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Yuba BMF Success!

Dear Bicycle Community Enthusiasts,

Right when you feel like the world can’t keep up with itself in consumption, BAMMM! – the Umpteenth Quasi-Annual Yuba River Bicycle Festival happened up in the Sierra Foothills of Nevada City. The movement is inspired by community power, where the pedalers not only get from point A to point B, but they also power the speaker systems. This year was special because we welcomed back the Pleasant revolution crew “Bicicletas Por La Paz, Heather Normandale & Aisha, back from biking 1500 miles from the Canada border down to the Bay Area, California over the summer months. It was the Ginger Ninjas reunion, where Kipchoge and crew came back together after years break to rock the streets of Nevada City and the Barn two nights in a row. And, we had one of our most famous performers ‘Live-On-Bike”, the Polish Ambassador graced the stage with Ayla Nereo. To all the performers of the 2016 Yuba BMF, we solute you. And to all the bicycle and music enthusiasts that came out and helped pedal the revolution, Thank you from the bottom of our burrito bellies.avatars-000130859620-8e7y2e-t500x500

There aren’t too many days where you can see that many moving parts coming together to create just the right balance of chaos and connection to inspire what we call the Bicycle Music Festival that we love so much. If you want to get involved, please comment, email us directly, and start your own BMF in your city/town. We look forward to seeing the world we want to live in and it takes all of us doing the best we can to make it happen. Thanks for believing y’all.




The Polish Ambassador Live On Bike 2016 BMF.







• Tuesday, October 11th, 2016

What’s New and Improved for 2012?

What’s up BMF fans?

This year’s festival is coming together in a beautiful way. Here are some of the highlights for Gabe and me.

True Festival Sound — We’ll have a 14-bike Pedal Powered Stage, a mini-Line Array suspended from a 18′ bamboo tripod affectionately known as the ‘Tarzan Tower’. A Line Array is the hanging vertical cluster of speakers favored by most Live-Sound engineers for larger outdoor concerts.  This rig, and our twin 1000-watt Pedal Powered Subwoofers, will take our sound to a new place this year. Most fans will be pleasantly surprised by the presence of the sound. And still 100% Pedal Power! Also, there will be 4 monitors for musicians to hear themselves, an expanded sound board, proper equalizer, etc. Our festival sound crew has been extremely active at events like the Bay Rising! tour and the Maker Faire.

Good Food! We will have food from Hot Bike! a local chef who carries all her kitchen supplies by bike. But don’t worry, she can turn out tacos and gourmet grilled cheeses with ease thanks to her loyal kitchen crew and gigantic two-burner stove.

Awesome local music. Please check out all the bands on the lineup by clicking BMF 2012 above on the left. Truly an exciting range of local talent including some major artists and up and comers. There are no dead spots in the lineup! Please come ON TIME so you don’t miss the earlier bands, Lia Rose starts at 12 with her full band Tiny Television. Major Powers, performing at 1PM, knocked our socks off at Maker Faire with their tight harmonies. Oona, performing at 2PM, is raring to unleash her stage energy and her new single, Kaleidoscope. Rupa & the April Fishes, performing at 3. At the night venue, we’ll have a performance by Birds & Batteries, a band that’s truly tearing it up in the SF Rock scene.

Return of SHAKE YOUR PEACE!  A special shoutout here to my co-director Gabe. His band SHAKE YOUR PEACE! performed at the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Bicycle Music Festivals, then went into artistic hiatus for 2 years, only to emerge stronger than ever as an 8-person group. Tight arrangements and afro-cuban percussion elements make it danceable, while Gabe’s humor and message pull the heart strings. Yeow! Don’t miss them in the sunset slot at Showplace Triangle (8PM).

Next level LiveOnBike FM broadcast. We’ll be using a pirate radio station with a 8′ antenna that will reach the entire ride. Cruise near a sound bike and enjoy Live Music.

Redundant Pedal Power systems. Between Rock The Bike and SHAKE YOUR PEACE! we will have 3 Utility Boxes at BMF. If there’s a problem with one, we can drop in a backup. 1 of the 3 is going to be used for Tweener sets while roadies are setting up the next band. Our gear was quite reliable at the Maker Faire where it ran cool calm and collected all weekend with audio at festival levels.


Category: BMF 2012  | Leave a Comment
• Saturday, June 16th, 2012

How to participate in a Pedal Powered event

The SF Bicycle Music Festival is the world’s largest Pedal Powered music festival. Follow these tips and you’ll not only know what that means, you’ll be able to fully participate!

Ride Your Bike there:

Welder and art bike creator cruising Sunday Streets
Welder and art bike creator Jay Broemmel showing up in style at Sunday Streets.

