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.
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.
Hey peoples of the Bay Area. The night venue for the Bicycle Music Festival holds 600 people at capacity. If you want to get a ticket ahead of time and guarantee access to the 4 awesome bands playing and this amazing collective venue, well HERE is the link: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/bmf-2015-omni-commons-benefit-show-evening-celebration-tickets-18404929640-… — We will still have tickets at the door for the many in the parade, but we hope to get an RSVP line started that will expedite the entry so WATERSTRIDER has a great crowd. The are an awesome band that you should see at 6 pm this Sunday! 6-10 pm is the night venue.
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.
Soul singer Janaysa will be going mobile, performing at the nighttime cruiser ride (beginning at Dolores Park). She’ll be playing piano and singing. The piano will be rigidly mounted to the back of a Mundo Utility Bicycle, using a custom bamboo piano mount. The red tractor seat is another recent mod designed to turn this bike into a serious mobile performance venue.
Other mobile performers in the nighttime cruise will include Mafiosa Felice and Joel Elrod. Joel (shown below street performing at KFOG Kaboom) will be backing me up on the Roland 808, and Mafi will be playing cuatro and singing.
My favorite part of performing at last year’s BMF was leading the call and response section of the Boda Boda rap as we cruised down Valencia. At the time, I thought I was just doing the ride to lead people to the biker beer bar, but once we arrived at the bar, the energy fell. I now realize that my art form is rocking the mic as I rock the bike. There aren’t too many other bike rappers out there who would even really try it. So this year, I’m just going to celebrate it. I hope you’ll be part of my performance, which will begin after Pete Brandt’s BMX performance.
Fortunately I won’t be alone. We just finished this new aTractor seat for the Mundo, so I can have Joel and Mafi play percussion for me.
The Ginger Ninjas, just back from an epic 5000 mile bicycle tour to Mexico, got yet another chance to test out their sound system and rock festival-goers at this weekend’s Harmony Festival in Santa Rosa. With 4 pedal-power generating bicycles, there was enough clean, clear audio power to get over 100 people dancing. Musical highlights included Cipes and the People, and Los Ginger Ninjas.
The weekend was a good chance to work out any last kinks in the human power system before the Bicycle Music Festival. While there was a little troubleshooting to do on Sunday morning after Saturday night’s jam session, the system didn’t let fans down and was loud enough to have 8-piece bands rock out with a full drum set. You really don’t want to have to ask a drummer to play softly because the mains don’t have enough power to bring other instruments and vocals up to their level. It’s much better when a drummer can play out, and you can adjust the other instruments accordingly.
Fortunately the Ginger Ninjas’ sound system has that much power and more! We are psyched and grateful that they’ll be setting up the Human Power at this year’s BMF!