Tour de Fat Raises More Than $2 Million

’s , the nation’s most colorful bike festival, has passed the $2 million mark for total funds raised for s. began 13 years ago and has grown into a 15-city nationwide tour focused on honoring mankind’s favorite invention: the bike.

At every stop, brings together thousands of people for a costumed bike parade, New beer, a car-for-bike swap, live entertainment, local food vendors, bike competitions (like the “slowest race” and bike jousting) and much more. But the free event is truly focused on philanthropy. Money raised through beer and merchandise purchases is channeled back into each community through local s generally focused on bike advocacy.

“This milestone shows that really reaches into communities for much longer than one day at the park,” said Matt Kowal, Impresario. “The stories we hear from local folks who are committed to community involvement inspire us. We couldn’t have raised more than $2 million without the tremendous support we receive in every city and we’re extremely thankful.”

Over the course of , raised funds have made a tremendous impact across the country, with money going toward trail maintenance, safety education, lobbying for better bicycle communities and a wide variety of other impactful initiatives, including:

  • Overland Mountain Bike Club has used funds raised from the Ft. Collins, CO stop to fund Outreach Days such as Take a Kid Mountain Biking Days, Educational Trail Days at trailheads, helmet programs for kids and to support high school mountain biking.  Overland Mountain Bike Club also used the funds to build and maintain trails and to outfit its Mountain Bike Patrol members and make sure they have the proper first aid and mechanical training.
  • Southwest Idaho Mountain Bike Association (SWIMBA), has used funds raised from the Boise, ID stop to buy new bikes for SWIMBA Bike School.  Money also went toward BYRDS (Boise Young Rider Development Squad), which teaches kids skills and etiquette for road, cross and mountain biking.  In addition SWIMBA gave some money to Eagle Cycle Park, which has a BMX track, cross-country and downhill trails and funds are going toward tail easements.
  • West Town Bikes used funds from the Chicago stop to develop new programs, upgrade facilities, pay rent, and to allow the group to continue to be on the forefront of bicycle advocacy by offering direct services that aren’t found elsewhere in Chicago.  West Town Bikes promotes bicycling through bicycle learning workshops, including mechanics workshops and youth programs.

This year’s stop in Nashville, the first festival of the 2012 tour, is what pushed the grand total to more than $2 million. The event benefited Walk/Bike Nashville, Ride for Reading, and SoundForest.

is many things to Nashville; it is an enabler, an educator, a voice, a uniter, inspiration, a life changer and a damn great time,” said Thomas Solinsky, executive director of SoundForest. “ enables our local bicycle advocate nonprofits to do great things. In fact, an outcome of last year’s was the forming of the NashvilleBicycleAlliance.org.”

In 2011 alone, traveled to 13 cities, attracting a total of 69,550 festival attendees and 41,150 parade cyclists.  It also raised $401,563 and boasted an impressive 90 percent diversion of waste from landfills.

2012 is cycling through each of the following cities:
Nashville, TN – June 2 – Centennial Park
DC – June 16 – Yards Park
Durham, NC – June 23 – Diamond View Park on the American Tobacco Campus
Atlanta, GA – June 30 – Historic 4th Ward Park
, WI – July 14 – Coast Guard Event Area, McKinley Park
Chicago, IL – July 21 – Palmer Square
, MN – July 28 – Loring Park
Boise, ID – August 18 – Ann Morrison Park
, CO – September 1 – Civic Center Park Area
, CO – September 8 – City Park
Los Angeles, CA – September 15 – Los Angeles State Historic Park
, CA – September 22 – Lindley Meadow in Golden Gate Park
, CA – September 29 – Golden Hill Park
Tempe, AZ – October 6 – Tempe Town Lake
Austin, TX – October 20 – Fiesta Gardens

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