Welcome to Chain Gang, our new weekly bike blog– your guide to Bay Area bike culture and happenings, and news.
On September 24, the roaming, cross-country Tour de Fat bike festival rolls into Golden Gate Park. Along with this free full-day celebration of all things bike and beer, comes the chance for one lucky local to trade their gas-guzzling car for a super-sweet custom bike.
The steed up for trade? It's a $3,000 custom, hand-built 11-speed steel commuter bike by Black Sheep Bikes, decked out with fenders, racks, panniers and rolling on a set of 29er wheels. This baby does everything your car does—except collect tickets on street cleaning days. The vehicle up for trade: any hunk of gas-powered metal you’re ready to get rid of. It doesn’t even have to run; it just has to be yours.
“The bike is handmade with care and the best ingredients, just like our beer,” says Michael Craft of the New Belgium Brewery, the bike-loving beermakers who put on the festival. “We love handing out this beautiful bike to someone who is going to really use it.” Last year’s San Francisco winner traded in her car “Ill Nasty” for the sweet ride, and committed to being car free for a year.
Craft says this year’s San Francisco entries have been slim, so the chances of winning are better than ever. To enter the contest, send New Belgium a quick video of two minutes or less that explains your desire to be car-free. The winner needs to commit to one year of using the bike as the primary transportation, or, as the New Belgium folks say, substituting petroleum power for “sparkle motion.”
Kristin Smith started riding bikes at 3-years-old and hasn't stopped since then. A long time rider, racer and commuter, Kristin has spent the last five years writing about San Francisco's active bike culture. She is the newly appointed Communications Director for the SF Bicycle Coalition.