According to the Boise Weekly, 6000 (!) people participated in the morning bike parade. That's a LOT of people and bikes! Perhaps the local mainstream media should do a better job of reporting on an event with so much local participation. Also, as Clancy commented, the most long-term fallout from the event was $55,000 collected for three local nonprofit bicycle organizations.
Well done, Fat Turistas!!
A couple other happy memories of the parade that I failed to mention earlier:
We're all familiar with the kind-hearted spectators who hold out cups of water for the contestants in big-time bicycle races, marathons, etc., right?
Well, early on, along the Tour de Fat course, a heart-of-gold lady had a little table set up, and as people rode by she was offering Ice Cream Cones!! Seriously! Holding a cone out at arm's length and inquiring, "Ice cream? Ice cream?" I asked Mackie if we should get some ice cream - she declined, being afraid that she might crash her bike if she was riding and licking her cone at the same time.
If I had it to do over, I would've told her to pull over. We could've leisurely eaten an ice cream cone, and then pulled back into the mob, a little farther back.
(Somehow it seemed SO APPROPRIATE that the "Tour de Fat" parade riders would get the opportunity for Ice Cream Relief!)
There were some security personnel on hand for the event, including some Boise motorcycle cops. (Although I've never seen a more content, well-behaved crowd of people, at least during the parade event!) In their motorcycle-cop fashion, some of them would block the side streets as the parade started through, and then race on ahead to the next intersection. Frankly, it made me a little nervous; a big, loose pack of bicycle riders is a little more free-flowing than a float rolling slowly down the middle of the road, or even a band marching to J. P. Sousa, in nice, straight lines.
Well, one of the cops - I happen to know the guy - was riding his big BMW motorcycle up the sidewalk, to get to the next intersection. A parader on a bike was on the sidewalk ahead of him. Certainly not trying to disrupt in any way... he just happened to be on the sidewalk. When he heard the motorcycle engine revving behind him, he cleared the way, and the cop zoomed on ahead... into an area of the sidewalk that was under repair. There were barriers, places where the sidewalk was buckled or missing altogether. By then, he was moving fast and all he could do was try to "ride it out." To everyone's horror/delight (can you feel both at the same time?!), he actually "caught some air" and did the motocross thing for a few feet, then came down with a crash! But he's obviously a skilled rider - he controlled everything and zoomed on up the sidewalk... leaving his big black Cop Flashlight twirling on the ground in his wake.
Paraders hollered, "Look! He lost his weapon!!" Somebody collected it - I got the impression they were riding ahead, hoping to catch up. I never saw how it ended, but it added to the excitement for everybody in the immediate area.