My bicycle-brother Danielo has made me aware that the Tour de Fat is coming to Boise this next Saturday, August 25. It looks to be fun, and a chance for the Treasure Valley Cycling Alliance to replenish their treasury as a fund-raiser.
According to Danielo, who will be a Parade Marshal - WOW! - there will be a 1-hour ride/parade, followed by a 4-hour-or-so "recovery" gathering at Julia Davis Park, near the Rose Garden. That 4-hour recovery sounds a bit suspicious, eh? A person could do some serious recovery over a period of 4 hours.
Since I don't imbibe in the spirits - even the really awesome ones as produced by the Fat Tire people - I'm thinking about participating in the parade, but limiting my "recovery" ambitions.
I checked out the New Belgium website (linked from Danielo's blog) and something caught my eye.
They are trying to find a dedicated soul in each tour-stop who will sign over his car title (?) and pledge to go car-free. In return, the Fat Tire people will award the Chosen One a new fat-tire commuter bicycle, and a Bob trailer to pull behind it.
While that sounds noble, I want to ask... why is it an "all or nothing" deal? Why do some bike advocates, or environmentalist-leaners, feel like a motor vehicle has to be totally abandoned?
By contrast, I've always been a pragmatist, and have advocated using the most efficient vehicle for the job. If you're transporting yourself and a sack lunch or notebook to the office, or school, etc., I challenge you to find a more efficient vehicle than a bicycle. But if you're loading your family up for a trip to Redfish Lake, or San Francisco, the bike just ain't gonna cut it for most people. I take great comfort in having Mrs. Bikegal's minivan available for hauling 5 gallons of paint, or a big roll of hardware cloth, home from Lowe's every now and then. (Maybe I'm just not committed enough...)
I don't know for sure, but I'll bet you dollars to donuts that they still deliver Fat Tire to retail outlets in a truck... not in a Bob trailer!
I've got a sweet commuter bike and a Bob Trailer, so I won't nominate myself. But there are just some transportation duties that can't be accomplished with a bike... or public transportation.