Tag Archives: Tour de Fat Nashville

Bikes + beer = FUN

The third annual Nashville Tour de Fat was on Saturday, and it was a blast. It was also a hot and humid 90+—the second day of summer and it totally felt like it. Major kudos to those who wore costumes. The best I could do was deck out the Bat.

After the parade, the bike valet set up by Walk/Bike Nashville was just a little bit popular…

After helping park some bikes, I was off to gulp down a squash fritter from Riff’s, and settle down with a beer and some friends to watch the craziness in the bike corral.


While walking around the festival, I overheard a few different people talk about how they wanted to get a bike and start riding around—one of the many reasons that the Tour de Fat is more than just a fun ride/day in the park.

Another reason: More than $30,000 was raised for local nonprofits. Is the Tour de Fat coming to your town?

{ Read about Dottie’s and my previous experiences at the Tour de Fat here, here & here. }

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Nashville’s Tour de Fat

Yesterday Nashville had the honor of being the first stop on the 2012 Tour de Fat. The perfect weather, and the fact that it was the Tour’s second year here (word has spread!) made for a huge turnout. Although these two people were my favorite attendees.

Me and my parents at the TDF

Yes, my parents came up from Alabama for the Tour, because they’re cool like that. (Thanks, LJ, for taking this photo!)

The crowd at the start

I’m not sure that Nashville has totally embraced the opportunity for weirdness that is the TDF (I know my “costume,” basically just a vintage-y looking outfit, left something to be desired) but there were a few standouts in the crowd.

Flamingo girls!


This year, without the scorching heat, we were able to stay for most of the festival after the ride and enjoy beer, sandwiches from Sloco (while pitying the fools who were standing in the interminable line for the Grilled Cheeserie) and the entertainment on the stage.

Shift is pretty delicious


Not sure what is going on here...

Dad enjoys the pedal fan

Nashville's Parthenon always makes for a dramatic background

While watching a couple hundred people see someone trade their bike for a car, the true importance of the Tour de Fat really hit home for me. I’m sure at least some of those people just came for the beer and the party, but they left with the impression that there is a large, vocal, fun and cool community of people who consider cycling a valid mode of transportation.

The "car" effigy that is traded for a bike

Last year's car-for-bike trader, Chris Sweeney, delivers a stirring speech

Plus, some awesome nonprofits like Walk/Bike Nashville, the Oasis Center and Soundforest made a lot of money (if the crowd at the merch stand and the beer tents were any indication…and I think they were).

Dad, mom and me

If the Tour de Fat comes to your town: GO. And bring your parents. They’ll have fun.

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Nashville’s Tour de Fat was all that

On July 9, Nashville hosted the Tour de Fat for the first time.

It was a big deal for a lot of reasons, first of all because it was one of the first times the “no alcohol in Metro Parks” rule had been set aside for an event. Good news is, the chance the Mayor took was worth it: Nashville’s tour set records for both the number of parade participants and money raised for local nonprofits at a first time Tour — 600 parade riders and $14,000 for Walk/Bike Nashville and Soundforest.

Honestly, I didn’t know how much this ride was for me, since photos from Tours in other cities showed a lot of scantily costumed folks on tall bikes or cruisers, but any group ride in Nashville can pretty much count me in so I headed out. I did not have a summery costume so I wore a flounced, sheer overskirt over the smallest tank dress I could find and my trusty Jessica Simpson heels. Setting out at 9 am, alone on the street, I felt slightly ridiculous (ride of shame?) and got a couple of curious looks/honks, but once I arrived among the throngs of cyclists at Centennial I felt more at home.

me next to my beer, after the ride

The ride was a blast. Even though it was hot and we were very, very sweaty. Music was blaring and the carnival atmosphere at the starting line had the energy rising. I also liked the “this ride is pro-bike, not anti-car!” message that the “Rymanese Twins” were proclaiming from their platform at the start of the race.

Afterward I met up with Anna from Bike Skirt and we watched the shows and tried out some of the trick bikes they had in the corral. Anna was more adventurous than I.

Anna & me

Anna and Ross on a tandem

The moral of the story is: if the Tour comes to your city, hop on! It really is the best party on two wheels.


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