The sun did not shine.
It was too wet to ride.
We were starting to whine.
We were stuck home inside.
I sat there with Amy,
We sat there we two,
And I said "How I wish we had something to do!"
Then Michael called and said,
"The Tour de Fat comes to Chicago, hooray!"
Somebody has to see it today
Somebody has to; somebody has to you see
Those somebodies were Amy, Michael and me.
We hopped on a train.
We threw up a cheer.
We would listen to music,
ride bikes, and drink beer!
As I remember Dr. Suess' "The Cat in The Hat" stories there was always an emphasis on having fun, but also cleaning up after oneself. The Tour de Fat runs in the same vein. There's plenty of fun, frivolity and frothy beer, but also an emphasis on sustainability and good environmental stewardship.
The Tour De Fat is New Belgium Brewery's irreverent traveling homage to bicycling and beer. It is part traveling circus, part cycling advocacy, part marketing and 100 percent fun.
The Tour de Fat has been making stops in cities throughout the country for the past 11 years. The quirky Tour de Fat stands in stark contrast to the stuffed shirt Tour de France. The first Tour de Fat debuted in 2000 and gradually increased the number of stages over the years. The Midwest stops are Milwaukee (July 14), Chicago (July 21) and Minneapolis (July 28).
The 2011 Tour de Fat Chicago was hosted at Palmer Square Park in the hip Bucktown neighborhood. My daughter Amy and I took the train into Chicago and met up with my brother Michael at the park to check out the biking, entertainment and my favorite beer, Fat Tire Ale. The event is free. Unfortunately, the beer is not. And that's probably a good thing. I felt compelled to try a few of the sponsor's products.
Disgraced and disqualified Tour de France winner Floyd Landis lamely claimed his elevated testosterone levels where due to partying and drinking after a stage win. Fortunately for me, the doping authorities were not in attendance.
The full story appears in the June 2012 print edition of Silent Sports. Don't miss an issue! Subscribe online here.
More photos from the 2011 Tour de Fat stop in Chicago can be viewed here.