU Oval
Presented by Associates in Family Medicine and produced by the Fort Collins Velodrome Association and
CSU Rams Cycling, the "6 Day Races on the CSU Oval" take place each Sunday for six consecutive weeks.
The 2011 races began on May 15, continuing on May 22, May 29, June 5, June 12 and ending
June 19 with a rain date of June 26.
The 6 Day Races are patterned after a premier track-racing event known as the "6 Day," which has a
long history in both the United States and Europe and continues to be contested by elite racing cyclists
in velodromes around the world. There are race categories for fixed-gear and freewheeling bicycles. Cyclists of all ages
are welcome - from children, to licensed racers and masters. The public is free to participate
either as racers or spectators of the exciting, fast-action, strategy-driven racing.
Here are a few typical track-style
events they plan to run:
Points: Points are awarded to the first four riders on each sprint (either every lap or every nth lap, as designated by the race director). The winner of the race is the rider who has accumulated the most total points.
Miss & Out: Each sprint lap, the last rider in the field (in each gender when applicable) is called out and needs to pull out of the race.
Chariot: One-lap sprint.
Snowball: Points are awarded every nth lap to the first four riders, as in the points race, but the number of points goes up each sprint, such that each sprint earns more points than the last. The winner at the end has the most cumulative points.
Scratch: This is a regular race just as you've always known it. There is one sprint finish, and the winner is the one who cross the finish line first.
This year, in order to better organize the competitive events, race director Paul Shuler will join the races. He will oversee all aspects of the event, including race scoring and awarding of prizes. This will help ensure a fun and fair race for all. All racers under 18 will receive weekly medals, and overall 6-Day Series champions will receive trophies at the end of the series. All racers 18 and older will receive weekly cash prizes.
The Fort Collins Velodrome Association is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to promote,
develop, and facilitate bicycling as a sport and a way of life in Fort Collins. The organization got its start in 2005 when
a group of local cycling enthusiasts got together to discuss their dream of bringing a cycling track
to Fort Collins. Since then, the association has grown to become a sponsor of track-style races with
the vision of creating a VeloPark for recreational and elite-level bicycle racing in Fort Collins.
The VeloPark will include facilities for all styles of bicycling: paved criterium course, mountain-bike
short-track course, trials course, cyclocross course, 250-meter velodrome, Olympic-caliber BMX track,
pedal-power activity park for children and soft-surfaced “kids learn to ride” area.
Oval Races to find out more about registration
and the FCVA.