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.