Saturday, May 21, 2011

Ales and Trails Means Living the Dream

Red Paint--my band--played at Ales and Trails today. It's an annual biking event - and a benefit for the International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA). The riders, all slim and enthusiastic in their colorful biking outfits, enjoyed camaraderie, fabulous food and an earful of live music.

For me, the dream isn't in bike riding, although when I've ridden my bike it's been enjoyable. The great thing for me is standing with my bandmates under a tent in beautiful weather at China Camp State Park in San Rafael (Marin County) playing music. I've dreamed about this kind of thing since I was a teenager, and here it was--really happening!

Playing outside is a special experience. I thought of Jesse Colin Young and the Youngbloods playing in Marin County in the 1960's (and what about the Grateful Dead?). Rock and Roll tradition was in the breeze.

After eight years on the electric bass, my fingers fly along the four fat strings with almost no effort at all. I can close my eyes or look at the crowds of riders and the hands do what they need to do. My bandmates must feel the same way--we are blending better and better and the sound, especially with the addition of a fine keyboardist, is gratifying.

The folks at IMBA are involved in making the sport of mountain biking more accessible, safer, and more fun, and are especially interested in getting kids started. They are involved in important activities, particularly relating to Bill's Trail, an important place for California mountain bikers. Go take a look and get involved.

Maybe it's time to dust off my bike, fill up the tires, and get out there myself!

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