American rock band, the Ditty Bops, is taking a novel approach to promoting an album: by riding their bikes across the USA. Assisted by the Adventure Cycling Association, the group's members Amanda Barrett and Abby DeWald will tour the country on two wheels, playing live shows at theatres, music halls, bike shops, and old barns (Nebraska farmers get ready) in support of their new album Moon Over the Freeway, recently released on Warner Bros. Records.
"We decided to do the tour this way to promote not only our album, but also cycling and cleaner air," said DeWald, who left Los Angeles with Barrett on May 25. "If we can ride our bikes across the country and play music, we hope others will be inspired to ride their bikes more often."
Bicycle travel expert Adventure Cycling is providing the Ditty Bops with route and technical expertise. Whenever possible the Ditty Bops are following Adventure Cycling's 34,000-mile National Bicycle Route Network. Adventure Cycling's maps for the network try to show the best, safest, and most scenic routes as well as bike shops and places to stay, camp, and eat.
When they're not following the NBRN, the Ditty Bops will use The Cyclists' Yellow Pages to locate other routes, maps, and cycling resources. For example, in Missouri, they'll ride the 220-mile Katy Trail, in Illinois they'll follow the Route 66 Bicycle Route (recently developed by the League of Illinois Bicyclists), and in Cleveland they'll ride bicycle routes mapped by Columbus Outdoor Pursuits Cyclists' Yellow Pages.
As they ride, The Ditty Bops are raising money for Adventure Cycling's efforts to inspire people to travel by bike (www.adventurecycling.org/dittybops). As a nonprofit, all donations are tax-deductible. They'll also be handing out Adventure Cycling flyers at their shows.
You can check out the Ditty Bops' blog at www.thedittybopsbiketour.blogspot.com, where besides daily ride and show updates, they keep a running tally of everything they eat and all the roadkill they pedal past.