By biking to our event instead of driving, you can help us keep to our goal of being a ‘Carbon Negative’ event. Biking there makes a huge impact — bigger than recycling, composting, reusing and even pedal powering the bands on our Pedal Powered Stage. Plus, you can meet up with other festival goers and spread the word en route.  Riding there is a great warm up for dancing and Pedal Powering the live bands, and helps you clear your mind for an awesome day ahead.

We recommend bringing a lock, even though we aim to provide enough safe bike parking for all of our fans and performers.

But my bike is broken!

Really? Experience shows that 85% of bicycles considered “broken” by their owners require only air in the tires or oil on the chain, and that 75% of statistics are made up on the spot. So why not ask a neighbor this week if you can borrow a pump and some chain lube?

Roadie Ariel fixing a bike after a recent event
Roadie co-captain Ariel adjusting a fan’s bike after a recent Sunday Streets event.

Even if you can only limp on in to the event on your bike, you’ll find “Bike Paramedics,” helpful bike people with tools who can make the little adjustments needed on your bike. If something’s bugging you, ask a crewmember and we’ll help you get your bike dialed.

How to ride in the LiveOnBike parade:

Justin Ancheta performs LiveOnBike at the 2010 Bicycle Music Festival
Justin Ancheta performs LiveOnBike at the 2010 San Francisco Bicycle Music Festival. Photo: Fossil Fool.

You will not want to miss the LiveOnBike performances on the bike ride between our daytime and nighttime venues. To truly experience the Bicycle Music Festival, you have to take in a LiveOnBike performance! A LiveOnBike performance is an amplified music performance that takes place on a mobile stage in front of a large group of riders. We want these rides to be safe and law-abiding so that our festival keeps a positive reputation in the community. We will have experienced route marshals identified by patches and armbands, who will help keep our group together and safe. Please follow these simple rules:

- Some of the bikes in our group ride will be carrying live performers. These bikes generally require more concentration to ride safely. Please give these performance vehicles extra space so that their riders can maintain focus on safely guiding them through our route.

- Look for Route Marshals who will be identified by BMF patches.

- Do not ride in the oncoming lane of traffic!

- When we are on a multi-lane street such as Oak, stay to the right, keeping one lane open to allow cars to pass. Note that in the photo above, cars would have had difficulty passing the group, because we were taking up more than 2 lanes of traffic.

- How we handle stop signs: We roll through stop signs unless route marshals say to stop for safety or pedestrians. This reduces the amount of time our group spends in intersections and minimizes the delays we may cause to other road users.

- How we handle red lights and major intersections: We approach red lights and major intersections slowly, gathering our group and waiting for a green light. We try then to ride through as a single group. If the light turns red halfway through, we try to continue moving our group through the intersection unless it is unsafe to do so. Please defer to route marshals!

- Be careful of car doors opening if you are riding close to parked cars.

- Please ride predictably and in control.

- Try to stay with the main group, it’s safer and more fun for everyone.

Our 4000 watt sound system is missing one thing: Power.

Pedal Powering the 2010 Bicycle Music Festival
photo: Celeste Lindhall

Our Pedal Powered Stage relies on you, our fans, for a steady supply of good clean Pedal Power throughout the day. Pedaling is optional, but almost everyone who comes to a Pedal Powered event will want to try pedaling for at least a song or two.

When you want to pedal, make your way to the generator bikes and let one of the Pedal Power coaches know you’re ready. The job of the Pedal Power coach is to keep their eye on the pedalers and know who is ready for a break. The coach will escort you to a bike much like a Maitre D escorts you to a table at a restaurant. The Pedal Power Coach will also help you on and off safely by stabilizing the handlebars, and then raise or lower the seat for you as needed. With the seat height correctly adjusted, you’re almost good to go.  Now is a good time to pedal a few strokes and check the gear ratio. Too hard? too easy? Ask the Pedal Power coach to help you adjust the gears until you find on that feels like pedaling up a little hill. Now you’re ready to contribute. Stay on for as long as you like.

Most of the bikes we use as generators are provided by us, but we do have one Pedal Power rig called the Biker Bar that has places for three regular bikes. In the photo above, the girl with the starry tights is pedaling a regular road bike on the Biker Bar. If you want to use your bike as one of the generators on the Biker Bar, please show it to a Pedal Power coach and we’ll get it involved.

We use “Pedalometers” to communicate the health of the Pedal Power system to our Pedalers, performers, and the sound guy. The Pedalometers are positioned close to the generator bikes. While you’re pedaling, please keep your eye on the Pedalometer so you know when power is needed.

Eat Breakfast:

It helps if the pedalers have energy, so eat some breakfast and drink water before coming to the festival.

What to wear:
Wear your favorite festival attire or street clothes, basically clothes you can move in. No spandex needed, but if you want to suit up, be our guest! Ladies, consider wearing pants or tights underneath skirts or dresses.

