Start the slow clap. New Belgium Brewing Co. recently announced that Tour de Fat, its traveling tour of philanthropic bicycle advocacy, raised $625,716 for local nonprofits this season, totaling close to $4 million in its 15-year stretch. This year’s total is up more than $84,000 from last year. The event is free, yet all proceeds from beer and merchandise sales and donations from parade participants go to nonprofit organizations focused on making communities a better place to ride bikes.
Tour de Fat celebrates bicycle culture, kicking off each festival with a costumed bike parade through city streets. After the parade, thousands gather for a day of eclectic entertainment, New Belgium beer, bike-themed activities, delicious local food and much more. The events also encourage people to think twice about recycling, with most waste diverted from landfills at each stop of the tour.
Tour de Fat traveled to 10 cities between May and October this year, attracting a total of 103,500 beer and bike enthusiasts. New Belgium’s hometown of Fort Collins, Colo., raised the most money ($110,454), and had the most festival-goers, totaling 25,000 people. To see how each city performed, a breakdown is included below.
Tour de Fat also hosted the eighth annual car-for-bike swap, where one brave role model in each city stepped on stage to trade in car keys and pledge to live car-free for one year. Each swapper received a $2,250 stipend to buy their own commuter bike in exchange for their car. Vehicles for Charity auctioned the swapped cars, with proceeds benefitting Tour De Fat’s local nonprofit partners. Each of the swappers is encouraged to blog about their adventures as a two-wheeled local rock star. To read their tales from the road, visit the car-for-bike trade blog at trademycarforabike.tumblr.com.
“This was our 15th year and record setting – raising more than $600,000 for some incredible nonprofits in the biking world,” said Matt Kowal, Tour De Fat Impresario. “This year three of the cities on the tour raised more than $100,000 each and we can’t thank everyone enough for joining us for a day of fun, while dressed as their alter-egos. This year was definitely one of the best yet. We look forward to seeing everyone again next year — ride on.”
Tour de Fat Breakdown City-by-City
Total Funds Raised: $625,716 (not including auctioned car proceeds)
Washington, D.C. — May 31
- Total Funds Raised: $57,047 (up $21,464 from 2013)
- Attendees: 7,000 (up 2,500 from 2013)
Durham, N.C. — June 21
- Total Funds Raised: $25,424 (up $5,415 from 2013)
Attendees: 4,000 (up 1,000 from 2013)
Chicago — July 12
**Totals were down from 2013 due to very rainy weather**
- Total Funds Raised: $31,826
- Attendees: 5,000
Minneapolis — July 26
- Total Funds Raised: $39,088 (up $15,430 from 2013)
- Attendees: 5,000 (up 2,000 from 2013)
Boise, Idaho — August 16
- Total Funds Raised: $73,000 (up $17,981 from 2013)
- Attendees: 10,000 (up 2,500 from 2013)
Ft. Collins, Colo. — August 30 — Most Money Raised and Largest Attendance
- Total Funds Raised: $110,454 (up $20,454 from 2013)
- Attendees: 25,000 (same as 2013)
Denver — September 6
- Total Funds Raised: $101,003 (up $23,986 from 2013)
- Attendees: 18,000 (up 3,000 from 2013)
San Francisco — September 13 — Largest Growth in Attendance and Money Raised from 2013
- Total Funds Raised: $42,173 (up $25,599 from 2013)
- Attendees: 7,500 (up 4,500 from 2013)
San Diego — September 27
- Total Funds Raised: $45,701 (up $4,215 from 2013)
- Attendees: 7,000 (up 1,000 from 2013)
Tempe, Ariz. — October 4
- Total Funds Raised: $100,000 (up $8,264 from 2013)
- Attendees: 15,000 (same as 2013)
RT @mrbrewreview: New Belgium’s Tour de Fat raised over $625,000 for nonprofits http://t.co/k3Lsx9cPYo via @craftbrewingbiz
New Belgium’s Tour de Fat raised over $625,000 for nonprofits http://t.co/k3Lsx9cPYo via @craftbrewingbiz
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