Urban Tribe - Ride with your kids in front.

Want to trade your car for a custom bike? Tour de Fat needs you!

Posted by on August 11th, 2010 at 10:26 am

tour de fat 2007-70

The 2007 car-for-bike trader.
(You’d be happy too if you just gave
up your car for a sweet new bike.)
(Photo © J. Maus)

New Belgium Brewing’s big bike circus, parade and celebration, the Tour de Fat rolls into Portland this weekend. It’s one of the best bike events of the year, and the entire day is capped with an elaborate ceremony where one smart citizen hands over their car keys and becomes the owner of a brand new, custom urban riding rig.

But according to New Belgium’s Michael Craft, Portland might be the first city in the three-year history of the bike-car trade to have no one step up to the opportunity. Craft says the person they had lined up has just backed out. “I cannot imagine Portland wants to be the first city in three years to not have someone who is willing to trade their car for this unbelievable bicycle.”

The car-for-bike trader this year will roll away on a custom-made commuter bike from Fort Collins, Colorado based Black Sheep Bikes….

The bike up for trade.

If you’re ready to take the carfree plunge, check out the car/bike trade page here and get in touch with New Belgium ASAP by emailing zlevis[at]newbelgium[dot]com. More info about the event here.

The Bicycle Transportation Alliance (one of two local non-profits that benefit from the event) is looking for event volunteers. See the BTA blog post for more info and email Chris Knott at chrisk[at]bta4bikes[dot]org if you’re interested.

NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Thank you — Jonathan

  • Noah Genda August 11, 2010 at 10:48 am

    Hands down the best decision I have ever made in my life. I traded last year and have never looked back, there was a similar thing last year and I emailed them the day before the event. If anyone is considering this I strongly recommend it.

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  • sabernar August 11, 2010 at 11:13 am

    Black Sheep needs to ditch the Flash website. What a horrible experience.

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  • 151 August 11, 2010 at 11:18 am

    Why would a Portlander trade their car for a Colorado bike when we’ve got so many awesome frame builders locally?

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  • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) August 11, 2010 at 11:21 am

    Why would a Portlander trade their car for a Colorado bike when we’ve got so many awesome frame builders locally?

    maybe because it’s the only bike that’s being offered at a car-for-bike trade at the Tour de Fat? Do you know of any local builders doing a similar program?

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  • 151 August 11, 2010 at 11:24 am

    Sell car. Build up sweet custom frame made locally. Deposit the remaining balance in accounts. Seems like a much more equitable “trade” to me. I’m just saying I’m not surprised people aren’t jumping at the opportunity.

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  • dan August 11, 2010 at 11:25 am

    Maybe the people in Portland who would take them up on this offer have already made the switch…

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  • Noah Genda August 11, 2010 at 11:30 am

    151, no one makes frames locally that resemble the Black Sheep’s. Also to build up a custom frame you would have to have a nice car to sell, not to mention having to sell it for the deposit and then wait for the frame to be built. The car I traded was worth about $1500. I’m just saying I am surprised people arent jumping at the opportunity; its an amazing and uplifting experience.

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  • dan August 11, 2010 at 11:31 am

    1. Buy beater car for <$500
    2. Trade for bicycle
    3. ????
    4. Profit!

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  • lowend August 11, 2010 at 11:45 am

    What does New Belgium do with the car? Is it donated to a good cause? Or crushed for an even better cause?

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  • Patrick August 11, 2010 at 12:03 pm

    I wish people who have never owned a car were eligible!

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  • Spiffy August 11, 2010 at 12:19 pm

    too bad the wife’s car is worth like $4500 or we’d probably do it… which we plan on doing after the new year, but with a much nicer cargo bike, or a pedal car…

    I sold my ’82 off-road beater car at the beginning of the year after I went car free… guess I should have kept it sitting in the driveway a few more months… but I needed the $1000…

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  • RonC August 11, 2010 at 12:48 pm

    This is a great opportunity for someone driving an old car that’s a maintenance and insurance money pit! Combined with the 99.00 offer to beta-test the new EcoShopper BicycleR Evolution trailer, and you have a legitimate car-free setup.

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  • Kt August 11, 2010 at 12:59 pm

    151, #3: maybe because a lot of the local bike builders have very very long waiting list?

    I think it’s a cool idea.

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  • Greg August 11, 2010 at 1:15 pm

    Could be that, while biking is extremely popular in Portland, so is having the means to safely transport oneself during inclement weather. For the vast majority of the population cycling is a luxury and always will be.

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  • drew August 11, 2010 at 2:07 pm

    @9. I understand the symbolism, but the crushed car will probably just be sent overseas as part of the international junk/waste market. I think it just displaces the problem.

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  • sysfail August 11, 2010 at 5:57 pm

    I’ll totally do this. Car is in the drive way

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  • Simon August 11, 2010 at 11:39 pm

    @Noah, when you traded last year it was amazing to see and you were the hero of the day. Glad to hear you are happy with your decision. Never before have the words “chevy malibu” been so funny!

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  • Ruby August 12, 2010 at 8:04 am

    Noah Genda! Haha, really, what a James Bond sort of name. Too bad I don’t believe it. You sound like you have an agenda.

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  • are August 12, 2010 at 9:07 am

    i gave my car away two years ago expecting nothing in return.

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  • Paul Johnson August 13, 2010 at 3:28 pm

    Can I trade my current bike for the newer, more fuel-efficient model they have there?

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  • Paul Johnson August 13, 2010 at 3:29 pm

    @sabernar: The world needs to ditch Flash…

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