News for November 2013

Hey Bike Tour – Day 5

Day 5 – Rochester, People of Hope &  Northfield, The Chapel

Up at 6am. 34 degrees and drizzly. 5 miles to People of Hope Lutheran Church where I was to lead music at two services before biking 60 miles to Northfield for the big rock and roll ending to the Hey That’s My Bike Tour.

Got to the church and was warmly welcomed. Of course after the last 5 miles in the cold wet dark any welcome had the odds of being warm. I held on to a cup of coffee for awhile until I could feel my fingers again. Set up my merchandise, sound checked, looked through the power point that was set up, reminded myself that some people are gooder with technology than I am and gave thanks, and then helped carry some pumpkins in for the Great Pumpkin Giveaway!

About a year ago I met up with my buddy Richard in a town south of Rochester for a little mentoring, guidance, encouragement, and all that other stuff interdependent artists like myself require. Before heading back to St. Paul Richard said, “Hey, my dad wants to fill up your tank with gas.”


“He gave me a gas card for this station so that whenever we’re passing through we can fill up the tank. It works for friends too.”


And so Richard’s dad filled up my tank. My 16 gallon Vanagon tank with prices at three-something a gallon.

Well it turns out Richard’s folks go to People of Hope. And I met them. And I said, “You filled up my tank with gas a year ago!”

He of course, having never met me, was a bit confused. So I explained the situation. And then he had the best reaction ever. “I did?” His eyes got big and his smile got bigger. “OH! That’s great!” and he laughed the most delightful overjoyed laugh. It was a eureka moment. His hair brained scheme to keep random artist strangers on the road was working! He had successfully thwarted the powers of failure. He did it! In the best possible way. He couldn’t have been happier.

I want to be like that.

I felt incredibly at home at People of Hope. Just shy of taking my shoes off and leaving my socks in the middle of the floor comfortable. Great people, great vibe, oatmeal raisin cookies… All good.

After church I gave kids rides around the parking lot on the back of my bike. I charged them $1. Not really.

It was about noon. I had 6 ½ hrs. to travel 60 miles. I may not have mentioned it but my thighs had not stopped burning since Winona. My legs were shot. The forecast was rain. I called my friend Erica with the minivan. I took her up on an earlier offer. She dropped me off in Kenyon. She cut my travel down to 22 miles. Hallelujah.

I limped into Northfield around 4. In the rain. Alone. Tired. Oscillating between defeated and triumphant. Into the Blue Moon for coffee. Noticed someone (George the Intern I later learned) had put up a poster for that night’s show. Then I noticed he had put up more than one. About 16 more than one. I was surrounded. By me. As if I hadn’t had enough of me already this week. A lesser man would’ve cried. No comment.

First Micah showed up. Spirits lifted we went out for pizza. Then Graham and Tim joined us. Michael Morris showed up along with Geroge The Intern and we loaded the gear up a lot of stairs. These legs were acutely aware of said stairs. Micah had picked up my electric gear the week before and it was super fun plugging in and being loud.  Ending the tour with the full band Welaware experience ruled.

It was another quality over quantity night but the folks who did come included people who’s opinion matters so much to me I couldn’t have been happier to play for them. Including but not limited to: Jodi Houge, Matt Marohl, Rachel Kurtz, Erin DeBoer-Moran, and Michael Morris. Wowzers.

The show was great. This is our second show with Tim on bass and he kills it. Graham kept my tempo in check… or did the best he could with what he had… Micah brought the noise. And broke a pickup while mastering the art of adjusting pedals with the face of a telecaster. It was glorious.

We packed up. I threw everything (including bike) into the back of Jodi’s pickup. We got home.

I slept and slept and slept.

Quite possibly the greatest tour of my career.

Posted: November 12th, 2013
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Hey Bike Tour – Day 4

Day 4 – Rochester – The Salon

Today’s ride was great only because parts were so not how I had hoped. I’m already lugging slowly on a long bike with all my gear, I was not expecting the google maps to send me down gravel roads. But they did. Not my first choice for this kind of ride, but as it turns out pretty fun. And the dust? Not bad at all thanks to the near freezing rain.

So that was exciting.

I got to Rochester, or Roch – as the locals should call it, and met up with my friend Jason. We locked my bike up at his work and went out for a late lunch. I had a huge bean burrito. It started pouring outside. I happily got in his car after lunch and we drove to his home, hung with Erica and the kids, I cleaned up my act, the rain subsided, I went and set up at the Salon.

The Salon is an all volunteer run endeavor.  As it turned out, from 6-7  I was the only volunteer there. Volunteer organizations can be a bit trusting. I called Jodi and told her the great news that I was now in charge of an art space in downtown Rochester. She was thrilled.

Great folks came out to the concert. A few I knew, a few of their friends, and a few that read about it in the paper and gave it a shot. I’m glad they did. There was also a youngster there that loves my song “Monkey Dance” off the kung fu princess album. Though I haven’t performed it for awhile, no worries. She accepted my invitation and led the group in the Monkey Dance. Pretty much made my night. That and the after concert black ale (s) with Jason and Erica.

Posted: November 12th, 2013
Categories: Uncategorized
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