New Belgiums Tour de Flat Raises of $300,000
Tour de Fat, New
Belgium Brewing’s traveling carnival of all things bicycle, is celebrating
the end of 2010 by wrapping up its greatest fundraising season in history.
The philanthropic traveling bike festival raised $331,428 for non-profit
friends, which is up nearly 20 percent from 2009. 2010 also saw
record-shattering attendance with 70,250 cycling celebrants in 13 cities.
Tour de Fat kicked off in Chicago on June 26 and wrapped up in Austin on
Tour de Fat is free to attend, but money raised from the sale of New Belgium
beers and merchandise helps local organizations continue their good work of
bicycle advocacy and environmental stewardship. In 2008, Tour de Fat broke
the $1 million mark and the grand total now stands at more than $1.5
million. To see videos from some of the 2010 tour stops visit http://www.tour-de-fat.com.
In addition to raising money at every stop, Tour de Fat also swapped 13 cars
for bikes. This year marked the fourth year that Tour de Fat hosted the
car-for-bike swap, where someone in each city trades in his or her vehicle
for a hand-built commuter bike. The volunteer then commits to living
car-free for the next year.
For example, in Chicago, New Belgium selected “Iggi” Ignaczak to become the
first car swapper of the season. Iggi is an avid cyclist who is not afraid
to ride his bike in the 16-below temperatures of a Chicago winter. His work
commute now consists of six miles of bike riding each day, plus a 35-minute
train ride, instead of the 18-mile, one-hour and 20-minute drive he had
before. Iggi even built a bike trailer for his dog Winston, so he can go
along on some of his journeys.
“People always ask me what I'm doing out on a bike in 10 degree weather,”
said Iggi. “I tell them the story of Tour de Fat and how I traded in a car
for the bike. Almost always, if not met with a response of 'oh, you’re
crazy', people are impressed.”
“I can almost see the gears in their heads grinding, and considering if that
is something they can do themselves,” he added. “I always say that if I can
do it, so can they.”
In addition to getting thirteen cars off the road, Tour de Fat aims to
minimize its impact by composting and recycling waste. The waste diversion
rate for this season was 91 percent. Other Tour de Fat sustainable
initiatives included traveling with a solar-powered stage, using biofuel
sourced from recycled waste oils for trucks and transport, and having all
vendors operate off the grid.
“We join our nonprofit partners in thanking all attendees,” said Bryan
Simpson, New Belgium Brewing Spokes Model. “We’d like to high five each
person who supported our efforts, but since that’s a little tricky, we’d
like to thank everyone for their tremendous support.”
For more information on Tour de Fat visit http://www.tour-de-fat.com and for
more details on New Belgium Brewing go to http://www.newbelgium.com/.
New Belgium Brewing Company
New Belgium Brewing Company, makers of Fat Tire Amber Ale and a host of
Belgian-inspired beers, began operations in a tiny Fort Collins basement in
1991. Today, the third largest craft brewer in the U.S., New Belgium
produces seven year-round beers; Fat Tire Amber Ale, Sunshine Wheat, Blue
Paddle Pilsner, 1554 Black Ale, Abbey, Mothership Wit and Trippel, as well
as a host of seasonal releases. In addition to producing world-class beers,
New Belgium takes pride in being a responsible corporate role model with
progressive programs such as employee ownership, open book management and a
commitment to environmental stewardship. For more information, visit