In June 2016 the start of summer, I rode the Amtrack train to Seattle, Washington from Berkeley, California. 24 hours by train with my bicycle panniers and an extracycle bicycle that I had boxed and ready for shipping. From Seattle, I joined with 12 other cyclists and we started out on a journey that would last 2.5 months and over 1,500 miles of pure cycling. We organized over 31 human powered festivals with the 4 bands on bicycles. We are called the Pleasant Revolution and put on Biketopia Music Festivals all over the world.
We each had loads on our bicycles consisting of microphone stands, stilts, food, stove, pots and pans, 2 amps, a subwoofer (80 pounds made into a trailer), cables and more! At the end of the tour, I personalized the people that went on the entire tour into a drawing.
We all had large bicycles making it possible to pull anywhere between 100-180 pounds. What is so challenging about bike touring? It forces you to slow down. If you need to ride 45 miles (which would normally take an average cyclist 5 hours to bike) in a group, it takes three times that amount. So you are slower, there is no destination because if you focused on that you would constantly be stressed and worried about getting there. In this specific community, you had to let go and enjoy. Swim, eat, talk, play music, and let things go with the flow. Sound easy? It was life changing, but with all that down time and time on a bicycle makes for some great reflection and inner work. I love cycling alone but with other people, it’s immensely powerful. I think its something that everyone could benefit from. You have to be strong physically but even more important, mentally. Balanced and rationale and put the group first.
The tour was incredible. The bike tour is so much more than cycling especially with the power of community and riding with a large group of friends with similar values and mission. Below are the group agreements created by the 2016 Pleasant Revolution west coast tour:
Slow is beautiful- take a breath, slow down, and pedal
Leave no trace. Become a steward of the earth- pack it in pack it out, clean up after others, dig a hole when you poo, gather wood in a considerate manner.
Be an active guest- consolidate your belongings, do a chore, cook a meal, give a gift. Make your impact on someone’s space neutral or better than when you came.
We offer the highest musical and performance content.
To change the world, we must change our own consciousness and lifestyle, the bicycle liberates
Use music and performance as a political platform whenever possible.
We work to uplift the feminine in all of us to move beyond the patriarchs well as the binary to create balance in our group and ultimately in society. We work to embody nurturing, supportive, loving energy among us.
We respect to act in the highest regard for the webs of all life.
We operate on modified consensus- everyone’s voice matters and we won’t move forward on a decision if some have a strong block, however, if one is willing to stand aside even if the decision being made is not their preference the group will move forward with the decision.
Hold a culture which allows folks to speak any discomforts and work to address it right away
We work to educate and inspire the communities we travel through on fossil fuel alternatives. We work to be a living example of sustainable living.
Everyone should strive for direct heart centered communication. We should address conflict on a person to person basis, if the group needs to be called in we will facilitate that. Take it to the source.
Everyone should be emotionally responsible for themselves, able to employ de-escalation skills on themselves when necessary.
This is a Group lead tour- every person is a working part and doing their part. This is truly living interdependence. We all have the opportunity to lead and be led.
We work to uplift everyone’s strength while also challenging growth in each individual.
Always do your best and have fun!
We are talking about a 2018 6 month Europe tour that we already have a solid group of 20 cyclists for and I am already planning on making some murals for the tour and getting funding to make community art projects happen. Why do we start planning something almost 2 years away? We need funding, sponsorship, grants and more. It is great timing for booking festivals and for planning out the route and logistics. I look forward to it.
Seattle was a lot of fun but also pretty exhausting! Tour is hard to balance between riding and playing shows. We find it hard to please everyone, but the balance of the group is wonderful because we have open communication and really enjoy spending time together. It is a pretty special group! So after our Mt. Baker show we rode to Vashon Island, we took the sunset ferry across the way. We joined with two Pleasant Revolution members Aaron and Colin who came with some crazy bicycles. Aaon on his tall bicycle and then colin on a tandem! It was fun to have them around, they contributed a lot and Aaron even bought our tickets for the Vashon ferry! So nice!
