A trip to Minneapolis is not complete without some sort of bike related event. This past Saturday, a friend and I attended the Tour de Fat in Loring Park, a traveling show put on by the New Belgium Brewing Company. The Tour de Fat skips and hops through the US, stopping at 13 cities to preach the good words of environmental consciousness and personal health. The Tour de Fat is a celebration of art, bicycles, music, sustainability, charity and individuality. The event raises money for cycle-oriented organizations in each city, at this stop, raising money for the Midtown Greenway Coalition, the Minneapolis Off-Road Cycling Advocates, and the Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota through beer proceeds, parade donations, merchandise, silent auctions and other donations.
The festival kicked off in Minneapolis with less than ideal weather, but the rain didn't dampen the mood of the colorful participants in the bike parade. Creatively costumed festival goers added to the goofy, anything-goes atmosphere of the festival throughout the day. Costumes made for conversation starters, bringing people together and strengthening the already strong cycling community in Minneapolis. I arrived at the festival to catch the last few songs by the Dovekins, a self-described psychedelic folk band with a western swing influence out of Denver, Colorado. Featuring instrumentals like the clarinet and the accordion, they have a sweet, unique sound topped with truthful, poetic lyrics, making them one of my newest favorite bands. The Dovekins were followed by 'The Dating Game'. Hosted by a polyester wearing 70s-throwback character, the show selected 3 contestants from the crowd who then had to show their love for the 'bikelorette'. Competing for her love, the contestants were tested on their ability to eat dry bread while bouncing on a large ball, their stylistic creativity, and their idea of the perfect date. After many laughs, a young woman with a witty mind and dirty mouth rode home with a custom Fat Tire cruiser. The next act was the 'Honeymoon Cabaret', a comedic skit put on by an acrobatic 'Transylvanian' newlywed couple. To say the performers were hilarious is to short-hand them. Involving the crowd whether they agreed to or not, the couple kept 100+ laughing and involved in spite of the dripping heat and humidity. Performing such feats as spitting and catching bites of banana between each other, the couple pulled multiple spectators into the act, somehow enticing them to catch a slimy, multi-person seasoned banana in their mouth. Sitting in the front row on the grass, I became a target of their antics when the husband sat on me while wearing a full-body black leotard. The festival also provided unique ways to get involved and sustainable ways to stay cool, with the imaginative hand-crafted bikes in the bike pit and the stationary bikes custom fit with a misting system or a large fan.
In short, if you have any affinity for music, comedy, cycling or beer, I highly recommend attending the event if you are so lucky to have it visit a city near you. If you live in Minneapolis and missed the Tour de Fat, don't fret, it is an annually reoccurring event, and the New Belgium Brewing Company will be hosting the annual Urban Assault scavenger hunt in Minneapolis on September 11th this year.
Caroline Engel for Danish Teak Classics