Tour de Fat Rolls into DC

the colors of Tour de Fat
Costumes encouraged at Tour de Fat

Who wouldn’t want to parade around DC on bikes and then drink Fat Tire?

Well, maybe not cycle-hating Dorothy Rabinowitz, lest her wig get disturbed, but every other normal human loves biking and drinking beer. And we had a great Saturday to do it at the annual Tour de Fat.

Sponsored by my favorite New Belgium Brewing (maker of  Fat Tire, Shift, Ranger and Dig – all great beers), Tour de Fat was a big, whimsical bike festival that benefited local biking advocacy organizations like WABA.

The day began at 11 AM at Yards Park, a beautiful new park along the Anacostia in Southwest. Spurred on by the Tour de Fat Danger Zone and the rocking Brazilian drummers of Batala, hundreds of bikers of all ages set off on a mass ride.

cheered on by Fat Tire entertainers
Danger Zone performers get the parade started
batala drummers
Batala drummers, amazing as always

Volunteer marshals blocked off streets as this giant, slow-moving peloton headed for Capitol Hill. It was a lovely view as we climbed Jersey Avenue, before making a right and idling toward Eastern Market.

Bike parade heads for the Capitol #bikedc #tourdefat
I just love this view of the Capitol

Riding with that many people was inspiring – people waved as we passed, kids pointed in puzzlement and one person even hosed down the riders on this hot day. Costumes were encouraged and every type of bike and rider imaginable participated in the parade.

these nice ladies were from the League of Women Voters
The nice ladies in very vintage clothing were from the League of Women Voters

The best part was doing a big loop around Lincoln Park – so cool to see bikes going around all four sides of the park while reggae music blared from a bike hauling speakers.

boombox bike
The boombox bike kept the music going during the parade

We then worked our way back to Yards Park, where the party was getting started. Wacky variety acts kept people entertained while they enjoyed $5 beers and lunch from food trucks.

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Honeymoon Cabaret performs, a new age vaudeville act

The bike pit, filled with impossible cycles to try out, enticed many a risk-taker.

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Bike pit or Circus Maximus?
tutu man
Well, at least he’s wearing a helmet

I heard someone married his bike at Tour de Fat. I’m sure it made sense at the time. It was that kind of day.

Check out lots more photos from me and other photogs on the WABA site!

Author: Joe Flood

Joe Flood is the author of The Swamp, a funny new novel that mocks the city America has come to hate.

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