We had some friends on Vashon host us, and we had a beautiful night falling asleep to the orchestra of frogs and animals outside. The next morning I met for coffee with Alice, my old neighbor and friend of my mother’s that I grew up with. She lived next door to our cabin on paradise cove. It was great to catch up with her and get a coffee and treat. Later Michelle, Carolyn, Adley and I went to my mother’s grave and spent some time there. My bicycle flipped over at the grave site. It had never done that before. Of course, we had to got to the bicycle in the tree. The infamous and beautiful tree! I remember going there as a child and seeing the way the tree would change crushing the bicycle alive!
We rode through the island and that was so hilly! So many hills, I tried riding with “SUBrina”, our sub woofer that was made into a trailer. We took the ferry to Tacoma from Vashon and found ourselves in Tacoma at Point Defiance park. My friends Tyler and Robbie that I had met in Ecuador and then later cycled with Tyler last summer on the East Coast, were living in Tacoma. I decided to stay a night with them and we played in the park and enjoyed each others company. It was nice to be with them and enjoy some new friend energy!
The ride 35 miles was difficult as some times and it was just me. I enjoyed riding through the coast and the forest. Below is the Tacoma Narrows bridge that I find stunning!
There is a octopus that lives underneath it, one of the largest in the world! The bridge at one point fell in an earthquake. Some of it is new, and there have been stories of orca whales that like to travel under the bridge!
The next day I cycled to Olympia alone maybe 35 miles and joined the group for our show in the Artesian square which had a water well that flowed right through the city. Fresh water you could fill up. Tyler and Robbie came to the show and it was so nice to have them there. The show was wonderful and we ended the day at a friends house and we camped on their front lawn. The capital of Olympia it was fun to experience it in a different way.
The Olympia show is below! Nice colorful mural behind was a great setting for us!
Here are some photos from the event thank you to Bunker for taking them for us!
We rode from Port Townsend to Seattle and I got to ride over the Hood Canal bridge. It was temporarily opened for a boat to go through so we were able to ride it without cars moving which is special considering it would of been a loud and polluted bridge with all those cars! Lots of trees and magic!
Seattle, Washington! Again!
Seattle was incredible and we were so happy to be back, and in full action. For the three days that we were there, we had 4 shows and loved every moment of it. Sunshine, swimming, playing music and enjoying everything that Seattle had to offer. We covered a lot of ground and got to cycle all around the city. Above are the photos from our second show at Gasworks park one of my most favorite parks in Seattle. We did an importu show there and the people loved it. We had a great show.
We found the crowd at Gasworks so wonderful and receptive of what we were doing, and that was an unplanned and last minute show. Goes to show its always good to have an open mind when booking shows and that you can always play something last minute. Below is a swimming hole we found with a rope swing on the Ballard locks.
The first show that we had is still my most favorite show that I have experienced. Partly because my whole Seattle community came! It was at Peddler Brewery with a bunch of picnic tables and a stage outside. My grandparents came, my dad and stepmom, brothers and sisters and cousins! It was a great show and I loved seeing my family on the bicycles and experiencing the whole show for the first time and after hearing so much about it!
The sweet Heather Perrea hosted us again and she had cleaned out her whole yard and we were able to have all (believe it or not) 18 people at her house! What a host huh? She was so special and accepting and loved having us and we couldnt of done the Seattle weekend without her. Below is a picture of her pup, pepper who loved having us there as well! THANK YOU HEATHER! We love you.
The next show was Outlander brewery and that was amazing, my friend Dragan hooked us up in the back patio on a Saturday night and we rocked an amazing show. My sister came out for some of it as well. I used to hang my artwork at the bar, its so nice to get support from friends for art, music and projects.
We arrived from the black ball ferry mid day into port Angeles from victoria that took about one hour and 36 minutes on the ferry. Again, epic as we passed through the islands and through the US border and into the tiny cozy town of port Angeles. Home of the Olympic and Hoh national rainforest it is where many people get their start before their trek into the forest.
We arrived in town and wanted to play a show so we asked a bar owner we met on the ferry if we could play at his bar. Two hour later we were on stage praise on the sidewalk and then later elevated on a second story stage that looked down upon the bar. At the bar called “next door” we met a man who let us crash at his place less than a mile from downtown and the venue we were playing around. So many nice people along the way! Yipppeee! The outdoor sidewalk concert quickly turned into a full on elevated stage venue inside and we played a couple hours on this stage that was on the second story looking down onto the bar. A pretty amazing venue.
