Still breaking ground in their 20th year, New Belgium Brewing has dipped into the world of publishing with Tour de Fat; Sights, Sounds, Feelings, Flavors, a coffee table art book celebrating the first eleven years of the Colorado brewer’s traveling, philanthropic bike festival. The limited edition hard cover book chronicles the trials and triumphs of building an event from the ground up. From the early years when the whole show fit in the back of a pickup truck to 2010’s hometown Tour de Far with more than 15,000 attendees, the story is a first-person narrative from the cyclists, carnies, performers and car swappers who lived to tell the tale.
“Having seen this thing grow up from the get-go,” said New Belgium Spokes Model, Bryan Simpson, “the book truly reflects and celebrates the blood, sweat and perseverance it took to build this event into a powerful philanthropic engine and a bike advocacy building block.”
The project stems from a long-standing collaboration with Fort Collins-based independent publisher, Wolverine Farm Publishing. WFP staff and volunteers have traveled with the tour for the last six years extolling the virtues of literature married to activism and art. Publisher Todd Simmons published and edited the book.
“Tour de Fat rises above every other summer festival in its commitment to artistic integrity, philanthropic protest, and complete worship of the bicycle, and this book is merely an extension of that—a wildly flung tail of the last eleven years,” said Simmons.
This season Tour de Fat is expected to surpass $2 million raised for bike advocacy since its inception. With stops in 13 cities throughout the summer and fall, the Tour raises money for non-profits thru beer sales and challenges one driver from every city to give up their car for a year in exchange for a bicycle. Every event starts with a costumed bike parade followed by a mix of music, vaudeville and general spectacle topped off with the actual swapping of a car for bike and a celebratory dance party.
The book is available online here.