Tour de Fat 2011 schedule announced

New Belgium Brewing has announced the schedule for the 12th season of Tour de Fat. As the press release says, “Tour de Fat is more than an event; it’s a rite of passage that includes a costumed bicycle parade, New Belgium beer, eye-popping entertainment, local food, bizarre bike contests and much more.”

A highlight of Tour de Fat is the annual car-for-bike swap. At each Tour de Fat stop, one person will hand over his or her car keys and commit to one year of living car-free. Tour de Fat is now seeking volunteers to accept the swapper challenge. Each car-for-bike swapper will receive a hand-built Black Sheep commuter bike in return for their car.

Volunteers may submit an application to for the swap at the New Belgium Tour de Fat Facebook.

“The car-for-bike swap epitomizes Tour de Fat, wherein one brave soul makes the commitment to live car-free while inspiring others to think about driving alternatives,” said Bryan Simpson, spokesman for New Belgium. “We’re building a network of folks who originally said they’d leave their car behind for a year, but are still living car-free today.”

Tour de Fat kicks off in Durham, N.C., on June 25 and wraps up in Austin on Oct. 22.

It is free to attend, but beer and merchandise proceeds go to local cycling non-profits. During its lifespan, Tour de Fat events have raised more than $1.75 million for philanthropy. Last year Tour de Fat raised $331,428.

Tour de Fat 2011 will cycle through each of the following cities:

June 25 – Durham, N.C., Diamond View Park
July 9 – Nashville, Tenn., Centennial Park
July 16 – Chicago, Palmer Square
July 23 – Minneapolis, Loring Park
July 30 – Milwaukee, Humboldt Park
August 20 – Boise, Idaho, Ann Morrison Park
September 3 – Ft. Collins, Colo., Civic Center Park
September 10 – Denver, City Park
September 24 – San Francisco, Golden Gate Park
October 1 – San Diego, Balboa Park
October 8 – Los Angeles, L.A. Historic Park
October 15 – Tempe, Tempe Town Lake
October 22 – Austin, Fiesta Garden