Drums and Bikes…. Like Wine and Cheese….
In the past two years my mode of transport to gigs has been leading to a lot of questions…
Most people don’t know this about me but before I had fully committed to a life of music and drums I was seriously thinking of being a professional cyclist….. I would goto magazine stands and buy the latest Tour De France guide and read up on all the latest coverage of the race…. Who was doing well in the mountains etc….. I spent my weekends riding from Parksville to Nanaimo and other trips throughout the area. Happily wore my spandex paints and was busy wearing this crazy invention of the time… The Helmet…. Seems funny that it took man so long to figure out… “Hey, let’s protect that soft melon on the top of our bodies that gives us life.”
I had always felt there should be a way to get my drums to gigs via bike. It wasn’t really till I slowed down on touring and concentrated on gigs in Victoria a that I started to seriously consider the possibility of riding to gigs. I knew that my drummer pal Paul Brennan had done it in Toronto and Kelby McNayr was doing it in town so it was just a mater of finding the right trailer….. A trip to used Victoria and $60 snagged me a lovely kid hauler….
I knew that I needed something a bit more heavy duty as the little kid trailer was showing some signs of fatigue…. (Not to mention the fact I was using a beautiful custom built Italian race bike as a work bike)…. Drum stands are really heavy!! Every musician knows not to touch the drummers hardware bag….It’s akin to wrestling with Stonehenge!
I was waiting to catch the ferry from Saltspring to Crofton the day after a gig and started talking with a guy who had this great trailer on his bike. He was heading out to the west coast via the logging roads through Lake Cowichan…. I knew that that was the trailer for me. Rob’s friend Gary builds some crazy stuff out of his shop in East Vancouver and I was lucky to get him to build me one. I realise now that I could use something a bit bigger but so far this has been an amazing way to get to work.
During my obsesive on-line research I came across some amazing sites that have DIY trailers and a wealth of stories about transporting heavy things with bikes…. My main word of advice is to avoid anything that resembles a hill!
Recently I have had a couple trips to Denmark with shows in Copenhagen and there they really know how to commute with bikes. Something like 60% of the people ride to work. It is a similar sized city to Victoria but with almost no traffic problems….. On one trip our promoter lived in Christiania which is a very cool part of town that reminds me of an Urban Hornby Island…. They have there own super cool bikes click here….. They also have made cycling in the city a huge priority and there is a great infrastructure to support it. Of course it helps that the country is incredibly flat.