A wide variety of bikes big and small, costumes that ranged from the zany and wacky to the cute (I saw a dog dressed up like a hot dog) and plenty of fun activities were all part of another successful Tour de Fat in Golden Gate Park’s Lindley Meadow this weekend.

The event is a showcase for bike enthusiasts. This year, despite an overcast and misty day throughout, 400 riders participated in the morning Tour de Fat SF bike parade. Overall, nearly 4,000 people attended the festivities, helping raise $21,000 for the Bay Area Ridge Trail Council and the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition.

“Tour de Fat San Francisco is going to help support connecting the city with 100 miles of cross-town bikeways, allowing anyone from an eight-year-old to her 80-year-old neighbor to ride safely in San Francisco,” said Kate McCarthy with the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition.

Dena Justice with the Bay Area Ridge Council said it’s a huge boost for the cycling community. “Tour de Fat helps connect more multi-use trails throughout the nine Bay Area counties.  Nearly 300 miles of Ridge Trail are open to mountain bicyclists thanks in large part to our nine year relationship with New Belgium Brewing,” she said.

The main stage was filled throughout the day with musical acts and fun games and contests. There was even a successful marriage proposal for two longtime bike enthusiasts and festival attendees!

I must admit, my favorite section was the Ride-Able ARTicles section. It was basically a round track filled with a number of different oddly shaped bikes, anything from unicycles to two-seaters where a pair would sit back to back and have to pedal in opposite directions to steer properly. There were a few spills and plenty of laughs to be had by both riders and those watching the mayhem.

At each stop across the country, Tour de Fat organizers select one person from each city to volunteer to live a car-free life for a year. 35-year-old Susannah Kirtland was the chosen “swapper” in San Francisco. “I, Susannah Kirtland, do hereby and forthwith pledge my car (2003 Honda Civic Hybrid!) in trade for a Black Sheep bicycle.  For the year, or hopefully more, I will use my bicycle and public transit to commute and do daily activities and enjoy it!” As part of the swap, Kirtland did receive the bike for free.

Music, plenty of suds flowing, games and entertainment for both adults and children – a pretty cool way to spend a Saturday afternoon in San Francisco if you ask me!