Category Archives: Bike Touring

Completion of Bike Tour- 1,500 Miles Canada to Oakland

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PleasantRevolutionIn June 2016 the start of summer, I rode the Amtrack train to Seattle, Washington from Berkeley, California. 24 hours by train with my bicycle panniers and an extracycle bicycle that I had boxed and ready for shipping. From Seattle, I joined with 12 other cyclists and we started out on a journey that would last 2.5 months and over 1,500 miles of pure cycling. We organized over 31 human powered festivals with the 4 bands on bicycles. We are called the Pleasant Revolution and put on Biketopia Music Festivals all over the world.

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We each had loads on our bicycles consisting of microphone stands, stilts, food, stove, pots and pans, 2 amps, a subwoofer (80 pounds made into a trailer), cables and more! At the end of the tour, I personalized the people that went on the entire tour into a drawing.

1-omar 1-carolyn

1-adley  1-heather

1-kristina 1-maiesha

1-matt  1-molly

1-nate  1-nikki

We all had large bicycles making it possible to pull anywhere between 100-180 pounds. What is so challenging about bike touring? It forces you to slow down. If you need to ride 45 miles (which would normally take an average cyclist 5 hours to bike) in a group, it takes three times that amount. So you are slower, there is no destination because if you focused on that you would constantly be stressed and worried about getting there. In this specific community, you had to let go and enjoy. Swim, eat, talk, play music, and let things go with the flow. Sound easy? It was life changing, but with all that down time and time on a bicycle makes for some great reflection and inner work. I love cycling alone but with other people, it’s immensely powerful. I think its something that everyone could benefit from. You have to be strong physically but even more important, mentally. Balanced and rationale and put the group first.

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Here you can see the humans pedaling/making the electricity for the music. The bicycles have individual generators on the back wheel that are connected to a utility box designed by Rock the Bike in Oakland. From the utility box, you have output to the speakers and microphones. Pretty incredible!

The tour was incredible. The bike tour is so much more than cycling especially with the power of community and riding with a large group of friends with similar values and mission. Below are the group agreements created by the 2016 Pleasant Revolution west coast tour:

  • Slow is beautiful- take a breath, slow down, and pedal
  • Leave no trace.  Become a steward of the earth-  pack it in pack it out, clean up after others, dig a hole when you poo, gather wood in a considerate manner.
  • Be an active guest- consolidate your belongings, do a chore, cook a meal, give a gift.  Make your impact on someone’s space neutral or better than when you came.
  • We offer the highest musical and performance content.
  • To change the world, we must change our own consciousness and lifestyle, the bicycle liberates
  • Use music and performance as a political platform whenever possible.
  • We work to uplift the feminine in all of us to move beyond the patriarchs well as the binary to create balance in our group and ultimately in society.  We work to embody nurturing, supportive, loving energy among us.
  •  We respect to act in the highest regard for the webs of all life.
  • We operate on modified consensus- everyone’s voice matters and we won’t move forward on a decision if some have a strong block, however, if one is willing to stand aside even if the decision being made is not their preference the group will move forward with the decision.
  • Hold a culture which allows folks to speak any discomforts and work to address it right away
  • We work to educate and inspire the communities we travel through on fossil fuel alternatives.  We work to be a living example of sustainable living.
  • Everyone should strive for direct heart centered communication.  We should address conflict on a person to person basis, if the group needs to be called in we will facilitate that.  Take it to the source.
  • Everyone should be emotionally responsible for themselves, able to employ de-escalation skills on themselves when necessary.  
  • This is a Group lead tour- every person is a working part and doing their part. This is truly living interdependence.  We all have the opportunity to lead and be led.
  • We work to uplift everyone’s strength while also challenging growth in each individual.
  • Always do your best and have fun!

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    Here is the extra cycle Novara bicycle I rode for the tour. You can see the frame is extended backwards making the bicycle into a cargo bicycle. Her name is Gunther! Can you find the stilts?

We are talking about a 2018 6 month Europe tour that we already have a solid group of 20 cyclists for and I am already planning on making some murals for the tour and getting funding to make community art projects happen. Why do we start planning something almost 2 years away? We need funding, sponsorship, grants and more. It is  great timing for booking festivals and for planning out the route and logistics. I look forward to it.

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Oregon Coast on the 1 – Florence to Jenner

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We rode the next couple of days after Eugene through hot hot hot heat. It got up to almost 105 degrees and we would just soak our shirts in water to be able to withstand the heat. Thank goodness for swimming holes too! Champoeg State Park was the gorgeous location and still to this day, one of my favorite campsites. It is settled on the Willamette river and we had plenty of time for swimming and for hanging out. The hot heat really made the cold water enjoyable.

    

Inland Oregon has been difficult for us because the cars are not as friendly or accepting of cyclists. For example, my friend Nate and I were riding side by side enjoying music and riding together as we always do. Then, out of nowhere, a large truck came by and let go of exhaust into our faces and there was such an intense plume of black thick smoke we immediately stopped in our tracks. It was such an aggressive way to approach us and certainly dangerous.

