Mark your calendars: the 2008 Tour de Fat (get ready to donate your car)

The folks at New Belgium have announced the dates for this year’s Tour de Fat events! The drum roll please . . . keep October 11th free for this year’s Tour de Fat celebration of the finer things in life: bikes and beer. If that isn’t enough, there’s more good news- the car-for-bike swap is happening again! See the press release below for more info, and stay tuned to for future updates.



Fort Collins, CO – May 27, 2008 – Your car guzzles gas money and pollutes, so ditch it and ride a bike. In fact, turn your car title over to New Belgium Brewing at Tour de Fat celebrations this summer and receive a custom New Belgium commuter bike. The second annual Car-for-Bike Trade program will take place in all 2008 Tour de Fat stops. For volunteer car-swappers willing to forgo gas for pedal power and want to show friends and neighbors the benefits of living car-free, visit

Through the program, one volunteer in each Tour de Fat stop will commit to live car-free for one full year. The dedicated individual will sign over their car title and receive a custom New Belgium commuter bike in exchange. The selected candidate will chronicle the trials and triumphs along their car-free journey. The volunteer is chosen after submitting a video or essay describing their desire to live without a vehicle.

As part of the Car-for-Bike Trade Program, each Tour de Fat stop will have a funeral for the departed car complete with a Mardi Gras-esque funeral procession. This funeral will be followed, later in the day, by a celebration of the arrival of the Car-for-Bike volunteer’s custom commuter bike.

Tour de Fat, New Belgium Brewing’s traveling celebration of all things bicycle, travels the country spreading the good word about the myriad benefits of cycling and celebrating mankind’s greatest invention… the bike. Over the last eight years, Tour de Fat has captured the imagination of thousands with record-setting parades, eye-popping entertainment, death-defying contests of bicycle skill and precision, and, of course, New Belgium beer.

Tour de Fat 2008 will cycle through each of the following cities. To submit a video or essay for consideration as a Car-for-Bike volunteer, log on to

June 21: Chicago, IL
July 19: San Francisco, CA
July 26: Truckee, CA
Aug. 2: Seattle, WA
Aug. 16: Portland, OR
Aug. 23: Boise, ID
Sept. 6: New Belgium Brewing (Ft. Collins, CO)
Sept. 13: Denver, CO
Sept. 20: Durango, CO
Oct. 11: Tempe, AZ
Oct. 18: Austin, TX

For more information and to see a video montage of previous Tour de Fat stops, please visit .

About New Belgium Brewing Company
New Belgium Brewing Company, makers of Fat Tire Amber Ale and a host of Belgian-inspired beers, began operations in a tiny Fort Collins basement in 1991. Today, the third largest craft brewer in the U.S., New Belgium produces seven year-round beers; Fat Tire Amber Ale, Sunshine Wheat, Blue Paddle Pilsner, 1554 Black Ale, Abbey, Mothership Wit and Trippel, as well as a host of seasonal releases. In addition to producing world-class beers, New Belgium takes pride in being a responsible corporate role model with progressive programs such as employee ownership, open book management and a commitment to environmental stewardship. For more information, visit

City of Tempe applies for funds for bike/ped bridge over I-10 at Alameda

The city of Tempe transportation planning staff is in the process of applying for Federal money to build a bridge over I-10 at Alameda for non-motorized users. This would complete a much needed bike-friendly east-west route across Tempe and into Phoenix! Stay tuned for additional information, and click here to see a copy of the letter of support that TBAG wrote in the hope that it will help the city’s bid for funds.

Thank you to a bike-friendly city transportation staff! This will be a great improvement to the network of bike routes.

Ride of Silence is Tomorrow

Don’t forget, our friends over in Mesa are organizing a Ride of Silence tomorrow!


When: May 21st at 7pm
Where: Starts at Alma and Guadalupe

Route: The ride is 10 miles long and rides at 12 miles per hour. It starts at Alma and Guadalupe and goes west thru Kiwanis park across the Tempe border and then back to the start along the same route.

More info: See our original post on the topic or join the Google Group –

Join your fellow bikers for a Big Brothers Big Sisters fund raiser: June 7th

Jeremy, a TBAG regular and a co-organizer of TBAG’s social events, is organizing a team for an upcoming bowling fund raiser for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Arizona. Contribute to his fund raising efforts, or better yet, join his team!

Here’s more information from Jeremy:

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Arizona is a non-profit group and they do an annual fundraising event here called Bowl For Kids Sake. Bowlmania is on Saturday, June 7th at the AMF Squaw Peak Lanes located at 32nd Street and Indian School Road.

