Pacific Swell

Southern California environment news and trends

LA bike culture cruises into fall with Tour de Fat, CicLAvia

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It's the third year in a row for the New Belgium Brewing Company to put on a Tour de Fat in the (not a) Cornfield, Los Angeles State Historic Park. In the last couple of years, the fall CicLAvia has followed quickly on its heels. Together they add up to a pretty good indicator of the mainstreaming biking culture in the region. 

If you've never been at Tour de Fat, it's a kind of insanely fun event, whether you know your way around truing a wheel or not. Costumes encouraged; bike parade; weird contests (the last-cross-the-finish-line is particularly brutal, if you can imagine what it's doing to your leg muscles); entertainment. 

Maybe the biggest deal for alternative transportation enthusiasts is the part where one lucky duck turns in their car for a sweet new fossil-fuel-free ride. Last year's trader says she's still on her same bike, the one she got for trading away her car:

Last year I hung out with the crew as they set up stages. (If you're looking for Tour de Fat folks in the AM, they're usually across the street, at Nick's.) The stages, very cool, were made by Alternative Power Productions, the same folks who do off-the-grid staging for Outside Lands and other festivals. 

Tour de Fat is also notable for getting bicycles and their owners excited for the next CicLAvia, which happens October 7. A tune-up for the big day, if you will. 

Y'all got your costumes ready? I hope Meghan McCarty is ready; she featured Tour de Fat in her Weekend Alibi today. (I like to think of her choice of Bicycle by Queen for her segment as an homage to my Twitter feed, and old songs of the week!)

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