What’s It Like to Trade Your Car for a Bike?

Car-for-Bike Trader Kevin Hayes

One of the cornerstones of New Belgium’s Tour de Fat (in case you forgot, Tour de Fat is a celebrate of beer, bikes, and bemusement) is the car-for-bike trade. Potential traders submit to  New Belgium videos detailing what they’d do with cash to spend on a new bike.

Kevin Hays, this year’s car-for-bike trade winner, took the money to District Hardware for a light, fast, strong 2013 Neilpryde Alize. Neilpryde is known within the windsurfing community for its knowledge of carbon fiber and aerodynamics—so, maybe not what you think of when you think “commuter bike.” To which Kevin says, “On top of getting back and forth to work I love going on long, hard rides, and this bike will help me achieve both.”

We asked Kevin about his decision to make the trade.

WABA: Trading your car in for a bike could be considered crazy by some people. Why did you do it?
Kevin: Really, because owning a car in D.C. is a pain in the ass, and driving it can be even worse. It is just not practical for me right now. I was fed up with paying for parking and still getting parking tickets. I even got a parking ticket on the last day I had my vehicle, the day it was picked up for donation.

WABA: Why are you a bicyclist? Why do you choose to get around D.C. on a bike?
Kevin: First and foremost, it is fun. I really enjoy riding my bike back and forth from work everyday. It is quick: It only takes me about 15 minutes to get from my home to work. And finally, it is cheap. A properly maintained bike will cost you next to nothing to keep running for the year.

WABA: What’s the first word that comes to your head when I say “bicycle”?
Kevin: Lifestyle

WABA: Tell how you got started biking.
Kevin: Mine dates back to my freshman year in college. I may have partied a little too hard that first year, and I was kicked off campus for breaking a few rules…I moved a few miles away from campus and was forced to bike back and forth everyday. After that, it just stuck. I started doing longer rides for enjoyment, and I would like to think I have been a pretty serious cyclist ever since.

WABA: If you had to go back, would you do it again?
Kevin: I wouldn’t change a thing. Bicycling has changed my life and have introduced me to many of my closest friends. I may have convinced myself to start wearing a helmet a little earlier, only because I had a few close calls that could have changed things significantly.

WABA: And lastly, how do you promote bicycling in your everyday life?
Kevin: I have promised to live my life without owning a car for the next year.  I have started a blog called carfreedc.tumblr.com, that I will use to document this adventure.  I would like to show people that it is easy to get around town without a car or without using public transportation. I would like to share the tricks of the trade I have and hopefully inspire some people who may have not considered biking prior to this that it is really a great option for a means of transportation.

Car-for-Bike Trader Kevin Hayes

Kevin’s story is pretty inspiring. We know many of our members live the car-light life, but for those that don’t: consider trading just one car trip for a bike trip. And we hope all our car-free superstars are gently encouraging their friends and family to try biking for transportation.

Your Photos From Tour de Fat

Last Saturday’s Tour de Fat—with its edict of crazy costumes for all and a full slate of entertainment and performances—provided great fodder for photographs. We’ll post a more formal recap later in the week, but for now, enjoy the festivities as captured by a number of local photographers. (Go below the jump!)

Did you take photos at Tour de Fat? Add them to our Flickr pool!

cheered on by Fat Tire entertainers

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Tour de Fat is Tomorrow. Here’s How It’ll Work:

By now, you likely know the components of tomorrow’s Tour de Fat, sponsored by New Belgium Brewing: convoy to parade at Yards Park, register or check in for parade, show off (safely and slowly, of course!) in the parade, arrive at Yards Park, tap beers, enjoy entertainment, gawk at costumes other than yours, celebrate!

(Tour de Fat will pack up at 5 p.m., but not before a finale of epic proportions.)

Here’s the most accurate itinerary we’ve got:

Day Schedule
10-11 a.m.: Parade registration at Yards Park (pre-register for the parade here!)
11 a.m.: Parade leaves Yards Park
12 p.m.: Parade returns to Yards Park, beers are tapped, and festivities begin

Entertainment Schedule
12 p.m.: Scot Nery Show
12:20 p.m.: Honeymoon Cabaret
1 p.m.: Slow ride
1 p.m.: The Moth storytelling
2 p.m.: Stunt Pepper dance contest
2 p.m.: YoYo People
3 p.m.: Car-for-bike trade
4 p.m.: Beats Antique, headliner
5 p.m.: Finale!

