‘Bleeps and Bloops’ ride gives cycling new sounds

Ride leader Mykle Hansen passes out his Bloopernet devices at the Bleeps and Bloops ride last night. Watch and listen to sounds from the ride in the video below. (Photos: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

One of my regrets with BikePortland is how long it took me to finally start making videos. And not just to feed the social media video beast, but because in order to fully understand a community, you can’t just read about it and look at silent photographs. You must hear it.

That’s why I was excited to finally cover the Bleeps and Bloops Ride last night. I’ve known ride leader Mykle Hansen since the old Zoobomb days and that time he rode a tall bike 100 miles for Reach the Beach. Hansen is wonderfully creative and always into something interesting. I have no idea what all the buttons, knobs and dials do on the sound-making contraption he unfurled from a huge suitcase and mounted to the front of his cargo bike do. And then there’s his proprietary “Bloopernet” device that allows multiple people to sync up sounds wirelessly. How does that work? I’m not really sure, but I know I love it.

And I’m not the only one.

Bleeps and Bloops — what Mykle describes as an “acoustic bicycle adventure” and a “musical parade of migratory soundbirds” — has happened a few times in recent years, and folks are starting to get into it.

Several dozen audiophiles rolled up to Control Voltage on North Mississippi before the ride to compare set-ups, attach cables, and warm-up their sounds for the ride. Every type of “noise-toy” is welcome. There were keyboards ziptied to handlebars, a few melodicas, a tambourine, and several more complex devices I can’t accurately describe. (That’s why you should watch and listen to the video below, where a few riders describe their set-ups.)

Once we rolled out, the group morphed into a mobile, melismatic mob that meandered the Mississippi neighborhood as delighted onlookers stopped to listen. I turned off before the end, but can only imagine the symphony of sounds as the sun set at Skidmore Bluffs.

— More great rides happening everyday through the end of August on the Bike Summer Pedalpalooza calendar.

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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Aaron Kuehn
Aaron Kuehn
1 month ago

If you have like six hours to spare, you can listen to my complete field recordings of a Bleeps and Bloops Ride in 2022, and 2023:

2022: https://soundcloud.com/aaron-kuehn-6282506/bleeps-and-bloops-ride-1
2023: https://soundcloud.com/aaron-kuehn/bleepsbloops-2023-ride-1
2024: ?

Alternatively, I record short sample snippets of found sounds during the rides, and play them over and over again live with altered filters and pitches, which is a real crowd pleaser. Bleeps and Bloops is a quality sonic experience.

1 month ago

Masterfully mellifluous headline!