1. Debuting LiveOnBike at the 2010 SF Bicycle Music Festival. Shows our preparations for the LiveOnBike element of the 2008 Bicycle Music Festival, co-founded and sponsored by Rock The Bike.
2. Old School Human Power Research in the Rock The Bike workshop with Nate Byerley, inventor of our Fender Blender bike blenders, Marquist, neighborhood kid, Paul Freedman, founder of Rock The Bike, and Gabe Dominguez, musician and co-founder of the San Francisco Bicycle Music Festival. See where we caught the bug for human power!
3. Mundo Surfing, circa 2009. Rock The Bike’s Pedal Power coach Pastana came up with an amazing new way to ride, and we’ve been surfing ever since.
4. Fossil Fool, LiveOnBike at the 2010 Barcelona Bicycle Music Festival. Great camera work and daytime light make for a clear demonstration of the LiveOnBike concept. Part of the 2010 Pleasant Revolution bike tour.
5. Fender Blender Bike Blenders available from Rock The Bike. We take bike blending very seriously. Check out the three types we make!
6. Side Visibility with the Down Low Glow. Notice how much brighter the Down Low Glow is from the side than regular blinkies. Please note that as of winter 2010 the Down Low Glow is off the market for a major redesign that will be ready soon.
7. The Mundo Cargo Bike. Rock The Bike helps test, design and engineer the Mundo and we love using it in our Pedal Powered Stage.
8. The Choprical Fish and the UMDJ — Documentation of a Fossil Fool original Soul Cycle and of collaborating on the UMDJ in Austin, Texas. Keep in mind, this is 2007 Technology.
9. BONUS VIDEO! Don’t watch!read more
Highlights from a LiveOnBike performance on my latest custom Soul Cycle, the Blue Whale, at the first ever Barcelona Bicycle Music Festival, timed to coincide with the 10-10-10 global day of action on climate change.
The video shows clips of three songs: “Funky Quadricycle”, “Rock The Bike Rider,” and “No Bikes In The Yard”. Brock was pilioting the Blue Whale, and nearby Kipchoge was carrying bassist Jared May. The video shows off the great passenger hauling capabilities of Cargo Bikes like the Mundo, the base bike of the Blue Whale.
This was my first LiveOnBike performance on the Blue Whale, which contains the audio elements a 3-way JBL PRX 535 speaker. The top surface of the Blue Whale’s fiberglass cabinet is a wide tractor seat, allowing the performer to shift his weight and face riders to the side and rear of the rig. The Blue Whale has a horn-loaded midrange and tweeter mounted on a pole that can pivot to any angle. When used as a LiveOnBike rig, the mid/high horns face obliquely to the rear, where they direct the sound to the mobile audience and serve as a monitor to the performer. The main 15″ bass woofer faces to the right, away from the performer, but the large bass port faces left. Bass frequencies are fairly omnidirectional to begin with, but the port facing left means that the bass truly envelops the performer. The music cabinet is custom made to fit the Mundo V3 cargo bike, designed for carrying gear and passengers. The weight of the cabinet, battery, and the performer was probably close to 250 pounds, well within the rated capacity of the Mundo.
The power source for the amplifier was a pair 12V NiMh batteries rated at 4AH. The Class-D Crown amplifier that came with the PRX 535 has been modified to accept DC power, rather than AC, which eliminates the need for a bulky and inefficient AC/DC inverter. The batteries used on the Blue Whale weigh only 4 pounds. The DC modified Crown amplifier is problably the most efficient audio amplifier around, and is available from Rock The Bike on a custom basis. The DC modification also makes the Blue Whale an exceptionally efficient Pedal Power rig.
The backing tracks are stored on a modified Kaossilator Pro looping synthesizer, which you can see on my left leg. I can trigger samples A, B, C, and D while performing, enabling me to take a song into a breakdown section or drop out the beat for a funny rhyme. The Kaossilator Pro has a built in mic preamp eliminating the need for a separate audio mixer. Nearby, Jared plays bass while sitting on a JBL 512 speaker.
