Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Urbana Bike Project Empowers With Two Wheels

Carl from The Bike Project in Urbana, IL in the Shop
So we played a great music series put on by the Folk and Roots Festival in Urbana, IL. The venue was the Independent Media Center which is committed to independent and free media in all forms. It's an inspiring collection of artists, activists, and dreamers of all kind in a repurposed post office.

After the show, I was talking to Carl who seemed to like the music, because that's what he was talking about, when the topic shifted to cycling. Pretty soon he was walking me downstairs to the Bike Project. Carl was passionate about the empowerment of people through the freedom of movement, specifically by bike. He and a whole host of other like minds created a bike shop that would not only provide affordable bikes, but also lend tools and skills to those who want to learn to fix their own bikes.

Harrisonburg, where I live, has a similar project run out of Our Community Place. Maybe every town should have one!

Brian Dickel, contemplating cycling and the upright bass at The Bike Project

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Tuesday, March 1, 2011

I'm commited to blog.

Hello blog.

We've seen each other around.  My brother and sister both know you pretty well and we have some other common friends, but it took me awhile to warm up to your charm.  Now, I..I just can't seem to look away.  To webleurize (made-up word alert!) all my thoughts would really be far too much for anyone, so we're limiting it to the various bicycle exploits of our band, The Steel Wheels.

Over the last two years, Trent Wagler and Jay Lapp of The Steel Wheels have done two separate cycling musical tours, biking hundreds of miles and singing hundreds of songs.  We have biked all our instruments, clothes, CDs, food, etc. wherever we're going to play.  It's kind of our "bike to work week", but we're touring musicians.  We've had various adventures over the past two years that I'll try to recall in these early posts.  We're also committed to continue our annual tour every year and we're planning our 3rd annual tour for August 2011 in Michiana (Michigan + Indiana) with our full 4-piece band. 

In the next few months we'll also try to post pictures/video and commentary on the prep to get the full band up on bikes for the tour and some of the insider scoop into our gear and strategy for the trip.

Thanks for your love and support.  Go bike. 

See you 'round, blogosphere.  TW

Photos of 1st SpokeSongs: Virginia 2009 by Aaron H. Johnston www.aaronhjohnston.com
                              Jay warming up before show in Lynchburg, VA in front of Trent's Xtracycle.

                                Trent and Jay pedal towards Staunton, VA September 2009

Last Year's Bike Tour: A Good Place To Start

SpokeSongs Bicycle Tour May 2010 

The Michigan Chapter