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Scrap Your Car for a Bike at the Tour de Fat

by The Green A-Team

Forget about trading in your SUV for a Prius, how about scrapping it altogether in place of a bike?

Gas, as we know, is virtually a luxury item these days, and even still the reality of ditching ones car is more achievable for some than for others.  But excuses won’t be stopping the Tour de Fat.  The Tour de Fat is a rambling carnival of two-wheel toting cyclers advocating bike-for-car swap outs accross the country this Fall.

What you’re likely to find at one of these peaceful demonstrations are bicycles of all shapes, colors, and configurations, live local bands, and hordes of cyclers who fearlessly gather by the thousands in the name of pedal power.

You can burn at least 300 calories an hour or about 25 per mile which requires a good amount of fuel in the form of food, or in this case, beer.  The New Belgium Brewing Company is the primary sponsor of the Tour de Fat pumping a steady stream of fermented hops and good spirits throughout this multi-city tour.

For some essential commuter cycling tips and more on the Tour de Fat, read on.

Photo by fastboy.

If you’re a noob to the car heavy streets, particularly in our urban worlds, here are a few no-brainer tips that could save your life:

1.) Wear a helmet.

- This is a MUST and I repeat MUST.  I don’t care how dorky you look because when you get t-boned by that runaway cab, you’ll thank me.  Besides, there are lots of cool looking helmets out there for cheap!  Check this one out.

2.) Learn how to use hand signals.

- You’ll probably remember these from driver’s ed but they’re universal for cyclists too.  If I catch any of you swerving in front of cars (or me) with out signaling, I’ll publically humiliate you.

3.) Keep your head on a swivel.

- On a bike, you’re the most exposed thing out there so paying attention to things around you is vital.  A good trick is learning how to peek over your left and right shoulders while riding straight ahead.  Make sure there’s nothing threatening in front of you and look back to see what’s coming.

4.) Ride in the direction of traffic.

- For you daredevils who like to ride against the flow of traffic, there’s nothing that freaks drivers and other cyclists out more than someone charging head-on towards them.  So, please, use the bike lanes and ride on the left hand side of the road so that motorists can see you most clearly.

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