week of events

Tour de Fat Tempe week of events

Tour de Fat’s coming up Oct. 4, so join your fellow greased up gearheads on an entire week of warm-up rides and shenannigans Monday – Friday Sept. 29 – Oct. 3, across Phoenix and Tempe!

Monday 9/29

5:30 p.m. Meet at the Spoke and Wheel | 8525 N. Central Ave., Phoenix
6:30 p.m. Depart for the Yard | 5632 N. 7th Street Phoenix

Tuesday 9/30

5 p.m. Meet at Mellow Mushroom | 14205 South 50th Street, Phoenix
6 p.m. Depart for Public House Garage 4855 E. Warner Rd. #A31, Phoenix

Wednesday 10/1

5:30 p.m. Meet at Boulders On Broadway | 530 W Broadway Road Tempe
7 p.m. Join your peers for a mountain bike ride
9 p.m. WIN A NEW BIKE (!!) at Boulders on Broadway | Get your raffle tickets anytime beforehand at Boulders. One winner will be drawn at 9 p.m. Must be present to win.

Thursday 10/2

6:30 p.m. Meet @ Tempe Beach Park | Corner of Mill Avenue and Rio Salado Parkway
7 p.m. Depart for Papago Brewing Company | 7107 E McDowell Road, Scottsdale
8:30 p.m. Arrive at Casey Moores and WIN A NEW BIKE*! |850 South Ash Avenue Tempe

*hold the phone. Win a new bike again? Yeah. That’s a thing.

Friday 10/3

6-9 p.m. Tap takeover at Handlebar | 680 S Mill Ave., Tempe

Saturday 10/4

Better than Christmas, your birthday, Halloween, aunt Millie’s cat’s adoption day all together!
10 a.m. Register for the Tour de Fat parade
11 a.m. PARADE! Galavant through the streets of Tempe!
Noon – 5 p.m. Tempe Tour de Fat music, beer, bikes and babes at Tempe Beach Park

Brewing Sustainability lecture, October 16th at ASU!

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New Belgium Brewing Company is TBAG’s biggest sponsor and one of our all-time favorite breweries. Not only do they make amazing beer, but they do so while continually striving to make their brewing process more environmentally friendly, by reducing water consumption, diverting waste, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. So we’re thrilled to share the news that Kim Jordan, co-founder and CEO of New Belgium Brewing Company, is coming to the Galvin Playhouse on ASU’s Tempe campus to speak about brewing sustainability on Thursday, October 16th, 4:30-6:00pm. After the talk, TBAG’s own Ryan Guzy is going to lead a ride to Spokes on Southern for a community reception. For more details and to RSVP, check out the link here. Hope to see you there!

Correction: We originally incorrectly listed the date as the 14th. ASU’s official event site lists it as the 16th. Apologies for the error.

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Tour de Fat 2014 Comes to Tempe

We are officially less than two weeks away from the biggest and best cycling event in the valley! That’s right, the annual Tour de Fat is right around the corner so we’ve compiled some information to get you all caught up and ready to go for the big day.

What is it?

Touted by New Belgium Brewing as their traveling celebration of all things bicycle, Tour de Fat starts out with a costumed bike parade through the city but the finish line is only the beginning of the festivities. Being the tenth and final stop on the Tour de Fat circuit this year means that you get to experience the grand finale and there is nothing we are holding back! There is going to be musical acts, yo-yo performers, bike/costume/dance contests, and even vaudeville acts so make sure to bring the family and friends along for the fun.

Why should you go?

Do you like bicycles? Do you like good beer? Do you like supporting the community? Do you like having fun? If you answered yes to one or more of these than you have no excuse to not show up to Tour de Fat. Also, those are trick questions because by signing up to receive these emails we already know you answered yes to at least a few of them. Proceeds from beer sales and donations are being given directly to local non-profits consisting of Tempe Bicycle Action Group, The Mountain Bike Association of Arizona, The Central Arizona Mountain Bike Patrol, and Bike Saviours Bicycle Collective to benefit bicycle culture and advocacy. Tour de Fat serves as the main source of funding for these groups so come sip an ice-cold New Belgium brew for a good cause.

When is it?

The costumed parade ride will start at 11 a.m. on October 4th, but registration for the ride will open up an hour beforehand, at 10 a.m. Remember we said that it was a daylong celebration? Well we weren’t kidding! After the parade there will be tons of entertainment to keep you busy until the big finale starts around 5 p.m.

Where is it?

Tour de Fat will be taking place at Tempe Beach Park, 620 N. Mill Avenue, Tempe, AZ. Also visit here for a map of the parade ride!

How much does it cost?

The best things in life are free which is why there is no charge to come out and partake in the festivities! Also, if you really like free stuff you can always pre-register for the parade online and if you chose to make a donation you will be rewarded with some awesome, free Tour de Fat gear such as a frog bike light or a license plate. That can all be taken care of here.

