The New Belgium Brewing Co., sponsor of bicycling's annual Tour de Fat, is giving away more than 1,500 cruiser bikes to encourage Americans to cut down their carbon footprints. The campaign, "The Beer, the Bike and the Tour de Fat," is awarding a bike a day online through Labor Day. It is also holding bike drawings in the company's distribution area. The exclusive bikes are normally given only to New Belgium employees on their first anniversaries.
At the same time, the Fort Collins, Colo.-based company is preparing for its annual Tour de Fat, an 11-city traveling bike festival that works with local charities and encourages bicycling to help the environment. The tour, which will kick off July 11 in Chicago, raises money through volunteer entry fees and sales of merchandise and beer. The events include parades, contests and food, and 92% of the waste created is diverted from landfills, according to the company.
The Tour de Fat has raised more than $1 million for bicycle nonprofits since it began in 2000. It was honored this year at the Cause Marketing Forum's Cause Marketing Halo Awards, winning the gold award for best environmental/wildlife campaign.
As part of its efforts, the company has also established Team Wonderbike, a commuter-advocacy program that so far has 16,000 cyclists pledged to offset more than 15 million driver miles in coming months.
"While we have the Tour de Fat and Team Wonderbike to help people celebrate bikes they already have, this program actually provides the tool to change habits," New Belgium spokesman Bryan Simpson said of the bike giveaway.