The Barcelona Bicycle Music Festival is part of the Pleasant Revolution tour of Europe. The Pleasant Revolution has been touring Europe by bicycle since late May, and will next head to Portugal in time for a Bicycle Music Festival of Lisbon next weekend. I joined up with the Pleasant Revolution in late September.
The goal of the Bicycle Music Festival is to help bike people grow the movement with an inspiring all-day event featuring local and bike-touring bands. We hit three venues, all in Barcelona’s parks and plazas. As we cruise between venues, performing LiveOnBike or playing dance music, we pass out flyers and call out the festival venues pied piper style, helping to increase turnout on the day of.
Thanks to Pamela and Christian and the other volunteers of the Barcelona BMF. Thanks also to Jared and Joey for playing along with me (bass and bucket drum) and to Brock for piloting the Blue Whale. Big thanks to Jonathan Grevsen for editing and shooting the video.read more
Help us send a wake up call to Shimano, the largest maker of bicycle components. Their other main business arm is fishing, and they consistently fund anti-conservation efforts to block marine parks and sanctuaries. Replacing reefs and fish stocks is about as hard as replacing the innards of a Rapidfire shifter. Our conservation choices now make a difference.
We’ll be bringing out the Pedal Powered Stage and featuring music from DJ Toph One and a performance by the bike dance troupe The Derailleurs. Check out their performance at this year’s San Francisco Bicycle Music Festival:
After the dancing, music, and speeches, join us for an unforgettable LiveOnBike performance up Market St. to Triple Crown for the afterparty.
Please RSVP on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/event.php?eid=132003886840808&ref=ts
Justin Ancheta performing LiveOnBike at the 2010 San Francisco Bicycle Music Festival, co-produced by Rock The Bike.
Fans pedal powered 7 hours of live local music.
Here you see the three key elements of a Pedal Powered Stage in action:
As usual with our local events our trusty roadies hauled all of our Pedal Powered Stage gear to and from the venues on cargo bikes, such as the Mundo and the Xtracycle. In the foreground special Roadie guest Aaron from Aaron’s Bike Repair in Seattle carries his girlfriend and tows our Biker Bar. Strong!
Once we set up our Pedal Powered Stage, we wasted no time getting band after local band amplified. Here’s the Tri Tip Trio breaking it down at Golden Gate Park.
El Arbol in effect as a two-person generator.
Locura got the dancing started at Showplace Triangle, our night venue. photo: Aufdencamp
Obo Martin, LiveOnBike. photo: Aufdencamp
1st time Golden Goose Lindsey rolling with the pack. The Golden Geese are the volunteers who shake the buckets for musicians after each set.
Our night venue: Showplace Triangle, the largest of San Francisco’s popular “Pavement to Parks” mini parks.
It was our first time offering monitored bike parking at one of our events. Thanks Sam and the crew from DPW for your help!
Posted by Wild Johnny
07/24/2010 – 07:15 – 11:30
WHAT: Southbay Cruisers: The Big 80′s IV
WHEN: July 24th, 2010
WHERE: Ride starts and ends at Valley Park in Hermosa Beach. (Corner of Gould Ave and Valley Drive in Hermosa Beach, CA 90254) Meet at 7:15/Ride at 7:30PM We will meet at the Kiwani’s Club Parking Lot at the south end of the park as usual.
WHAT: We will go off on a slow cruiser ride (about 8 – 10 miles) dressed in our favorite 80′s attire through the Southbay, barbecue, sing our fav 80′s tunes to bicycle karaoke, and play games! This is one of our funnest rides of the year. We will have the soul cycle, we will be barbecuing. Come join us!
WHAT TO BRING: Your bike, a headlight, your ipod with your favorite 80′s tunes if you have one, anything you want to eat and drink in the park at the barbecue after the ride. (please no alcohol permitted in valley park.) your favorite 80′s attire is strongly suggested but not required. If you have any 80′s games that you want to play bring those too. If you don’t have a light for your bike you can buy one at the ride with batteries for $12.