Why can’t it be sooner?

We know that you’re more excited than ever for Tour de Fat and while it may seem far away, these next couple weeks or so will go by fast. What does this mean for you? Start picking out your costume, decorating your bike, and spreading the word about the event. Us over here at T.B.A.G. look forward to riding and celebrating with you on October 4th. Also, stay tuned for upcoming pre-TdF ride information coming soon. Happy Cycling!

Saving your town from the bike ninjas: a how-to

Dressed all in black, biking down your street the wrong way in the middle of the BikeNinjaPosterLandscape copynight, giving no sign of their existence save for the squeak of a rusty chain: the bike ninja is a fearsome adversary indeed. They’re rarely seen until they’re right in front of you, requiring a sudden swerve out of the way and perhaps a fist shaken in their general direction. Riding a bicycle at night without adequate lighting is unsafe and against the law in most states, but many cyclists do it anyways, either because they’re not aware of the dangers or they don’t want to deal with the inconvenience of buying and maintaining bike lights.

Here at the Tempe Bicycle Action Group, one of our recurring events it the Bike Lights for Ninjas ride: volunteers stake out a handful of streets and intersections where bike ninjas are known to travel and hand out bike lights, for free, to anyone on a bicycle who needs one. It’s a cheap and easy way to reach out to a segment of the cycling community you don’t usually see on organized rides or major events, and it helps reduce the risk of cyclist injuries or fatalities in your town. So how do you go about doing an event like this?

 

Buy Cheap (but Good) Lights

There’s numerous online stores with a focus on delivering bulk consumer goods, tadpole bike lightand bike lights can be found on many of them. Check out dx.com, dhgate.com, dollardays.com, and globalsources.com for a few examples, or do a search for bulk bike lights or wholesale bike lights. Look for lights that come with batteries included, so you don’t have to buy batteries separately and pack them by hand. Lights with simple attachment mechanisms are best – the “tadpole” light design with a wrap-around silicone loop seems to work really well, whereas designs using velcro straps or screw-together mounting brackets are much harder to install. Go for light sets of one white and one red light – some light suppliers sell red and blue light sets, but these are definitely not street legal in th
e US! Finally, avoid the really weak lights with low power LEDs – they may be cheap but they don’t provide enough illumination. We’re usually able to find lights for less than $4 per set, and will buy 50-100 lights at a time.

 

Get Some Volunteers

Talk to your friends, network at social rides, start a Facebook page, ping your mailing list – whatever it takes to get a handful of volunteers willing to hunt down bike ninjas and give them free stuff! The best way to entice people to help is by making the event fun – bribe them with free pizza after the ride, get a portable speaker and some music playing, hand out costumes. Sparkly lights and fairy wings are a good choice; ninjas have a known weakness to fairies.

 

Pick a Date, Time, and Location

Here in Tempe, there are a number of key streets and intersections that have high ridership, mostly around the ASU campus. We like to stake out Mill Avenue, University Drive, and Apache Boulevard is prime ninja-hunting streets. Where you set up depends on where you see bike ninjas most frequently. Is there a university nearby with student housing concentrated off-campus? Do some streets concentrate cyclists due to the presence of bike lanes, protected lanes, or other bike-friendly features? Think about what time of day has the highest traffic and what the light conditions are like. Once you’re actively looking for them, bike ninjas are easy to spot after dusk but hard to identify between sundown and proper night – is that rider a ninja, or do they have lights and are waiting to turn them on?

 

Hand Out some Lights! (but Be Nice About It)

When the big night arrives, get ready to chase people down and give them lights! Bring a backpack or panniers to carry your lights around. Watch for vehicular traffic while you’re out – you’re going to be making a lot of U-turns and stops, so be extra conspicuous with your signaling. When you catch up to a bike ninja, be nice to them! Tell them you saw them riding without lights and you’d like to give them a free set, no strings attached. If they accept, that’s great! Congratulate yourself on defeating a bike ninja. If they decline, that’s okay too. Don’t push the issue or harass them, just let them go on their way.

One issue in particular to keep in mind: think about what your reaction would be if you were biking along, at night, and a stranger suddenly appeared and offered you free stuff. You’d probably feel suspicious and possibly a little nervous. Maybe this weird bike person is trying to mug or assault you. This is a normal reaction for people to have, so try your best to be as non-threatening as possible. Stick to areas that are highly trafficked and well-lit, and don’t pursue people who aren’t interested.

 

You Saved Your Town From the Bike Ninjas! Now Go Party!

Eat that pizza you used to bribe your volunteers, have something nice to drink, and congratulate yourself on a job well done. Plan your next bike lights for ninjas ride, and get those volunteers signed up for it.