Rock The Bike

Thanks Bicycle Music Festival fans, crew, and bands for an amazing 2010 festival!

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:

  • Generators: In this case a Biker Bar (the 3-person rig in the foreground) and two Electric Mundos.
  • Pedalometer: The floating beer can in the tube rises and falls, showing pedalers how hard to pedal.
  • Pedal Power Utility Box: the box on the table. It accepts inputs from up to 7 pedalers, smooths out the peaks and valleys of Pedal Power, and serves up clean pure sine AC power to our audio gear. Protects circuitry behind a plexiglass panel.

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.

Untitled from TyrellVoightKampff on Vimeo.


Karlanga’s Silk Performance from TyrellVoightKampff on Vimeo.


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!

Highlights from 2009 San Francisco Bicycle Music Festival

This short highlight video begins with the Bicycle Music Festival faithful rolling away from Lindley Meadow in SF’s Golden Gate Park to Dolores Park. SHAKE YOUR PEACE! performs LiveOnBike, joined by Sonya Cotton and Cello Joe, leading a raucous singalong of Joey’s “Silly Song”. With Joey and SYP!’s Gabe Dominguez using the Biker Bar as a mobile stage, they salute the people of Dolores, and the cops, who want to pull the plug. But BMF co-directors Gabe and Fossil Fool persuade the powers that be to let the festival stay, and the BMF roadies quickly set up the Pedal Powered Stage for performances by Oona Garthwaite and Sean Hayes. The Biker Bar sheds its wheels and becomes a stationary 3-person generator.

Sean performs “TurnAroundTurnMeOn” with drummer Ezra Lipp, also a BMF volunteer. While waiting for the festival to arrive from Golden Gate Park, nearly 3 hours behind schedule, Sean had serenaded the park acoustically. Texting back and forth with Ezra, who was with the festival, Sean decided to stick it out. Similarly Oona’s band had already headed to our backup venue, Alemany Farms, and it wasn’t easy to convince her that it was really back on in Dolores. But both played inspired sets.


Thanks to the bands, fans, and volunteer crew for an intense, awesome San Francisco Bicycle Music Festival

I'm a Falcon! I'm a Falcon! I'm a Falcon. Fastest Bird. Viscious bird. by you.

Tornado Rider performed “I’m a Falcon” at our first ever night venue, Pier 7.

Josh pitching in on the pedal power once again. by you.
Loyal BMF fan Josh pitching in pedal power for Tornado Rider.

7:30 AM. Packing. by you.
The day began at 7:30 with a huge mobilization of audio and pedal power gear, banners, Fender Blender, and more.

Ranger Joe loved the idea of our event, but wouldn't allow it to happen without a permit. by you.
At Golden Gate Park, Tom from Parks and Rec informed us that, although he loved the intention of our event, our use of the park would be illegal without a sound permit. Previous to this year, we had never applied for permits for BMF venues, and had never had an issue. When police did stop by BMF in ’07 and ’08, they smiled and moved on. We also received mixed advice from city hall officials, some telling us “why bother with permits?” and calling our attention to unpermitted but community-approved events like Critical Mass and the Dykes on Bikes parade. We also believed the BMF is a community service and that we shouldn’t have to buy permits to put it on.

In retrospect, the lack of permits for this year’s BMF sapped a lot of our energy on the day of the event, and three awesome bands were unable to perform. We wish we had followed through with the permit process. At the same time, it’s a testiment to the awesome goodwill for our festival that many fans stuck around and enjoyed the bands, listening to Tin Cup Serenade, Stitchcraft, and Ma Muse perform acoustically, as we waited to set up our Pedal Powered Stage.

bicycle music festival by xtracycleinc.

Above, Ma Muse, performing acoustically in Golden Gate Park. Photo: Xtracycle, Inc.

Went on a mission with three golden geese to try to get an emergency permit for the festival.  by you.Four of us went to on a mission with three golden geese to try to get an emergency permit.

bicycle music festival by xtracycleinc.Meanwhile, two crew members found a larger event in a nearby meadow and asked them to umbrella us with their event permit. We set up the Biker Bar in time for Antioquia‘s performance.

IMG_5007 by janetdehaven.
Our new Pedalometer uses a fan to push a can up and down within  6′ tall tube. Orange, Green, and Red show desired system voltage. Pedalers found the new system quite intuitive. We hardly did any pedal power coaching all day.

bicycle music festival by xtracycleinc.
Above, pedalers on the Biker Bar.

CD peddler by Frog Stomp.
Our merch flasher offering Stichcraft’s new CD, Beyond the Hoolaboo.

IMG_5073 by janetdehaven.
SHAKE YOUR PEACE! leads the LiveOnBike daytime ride with guests Cello Joe and Sonya Cotton (surfing the Radish and singing wirelessly). Above, leaving Golden Gate Park after Antioquia’s performance. IMG_5081 by janetdehaven.

All three bandmembers stood and sang, which made it easy for the huge ride to see them and sing along to originals and an occasional cover, including “Shake It Up Baby!” Scott handled the mixing on the back of the Electric Mundo. The 24V battery was so strained from helping us up the hill, that power to the mixer cut. I used the throttle more lightly after that, straining to pull the 600 lb load up to the altitude of Haight St., where SHAKE YOUR PEACE! rocked out.

What's On Your Rack? by busbozo.

The large wooden case is how Ma Muse’s supporters helped them transport their half-size bass to BMF from Chico.

mobile cello by Frog Stomp.

Interior of the Bass Case.  Photo:

Oona Garthwaite performs at Dolores Park by you.At Dolores Park, we found permit shelter from the Dolores Park Movie Night, and Oona Garthwaite was able to perform her set.

Pedal powering Oona on the Biker Bar. Photo: busbozo

Daniel held down the Cajon in tight quarters. I was concerned about hitting the weight limit of the trailer chassis, so we didn't use the outer third of the possible stage space. I'm thinking about installing giant casters under the ends, to make it more  by you.
Jazz Mafia vocalist and Shotgun Wedding Quintet frontman Dublin performed LiveOnBike on the Sunset Cruise. Daniel sat in on Cajon.

The Tuboboom was a stable mixing platform. by you.
Scott worked the knobs for Tornado Rider. Leif’s new Soul Cycle, the Turboboom, provided the platform and party lighting.

Scott working the knobs. by you.

Scott focused on getting the best possible sound for our stripped-down 2-bike system. We could have set up the Biker Bar as well, but wanted to conserve space for walkways, since we were sharing the pier with fishermen.

20090619165043 by alwaysupndown.

Above: Sammey from Chico arriving in SF the day before BMF.

On Friday afternoon, BMF volunteer Adam met a crew of 8 riders from Chico including performers Ma Muse.

Rolling through EmeryVille with Aaron. by you.
Aaron from Seattle’s Aaron’s Bike Repair trained in for BMF and is currently riding down the coast for pleasure with his friend. We threw the Mothership on his Xtracycle so he could help amplify our mobile performances.

bicycle music festival by xtracycleinc.

Antioquia is on Tour to Santa Cruz

Ran into Antioquia on my way to work. The band got seriously inspired by riding around San Francisco with us at Bicycle Music Festival this year and are now on their way to Santa Cruz on Xtracycle SUB’s. It’s a shake-down tour, getting used to being bike-touring musicians. In the future they’re hoping to have their own pedal-powered PA system for live shows. Here’s one of their videos below from performing at the Bicycle Music Festival in June.

Check out their upcoming shows this weekend and October 7 at the Elbo Room in SF!