We slept in the lawn of a friend and played music around the bonfire!
Next we traveled next to port Townsend and along the way we passed by squirm which is where my great aunt lives!
This part of the tour was super super super important to me. After my mother passed in 2007 I started using my mothers last name as my artist name. Molly Aigner turned Molly Keen for my art and inspiration. I sign my paintings M. Keen and my mother has been with me through all my journeys and paintings. So meeting another Keen was amazing. She is a painter herself and signs her paintings M. Keen as well! What a blessing and amazing thing to have in common. We spoke of family and I heard stories I never had before.
I gave her a last minute call to see if he could have lunch or coffee and she agreed! Met me within ten minutes at the Mexican restaurant down from her home. What a gift! Her name is Marion keen and he is an artist and painter as well. He was married to my grandfathers brother, Stan. What a beautiful reunion it was!
Marion let me know that she has a son and family in port Townsend so I grabbed the number of drew. The next morning after we camped at a clearing in the fleet and made a lovely fire. We stopped for gas at a gas station and sure enough there came Pamela and Drew running to our group of cyclists and asking “Which one of you is Molly?”. They had found our group and the reunion was beautiful. The last time I saw them was apparently when I was only a couple of months old and I was in their wedding. They are Keen’s as well! I loved meeting them and getting to know them. I invited Pamela to our show and she came for the whole set with chocolate and gifts included! She was so sweet to connect with and just retired from working for the library for 25+years! What a treat it was to be able to get to know her!
The show was set on the water at a park and we had a great turn out. After the show we rode another 5 miles to a friends house where we slept in the front yard. It was a great place to stay for the night and we were all super tired!
The next day we were in route to Seattle! We rode a different way from Port Townsend to the Edmonds ferry! I was able to ride early enough to get dinner with my family and enjoy seattle! More to come on the Seattle shows that I have helped book and put together. It is going to be an amazing weekend! Stay tuned.
Imagine 12 people, 8 cargo bicycles, 4 normal bicycles, riding along the road with gear being carried completely by human power. We are talking about 2 powered speakers, 4 microphone stands, tons of cables, a mixing board, drum kit, a bass guitar, tons of percussion instruments, 3 guitars, 1-18″ subwoofer, a pair of stilts, merchandise and juggling balls! This is a list of gear we are carrying for our shows! In addition we also have our camping gear and bicycle load as well! It gets pretty ridiculous! The Biketopia music festival bicycle tour has begun!
I met 11 of my friends and cyclists at the king street station in Seattle who all rode a 24 hour train from Oakland. We rode to my beautiful friends house Heather, who lives with her son, Luka and dog, Pepper. They have a stunning home in Ballard and she was gracious enough to let twelve people and 7 tents up in her front and side yard. It was incredible. We were so thankful to have her for our first night together, she helped us out way more than just a place to stay. She was our road side helper and let us borrow her car and did everything she could to support us. We don’t know what we would of done without her!
The night was wonderful, everyone was super tired from the train and had a great sleep. In the morning we ran errands, had some meetings and interviews with venues and radio stations for our July tour dates in Seattle. This tour is going to be amazing.
We left riding our first time together north at 5pm! There is a saying that we have in the biking community that the first three days of the bike tour is called the “The Three Day Hump!”. This means lots of problems on the road, getting to know your bicycle better and learning how to strap it and carry the large loads.
It was a late start, but thank goodness summer is here because sub set this day at 9:30 pm! We rode to Mukilteo about 25 miles and actually the police stopped us and asked us if we needed help. They offered us a place to stay, 92nd park just a mile from the ferry. Thank goodness for that because there were 10 tents!
That night, the rain started! First it was just sprinkles but then more and more! The night was dreamy with frogs croaking and the raindrops playfully falling from the tents. It was a great first night on the road. I am feeling so thankful for my friends, my cargo bicycle and my community. It is a really special group!
Proud to announce for the month of January 2015 I will be displaying my work at Ballard Kiss Cafe in Ballard, Washington. I am super excited as it is a lot of my new work. Featured are 12 different acrylic pieces, its a great show be sure you check it out!
Thank you Ballard Kiss Cafe, and to Raymond Owens for helping me set up the show.