Wednesday, September 21, 2011


Not far from Santa Cruz, we had to stop at Swanton Berry Farm for strawberry shortcake and coffee.  Their farmstand is run on the honor system and there's a discount for cyclists!  We signed their bike tour logbook and skimmed books that are scattered throughout the tables and couches inside.  It was dangerously pleasant there.  But, we eventually saddled up and rode north through more beautiful stretches of coastal farmland until...

San Francisco! We decided to set up in Union Square and play for the crowds downtown.  It served as a rehearsal as well; Adam and Shawn brought more instruments to add to the Flux arsenal - a set of bike chimes, a hub and spoke kalimba, and the portable electric mini-tub bass which uses a derailieur cable, coffee can, and piece of a fork.

Later, we wandered around the Mission before our show at Sub/Mission Art.  Our friend from Chicago Ben Kolak was also on tour in San Francisco screening his film Schizcago during the same time as our Flux Bikes tour.  We'd been invited to play some music before the film, which also has the concept of "flux," bicycles, experimental music and an awesome glitchy score by Alex Inglizian.  The Schiz-crew had some unique items for sale inclulding their DVD/Instrument, which has a circuit-bent sampler built into the case, and t-shirts made from recycled X-rays.

MAXINE devours FLUX BIKES wheels sound via SCHIZCAGO

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


We took the Harris grade out of Lompoc for a nice break from the highway and a ride through wine country.  That night, we camped near Avila Beach and hit up the Avila Valley Barn for coffee the next morning.  From there, we pushed north to Los Osos Valley Road and Moro Bay. Then it was rolling hills, Pacific coast ranches, the Hearst Castle, etc.  A short night was spent near Ragged Point and we rode like demons through Big Sur, stopping to rest and soak up our surroundings.

And then Santa Cruz!  We rolled in on Saturday September 10th and performed at the Bike Church during wrenching hours.  They are a non-profit tool cooperative run by some of the nicest people on the planet, and their doors are open to all who need access to tools and bike assistance for a low fee of $5.  It's location really is a sanctuary; it's a few blocks from downtown and shares a building/courtyard with The Fabrica, PedX, Computer Kitchen, and Sub Rosa.

Santa Cruz represented a milestone of the FLUX BIKES tour.  We'd covered over 400 miles of California coast in 5 days, and it was amazing to welcomed by a warm meal and people who felt like friends upon our meeting.  Naturally, we decided to stay a little longer!  Also, our crew doubled when bandmates Adam and Shawn Wille met us on the evening of Sunday the 11th.

From Santa Cruz, the four of us continued north and were fortunate to camp at Freewheelin Farm.  This awesome organic farm delivers their produce to the Santa Cruz farmer's market by bike, and their fruits and veggies grow in a field overlooking the Pacific Ocean (the photo below hardly does it justice).  The next morning, we were thrilled to jump in on their operations, helping out Amy and Darryl with the leek harvest.  It was fun and inspiring, as was our whole stay in Santa Cruz. We can't wait to visit again!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


Notes from the road...

The Bike Oven in Highland Park, Los Angeles hosted FLUX BIKE'S first show of tour.  Rob played some solo bicycle and flute music, using some wheels from the Bike Oven's collection.  Chicken Leather played some home-bike movies and selections from the Bicycle Film Festival, and Veronica made potato tacos for everyone.  Besides being a great bike shop where all are welcome to come work on bikes and eat some food, this organization hosts monthly music and art events - check 'em out!

On Labor Day (Sept. 5th), Marty and I started the journey, riding up Highway 1 through Malibu. Lots of surfers and other folks were out enjoying the sunshine on the long weekend.  We stopped in Ventura night to stay with our friend Scott. Then, after healing our bikes at the Ventura Bike Depot, we hustled up to State St. in Santa Barbara to play at the bustling Farmer's Market.

After meeting many friendly folks and getting some veggies from some nice farmers, we left town and took refuge near Refugio State Beach upon a recommendation by new homie Chi Pagaling.  We got some rest and got going early; some serious riding lies ahead!  After Gaviota State Park, the road takes a turn inland, going around Hollister Ranch and Vandenberg Air Force Base at Conception Point.  Stay tuned for more news from the road!