Pedal-powered music group, the Ginger Ninjas, roll into Truckee
October 6, 2017
Who doesn't love riding a bike? Feeling the wind in your face, beautiful scenery surrounding you as you glide along?
And live music, who doesn't love catching a high-energy band, doing what they love and sharing their passion for a dancing audience?
The Ginger Ninjas are keeping the rubber rolling to sweet jams, as the first band in the history of rock 'n' roll to tour by bicycle unsupported by automobile or local A/V infrastructure.
They've merged their passions for bike riding and making music, and invite locals to join in on their merriment during the Pleasant Revolution Yuba River 10th Anniversary Tour 2017, which will roll through Truckee this weekend.
"At our "normal" shows, the audience pedals while we play, no special techniques required," explained the Ginger Ninjas' lead singer, songwriter and activist, Kipchoge Spencer.
For shows, such as their current tour, the musicians play while en route to their next performance destination, providing a party caravan for audience members.
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"When we do what we call LiveOnBike, the musicians are passengers on cargo bikes or a big bike trailer stage and you do have to really trust your drivers so you can be loose and focus on playing."
The human-powered music venue uses bikes weighing between 55 and 110 kilograms which are outfitted with speakers, generators, cables, CDs and T-shirts to sell, food, cooking gear, a complete bike mechanic toolset and spare parts, and an inverter, to name the key items.
Kipchoge says they do it because it's what they believe in.
"I think the simple bicycle, and-orienting one's lifestyle around using it, is one of the most ecologically profound things a 21st century human can do, in any corner of the world. And I'm dedicated to sharing that message with anyone who cares," he said.
What better way to get a friend or family member into biking than with a high-energy concert on wheels?
"If you have a person in your life you'd like to turn on to bike riding, bring her to the parade," he said.
When asked what the band hopes their audience gets out of interactive performances, such as this, Kipchoge said it's all about doing what you love and following what you believe.
"I want people to cry and jump with ecstasy and run home and pump up their bike tires and sell one of the family cars and fight for what they believe in," he said.
The Pleasant Revolution Tour will cruise through the Yuba River Watershed with the Ginger Ninjas performing at local venues and campgrounds.
Grab your bike and catch them riding to Alibi Ale Works in Truckee on Friday, Oct. 6, to perform at 6 p.m.
From there, the live music bike parade will meet at the beginning of the Legacy Trail in Glenshire at 3 p.m. on Saturday, returning to Alibi at 7:30 p.m.
On Sunday, Oct. 8, they're headed to Donner Summit then onward to Nevada City on Monday, Oct. 9.
Cassandra Walker is a features and entertainment reporter for the Sierra Sun. She can be reached at email@example.com, 530-550-2654 or @snow1cass.