Here’s a video of us doing bicycle karaoke in the park at our last October Halloween/Creepy cruise ride…
For more information see www.southbaycruisers.com or send us an email to email@example.com more
Full event info: Maker Faire
Info and RSVP for the Ride to Maker Faire from Dolores Park with the Rock The Bike crew: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=530605644#!/event.php?eid=316015644330&ref=ts
$5 discount for anyone who rides to Maker Faire at any time.
Our proposal for Maker Faire 2010:
Pedal Powered Stage Music Lineup
1pm Annie Bacon (singer songwriter)
2 Shovel Man (plays a shovel remarkably well. Great entertainer.)
3 DJ Concerned (awesome song selection, keeps the vibe)
4 Gomer Hendrix (Hendrix cover band)
5 Get Back Crew (East Bay Hip Hop, Thanks Kato! Possible BMF band)
6 Zahira and Band Of Mystics (Jared May, Travis, and Kevin back up 2 vocalists. Possible BMF band)
7 Fossil Fool’s sunset dance party!
1pm 5 Cent Coffee (americana)
2 The SHE’S (Punk!)
3 Tyler Smith. (singer songwriter)
4 The Mama’s Boys (bluegrass)
Huge thanks to the crew from the University of Oregon Outdoor Program, where Rock The Bike built a Biker Bar and related Pedal Powered Stage gear last week. Our work culminated in the all-day Willamette Valley Music Festival.
In many ways this was an ideal project for us, working hand in hand with local bike people, transferring knowledge of producing bike music events, and enjoying many fun rides throughout the week.
To get our gear to Oregon, we rented a full-size truck. Rolling past the refinery in Richmond on our way out of the Bay was a sober reminder of the carbon footprint of out-of-town gigs.
Pedal Power intern Jeff Hansen (hereforth “Hansen”) met us in Eugene, ready to work! Looks like he’s been taking care of himself since last summer.
Here is the project space we used, the Outdoor Program’s huge ‘barn.’ It’s under renovation right now and the crew will be pedal powering the opening party, June 4.
There was a very open community vibe throughout the week with many supporters and bike people coming through to pitch in here and there.
A reporter from the Eugene Register-Guard snapped this rad photo of Pastana, Hansen, OP’s Dave Villalobos, and yours truly, on El Arbol.
El Arbol served as a pedal powered shop radio at various points in the week.
Our daily commute to the Barn was 3 miles from our vacation rental house.
Alex truing up El Arbol’s rebuild wheel — 10 gauge spokes!
Jared May joined on Thursday night, adding his bass stylings to several short ‘tweener’ sets
El Arbol served as a two person generator and a functioning speaker that helped the pedalers feel ‘in the music.’
Northwest Community Credit Union turned out hundreds of smoothies with their first generation Fender Blender Pro.
At 4PM the festival audience got on their bikes and joined for a LiveOnBike performance by yours truly, Fossil Fool, the Bike Rapper, with Jared May on bass.
Jared picked a few effects pedals to strap to the footrest area, and we cruised without incident on my new rear wheel — Thanks Alex! The ride the night before had taught us an important lesson about how the weight of the passenger affects the deployment of El Arbol’s roots. Through trial and error the night before Jared found out that the rear facing passenger needs to stand on the footrest, taking weight off the roots at the moment of deployment and retraction.
Just two months ago, I was copying a tractor seat from IKEA to create the rear facing seat in a block of pink foam.
At the end of the ride, we set up in a plaza near the festival for El Arbol’s first street party!
For the headliners, CunninLynguists, we powered DJ Flip Flop’s turntables and monitors. It was a fairly easy load, only 80 watts, and we never let him down.
What follows are dimly lit photos that show the scale of the event, one of Rock The Bike’s largest in terms of crowd size.
In the shot below, the two dancers above the crowd are on the backs of OP’s Mundo 500′s. The bikes themselves are completely hidden.
Here are the two Mundo 500′s earlier in the evening when the crowd was much smaller.
Alex returning event promo the day after the festival.
Starting this Tuesday the 4th, Rock The Bike will be in Eugene, Oregon building a Pedal Powered Stage with the U of O Outdoor Program.
