Tour de Fat stopping by Southwest

The Tour de Fat — a philanthropic cycling circus organized by Fort Collins, Colo.-based New Belgium Brewing — rides into Southwest on July 18 for a special event at Parade Athletic Fields.

The traveling bike show stops in 11 cities this summer.

Festivities lined up for the day include a bike parade, musical acts and a “Carpocalypse Now” — a funeral procession for a car belonging to the Car-For-Bike Trade volunteer.

As part of the Car-For-Bike program, one volunteer in each city turns over their car to Tour de Fat organizers in exchange for a Black Sheep commuter bike. The volunteer is chosen from people who submitted a video or essay pledging their willingness to live without a car for a year.

“The Car-For-Bike program is what gives Tour de Fat its deeper meaning as people make a life-changing commitment,” said New Belgium spokesman Bryan Simpson, in a prepared statement. “Anyone is welcome to be a swapper — whether you’re an avid cyclist or just starting to rekindle your love for the bike. We can’t wait to meet more good people willing to forgo four wheels for two.”

The event at Parade Athletic Fields is free, but proceeds from the sale of beer and merchandise will go to the Midtown Greenway Coalition, MORC (Minnesota Off Road Cycling) and the Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota.

In 2008, the Tour de Fat raised more than $250,000 for 24 nonprofit organizations.  

“It’s really great to be aligned with an event that promotes bicycle transportation and is so fun on top of it,” said Tim Springer, executive director of the Midtown Greenway Coalition.

When: July 18, 9 a.m.–4 p.m.

Where: Parade Athletic Fields, 400 Kenwood Parkway

More info:


Poetry reading: Transformations

Doug Wilhide, the poet laureate of Linden Hills and the Journal’s contributing poetry editor, is holding a poetry reading centered around the theme of transformations.

People interested in attending are asked to bring a treat to share and poetry (their own or ones by favorite poets) about transformations.

“Whether you’re into werewolves — A howl in the night/Cuts the silence in two/A howl in the night/Makes you ask ‘who?’ (Anna Turtle) — or beloveds — When the sweet glance of my true love caught my eyes/Likes alchemy, it transformed my copper-like soul. (Rumi) — please join us,” Wilhide wrote about the event.

July 21, 6–8 p.m.

4042 Abott, Ave. S.