Since it’s apparently Appalachia week here at CC and Me, I thought I’d bring you this fun piece about one of my new favorite modern cellists (and singer), Ben Sollee. Apparently, Sollee decided he was tired of riding in a cramped van from venue to venue and decided to take a different route for his next tour.
“We were doing lots of travel by trains, planes and automobiles where you basically travel at this superhuman pace. You slingshot yourself through cities. The bicycle served as a great limitation for us, to be able to slow down and travel at the pace of our bodies and be in touch with communities,” says Sollee.
He found that touring by van could be just as exhausting as trying to cover 40 to 50 miles by bike each day.
“When you’re in a van, you end up driving 300-400 miles and you end up doing six or seven hours in a vehicle anyhow, and you’re scrunched into a seat.”
Consider how drained you feel after a particularly tough commute to work, multiply that by eight to 10 hours on the road, and you get the idea.
“[On a bike] you’re getting endorphins while you’re riding, you’re part of a pack mentality where you’re helping each other out, there’s a real communal thing happening.”
But really, how do you get a cello on a bike?
“I saw an advertisement for an extended frame bicycle called an ExtraCycle on TV, and I said, ‘Hey! I can fit my cello on that!'”
So that was the start of Ben Sollee’s “Ditch the Van Tour.” Was there ever a time where he was kicking himself for coming up with the plan? He laughs, “Sure.” There were breakdowns and there was road fatigue, but he says, “There was the feeling that we were all being part of something that was giving us something back in a big way.”
– The full article here.
Here’s Sollee performing one of my favorites “How to See the Sun Rise:”