This article is over 5 years old and may contain outdated information.

People & Culture

Bike to the beat

Expand Image
Advertisement

There’s a revolutionary new concert movement under way, and it’s spinning through the streets of Toronto for the third time this fall. Held at three public parks in the heart of the city, the Toronto Bicycle Music Festival features sound equipment that’s powered by a pair of energy-generating bikes, which audience members take turns pedalling.

“For some of the bands that are a little louder and have more bass, the riding is a little more strenuous,” says founder James Davis, who works at a non-profit called FoodShare and builds fun things like bicycle-powered blenders. Davis was inspired by the San Francisco Bicycle Music Festival, the largest fully bikepowered music festival in the world. In 2011, the Toronto festival featured Jeremy Fisher, a Juno-nominated musician and bicycle-touring pioneer. That year, attendance doubled to about 250 music lovers per venue and the festival secured funding from the Ontario Arts Council and the Toronto Arts Council. This fall, on September 15, the festival will bring Toronto’s cycling community together with performances by Canadian musicians such as Rae Spoon and Gentleman Reg.

Karol Orzechowski, a photographer, cyclist and musician, toured with the first two festivals. Last year, he performed during one of the group rides between venues and relished the experience. “At one point, the group ride just sort of stopped,” says Orzechowski. “People started ringing their bells in rhythm with the song. It was one of my favourite moments I’ve ever had while playing — a very sublime kind of moment where people were using what they had to join in.”

Advertisement

Are you passionate about Canadian geography?

You can support Canadian Geographic in 3 ways:

Related Content

Montréal is taking great strides to reinforce its image as the “most bike-friendly” city in North America

Environment

Clean commute

Canada's largest cities are paving the way for more eco-conscious commuting choices

  • 3352 words
  • 14 minutes

Places

Montreal among top bike sharing cities

Montreal has learned how to get the most mileage from a pair of wheels. A new study includes the city’s bike sharing system among the top seven in the world. …

  • 471 words
  • 2 minutes

Environment

The bike factor

How bikeable is your neighbourhood? There may soon be an index for that.

  • 500 words
  • 2 minutes

People & Culture

Commuting communities: How eight Canadian families are moving to net zero

In their first national challenge, Canadian Geographic’s eight Live Net Zero families found creative ways to reduce their carbon emissions related to commuting

  • 2213 words
  • 9 minutes