Every Year 20,000 Costumed People Ride Strange Bicycles Through This Quiet Colorado Town

Take the atmosphere of San Francisco’s Bay To Breakers 12K run. Mix in the engineering creativity of the Burning Man festival. Put everyone on a bicycle.

Now add beer.

And you’ve got yourself a party, Fort Collins, CO-style.

Every year this normally sleepy little college town, home of Colorado State University, transforms into the wildest bike festival in the nation, courtesy of the New Belgium Brewery, headquartered here.

It’s called the Tour de Fat, named somewhat after the famous Tour de France bike race and NBB’s most popular flavour of beer, Fat Tire. All proceeds from beer sales are donated to bicycle-themed non-profits.

NBB hosts a dozen Tour de Fat festivals in cities across the nation: Atlanta; Washington D.C.; Durham, N.C.; Nashville; Chicago; Minneapolis; Boise; Denver; San Francisco; San Diego and Tempe, AZ. So there’s still time to catch one.

Mountain Ave is usually a quiet neighbourhood street.

Fort Collins, Colorado

On Tour de Fat, men in motley and in gorilla suits start slowly start to arrive.

Soon more costumed people fill the town, riding in the bike parade.

These folks built a tall bike for two.

All types of people ride in the parade.

Here's another custom-made contraption.

This guy's bike is a tribute to the Bluth Company from the TV show Arrested Development

The bike parade is so crowded that there are traffic jams at the intersections.

Sometimes the parade grinds to a halt as more people pile in. Even Santa can't fly through.

This guy's dinosaur bike drew cheers from the spectators along the whole route. The mouth opens.

There's always something to ogle.

The parade flows out of the neighborhoods and into the main part of town.

Some 20,000 riders packed in this year. Thousands travel from other states to attend.

The driver of this car didn't know about the parade. She was stuck at that intersection for about an hour until police came and rescued her.

Sometimes teams of people plan their bike costumes together like this school of jellyfish.

This guy converted a bike into a steam punk chariot of sorts.

Here's a bicycle built for three.

Even though this is Colorado where weed is legal, people are not smoking in public ...

This is a family friendly event, with kids everywhere, even though some of them look pretty confused by the spectacle.

After the parade, there's three stages of music and other acts but the star of the show is ...

the bike pit, where you can ride all kinds of crazy bikes. This one spins in a circle.

There's a bike with tires made of tennis shoes.

This Business Insider reporter dressed as a rainbow.

After the festival ends, costumed people slam the restaurants and roam the streets. It's like a Tim Burton movie come to life.

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