What I’ve been up to in the past year

It’s come to my attention that it’s been exactly one whole year since I’ve updated this blog (whoops!). What could I possibly be doing that isn’t bike-blogging, you ask? Lots of biking, I assure you, and as it turns out, lots of drumming, videos, and climbing things.

So I figured I owe it to you, dear reader, to catch up on what I’ve been up to in my year-long absence from the blogosphere. Here are some highlights from the past year in my bike life:

I’ve been Bikeyfaced!

Illustrated into cartoon form by my favorite local bike-cartoonist, Bikeyface:

The Real World

Midnight Marathon Bike Ride 2013 got it’s own train  (and it was EPIC).

Two weeks before the 2013 Midnight Marathon ride, I found myself with ride organizers in the MBTA offices nervously awaiting what T officials had to say to us after they’d called us into their offices to chat (but didn’t tell us what about). To our pleasant surprise,  a T representative began the meeting with “So we decided we’re going to work with you to charter a special 14-car Midnight Marathon Bike Train…”

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Before we knew it, 700 special commuter trail tickets with our logo on it sold out in under 12 hours, and shortly after, there were limerick contests for extra tickets and independently chartered buses to get people to the starting line.We had local businesses sponsor a goodie bag. Local residents along the route threw house parties and invited riders in for beers, while experienced riders helped caution other riders about train track crossings. Over 1,000 riders and countless others made Midnight Marathon 2013 a huge success.

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Image from Kradical.net

Image from Kradical.net

The Marathon Bombings that happened the day after the ride shattered my world that week, but also seemed to cement the wonderful community energy that brings people in Boston together.

We had twenty volunteers help load trains with the MBTA, and even got to wear these sweet MBCR vests:

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Which 700 of us signed as a giant thank you note and returned to the MBCR later: 1014414_1439564456261146_877901377_n

 

 

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And for the first time ever, I spoke publicly about the ride at the last LivableStreets 10-in-1 StreetTalk :

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This year, even though people will still be riding, things will be a little different.

Boston Bike Party is now a thing

I love big group bike rides, and so did some folks in San Jose, so it only made sense to keep the national Bike Party movement going here. Thanks to Elodie Garcia who lived in Boston just long enough to start bike party and find like-minded folks like myself to keep it going, Boston Bike Party is now one of the best new things of 2014:

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I made this drum-biking video of the inaugural Bike Party last may:

I rode my bike down the California coast

And it was glorious for many reasons:

Like getting lost in the mountains with my only the sound of my folding bike and bucket drums:

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Meeting and riding with some awesome folks along the way like Henry Hung and his cohort, a jazz trumpetist  on his way with friends to his next July 4th music gig in Tiajuana:

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Nine days later I made it to Santa Barbara, where I ran into a group of friends I met riding out of San Francisco on day 1 who had also just finished their bike tour.tumblr_mp64cspLJP1qextueo1_1280

You can check out my Tumblr blog, where I live-blogged the trip, for more photos.

I met and drum-biked with a legend: Joey Chang, the FIRST EVER Boston drum-biker (and my brain nearly imploded).

Maybe you know me as “that guy who plays drums on his bike,” but the truth is, there’s an entire lineage of us tracing back to this one man who lived in Boston and played bucket drums on his bike from 2002-2006 when he was attending Berklee College of Music for Cello:

So when I was in BERKELEY, California, I sent Joey a message and met in person for the first time ever to go for a bike ride with our drums, new and old. It felt awesome to play with the guy who essentially fathered my zany craft of playing buckets drums while biking.

I met my #1 internet fan an hour after landing in Portland, Oregon, and played cowbell on national television.

Just for the record, I played cowbell on national sports television TV before this guy did:

I met BostonTweet in person without pants on

At my first No Pants Subway Ride, of course:

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I took my folding bike and drums with me everywhere I went

And met wonderful people such as this gentleman in Chicago:

I’ve become hopelessly addicted to climbing

I used to think biking was probably going to be my only outdoorsy “thing” until one day some co-workers roped me (hah!) into an beginner’s rock-climbing course with them and discovered how natural climbing felt; it’s kind of like solving puzzles with your entire body that’s both a mental and physical exercise. Plus it adds a whole new dimension with which to move in this 2-dimensional world – I was hooked immediately, and soon had an insatiable thirst (and still do) to hit the climbing gym several times a week, improve my climbing skills, and learn everything there is to know about climbing outside on actual rocks and mountains. I ended up taking several climbing trips this past summer to get my toes wet, and find myself wanting more.

I also freaked out every onlooking mother just trying to enjoy a picnic with her family when I started free-climbing this dam wall who just wanted me to “get down from there this instant young man.”

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Nowadays, I feel the urge to climb everything, and struggle with deciding whether to plan to use vacation for biking or climbing trips. Or both.

I’m getting back into playing music with people on actual(and bike) drums.

Some of my favorite times growing up were concert band practice in the mornings before class started and high school rock band practices with friends after school.

And last October, when Pianos popped up in public places all over Boston, I joined my buddy Adam and friends for a bike ride to play music at all the different pianos:

Soon after that bike ride, Adam and I found one of the few Pianos staying permanently in Boston after the Street Pianos ended was over on the Esplanade. I brought a mini-drumset with a bucket for a bass drum:

My face is coming to a magazine stand near you:

Keep an eye out for the upcoming May 2014 issue of Bicycling magazine :)

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A video I made is being shown at Filmed By Bike film fest!

Actually, I completely re-cut and cleaned up this video, which will be part of the “Heavy Pedal” program at this year’s Filmed by Bike film festival in Portland, OR

Drum Biking Miami Critical Mass from greg hum on Vimeo.

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New video: Drum-biking St. Patty’s day, Irish drinking, German rap in Boston,

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New Video: Drum-Biking In The Snow, And Why I Always Read The Comments Section.

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:

Well, four days and 3,400 viral hits later thanks to places like Universal Hub, Bostinno, and Twitter, here are some of my favorite reaction comments to my video that have resulted:

From Twitter:

lovelybikecomments

From Reddit.com/r/bicycling:lovepassingthisguycomment redditbadumtushcomment redditwhynotcomment

From Universal Hub:uhubcomments

 

From Cyclechat.net:

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My Newest Favorite Bike Shop and My first Dig Write-Up: Hub Bicycle Co.

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)

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New Video: Biking Nemo

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.

Early morning Nemo from the Longfellow Bridge

Early morning Nemo from the Longfellow Bridge

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:

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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.

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Drumming for November Project’s Ninja Race

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:

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New Video: Biking Boston’s Blackout of March 13th, 2012

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:
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Check out my original account of riding the blackout here:

Boston Blackout: Skyline from Mass. Ave Bridge

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Joys of Drum-Biking: Rocking Out Everywhere All the Time

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:

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in our cars at red lights:

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and in cites on our bicycles:

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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):

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Biking Hurricane Sandy

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”

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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.

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Joys of Drum-Biking: Traveling Tropical Dance Parties

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.

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