BOISE -- Tour de Fat combines three things Boiseans love: bikes, beer, and keeping things weird. But the money spent on all of those fun things at Saturday's Tour de Fat helps support the city's cycling community.
"The Tour de Fat is a festival that is designed to make people excited about riding their bike like they were when they were kids in their underoos on their first bicycle and the freedom and awesomeness of your first bike," said Matthew Kowal, Tour de Fat Impresario. "We think that that is exciting for everybody."
Tour de Fat, a touring festival by New Belgium Brewery out of Fort Collins, Colorado, goes to cities like Denver, San Francisco, Phoenix, and Chicago. Boise is one of the smallest cities, but has one of the larger turn-outs. Organizers estimated about five thousand people participated in the parade, and even more came to Ann Morrison park for the festivities.
"We used to do Flagstaff and Missoula, some really super bike-y cities and Boise's one of the ones that stayed from our real mountain-y, bicycle-y cities and we love it here," said Kowal.
Tour de Fat works with the Boise Bicycle Project, SouthWest Idaho Mountain Biking Association, and Treasure Valley Cycling Alliance. Proceeds from parade registration, beer, and merchandise go to those three local bicycle groups.
"They are doing wonderful things to support making bike for people, making trails for people, making cycling safer and more awesome," Kowal said. "Those are our non-profit partners here and we love them."
Organizers, who refer to themselves as Tour de Fat Carnies, hope the proceeds from the event and the excitement they generated will inspire others to join Boise's bicycle community.