I love bass playing, and I love biking, so here is my attempt at combining both into an interesting blog post. The way I see it, is as simple as combining two things that contain pedals and describing the way the two activities help one another.
Before every tour I do, I start planning my bike activities and that usually starts with me either travelling with a bike from the beginning, or starting the tour and purchasing a bike once I am out there. I believe biking keeps my head clear so I can zone in on my performance and my health stays in check for optimum physical show antics.
On this recent Dr. Octagon tour, I noticed that we were starting in Minneapolis and since I had a bunch of gear to fly with, I would not have the capacity to also bring my Brompton out on tour as I have done on previous ones (all US Juliette Lewis touring I did last year was with my Brompton). What's super cool about starting the tour in Minneapolis is that it has the best bike store in the states, and that store is One On One.
Gene Oberpriller (ex MTB pro for Bridgestone) owns One On One (they're a cafe too!) and I met him back in the early 2000's on a Mars Volta tour. I was looking for a bike to tour on back then I just walked in and started a conversation with the owner. Gene is a fan of music, was aware of TMV, and we talked about the great Minneapolis music scene that had Hammerhead and other Amphetamine Reptile bands and our mutual love for the great Shellac. Gene was so cool that he took me underneath the store into the basement where he keeps hundreds of used bikes for sale. I bought a thrasher old MTB off of him and said I would be back. Over the years, I have managed to visit his shop just about every tour I have done since 2005 (Omar and Marcel have both purchased bikes from him).
This tour, I went to Gene and he took me under to check out what he had and I almost took a single speed Swobo MTB but I kept thinking if I hit any hills, I would be done. Gene then sold me a new Specialized Globe 3 (3 speed)| and put it together for me right then. I would eventually sell the bike in NYC at the end of the tour but in Europe, I have a few bikes I have purchased over there and they are scattered throughout a few countries so when I get there, I have a bike to hit the streets with.
Since Dr. Octagon didnt have a lot of gear, I was able to keep a bike underneath in the bay of the tour bus and every day, I would pull it out and hit the streets. If you follow my Instagram, then you may know that I have been doing this for years on tour and I can say with 100% conviction that there is no better way to see a city than on a bike. I have ridden all over Rome, Paris, Berlin, Amsterdam as well as NYC, SF, Chicago, Montreal...you name it, I have hit the streets on a bike. With so much downtime on tour, it is the best way to keep your mind and your body on point.