We had the most magical day yesterday, watching and participating in the Pleasant Revolution Biketopia Music Festival! I’ve heard of the Pleasant Revolution before, but never seen them and was sad to think I’d miss them during this visit due to late shows and early bedtimes Friday and Saturday nights and a too-far-from-home show on Sunday. But as luck would have it they played a surprise show as part of Bingo or Bust Alleycat put on by Bicycle Benefits to kick off Seattle’s first Bike Bingo six-week event (I have $2 cards benefiting Familybike Seattle if you still need one!).
We were lucky to know about the surprise show ahead of time so even though we didn’t make it down to Gas Works Park early enough to cheer on the alleycat racers, we headed down a bit later for a doggie playdate and hang out until the show started.
The show and the bikes were amazing! I knew ahead of time that it’s all pedal powered, but I didn’t realize it was pedal powered by longtail cargo bikes! We saw Matt and Omar in the park scoping out performance sites on an Xtracycle FreeRadical conversion and Kona Ute. Most of the bikes are Xtracycle FreeRadical conversions, but there was also one Surly Big Dummy (yay!), a Yuba Boda Boda midtail, a Yuba Spicy Curry (the only e-assisted bike, I think), and at least one regular bike. The show was atop Kite Hill which was the best possible place it could have been!
There were several bands so the show lasted a couple hours and I pedaled for a few songs while the kids bombed down the side of the hill over and over and over again. Really, a perfect venue! Here’s a video of Ian announcing the winner of the alleycat (yay Zach!) prefaced by 15 seconds of kid hill bomb:
The kids were able to help a bit, too! The Big Dummy is the older swoop-frame model so it has a fairly low standover height. My six-year old (almost seven) had to stand in the pedals and my nine-year old could sit and pedal:
The littler kid tried one of the Xtracycles later, but the top tube proved too uncomfortable.
I wish I’d memorized what one of the performers said word-for-word because it was terrific. Similar to what I see on the Band page of Bicicletas Por la Paz: “We bike tour to promote peace, bicycles and empowerment! We are working to change the collective consciousness, gearing it towards an alternative form of transportation, using our bodies as the medium.” but there was also something about challenging the idea of inconvenience of bicycling for a touring band.
Go see them play if you can! Upcoming shows as listed on the Pleasant Revolution site:
Sunday, July 17 (today!) at noon in Seward Park
Tuesday, July 19 in Olympia, WA
Saturday, July 23 in Portland, OR
Sunday, July 24 in Portland, OR
Saturay, July 30 in Eugene, OR
I only biked 3.2 miles on my bike yesterday–and that with no kids on board–but my legs are tired today from working the band bikes! One last bit of magic from the Pleasant Revolution site:
Some principles of the Pleasant Revolution:
- slow is beautiful
- local is profound
- sustainable living is richer
- we can free ourselves from the culture of fear that drives our consumerism and apathy
- fundamental change is necessary and possible
- to change the world, we must change our own consciousness and lifestyle
- humanity now, perhaps more than in any previous time, has an opportunity to create a new, saner, more loving world
- the bicycles liberate
Vive la revolution!