Tour de Fat 2008 (Boise, Idaho)

It’s been almost a week since the Tour de Fat, but it was a great event worthy of a write-up.

Kelly was going to ride on the back, but once I announced my plans to Rickroll she had no interest in being attached to this ride. Everyone else wanted to ride their own rides too (understandable), so we put the Halloween scarecrow on the back with a bike helmet. Perfect. Here’s the highlight reel:

This was my fourth year of Tour de Fat and it seems every year past year one they mess up parade flow. Last year, they had a huge turnout and tried to funnel part of it onto the greenbelt (bad idea). This year, almost last minute, it was like they were thinking “This is working too well” and they had everyone go up a curb and onto the lawn so they can pass the Tour de Fat main stage. Bad idea. It bottlenecked hard at the narrow entry to the road where lots of people were trying to start from to begin with.

Past there, they made a fundamental mistake. Understand that outside of New Belgium Brewing the organizers are local biking enthusiasts. They ride a lot on light bikes with multiple speeds. They aren’t in touch with the average rider in the Tour de Fat. I ran across an organizer about 6 months back and I was very obvious about not having a bench climb. Maybe next time I should get an email address or show up as a ‘user advocate’ (as I have for software over the years). Well, sure enough, there was a bench climb. My cruiser minded friends who showed up had Shimano 7 speed hubs, so they could drop down and climb. That’s not typical in cruiserworld.

As mentioned, my plan was to “Rickroll by Rickshaw”, which, if you are unfamiliar with Rickrolling, involves unsuspectingly bombing people with Rick Astley’s hit song “Never Gonna Give You Up”. We put the fake passenger on the back, I printed up a big Rick Astley on three sheets of paper on the DECLaser 5100 and joined them, and also printed the other signs and taped them on as well.

Burning the CD was fun. I could have burned just one track and put it on replay, but naw, I put over 10 copies of it on one disc instead.

I put the disc in the boombox and it played fine. Right before we leave for the tour, I decide to ride with the cd playing from the boombox which is bungied on the back rack. It was awful. I thought an occasional skip would be fun, but this thing was skipping to where it would stop playing within one minute. Awful. It would rarely skip if I carried it during while riding, so that’s what I did.

The Tour de Fat is my favorite annual Boise event, and this year was no different.

2006 Rickshaw Season Summary

The 2006 Rickshaw Season was the first. I started the year in poor shape, and as I’d mentioned many times “The way to get into Rickshaw shape is with a Rickshaw”. Evidently. The season was rough at the beginning, but sure enough, was more tolerable as it progressed.

The low point of the season was the Tour de Fat. Yes, the Tour de Fat was still enjoyable, but the Rickshaw, already damaged from hitting a speed bump in a parking lot too fast, hit a section of tree roots under the asphalt on the Greenbelt during the tour, vibrating the carriage to the rear right wheel, and ending that year’s ride very early.

All in all a great year. I got in way better shape, and had fun. The Rickshaw suffered some damage it wouldn’t receive the next year as I learned how to baby it. For example, don’t pedal on notably uneven surfaces because the frame lacks rigidity and you’ll bend on the front sprocket with the chain in the process.

(I’m backdating this entry, actual date is April 15, 2008)