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Real roadies, these guys

Bicycle the band pedaling to nation's capital

 

May 25, 2000
Web posted at: 2:17 p.m. EST (1817 GMT)

(CNN) -- Motorists heading along Route 30 through New England might pass an interesting sight -- a vagabond collection of musicians and roadies, riding their bikes. It's the band Bicycle, a pop-rock group that has made a name for itself by cycling to gigs across various parts of the country.

The latest journey, said bandleader Kurt Liebert, is taking Bicycle and company (more than two dozen riders) from Portland, Maine, to Washington. That's 500-plus miles of pedaling in 19 days, with 12 gigs along the way. The music equipment is carried in a car, and the band shacks at local hotels at night.

The musicians are finding some friendly people along the way, Liebert said Wednesday.

"We got a free meal from a steak house," said Liebert, speaking on his cell phone as the band neared Boston. "The waiter had sympathy on us."

Liebert uses such stunts to promote his band's work, including its self-titled album from Capricorn Records. But he also loves the great outdoors and the thrill of the ride, which has taken him to all corners of the United States and parts of Canada.

Clear skies, open road

So far, this latest trek has dodged bad weather, Liebert said.

"We've been managing to ride at the only hours of the day when it doesn't rain," he said. "That's magic. That's just beautiful. If you've got to ride, at least ride when it's not raining."

Though the weather has been cooperative, at least one local law enforcement officer forced a change in plans. It seems the band was biking down Route 1, which is a no-no. The officer pulled them over.

"Boy, the cop was so mad," Liebert said. "He was spittin'! He was spittin'! 'Get off this (route) right now!' I was like, 'I'm so sorry.'"

Route 30 is not a bad second option, Liebert said.

"It goes through some really cool towns," he said. "It's really beautiful."

Now, Liebert and company are trying to avoid trouble, and negative attitudes.

"The biggest danger is the danger of having people lose enthusiasm and stop along the way," said Liebert. "I think people can do it. It's no big deal. It's just that constant mental, 'I can do it, I can do it.'"

Liebert has even bigger plans after reaching the nation's capital on June 6.

"We're going to do this every year," he said. "We're going to have essay contests and give away roadie positions and bikes and do it from one year to the next. We're going to make it an American institution."

Liebert is using a laptop and digital camera to file reports from the road. Fans interested in following the group can log onto its Web site at www.bicycletheband.com.



RELATED STORY:
Bicycle enjoying life in the major-label lane
July 15, 1999

RELATED SITES:
Capricorn Records
Bicycle

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