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Friday, January 04, 2008

More bands on bikes

In 2006, I wrote extensively about the Ditty Bops' Bicycle Tour, which happened to include stops in St. Louis, Chicago, Springfield, Ill., and Kansas City, Mo., but there's two bands that are taking the concept of bicycle concert tours a step further.

On Oct. 18, the bands The Ginger Ninjas and Shake Your Peace! launched the Pleasant Revolution Bicycle Music Tour. They are riding more than 5,000 miles and playing more than 90 pedal-powered shows from the foothills of the Sierras in North San Juan, California, to the jungles of Chiapas, Mexico. There will be no sag-wagons, and no buses hauling their gear: Everything -- including the 800 Watt human-powered public address system -- is being hauled entirely on bicycle!

According to the Ginger Ninjas' blog, the bands are supposed to be in Mazatlan, Mexico, today, and they're slated to be in Mexico City on Jan. 22-28. The tour is slated to end Feb. 11 in Palenque, Mexico.

"Our way of life threatens our way of life," said Ginger Ninjas frontman Kipchoge Spencer, described in the band's press release as a San Francisco Bay Area bike culture hero and co-originator of the Xtracycle Sport Utility Bicycle. "As people resonate with that point and start to contemplate giving up their cars and forsaking a lot of other conveniences they're accustomed to, on the surface it could seem like they're sacrificing and losing a lot. But the Pleasant Revolution is about realizing that by losing this stuff, we gain a life that's way more rich, humane, and happy. Anybody who stops driving and starts biking feels that. Biking doesn't feel like losing a car, it feels like you're getting your life back! The message of the Pleasant Revolution isn't: 'sacrifice til it hurts,' it's more, 'Drop the excess, and have the time of your life.'"

In the press release, the bands contend the tour will join other 2007 Bicycle Music Movement landmarks in what could be called "the year of the bicycle-based musician" – a year that witnessed a 600-mile, 25-show Shake Your Peace! Bicycle Tour of Utah in April and May 2007 (the first significant bicycle music tour to be accomplished without a sag wagon, and using a pedal powered PA system).

During the Ditty Bops Bicycle Tour, Amanda Barrett and Abby DeWald did indeed ride their bikes from city to city -- I had the pleasure of riding with them between St. Louis and Edwardsville, Ill. -- but a support van carried their equipment and other members of their entourage.

The Ginger Ninjas and Shake Your Peace! also cited the success of the San Francisco Bicycle Music Festival on Aug. 11, a 100 percent bike-powered and bike-hauled event that the musicians say heralded the arrival of the Bicycle Music Movement to the world. The bands said the event drew 10 bands, five public venues, a 400 Watt pedal-powered PA system and outrageous cruiser rides taking over the city's streets between each festival stop.

Above, I've the video of the Ginger Ninjas for their song "Dick Cheney (Needs More Love)." I hope to post some more songs soon. Enjoy!

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Roger 1 comments links to this post 10:18 AM

I've met these cats. I think their heart's in the right place, but their music kind of reeks. Especially live.

I'm not saying I could do any better, which is why I don't do it at all :-)
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