Want to pretend that you're living in a quaint beer-friendly college town with less than 150,000 people rather than a sprawling mixology-obsessed metropolis of more than 3.5 million? Fort Collins-based New Belgium Brewery (Fat Tire) is coming to downtown L.A. on Saturday, October 23 for its Tour de Fat fundraiser and still needs a local "car-for-bike" local swapper. Which in non-public relations-induced English means someone willing to hand over their car (and the fine print: your car title) to a nonprofit in exchange for a custom built New Belgium/Black Sheep, fully-loaded, hand-crafted commuter bike. The catch? Promises, all kinds of hops-laced promises.
For starters, you promise to commute by bike for the year. A tricky commitment in any super store-clad city these days (time to volunteer at your local historic preservation advocacy group?). But surely easier in San Diego, where the Tour de Fat took place last weekend, or in Austin, the final stop, than a city like L.A. where sprawl refers to simply your grocery store commute.
To get that bike, you must also commit to making a featured appearance at the event (and win that video face-off to get to the final). But just think, you'll get to see your miserable pile of junk that failed the last smog check in all its rusty, damn-it-won't-start glory at its own public funeral procession the day of the event. You also must agree to the filming/broadcasting of said funeral procession (But you didn't like the car anyway, so a reality show death seems uncharacteristically appropriate?).
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The end-game result of your charitable four-wheel drive contribution? Apparently, at least according to those PR sorts who remind us what to "think," it makes you "a better, sexier person." And during your year of extreme calf-muscle, bike-peddling growth, the brewery expects you will come to understand the event is "about rediscovering the cultural thrill of public transportation."
Sure. In some places (um, L.A.?), residents honestly can't abstain from those oil changes for rather solid reasons until the city does something practical about it (like, say, that Expo commuter train downtown that still isn't finished). In the meantime, you can hit the costume-only (see #4) bike parade and become a better person by drinking beer. Gross proceeds for the $5 New Belgium beers sold that day go to three local non-profits: Cyclists Inciting Change thru Live Exchange (C.I.C.L.E.), the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition (LACBC), & the Bicycle Kitchen/La Bicicocina.
Beer for bikes. Or historic preservation. Or hell, simply because it's Saturday, and there's a costume parade.
Tour de Fat, Saturday October 23, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., free. L.A. State Historic Park,1245 N. Spring St.