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Oct 16, 2011:

Celebrating Bikes at the 2011 Tour de Fat

(30 Images)
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The folks at New Belgium Brewing Company in Fort Collins, Colorado love bikes! One of their best beers is the Fat Tire Amber Ale. So they've combined bikes with this beer and do Tour de Fat's around the country.

For Tempe, Arizona, this festival comes every year around mid-October. Over the years, the event has grown immensely. Rumor has it that the event drew around 8,000 bicyclists this year!

There are a couple of fun things about this event. People dress up (not sure why or what the theme is, but it's fun anyway), ride bikes around a 3-mile parade loop, and then attend a beer festival with music and other fun things.

We went to this year's festival with a couple of friends to help us and guide us through the crowd of people. In particular, Kathi helped by leading so that Tauru could follow her line as we wove through other cyclists. As you can imagine, riding a tandem is hard enough because of balancing and maneuvering issues, but imagine doing this visually impaired? Let's just say that Tauru was glad when the parade was over!

We attended the festival and spoke to people about our upcoming ride, which is gaining momentum and interest. So we're super excited about it since it's now less than two months away! Time to ride ...16,000 miles!!!

Photo of Tauru and Kathi in front of a house.  Kathi wears a glittering purple witchs hat while Tauru is wearing a long black wig with devils horns.
Tauru and our friend, Kathi, dressed for the Tour.

Photos is of us riding down the street with a handful of people in front of us.
On the ride to downtown Tempe, Arizona, we meet up with other bicyclists.

Photo is of Tauru and Christi.  Christi is wearing a hat in the shape of the Disney character, Goofy.
Tauru and Christi. This was a last minute thingy, so we just put on whatever we found laying around.

Photo is of the crowd at the event.  The man dressed as a woman is using what seems like volleyballs as breasts.
Other folks at the event. Hmmm, at times, when a man dresses up as a woman (peach-colored dress), he seems to get the proportions off.

Photo is a boy inside a box as he rides.
Boy in a box, packaged to go.

Photo is of the crowd riding.
A good time by all.

Photo shows the line of people stretching way back.
The line continues. Some 8,000 people/bicycles attended.

Photo is of a little girl with white and black make-up on her face like a skeleton.
This girl is early for Halloween.

Photo is of two guys in cow costume suits.
The cow people.

Photo is of two guys in Harlem Globetrotter clothing, the infamous red and white striped shorts and blue jerseys.
The Harlem Globetrotters.

Photo is a guy riding a bike that has long forks and a high middle, so hes about 4 feet up in the air.
Check out that hi-rise bike.

Photo is of people riding alongside us.
We join the ride as Christi snaps some photos as Tauru tries to avoid crashing into others.

Photo is of people riding ahead of us.
We steer clear of crowds. Here we follow folks down the 3-mile parade route through Tempe (Arizona).

Photo is of a boy in Super Mario costume.
Super Mario from Mario Bros.

Photo is of a long line of people behind us.
We thought we were at the end of the line. But at a light, Christi snaps this photo of more bicyclists behind us.

Photo is of the festival area where there are a lot of people and tents set up for various things.
Once we return to the festival, we parked our bike and walked around.

Photo shows a stage with a band and a large crowd of people in front of them.
A band was performing with people on stage dancing.

Photo is of the stage with a handful of people dancing.
(Closer look) People having a good time!

Photo is of a stage with the Yo-Yo master on a unicycle.
The Yo-Yo Guiness Book of World Record holder was also there performing.

Photo is of the Yo-Yo guy, his wife, and a 10 year-old girl on a block with yo-yos in her hands.
He and his wife, who is also an accomplished Yo-Yoer, get a participant on stage to do some Yo-Yo tricks.

Photo shows the same trio with the little girl standing on one leg as she has two yo-yos in her hands and the man and woman standing by her side.

Photo shows the Yo-Yo Master doing some tricks.
The Yo-Yo Master performs.

More tricks.
Music? Of course awesome 80's music: Depeche Mode's "Just Can't Get Enough."

More tricks.  He lays on the ground while twirling two yo-yos.
He was quite entertaining.

Photo is of a man riding a bike on top of a bike.  Its a bike welded on top of another bike, and the rider sits on top.
Back to the festival. Check out this double-decker bike.

Photo is of a troupe on a four wheeled bike.  The man in front is only wearing a speedo underwear and dancing while another man pedals and another man plays the drums in the back.
Okay, not sure what this troupe has to do with the festival, but it was quite entertaining.

Same troupe circling the area.
A quad-bike rides around with a drummer in the back and, well, a dancer of some sort.

Same troupe, now with a woman stuffing a dollar bill in the dancer-mans underwear.
A woman ran over to stuff dollar bills...

Photo is of a three-wheeled bike that looks very stable and balanced.
This is the bike Christi wants! No need to balance since it's three-wheeled.

Photo is of a hula-hoop contest.  A group of girls hula-hoop in front of a stage with a referee standing by.
And of course, there had to be a hula-hoop contest.

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