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