 

  

 It makes me sad that people feel that way about us and cowardly drive away without engaging or knowing us. There were also people around this area as well that would yell “Get a job” and once I even got spit on. I think that this is such a small population of people that feel this way. Don’t get me wrong, we get way more positive attention and applause but there are dark sides to sharing the road with everyone, and especially motorists. Many people feel like we are getting in their way and that we should not be able to use the roadways.  I disagree of course!

    

We saw these cute guys in Elk, California on the coast. I kind of fell in love! What a pair!

We were happy to finally arrive at the coast as it brought cooler temperature and different terrain. We loved seeing that coast, large boulder rocks coming out from the ocean. The sound of the waves, and the bright starlit sky! Incredible! Lots of camping, sharing food and riding. I found that people on the coast were more used to cyclists and more friendly. This also made me appreciate riding the inland Oregon route because not many cyclists do it. I bet you many motorists we passed had maybe never seen anything like 15 cyclists riding together. The ocean route is much more popular.

   

  

 

  

So the coast was incredible. I loved hearing the ocean and climbing hills, like hills we had never climbed before. We passed many tiny towns, art was prevalent in the towns we passed through. Lots of artist coops and collectives. We met so many nice people and had epic camping spots.

  

  

We were on the coast for about a week and a half and I loved it all. Defiantly a lot of hills and crazy climbing. Did I mention that we weighed our bicycles and they ranged from 140-180 pounds? Crazy!

   

Jenner to Santa Rosa

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Leaving the coast was a much needed break from hills and from the dew filled air. The coast has such a dramatically different feel than even 5-10 miles inland. Jenner was beautiful, we met a man that owned the community center, and he let us stay at it. Everyone in the town of a population 136 were so nice and welcoming. The town lays at the mouth of the Russian River and is on the Pacific Ocean. The state route highway 1 runs through it, as well as the 116.

 

Typically heading inland there are a lot of hills, but to our surprise we didn’t hit any! We passed through Gurneville and had a beautiful dip into the Russian River and had some lunch before hitting into Santa Rosa, wine country and lots of traffic and cars!

Santa Rosa was amazing, we got to stay with Carolyn’s brother, Sean. He had a house and he let us stay in his driveway with our tents. We played a show at the Santa Rosa farmers market. It was amazing, we had a lot o participation and her brother came as well. We did a little wine tasting, a lot of riding and the anticipation of arriving at home is at the forefront of our thoughts! We are really trying to enjoy every moment. Less than a week left!

Portland to Brownsville and Eugene!

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Thank you Portland for everything! We were happy to move on and experience Brownsville, the oldest town in Oregon which is where I had breakfast and a coffee with the Mayor. A city councilwoman showed me the art center as well. Apparently it is where they filmed Stand by me. A lot of people come from all around the world to celebrate it once a year in the summer time. It was a small and quaint town, above is the picture of Adley talking to the Mayor.

 

 

We rode through a trail for much of the ride. Went swimming in a cold river too!

We rode through Salem on the way to Eugene and found ourselves in the midst of a pokemon battle ground, or gym as the kids call it. We were laughing so hard at the game because it was the first time we had seen it in action, and the first time that some people in our crew actually knew how big the game was. This was a memorable moment!

Our first night in Eugene we played at Vanilla Jills which was a ice cream shop that had a venue in the backyard of the shop. We had a great turn out with tons of people dancing. It was epic!

 

 

We stayed at a cooperative in Eugene that was about a block long but all the houses did not have fences. Instead, they took down the fences and built homes, tiny houses and gardens. It was a flourishing community and we were so excited to stay there. Complete with a fish pond, treehouse and more! I feel so thankful I was able to stay there and meet such beautiful people, living out their dreams.

 

 

Our second show was Eugene was so much fun, playing at the park for the sunday street closures. Lots of people that supported bicycles. We stayed at a cooperative that hosted all 18 of us. We gained Sierra and Robyn during this time and Mike Cobb and Kelly came by too! The street closure was about 10 city blocks wide and there were so many families and people out enjoying the community. I guess they pick a different street each month of summer to be apart of the street closure. I say they pick some streets and do it year round! Amazing!

 

We had two big sponsorships come through in Eugene. The first was Nutcase helmets that donated a bunch of colorful and different style of helmets. The other was party in my pants which is reusable menstrual pads for women. All gear donated and we were so happy to be supported by them both! Thank you!

 

 

 

Olympia to Portland – 1 month stong

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Goodbye Olympia! We had three days to ride to Portland and took about 45 miles each day. We wanted to get into Portland for the weekend!

 

Olympia was really beautiful with a lot of rivers and trees!

 

 

 

Here is the group at the welcome oregon sign. There was an epic bridge that we cycled over and actually just a weekend after the famous Seattle to Portland ride so there were still sings on the ground welcoming riders and showing them the way.

   

Our first show we played at was for Velo Cult a brewery and bicycle shop. Yes, a bicycle shop with beer and a venue. It was the perfect setup for us, and quite hard for us as it was the first show we had inside. The sound was overwhelming but we learned a lot.

