This week, on our way through Fort Collins, we stopped in to see our dear friends and host family, The Bordens. We’ve known them through a few lifetimes now and it’s always a welcome home when we roll through. The best part about visiting with them is experiencing their zest for life! This time around, they whisked us off on the most epic bike ride ever, the Tour de Fat.
The Tour de Fat, come to find out is a bike parade/festival/benefit for bike safety and awareness put on by New Belgium Beer company, a local Fort Collins conglomerate. They treat the city to a fantastic day of festivities, including the parade, music, children’s performers, fun games, and the opportunity to try riding a variety of bikes in the bike pit.
The night before the parade, the mood was jovial and anticipation filled the room, as we all put together costume ideas. The next morning we rose early (well, 8am, that’s early for us), put on our costumes and road three miles to the beginning of the Tour de Fat parade. We joined the sea of bikers and found that the mood was jolly and people were happy to be there. There were thousands of people, all ages, donning elaborate, well thought out costumes. The amount of variance in the bikes was almost as fascinating as the people in costumes. There were bikes with fat tires, tall bikes, trikes, bikes that fit multiple people, bikes pulling small ornate floats, children on bikes, mountain bikes, bikes with banana seats, retro bikes, and road bikes. The parade lasted about three hours and there were as many dressed up people lining the sides of the streets cheering us on, as there were on bike.
Although Fort Collins is a college town and there were loads of college kids there, and despite the fact that beer was the main choice of beverage at the festival, the powers that be managed to control the consumption by funneling people through a drink ticketing process. This enabled the festival to stay at a light happy buzz all day, rather than a drunk fest, which made for a more family friendly atmosphere.
For lunch we walked down to our favorite, Avogadros and enjoyed the best Temph Burger and onion rings on the planet. The air-conditioning and chance to catch our breath gave us the extra energy to trek back to the festival and catch up with our mate, Nahko Bear. He and his band, Medicine For The People, were in town playing the MainStage, rounding out the day at the festival. When we found out he was going to be there, we were stoked.
We were introduced to Nahko “virtually,” years ago by our mutual friend, Seth Martin but were never able to connect in the physical. We would catch glimpses through out the years where we had just missed each other in Minnesota, Portland, Australia, etc… It always seemed that we’d arrive just after he left. So, to find we were both in the same place at the same time was serendipity on top of the already fantastic day.
When folks talk about the spice of life, we’d say it’s these moments where we are allowed to experience local flavor through the eyes of our host families! Thanks Bordens for sharing this moment with us. It will forever be fused into our memory bank of blissful times.