New Belgium Brewing hosts 23rd Tour de Fat

Participants+of+the+Fort+Collins+Colorado+Tour+De+Fat+bike+parade+line+up+along+West+Mountain+Avenue+in+preparation+for+the+parade+Sept.+3.+Tour+De+Fat+is+annual+event+put+on+New+Belgium+Brewing+Company+featuring+live+music%2C+costumes+and+beer.

Collegian | Garrett Mogel

Participants of New Belgium Brewing’s Tour de Fat line up along West Mountain Avenue in preparation for the bike parade Sept. 3. Tour de Fat is an annual event featuring live music, costumes and beer.

Jack Miller, News Repoter

Editors Note: This article was updated to reflect more accurate information about the nonprofit organizations.

New Belgium Brewing hosted its 23rd Fort Collins Tour de Fat event this past Saturday. Tour de Fat is one jam-packed day celebrating biking, local breweries, music and more.

Ad

The mission of Tour de Fat is not only to host a day full of joy and enthusiasm but to raise money for local nonprofit organizations, such as Overland Mountain Bike Association, Fort Collins Bike Co-op, Bike Fort Collins and Send Town Bike Club.

Throughout its years of operation, Tour de Fat has promoted many local breweries and raised millions of dollars for bicycle nonprofits. Organized by New Belgium Brewing, Tour de Fat requires teamwork from the breweries and the nonprofit biking organizations to make the event a success.

One such nonprofit biking organization is Bike Fort Collins, which has a mission to create a safe community for all bicyclists, according to its website.

“Bike Fort Collins — while intimate with Tour de Fat through our involvement for many years (20-plus) in helping to provide all the volunteers needed to host the event — have also been the fortunate beneficiaries of the event all of those years,” Bike Fort Collins Executive Director Dave Dixon wrote in an email to The Collegian.

Because of the pandemic, Tour de Fat didn’t happen in 2021. Fortunately, this only added to the excitement and anticipation for this year’s event.

At 9 a.m. last Saturday, thousands of bicyclists came together in countless different costumes. Zane von Hemert, a Colorado State University student, got on his bike while adjusting his alien costume.

“I’m not from Colorado, so I hadn’t heard of Tour de Fat until last week, when a friend told me,” Von Hemert said. “But I would never turn down an opportunity to ride my bike and drink beer for a day, especially while wearing an alien costume.”

At approximately 9:30 a.m., the bike parade started. Speakers were playing music, and bikers were riding while cheering with smiles on their faces.

Cormac Osborne, a CSU student, got off his bike after completing a lap around the loop and decided to call it a day. Osborne’s regular shorts and T-shirt stood out in the crowd.

“I obviously didn’t get the memo about the dress code, so I feel a little embarrassed,” Osborne said. “But I’m really glad I got out here. It’s a cool environment to be in.”

Ad

At 11 a.m., the breweries opened. For most of the bikers, it was their cue to stop riding and reward themselves with beer supplied by New Belgium Brewing.

Riley Ahern, a local bike enthusiast, sipped the foam off an IPA while laughing with a group of friends.

“I’ve been in Fort Collins for four years now, and Tour de Fat is honestly my favorite event of the year,” Ahern said. “I was really bummed about not being able to do it last year, and I’ve been looking forward to this for a long time.”

Ahern wasn’t disappointed with this year’s Tour de Fat experience.

“It just seems like everyone is stoked to be here,” Ahern said. “The costumes were hilarious, the people were really nice and it just feels like a good community to be a part of.”

Reach Jack Miller at life@collegian.com or on twitter @millerjack02