Our second show was at the sunday street closure for only bicycles and pedestrians! No cars and it was magical. I stilt walked and there were children that were learning how to stilt walk as well. It was amazing because they were staring at me with awe and loved my sparkle pants.

 

The third show we had was thanks to my friend Sarah Vitort who hooked us up with the Jade lounge. It exactly the show that we needed as the whole group came together and we tried some new songs. We even had one of the original pleasant revolution riders, Kipchoge come and play with us. Incredible night and I had another family member show up and stay the whole time! What wonderful surprise it was! I also got to see an old friend, Andy Vu. It was fun to see him again.

 

Portland was great, we spent about 4 days there and had a blast. Shout out to Mike Cobb and Kelly for hosting us at their home. It was a great place to call home and we enjoyed watching Mike fix bikes all day! Ah!

  

Seattle to Olympia via Vashon and Tacoma!

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Seattle was a lot of fun but also pretty exhausting! Tour is hard to balance between riding and playing shows. We find it hard to please everyone, but the balance of the group is wonderful because we have open communication and really enjoy spending time together. It is a pretty special group! So after our Mt. Baker show we rode to Vashon Island, we took the sunset ferry across the way. We joined with two Pleasant Revolution members Aaron and Colin who came with some crazy bicycles. Aaon on his tall bicycle and then colin on a tandem! It was fun to have them around, they contributed a lot and Aaron even bought our tickets for the Vashon ferry! So nice!

 

 

We had some friends on Vashon host us, and we had a beautiful night falling asleep to the orchestra of frogs and animals outside. The next morning I met for coffee with Alice, my old neighbor and friend of my mother’s that I grew up with. She lived next door to our cabin on paradise cove. It was great to catch up with her and get a coffee and treat. Later Michelle, Carolyn, Adley and I went to my mother’s grave and spent some time there. My bicycle flipped over at the grave site. It had never done that before. Of course, we had to got to the bicycle in the tree. The infamous and beautiful tree! I remember going there as a child and seeing the way the tree would change crushing the bicycle alive!

  

We rode through the island and that was so hilly! So many hills, I tried riding with “SUBrina”, our sub woofer that was made into a trailer. We took the ferry to Tacoma from Vashon and found ourselves in Tacoma at Point Defiance park. My friends Tyler and Robbie that I had met in Ecuador and then later cycled with Tyler last summer on the East Coast, were living in Tacoma. I decided to stay a night with them and we played in the park and enjoyed each others company. It was nice to be with them and enjoy some new friend energy!

 
 

The ride 35 miles was difficult as some times and it was just me. I enjoyed riding through the coast and the forest. Below is the Tacoma Narrows bridge that I find stunning!

 

 There is a octopus that lives underneath it, one of the largest in the world! The bridge at one point fell in an earthquake. Some of it is new, and there have been stories of orca whales that like to travel under the bridge!

 

 

The next day I cycled to Olympia alone maybe 35 miles and joined the group for our show in the Artesian square which had a water well that flowed right through the city. Fresh water you could fill up. Tyler and Robbie came to the show and it was so nice to have them there. The show was wonderful and we ended the day at a friends house and we camped on their front lawn. The capital of Olympia it was fun to experience it in a different way.

The Olympia show is below! Nice colorful mural behind was a great setting for us!

 

Here are some photos from the event thank you to Bunker for taking them for us!

 

 

Four Shows and Three days in Seattle!

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We rode from Port Townsend to Seattle and I got to ride over the Hood Canal bridge. It was temporarily opened for a boat to go through so we were able to ride it without cars moving which is special considering it would of been a loud and polluted bridge with all those cars! Lots of trees and magic!

Seattle, Washington! Again!

Seattle was incredible and we were so happy to be back, and in full action. For the three days that we were there, we had 4 shows and loved  every moment of it. Sunshine, swimming, playing music and enjoying everything that Seattle had to offer. We covered a lot of ground and got to cycle all around the city. Above are the photos from our second show at Gasworks park one of my most favorite parks in Seattle. We did an importu show there and the people loved it. We had a great show.

We found the crowd at Gasworks so wonderful and receptive of what we were doing, and that was an unplanned and last minute show. Goes to show its always good to have an open mind when booking shows and that you can always play something last minute. Below is a swimming hole we found with a rope swing on the Ballard locks.

 

The first show that we had is still my most favorite show that I have experienced. Partly because my whole Seattle community came! It was at Peddler Brewery with a bunch of picnic tables and a stage outside. My grandparents came, my dad and stepmom, brothers and sisters and cousins! It was a great show and I loved seeing my family on the bicycles and experiencing the whole show for the first time and after hearing so much about it!

The sweet Heather Perrea hosted us again and she had cleaned out her whole yard and we were able to have all (believe it or not) 18 people at her house! What a host huh? She was so special and accepting and loved having us and we couldnt of done the Seattle weekend without her. Below is a picture of her pup, pepper who loved having us there as well! THANK YOU HEATHER! We love you.

The next show was Outlander brewery and that was amazing, my friend Dragan hooked us up in the back patio on a Saturday night and we rocked an amazing show. My sister came out for some of it as well. I used to hang my artwork at the bar, its so nice to get support from friends for art, music and projects.