If you missed the email with all the Tour de Fat minutiae we sent yesterday, you can read it hereRead more about Tour de Fat here, register for the parade here, and RSVP on Facebook here.

We suggest arriving early for the parade registration; you’ll skip the lines and have the chance to purchase your beer tokens early so that when you arrive back at Yards Park, you can beat that rush. Stay late for the grand finale. Don’t forget your ID if you want to drink. Stay hydrated (there will be plenty of stations to fill up your water bottle) and keep your blood sugar up (stop by any number of local food trucks or check out the new restaurants that have cropped up in Yards Park since last year). Put on a kick-ass costume—last year’s will be hard to beat. And bring your friends and family: Tour de Fat might be sponsored by a brewery, but there’s lots of stuff to keep kids entertained.

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All proceeds from Tour de Fat will benefit local bike advocacy: WABA, Black Women Bike DCFairfax Advocates for Better Bicycling, the Mid-Atlantic Off-Road Enthusiasts, and Phoenix Bikes are this year’s beneficiaries. Buy beer, buy T-shirts, buy memberships, or stuff some cash in a jar—it’ll come back to the groups who are working hard to make bicycling in the D.C. region better.

We can’t wait to see you (in costume!) on Saturday.

 

Join a Bike Convoy to Tour de Fat

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A number of groups are planning convoys that will arrive at Yards Park on Saturday for the day’s main event, Tour de Fat, or the parade that precedes it. Join up with any of the following convoys to start the fun early!

Capitol Hill Bikes: Meet at the shop, 719 8th St. SE, between 9:30 and 10:30 a.m. for a short jaunt to the parade start at Yards Park.

BicycleSpace: Meet at the shop, 1019 7th St. NW, by 10 a.m. for a caravan led by the notorious Monkey Wagon speaker system to Tour de Fat.

9:30 Club and D.C. Bike Party: Meet at 9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW, by 9:15 a.m. to ride to the parade start. Expect lots of music and D.C. Bike Party’s typical powerhouse turnout.

City Bikes: Meet at the Adams Morgan shop, 2501 Champlain St. NW, by 9 a.m. or the Capitol Hill Shop, 709 8th St. NE, by 9:45 a.m. to ride to the parade start.

Proteus Bikes: Meet at the College Park shop, 9217 Baltimore Ave., at 9 a.m. to ride to Tour de Fat.

Bike and Roll: Meet at Union Station, 50 Massachusetts Ave. NE, by 9:15 a.m. to ride to the parade start. Prizes will be bestowed upon the best-dressed in Bike and Roll’s convoy.

Tour de Fat is a great time to appreciate those who make local biking better. Thank your convoy leaders and stop by the WABA table to meet our staff, buy a T-shirt or jersey, renew your membership, or join!

Photo by Flickr user stochasticflux. Join our Flickr pool!

The Tour de Fat Party Starts on Thursday

We’ve told you all about Tour de Fat, this Saturday at Yards Park. But the party will get started early on Thursday at ChurchKey in Logan Circle! Stop by to taste 10 New Belgium beers on draft and enter to win a custom New Belgium cruiser. You can also register for the parade that precedes Saturday’s shindig.

As with Tour de Fat, all proceeds will go directly to local bike organizations. WABA, Phoenix Bikes, Black Women Bike DC, Fairfax Advocates for Better Bicycling, and Mid-Atlantic Offroad Enthusiasts will benefit from your purchases and donations.

RSVP with ChurchKey on Facebook here.

Get Through This Week, and Reward Yourself With Tour de Fat!

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So what if you’ve got a work week (albeit a short one) between you and next weekend? We’re already thinking about it, because next Saturday is Tour de Fat!

The East Coast’s biggest and most fanciful celebration of all things bicycling, Tour de Fat is part costume party, community bike parade, music and arts festival, and celebration of good biking and good beer! All proceeds from the event, which is put on by New Belgium Brewing, support local bike advocacy. Tour de Fat begins with a parade (parade check-in is at 10 a.m. and it kicks off at 11 a.m.) to Yards Park, where fun awaits. Bring your kids, put on your craziest costume, and get ready to enjoy performances and entertainment by Beats Antique, The Moth storytelling, Scot Nery, Honeymoon Cabaret, John Higby, and Batala.

All proceeds from Tour de Fat—from parade donations, beer purchases, merchandise sales, membership sales, and raffle-ticket purchases—go directly back to local bike advocacy. In addition to WABA, Black Women Bike DC, Phoenix Bikes, Fairfax Advocates for Better Bicycling, and Mid-Atlantic Offroad Enthusiasts will benefit from Tour de Fat proceeds.