Bring layers! Our festival starts in the hot sun and continues into a beautiful moonlit night. The wind can be cold at night. Don’t forget warm clothes so you can stay with us into the night!

Stay fed and hydrated. Bring a reusable cup, bottle, fork, spoon, bowl:

To reduce the amount of waste at our festival, we need you to Bring Your Own. Bringing your own is much better for the environment than even the most advanced compostable plastics, which still require manufacturing and transportation. Plus, our chefs are extra friendly with portions when you bring your own.

We’ll be serving up delicious Bike Blended Smoothies. Have one!

Smoothie Crew in effect at Bicycle Music Festival

Our Bike Blended Smoothies are a delicious way to stay hydrated and nutrified at the Bicycle Music Festival. You can be the pedaler that supplies the power to blend them up! Bring a cup for extra-generous treatment from the smoothie chefs. Bike Blended Smoothies are one of the main sources of revenue on the day of our event, so please  try the various flavors we’ll be offering throughout the day.

Directly support the bands you like by giving tips to the Golden Geese:

Golden Goose shaking the bucket for audience tips.
photo: Dustin Jensen

Please treat the performances at Bicycle Music Festival like those of a good street performer. We rely on audience generosity to make sure our performers get paid. Our hot spandex-clad Golden Geese volunteers make their way through the crowd after each performer, shaking their buckets and calling for donations for the last band. If you want to give but need change, please ask them — they are like human ATM’s. Also, please remember that we have a dozen bands on the lineup, so bring enough to give cash to multiple bands.

• Tuesday, June 14th, 2011

Festival lineup!

This year’s festival is Permitted! We are proceeding with the blessing of the city and have even received honors from two of SF’s Supervisors, Eric Marr and Ross Mirkirimi. Many thanks to them and to you for showing up on your bike, ready to power SF’s greenest and most dynamic music festival ever!



Highlights include:

Sean Hayes — One of SF’s most beloved rockers. Sean stuck with us last year when our arrival at Dolores was delayed by two hours, even playing acoustic for the waiting crowd, then busted out with an awesome pedal powered set.  Be there to pedal power Sean and his band this time as he breaks it down in the hot sun at Speedway Meadows! See Sean and Ezra Lipp performing “turnaroundturnmeon” at last year’s festival.


Category: BMF 2010  | Leave a Comment
• Saturday, July 10th, 2010

Have a bike? Need a bike? Start here!

To fully enjoy the Bicycle Music Festival you’ve got to try it by bike. That way you get to see the LiveOnBike performances between festival venues.

If you are a fan or musician needing a bike:

You may not have a bike in good working order. Some of you have extra bikes.You can post comments to this post if you need a bike or have a bike. Hopefully, bike connections will be made.

You can also rent a bike on the Day of BMF.

Avenue Cyclery has agreed to allow BMF fans a 24 hour rental cycle, which means you can stay late and enjoy the night ride, then return the bike the next morning, on Sunday (June 21st).

In addition to that, thanks to Andrew at Avenue Cyclery, they have offered a 15% off discount for BMF heads!

They also told me that if we wanted to we could reserve bikes, they would just need to know what size and how many.  Let me know

Contact Info
Here is the link to their website –

Contact: Andrew – Sales Consultant

Street Address:
Avenue Cyclery
756 Stanyan Street
San Francisco, Ca 94117
phone: 415-387-3155
fax: 415-387-0445

If you are a roadie needing a cargo bike:
Thanks to Rock The Bike, SFBC, Yuba, and Xtracycle, we have a dozen Sport Utility, Cargo Bikes, and cargo trailers on loan this year. If you want to use one of these to fulfill your Roadie responsibilities, leave a comment on this post.
Category: Blog/News  | Leave a Comment
• Saturday, June 13th, 2009

Food and Smoothies this year, from Radio Africa and festival volunteers.

Radio Africa Kitchen

Radio Africa is this year’s BMF food vendor!
Radio Africa is one of San Francisco’s favorite nomadic chefs.

Proceeds benefit the Festival!

here is the menu:

- Edamame hummus with green olive oil
- Moroccan chicken tagine with preserved lemon and couscous
- Ethiopian vegetable wot of green beans, potatoes, carrots, swiss chard, white corn
and chermoula

donation $8 for all or $6 each

And don’t forget to bring your own cup for a Bike Blended Smoothie! We’ll have several slammin’ flavors. Everyone please send out for a hot day! Thanks to Smoothie Captain Sammey and our other smoothie crewmembers.

Category: Blog/News  | One Comment
• Saturday, June 13th, 2009

This year our pedal power system is built on powerful hub generators rather than tire-rubbing generators.