We’ll be building a Biker Bar, the 3-person pedal power system and LiveOnBike stage we debuted last year. It will be the key component of Eugene’s Pedal Powered Stage. We’re also delivering two Mundo 500‘s — powerful electric cargo bikes that double as efficient pedal power generators when isolated with our Lunar Lander kickstand. The five pedalers’ efforts will flow into a Pedal Power Utility Box, and the state of the pedal power will display in a 6′ tall Pedalometer.
Our crew will include Pastana, Pedal Power intern Jeff Hansen, bassist and experienced bike rocker Jared May, Cara, and yours truly, Fossil Fool, the Bike Rapper.
Pastana has been one of Rock The Bike’s most loyal crewmembers, and he’s one of the reasons we create magic at our events. At our Earth Day event at USF he was the one who cornered a loose goat, roped it with a cam strap, and proudly marched it back into the quad:
Jeff the Pedal Power intern is back! Last summer he helped us build our Biker Bar and learned how to crew Rock The Bike events. He lives to build pedal power gear.
Jared May on bass:
Cara is an experienced bike tourer and will be holding down our crew table and merch station. Come say hi and get on the email list.
We are excited to improve the Biker Bar and to test our new Pedal Power Direct Circuit.
In the photo above you can see how the orange rear supports of the swingarms will relieve the bar. This is also the first time we will be building our own trailer chassis out of raw aluminum stock materials. Earlier this week I borrowed a truck and shopped for metal in Oakland.
The Direct Circuit accepts incoming power from the pedalers and feeds it directly into the JBL powered speakers without a AC/DC inverter. This cutting edge circuit comes out of a collaboration with our electronics genius Jake in our Berkeley workshop. It has the potential to improve the efficiency of a pedal powered music experience by up to 30%.
The work in Eugene follows four years of active research into Pedal Powered music. Check out this early video of R&D on the Pedal Powered P/A:
More recently our collaborative work has taken us to Brooklyn, NY, and Austin, Texas, where we have built Pedal Powered gear collaboratively with Band Of Bicycles and Pure Austin Fitness. The Outdoor Program heard about Rock The Bike through the Pleasant Revolution, who also use our Pedal Power gear.
Check out the complete lineup: http://musicfest.uoregon.edu/music.htm
And on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/fossilfool?v=info#!/event.php?eid=112432352116882&ref=ts
Yours truly, Fossil Fool, the Bike Rapper, will be performing LiveOnBike at 4PM on Saturday! Live on which bike? El Arbol of course:
El Arbol has the same enclosed volumen and audio componentry of a JBL PRX535, our favorite pro-sound speaker, and is a powerful two-person generator:
At most of our events we try to pedal power the entire music experience, including the monitors, mixer, mains, and any instruments that plug in. Depending on what instruments a band uses, we have been able to get the entire music experience down to 200 watts!
However at the WVMF, the organizers wanted a bigger sound than we can provide, and will be bringing in a hanging line-array system like the photo below:
The power consumption of the audio equipment at WVMF will be closer to 2000-5000 watts! What can we do with Pedal Power in the context of a festival that’s bringing in such heavy equipment? We can help the musicians hear.
7-8 pedalers will power 4 on-stage monitors (3 JBL PRX 535′s and one Mackie SRM 450). The pedalers will be positioned right next to the stage where they can make eye contact with the musicians. Powering the stage monitors should make for a intimate connection between the pedalers and performers, though perhaps less so with the audience.
Now that Eugene will have a Pedal Powered Stage, the West Coast is quickly becoming a destination for bike touring musicians. In theory these bike touring musicians can carry just their instruments, play acoustic shows in the small towns, and pedal powered shows in the larger cities, like San Francisco, Eugene, Portland, Chico, Seattle, and LA.
Last year the Pleasant Revolution World Bicycle Tour passed through Eugene, inspiring them to raise funds and build the pedal powered stage. Who will be next?read more
We’re stoked to be working with the Nightlife crew and DJ Stallings again at the Thursday, May 13th edition of this event. Imagine a science museum with groovy lighting, set up for dancing, talking, and learning.