Keep Up With This Blog Without Thinking About It
Last Friday, I strapped my bucket-drums to my handlebars after a relatively drum-less winter and drummed my bike to work during the morning snow storm:
I’ve been finding myself heading to Hub Bicycle Co. in Inman Sq. lately for all my bike-repair needs because the folks who work there are some of the friendliest people I know, so I stopped by recently to chat with Emily and profile her for the Dig. (Read my write-up on Hub here)
When I heard there would be an epic snow storm early last week, dreams of taking the C line up to the top of Beacon St. in Brookline and skiiing down suddenly became a potential reality.
Instead, I had to Amtrak my way to New York early Friday morning, just as Nemo was touching down in Boston, to have Chinese New Year’s dinner with my family. But that didn’t stop me from grabbing a boogie-board and bombing down some hills and going for mid-blizzard bike rides in my suburban New York hometown. Luckily, I found an old ski pole and taped my GoPro to it so I could document all of this for your enjoyment:
Even though I had a great time in New York, I’m still jealous of the guys who were out snowboarding down Pinckney St. in Beacon Hill.
Two weeks ago, I joined up with Brogan Graham’s November Project, a free Boston-area morning workout club, to drum-off hundreds of Ninjas for their first ever Ninja-themed running race along the esplanade. Galen and I stationed ourselves under the Mass. Ave. bridge for some Ninja Drumming:
Back in March, a transformer fire at Boston’s Hilton hotel caused all of Boston’s Back Bay area to black out for an entire night. Thanks to two six-hour Amtrak rides over Thanksgiving break, I finally had a chance to cut together the video footage I took with my GoPro into a bite-sized compilation:
Check out my original account of riding the blackout here:
It’s usually pretty easy to spot the drummers in public places; we’re the guys and gals totally happy to be rocking out on the Green Line to Slayer’s Raining Blood playing through our ear buds while you’re rocking back and forth to the beat of being sandwiched between a horde of sweaty strangers. The truth is, drummers are hard-wired to the rhythm of anything; like a mental tick, we’re probably rocking out in our heads to any music our ears happen upon, real or not.
You can spot us a mile away, rocking out in our parents’ garages:
in our cars at red lights:
and in cites on our bicycles:
And while for me it was a ’93 Volvo I was rocking out in at red lights during my teenage years, and I have no idea what that last commercial was for, I’d be willing to bet these commercials were created for drummers by drummers, because clearly, the creators struck a core instinctual desire inside me that anyone who plays the drums or has a affinity towards rhythm has: I just want to be rocking out everywhere all the time (on my bicycle):
This past Monday, my office closed along with much of the city while Hurricane Sandy struck Boston. Sitting at home, eyes glued to the Weather Channel, I felt like something was missing from my day; as my apartment windows rattled with the misty wind, I was feeling restless, legs shaking with bore and anxiety. The remedy to this came in the form of a text message from a friend who was on his way home from work, which had let out early to let folks catch the T before its 2pm closure: “Bike ride to Castle Island? I’m going soon”
The above video was shot with a GoPro HD Hero2 camera with chest-harness I’ve been capturing drum-biking footage with. At some points on the ride the wind was so strong we could not bike against it on even our lowest gears, and had to walk. When we reached the water we met two other cyclists who were out biking to experience the hurricane. Even though there wasn’t much wave action by the water, we rode around and caught tail-winds. Fortunately, unlike New York, there was not much damage done in the actual city itself.
And though I didn’t bring my drums, I did imagine what drum-biking in the hurricane would be like:
PS. While most folks in Boston were not hit so hard by Hurricane Sandy, it’s great to see that in the unfortunate aftermath of Hurricane Sandy in New York City, plenty of people are discovering the joys of riding a bicycle around with all the disruptions to public transit and gasoline supply.
A while ago I wrote about how much fun it is for me to start dance parties while drum-biking, but sometimes it’s just as fun to join ones that travel around the city by bike. So when I heard about Nomadic Pico Picante, a “traveling tropical dance party” that would travel all over Boston on bikes organized by two fantastic local DJs known as Pajaritos, I grabbed my bike, my bucket drum, and my GoPro HD Hero2 chest-mounted sports camera and ran out the door to drum-bike for the ride:
I’m still not sure where my drumming accompaniment, Galen Mook, found that wiffle ball bat drum stick.
And even though I have to admit that I am flattered that GoPro, the camera-maker company themselves enjoyed my video,
I still haven’t heard back about drum-biking up and down their office hallways for “Friday drum-biking,” something I did have the pleasure of doing at the SCVNGR/LevelUp headquarters in Cambridge when I stopped by a while back for a free pair of sunglasses:
Perhaps I’ll have to bring a traveling dance party to them.
Back in 2008, I was trying to figure out what costume to wear for the annual Boston Halloween bike ride. Being a fan of the movie Tron and seeing famed internet sensation Tron guy put together an excellent costume by adding some stripes and lights to spandex tights, showcased at the first ever ROFLcon internet culture conference just a few months prior,
it only made sense to stick blue masking tape to my biking spandex and transform my bicycle into a light-cycle with glow sticks, and become Tron guy with a friend for Halloween.
So this weekend, when many of my friends were enjoying a variety of activities such as celebrating Cinco De Mayo, running the Bay State Marathon, or participating in the Wake Up the Earth festival in JP, I was volunteering at the third ever ROFLcon at MIT in Cambridge. Taking a break on a nearby bench to check out the #roflcon feed on my phone’s twitter app, a face I had only ever seen on the internet sat down next to mine,
and my life was complete.