If you weren’t otherwise convinced, consider this: Tour de Fat is free!

Read more about Tour de Fat here, register for the parade here, and RSVP on Facebook here.

Tour de Fat: A Primer

What’s Tour de Fat?
Tour de Fat is an all-day festival at Yards Park on Sat., June 1 for those who enjoy bicycles and beer (the event is sponsored by New Belgium Brewing). It’s silly, whimsical, and packed with activities, but also a great opportunity to celebrate the region’s growth in, commitment to, and love for bicycling.

The day kicks off with a bicycle parade at 11 a.m. (registration and check-in begins at 10 a.m.). Costumes are highly encouraged. The beer starts flowing aoon. There will be music and entertainment, merchandise sales, a bicycle pit, and local shops and nonprofits staffing interactive tables and booths  from noon to 5 p.m.

Why you should go:
It’s hard to properly explain what Tour de Fat is (though you can see an overview of last year’s here). It’s an experience. It’s a daytime party that’s also family friendly. It’s a way to give back to area bike-advocacy groups. It’s a chance for you and hundreds of others to ride your bikes dressed in crazy, wacky costumes. It’s a reason to drink a beer at noon on a Saturday. And there’s plenty of great entertainment.

It’s also free. We do ask for a $5 donation to participate in the preceding bicycle parade, but there’s no admission fee to Tour de Fat itself. Beer and merchandise sales, as well as parade donations, go directly to improving bicycling in the D.C. area.

Who should come to Tour de Fat?
People who ride bikes—often, occasionally, and rarely. It’s a bicycle celebration, but you don’t have to ride your bike there. You don’t even have to have ridden your bike in the last ten years. We want anyone who’s tangentially interested in bikes to come out for the parade and festivities.

People who drink beer—or not . Just because New Belgium is sponsoring Tour de Fat doesn’t mean you have to drink to be there. There are plenty of other ways to enjoy yourself and many other food and drink option at the festival and around Yards Park.

Families and children. Tour de Fat is a family-friendly event. There will even be a side tent running puppet shows for the event’s youngest guests.

Music and art lovers. There will be bands, spoken word, storytelling, and other performances around the Yards Park grounds all day long. Prepare to be amazed! You may even win the Thousand Person Dance Contest and receive a New Belgium cruiser bike for your efforts.

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What does Tour de Fat support?
Proceeds from the event go directly back to five local bicycle organizations: WABA, Black Women Bike DC, Fairfax Advocates for Better Bicycling, the Mid-Atlantic Off-Road Enthusiasts, and Phoenix Bikes.

WABA (that’s us!) works in the greater D.C. area to get more people on bikes, make bicycling safe, and expand and enhance bike infrastructure. We want to make getting to places by bike easier and a more viable transportation option.

Black Women Bike DC is a rad group of ladies who build community and interest in riding bikes among black women through education programs, advocacy, and bike rides.

Fairfax Advocates for Better Bicycling works to make bicycling an integral part of the transportation network in Fairfax County, Va. They sponsor social rides throughout Fairfax and work on numerous advocacy issues to make bicycling there more accessible.

Mid-Atlantic Off-Road Enthusiasts represents the area’s mountain bikers and works to maintain regional trails. MORE organizes hundreds of rides and events per year.

Phoenix Bikes is local bicycle co-op that supports youth in the D.C. metro area, providing a safe, nurturing, and educational environment that reinforces teamwork, hard work, and entrepreneurship through bike maintenance and education programs.

 

We’ll see you June 1st at Tour de Fat!

Get Ready for Tour de Fat, Coming June 1

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Tour de Fat is back! The East Coast’s biggest and most fanciful of all things bicycling, Tour de Fat is part costume party, community bike parade, music and arts festival, and celebration of good biking and good beer! All proceeds from the event, which is put on by New Belgium Brewing, support local bike advocacy. This year, all revenue generated will benefit WABA, Black Women Bike DCFairfax Advocates for Better Bicycling, the Mid-Atlantic Off-Road Enthusiasts, and Phoenix Bikes.

Tour de Fat begins with a parade (parade check-in is at 10 a.m. and it kicks off at 11 a.m.) to Yards Park, where fun awaits.

Read more about Tour de Fat here, register for the parade here, and RSVP on Facebook here.