Get your cycle on at Tour de Fat on Saturday

By Chris Barge, Camera Staff Writer
September 19, 2003

What do you get when you weld a lawn mower to the front of a cruiser bicycle? If you're one of the creative minds behind the San Francisco-based Cyclecide rodeo road show, you call that a "suburban intruder."

You can also make the world's longest chopper bicycle by welding junked bikes together until they are 20 feet long. Or go for height, and tower above the largest SUVs on the road.

Those who attend Saturday's Tour de Fat, headquartered on the Boulder Public Library lawn, will get to ride bikes, drink beers and see all those crazy bikes and more.

If you want to ride bikes, registration starts at 8 a.m. Six different road and mountain bike rides, divvied up according to ability level, will leave the library at 9 a.m. All rides cost $5. The fee, along with all beer proceeds, will be donated to the Boulder Offroad Alliance. The group works to increase mountain bike trail accessibility around Boulder.

There will be morning rides to Heil Ranch and road bike rides out across the plains northeast of Boulder. The Single Track Sistahs will lead the beginner's mountain bike ride. The Luna Chicks will lead the intermediate road ride.

Then, at 10 a.m., it's time to dust off your cruiser and pull out your favorite costume for what organizers are hoping becomes Boulder's largest cruiser ride yet. Riders should show up at 9 a.m. to register for that one.

"Oh man, I bet there'll be 350 riders," said Tour de Fat director David "DK" Kemp. "I think we're going to have a good, wacky turnout."

Once the cruiser ride winds down around 11:30 a.m. or noon, the folks from New Belgium Brewery in Fort Collins will tap the kegs, and the bands will fire up the solar-powered stage for an "Afternoon Ballyhoo" on the library lawn that will last until 6 p.m.

California's Kipchoge, Fort Collins' Listen and Tucson, Ariz.'s Warsaw are all on tap to play. There will be juggling by the Handsome Little Devils, BMX stunt riding by the Mile High Extreme Team and, of course, a Bike Rodeo performance at 3:30 p.m. by Cyclecide, which is riding into Boulder in a converted 1966 Gillig school bus with a rack on top for 60 bicycles.

"The show is pretty animated," said Jarico Reese, Cyclecide tour director. "We're just trying to show people there's a different way of looking at bicycles."

The show includes a performance by the group's own mariachi punk band, "Los Baos," and features a Homeland Security Bike, built to fight the war in "Obscuristan" against the "Talibanana." Plus, there's a bike with moving arms that shoots fire, called the Chuppacabra.

This is the second year the Tour de Fat has stormed Boulder. The New Belgium Brewing Co. started the festival four years ago, and it now tours 15 cities every summer and fall.

Contact Chris Barge at (303) 473-1389 or