The annual traveling bikes and beer celebration, Tour de Fat, rolled into Chicago’s Palmer Square Saturday and left one West Side bike non-profit with a little extra cash to boot.
This year’s Tour de Fat Chicago beneficiary, community-based non-profit West Town Bikes in Humboldt Park, ultimately netted more than $34,000 from the Tour de Fat fundraising according to West Town Bikes operations manager and instructor, Michael Young.
Among its community-based offerings, West Town runs open shop nights for women and transgender cyclists, teaches safe cycling skills to children and adults and provides a number of youth-oriented programs that teach bike maintenance, safety and mechanical skills.
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The tour’s sixth year in Chicago kicked off with a five-mile bike parade full of cyclists in costume, followed by sets from Chicago’s own Balkan-influenced punk rock marching band Mucca Pazza and a performance by musician/comedian Reggie Watts.
Woven in to the bike-based amusements (and plenty of beer drinking) were a strong woman exhibition, stunts and bike dancing by the city’s all-female BMX group The Rackateers and a dance-off that netted one limber-limbed bike fan a Fat Tire cruiser courtesy of the brewery.
According to New Belgium, this year’s event broke an attendance record and topped 2012’s fundraising efforts by roughly $8,000. Organizer Alex Wilson told DNAinfo Chicago the event had a projected attendance of around 6,000.