Two-bike pedal power system.

The two-bike pedal power system shown above was our trusty backup system at Maker Faire this past weekend. Both bikes use powerful hub generators rated at far higher wattages than a human can generate. This means that we’re using them in a range at which they run cool, calm, and collected. They feel very smooth because there’s no friction involved. Just magnets and ball bearings.

Not shown this photo is the Biker Bar, Rock The Bike’s newest pedal power system. It’s got tremendous potential, but has had mechanicals at its first two outings. The plan is to fix the mechanical issues in the next 3 days, test it out at the Youth Unity Summit this Saturday, our last outing before BMF.

Category: Photos  | Tags: , ,  | One Comment
• Wednesday, June 03rd, 2009

"In good company" – Momentum Magazine

Momentum Magazine
November 2008

“For those who love bikes and biking, the local cycle calendar is full of flavourful events. February brings Love on Wheels, the 1970s-style dating game and party hosted by the SFBC. Easter is the date set for the Bring Your Own Big Wheel Ride down Lombard, San Francisco’s “crookedest street.” In April, local cycling heroes are cheered at the SFBC’s Golden Wheel awards. May’s Bike to Work Day rewards tens of thousands of commuters with coffee, treats, and more at 25 energizer stations throughout the city. In June you can ride with the Bicycle Music Festival and help pedal their human-powered PA system. more…

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• Thursday, November 06th, 2008

Bicycle Music Festival spreads to Southern California: Video Highlights of South Bay BMF

Event recap from John Silva of the South Bay Cruisers .

We couldn’t have picked a better day to celebrate the first ever Southbay Bicycle Music Festival, July 19th, 2008. On a warm sunny afternoon we met at Hermosa Pier, sang happy birthday to Cruiser of the week “Tony’, then we headed off towards the Esplanade cruisin’ to the Beatles ‘Magical Mystery Tour’. (What can I say, it felt like we were heading off to Woodstock so the mix was leaning a little towards the ’60′s for this ride)We had a few newbies and some returning youngsters like 2 year old Lola Martin and her 3 1/2 year old sister Sophia, who came with their dad Roger. (Sophia and Lola are former Southbay Cruisers of the Week’ as well.)

As we made our way to Valley Park we were greeted by Makena, one of our featured artists, all set and ready to perform for us thanks to help from ‘Amy ‘The Wonder Woman’ who missed the ride so that she could decorate the park with posters and banners and help the musicians set up. She was also helped by Mary Caldera-who along with Shawnee made two awesome posters just for this occasion. (See pics on

After settling down to a barbecue, Makena kicked off the evening’s performances which included some classic and orignal hawaiian music which inspired us to get up and dance. All the way from Hilo, Hawaii, Makena was awesome, feeding our souls with island tunes like ‘Ulupalakua’ and ‘Waikiki Hula’ It was sure nice to finish a ride in a park and be greeted by Hawaiian music. This duo has performed on MTV and around the world and it was awesome to have them kick things off! They even taught us a little about Hawaiian culture between sets.

As the evening set in we lit our bonfire and were mesmerized by Manhattan Beach’s Delfina. Although only 18 years old, and with only one year of guitar/singing behind her, you’d think she’d been playing since the day she was born. Filling up our souls with stirring original tunes like ‘April Eyes’, and ‘Ritmo Porteno’, this Argentian born rising star had us all on the edges of our rocks around the bonfire. Were it not for the fear that our shared battery powered amps might run dry, she could have performed for us all night long.

Next came The 3 Heads. Acoustic rock legends in their hometown of Eureka,CA, these four took our makeshift stage around the bonfire, and picked up on what Makena and Delfina had started. Belting out original tunes ‘Undertow’, ‘Holiday’, and their anthem ‘World Was Ours’, these guys really helped set an intimate mood around the campfire with their acoustic guitars, bass, and cajon. Their jokes between songs were even more entertaining. At one point they broke into a spur of the moment spontaneous ‘Southbay’ rap song at the end. We were even entertained to one encore performance although, we would have loved to heard them play a few more.

We finished off the night with some karaoke performances including a few from Victor and his son singing some classic Doors. It’s hard to follow up to acts like Makena, Delfina, and The 3 Heads, but we had to try, and we had fun doing it too.

Last but certainly not least, we helped benefit ‘A Window Between Worlds’, ( a local Venice,CA based group that helps abused women and children get a second chance on life by providing then with safe housing and an art healing program. We brought them canned foods, art supplies, clothing, and $20 in cash donations.

We are looking forward to the next Southbay Bicycle Music Festival. A year seems a little long to wait, so we might have this become a semi annual or possibly even quarterly event.

• Wednesday, July 23rd, 2008

BMF coverage by the Bay Guardian

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• Monday, June 30th, 2008