I’d love to see you out there throwing gutter balls with me! I’m looking for enough interested participants to create at least one team of 5 bowlers. (That is, four complete stooges and maybe one ringer!) We’ll all get 2 games, shoes, pizza, drinks and maybe some other cool stuff!

So join my team “Pedal Scrapers” as an individual and then ask around to see if you can recruit some friends, family, or significant others and everyone can join under my team. Since this is a fundraiser, they’re asking each participant to collect donations. Come on, it’s for the kids! Try to go for at least $100.

There’s a website where you can register to join and collect donations online. Just look for “Pedal Scrapers”, create a user ID and you’re ready to go. You send out an email right from your page to all of your contacts.

For those that can participate, click here for a pledge form, so if you want, you can gather donations the good old fashioned way, banging on doors, pumping paws, and kissin’ babies. Just collect the cash and bring it with you to the bowling alley.

If you can’t make it on June 7th, you can still make a donation… every single dollar counts… $5, $10, $25! More info can be found here:


Eco-Economy Indicator – BICYCLES
May 12, 2008

Eco-Economy Indicators are twelve trends that the Earth Policy Institute tracks to measure progress in building an eco-economy. Bicycle production measures our ability to provide affordable transportation, reduce traffic congestion, lower air pollution, increase mobility, and provide exercise to the world’s growing population.


by J. Matthew Roney

The world produced an estimated 130 million bicycles in 2007 — more than twice the 52 million cars produced. Bicycle and car production tracked each other closely in the mid-to-late 1960s, but bike output separated sharply from that of cars in 1970, beginning its steep climb to 105 million in 1988. Following a slowdown between 1989 and 2001, bike production has regained steam, increasing in each of the last six years. Much of the recent growth has been driven by the rise in electric, or “e-bike” production, which has doubled since 2004 to 21 million units in 2007. Overall, since 1970, bicycle output has nearly quadrupled, while car production has roughly doubled.

Promoting the bike as a clean and efficient alternative to the personal automobile is a practical way for cities to reduce traffic congestion and smog. To simultaneously confront those problems as well as climate change and an emerging obesity epidemic, government leaders and advocacy groups are working to bring cycling back to prominence in the urban transport mix.

A number of European cities have set the standard for bicycle use and promotion, via pro-bike transportation and land use policies, as well as heavy funding for bicycle infrastructure and public education. In Copenhagen, for example, 36 percent of commuters bike to work…

For entire text see
For data see

For an index of Earth Policy Institute resources related to Bicycles and Transportation see

And for more thoughts on “Designing Cities for People” (not cars), see Chapter 10 of Lester Brown’s Plan B 3.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilization, at

Mesa / Tempe Ride of Silence

Tom wrote us to let us know that a group of folks from Mesa will be hosting a Ride of Silence on May 21st at 7pm as one of the many locations around the globe riding that day in honor of cyclists who have been killed or injured on public roadways:

On May 21, 2008, at 7:00 PM, the Ride of Silence will begin in North America and roll across the globe. Cyclists will take to the roads in a silent procession to honor cyclists who have been killed or injured while cycling on public roadways….The Ride Of Silence is a free ride that asks its cyclists to ride no faster than 12 mph and remain silent during the ride. There is no brochure, no sponsors, no registration fees and no t-shirt. The ride, which is held during Bike Safety month, aims to raise the awareness of motorists, police and city officials that cyclists have a legal right to the public roadways. The ride is also a chance to show respect for those who have been killed or injured.

The route of the ride will start in Mesa and cross into Tempe:

The ride is 10 miles long and rides at 12 miles per hour. It starts at Alma and Guadalupe and goes west thru Kiwanis park across the Tempe border and then back to the start along the same route.

We are coordinating with Mesa and Tempe police for possible assistance and may possibly have media coverage.

They’ve also got a Google Group setup for more details and discussion about the ride:

Full info on the Mesa/Tempe ride as well as other rides in Arizona (and around the world) can be found here

Ride to First Fridays

I will be leading another ride to First Fridays tomorrow at 6 pm. We will meet up at the northeast corner of Mill and 5th Street to ride on over as a group. I think this time we will take Washington Street up until we reach the Grand Canal at 40th, and then we’ll hop onto Roosevelt from the Grand Canal. I’m not sure how long I will be staying, so you’re welcome to hang out with me and ride back fairly early, or make other plans for the return trip (the Red Line bus is often a nice option, but keep in mind that it runs until midnight). As usual, if you’re interested in co-leading this ride in the future, let me know!