Tour de Fat, New Belgium Brewing’s traveling celebration of all things bicycle, made its inaugural Washington D.C. stop, raising $20,910 for Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA), The Mid-Atlantic Off-Road Enthusiasts (MORE) and Black Women Bike.
WABA promotes bicycling for fun, fitness and affordable transportation, educates children, adults and motorists about safe bicycling and advocates for better bicycling conditions throughout the city. MORE maintains more than 250 miles of natural-surface trails in 25 state and county parks throughout the D.C. region. The club also leads hundreds of rides each year for beginner to advanced levels. Black Women Bike, founded in 2011, strives to get more African American women riding bikes for transportation and recreation.
"Tour de Fat was a major turning point for a small non-profit like WABA, in a city where thousands make the daily choice to hop on two wheels instead of four. We’re so very proud to have been a part of the most successful first Tour de Fat in New Belgium’s history,” said Nelle Pierson, events coordinator for WABA, one of the event's beneficiaries. “Our Tour de Fat success story symbolizes the region's growing affection for bicycling, the growing diversity in folks who choose to bicycle and the universal desire to celebrate our bicycles.”
An impressive 2,500 bicycle and beer enthusiasts came to Yards Park for the second stop in this year’s Tour de Fat series and 313 participated in the bike parade. More than an event, Tour de Fat is a rite of passage complete with an unparalleled costumed bicycle parade, New Belgium beer, eye-popping entertainment, local food, crazy bike contests and much more.
A highlight of every Tour de Fat stop is the car-for-bike swap where one person commits to commute by bike for the next year. Veronica Davis accepted the challenge in D.C. and shared these words, "Since I've had my driver's license, I've always had a car. I'm a little nervous about what the next year will bring, but I'm also excited. I hope that I'm able to inspire others to consider the bike as a mode of transportation."