Young and Hungry

New Belgium Brewery Brings Bike Festival to D.C. Saturday

For the very first time, the one and only Tour de Fat is descending upon D.C.

This Saturday, New Belgium Brewing Company will set up its traveling bike circus at Yards Park on the Capitol Riverfront in Southeast. The District is one of fifteen stops on the bike advocacy-focused festival's national tour this summer.

The event includes a costumed bike parade (show up at 9 a.m. to register, 10 a.m. to watch), interactive art, live bands, variety acts and plenty of bikes, beer, and food. There's even a portable restroom-turned-karaoke bar complete with a disco ball. Tour de Fat is also completely powered by generators and solar energy, and its organizers divert 90 percent of the event's waste from landfills by composting and recycling.

At the end of the day, a pre-selected local will turn over their car and publicly pledge to live car-free for one year. The brave soul will get a $2,250 stipend to buy or build the bike of their dreams. Sound appealing? Hopefuls can submit application letters to trademycarforabike@newbelgium.com.

There is no admission fee, but proceeds from beer, food and merchandise sales will go to two local non-profits: the Washington Area Bicyclest Association and Mid-Atlantic Off-Road Enthusiasts.

"We're trying to bring awareness and funds to cities with exciting and growing bike scenes," said Matt Kowal, Tour de Fat's Creative and Sustainability Specialist. "It's a time for everybody, road bikers, mountain bikers, weekend warriors, to get together in the park on the same day."

Tour de Fat draws over 20,000 people to the brewery's home base in Ft. Collins, Colorado, each year, where the event started thirteen years ago. Kowal's tip for first-time Tour de Faters: "Bring your alter ego and dress to impress. If you don’t come in a funky costume you could end up in an old stinky prom dress we pull out of a box for you."

Looking for another option to show up in style? Tonight ChurchKey will be raffling off a New Belgium 2012 Felt Custom Cruiser at a Tour de Fat warm-up party. Tickets are $5 and benefit WABA. A lineup of 12 New Belgium drafts start flowing at 6 p.m. The bike drawing is at 9 p.m.

To get a better idea about Saturday's festivities, check out the full schedule and more details on Facebook or the brewery's website.

Photos courtesy of New Belgium Beer

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