Portland band takes on West Coast tour by bike

Israel Nebeker and Ryan Dobrowski
(Image grabbed from BlindPilotMusic.com)

Blind Pilot is making a lot of noise in the music scene these days. The band, headed by Israel Nebeker (guitar/vocals) and Ryan Dobrowski (drums), has been heralded by the press (“I’m smitten” wrote a reviewer at the Willamette Week) and they nabbed an iTunes “Song of the Week” nod last month.

But beyond their likable tunes, Blind Pilot is getting noticed for what NPR referred to as their “environmentally conscious touring style.” Currently, the band is on a West Coast tour and they’re completing the whole trip — and carrying all their gear by bike.

Illustration from Blind Pilot.

Nebeker and Dobrowski are joined by two other band members and all four of them began their adventure on August 16th in Bellingham, Washington and hope to reach their final destination of San Diego, California by October.

They played a show at The Doug Fir on E. Burnside at the end of August and right now they’re somewhere south of Coos Bay on the Oregon Coast.

Band member Lucas Lars Ydstie told a Coos Bay TV station a few reasons why they prefer to go by bike;

“You see so much more of the country side, and meet so many more people, and experience everywhere more fully then when you’re just in a car.”

You can listen to some of Blind Pilot’s music and track the progress of their bike tour on their blog.

Blind Pilot isn’t the only band who is going by bike these days.

The Ditty Bops did a bike tour a few years back (although I think they had some support) and a band headed by Xtracycle found Kipchoge Spencer, The Ginger Ninjas, took it one step further by not only touring 100% by bike but then using their bikes to generate electricity for their shows! Watch a great video of that journey here.

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Founder of BikePortland (in 2005). Father of three. North Portlander. Basketball lover. Car owner and driver. If you have questions or feedback about this site or my work, feel free to contact me at @jonathan_maus on Twitter, via email at maus.jonathan@gmail.com, or phone/text at 503-706-8804. Also, if you read and appreciate this site, please become a supporter.

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15 years ago

Let us not forget bicycle (the band), who spent many years touring by bicycle, on the east coast as well as the west. Kurt Leibert, the lead singer/songwriter, was a riding fool, and crazy fun onstage. They seem to be mostly retired now, but they surface for a show or two once in a while. Their song \”Clean\” is a classic anthem for anyone who has ever ridden a bike for days on end without access to civilized amenities. You know who you are.

John Russell
15 years ago

These guys played at the end of Bridge Pedal this year. I\’ve been listening to them constantly since then. I also stopped and talked with the bassist afterwards. He had built, from scratch, a trailer and case for his upright bass. I really wish I had a trailer of that sort.

John Russell
15 years ago

P.S.:You can see the case and description here:

Also, Jonathan, I believe the first link in the text should be http://www.blindpilotmusic.com/, not http://www.blindpilot.com/.