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Car Be Gone with the Tour de Fat


OK, Boise bike commuters, it's time to put your bike where ... well, where your car is.

Are you publicly willing to show your allegiance to the almighty bike by handing over the pink slip to your four-wheeled ride in exchange for one sweet commuter bike?

Well, then step up. The crew at New Belgium Brewing--the people who put on the annual Tour de Fat--are looking for a Boise volunteer to swap his or her car for a bike as part of this year's event.

This is the eighth year the Tour de Fat will roll into Boise (on Saturday, Aug. 22, in Ann Morrison Park), and the bike-for-car swap is always a major highlight. And sure, while you may no longer have your trusty old Pinto, the chosen swapper will get a hand-built Black Sheep commuter bike, which--take it from us or check it out online yourself--is one seriously gorgeous and not-cheap bike.

So, how do you get the chance to swap your car? Anyone interested must submit a video or essay about their deep and overwhelming desire to live car-free for one year. That's right, a whole year.

Even if you're not quite ready to make that jump, everyone is still invited out to join in the bike-centric fun at the event. And while participants celebrate the bike, local biking organizations are the ones that will benefit the most. Proceeds from the sale of beer (from New Belgium Brewing, of course) and merchandise will go to the Southwest Idaho Mountain Bike Association and the Treasure Valley Cycling Alliance, both of which support numerous other bike organizations and trail projects throughout the valley.

Boise Bicycle Project will also be on hand throughout the day collecting bike parts to rebuild used bikes, which are donated to children of low-income families and refugees.

Boise is the fifth stop along a tour that will take organizers through 11 cities, including Chicago, Minneapolis, Seattle, Portland, Ore., Fort Collins, Colo., Denver, San Francisco, San Diego, Tempe, Ariz., and Austin.

The Boise event will kick off with the traditional bike parade at 10 a.m., which sends costumed riders cruising through the streets of downtown before ending up at the park, where the day will be filled with all sorts of Bacchanalian celebrations--that is, if Bacchus had been the god of beer and bikes instead of wine. The park will be filled with live entertainment and booths sporting info and items from event supporters.

Whomever is selected to sacrifice his or her car will witness the Carpocalypse Now (a funeral procession for the soon to be discarded car) and join in the swap celebration later in the afternoon.

If you think you're ready to leave half of your wheels and an engine behind, check out details on the bike-for-car swap at