7 Things We're Looking Forward to at Tour de Fat in Tempe This Weekend

Benjamin Leatherman
DeVotchKa performs during last year's Tour de Fat at Tempe Beach Park.
The weather's been unexpectedly pleasant lately, which means your lazy ass has one less excuse for not going outside. Perhaps you might even consider dusting off that bicycle that's been cloistered in the garage since May and going for a ride.

If you require further incentive to mount your neglected steed, how's about some potent brews served up with a chaser of bizarre characters and off-the-wall entertainment? Such a mix will be on tap this weekend when the annual Tour de Fat rolls into Tempe Beach Park.

See also: The People of Tour de Fat 2012 (Slideshow)

Both you and your two-wheeler will be welcomed by thousands of fellow cyclists that attend the afternoon-long festival, which is put on by the hops-heads at New Belgium Brewing and is self-described as a blend of "beer, bikes and bemusement." It's also essentially a celebration of the weird that's invaded by thousands of members of the cult of the bicycle and includes live music, strange sights, scads of amusements, and (of course) tons of brews.

Tempe's been a regular stop on the nationwide Tour de Fat for years, and we've been in attendance at a few of 'em. Here's a list of what we're looking forward to seeing and doing this round.

Benjamin Leatherman

The Beer:
In case you weren't clued in by the fact that New Belgium Brewing puts on Tour de Fat every year (or that it's named after the company's signature ale), beer is definitely a big part. Vendors are set up around Tempe Beach Park pouring a wealth of different New Belgium hops and barley creations, ranging from such signatures as Fat Tire (natch) and the cycling-themed Shift lager to seasonal selections like Pumpkick ale. Serious beer snobs can check out the "Lips of Faith Tent" with its specially curated New Belgium selections.

Melissa Fossum
The Bike Pit at 2011's Tour de Fat.

The Contraptions:
Pedal-powered machines are in abundance at Tour de Fat and not just the sea of bicycles found around the park. New Belgium also brings out a variety of peculiar-looking devices for people to ride in the "Bike Pit" that harnesses various cycling components. During the past few years, for instance, we've seen contraptions that use rings of tennis shoes as wheels or human-powered cycling fans. And depending on how much you've had to drink, they can often be a little difficult to operate. There are also games and other amusing distractions about, such as tightrope walking and the Port-a-oke (read: karaoke in unused porta potty).

Benjamin Leatherman
Cooling off at last year's Tour de Fat.

Location Info


Tempe Beach Park

54 W. Rio Salado Parkway, Tempe, AZ

Category: General

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