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Rock The Bike

Thanks to the Outdoor Program Crew and Willamette Valley Music Festival for an amazing week in Eugene!

 

Hundreds left the festival grounds and joined our LiveOnBike ride.
photo: Hansen

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.

El Arbol as Shop Box

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.’

Functioning two-person generator and 650-watt speaker.
photo: Hansen.

Hansen pedaling a tall bike.

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.

The LiveOnBike ride was a highlight of the week.
photo: Hansen

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.

 

Jared May on bass.
photo: Hansen

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.