One cold day last Fall, I was coming out of Briar Patch Co-op, the first LEED certified commercial building in Grass Valley, California. Outside was a pack of bikers, who seemed to have that “biker shine,” that ineffable energy that they have, and this grouchy writer was having none of it. Or tried not to. Somehow, their charged energy felt different. You could say it seemed like they were on a mission.
Now, months later, I find that they were indeed on a mission. You see, they all had those extra long, extra useful, XtraCycle attachments on their bike, and they were the Ginger Ninjas, together with Shake Your Peace.
Who? Well amongst the ranks of these two bands were many from Xtracycle, based out of the renegade outpost known as North San Juan, California. And what were they doing? Going on a 5000 mile concert tour, entirely on bikes. Including their equipment. All part of what they call the Pleasant Revolution.
What’s so pleasant about it? Well this seems to sum it up well:
Yes we must change, in some areas drastically so – we must consume less, drive less, throw away less, hate less, fear less. And yet, while superficially this may look like sacrifice, the pursuit of these changes can actually lead to a life that’s more local, rich, humane, fulfilling and happy.
And as they so eloquently put it:
Music and bicycles – universal symbols of humility, openness and connection, elements of our common humanity, and paragons of low-tech sustainability – become vehicles for seeing the world at human speed.
Xtracycle which has long been on a mission, to show that one can live fully with a bike rather then a car, their extension turning your bike into an SUB – Sport Utility Bike – is now truly putting their muscle where their mouth is. As of this writing, they’ve finished the official tour, and are now heading towards Costa Rica. You can read and see how it all went, and keep track of their actions after, here http://www.pleasantrevolution.net/
Viva la Pleasant Revolution!
Update, March 3, 2008: I heard from Kipchoge Spencer of XtraCycle, who told me that the Pleasant Revolution, “…got so good and rolling that we just added a few months to the itinerary! No homeward plans yet, but I promise it won’t involve rentacars or airplanes…”
Awesome. Stay tuned, via their website, http://www.pleasantrevolution.net/
Paul Smith is a sustainable business innovator, the founder of GreenSmith Consulting, and an MBA in Sustainable Management from Presidio School of Management in San Francisco. His overarching talent is “bottom lining” complex ideas, in a way that is understandable and accessible to a variety of audiences, internal and external to a company.