Saturday, July 29, 2006

good days and bad days

sometimes good days and bad days happen in the same day. yesterday we left from the dollhouse b and b in rhineland,mo. amanda ate mini muffins till she couldn't eat any more then we left for our 65 mile ride to saint charles. shortly after our departure, we realized the Katy trail we were on had massive spider webs strewn across the path with giant spiders in the middle of each one. amanda got oogled out so we hopped on the road that ran alongside the trail. after about two and a half miles on the road these two crazed dogs started running after us full speed ahead. abby yelled at them and told them to go home but it wasn't really working so she flipped back down the opposite direction as fast as possible. amanda decided to get off her bike and walk, trying to appease the dogs but it didn't really work. they kept after her and she got bit on the calf. fortunately it didn't break the skin so we didn't have to worry about some weird dog disease. so we rode back to the katy trail and after about 15 minutes amanda crashed through one of the webs and got a giant spider on her which freaked her out but at least it didn't bite her. This was a hard day for Amanda. She was surrounded by spiders, attacked by dogs, swimming in a humid hell, AND she was on her period!
we rode the rest of the way to saint charles as 65 miles became 70 and a nice shady trail turned into a blazing hot humidity bath.

after the ride we had just enough time to go to a costume shop and take a shower. then we cruised over to our gig at the police station turned art space, Mad Art Gallery. what a cool place. they even have the cell blocks in tact.
amanda had abby locked away for good while gangster greg was cornered by sheriff boo

the show was a blast. there was a fun opening group called maid rite whose music was a jamboree sensation. we had a guest saw player named Lindy and some wonderful karaoke performers. after the show there were fire eaters ouside on the patio with cool art bikes made to look like frogs, ducks, and camels. unfortunately we didn't get back to the hotel until 1am.

today we left way too late for comfort. a 98 degree day plus a hell of a lot of moisture in the air. we had three guest riders, roger, adam, and phil. roger led us across the bridge to illinois and the start of our route 66 to chicago. adam and phil rode with us all the way to litchfieild.

on the way phil got two flats. some really nice people let us come into their house and cool off in the AC while he fixed his flats in the shade. they offered us ice cold drinks and didn't seem to mind that we were dirty and wet. after the flats got fixed we were out in the heat of the day. abby thought she wasn't gonna make it all the way till we pulled into a gas station somewhere and poured ice water over her head. then amanda came up with a brilliant new invention called the ice burrito which saved our butts for the rest of the ride! it kept us cool and rejuvenated for the last hour. we were so rejuved that we laughed about her invention for 45 minutes. abby almost fell off her bike laughing. everyone will want one of these hot new items.
here is a preview

we missed our friend Jesca Hoop today and riding through the corn, we kept singing her songs.

go to to hear the music for yourself. abby did the drawing on the homepage.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

day 65

people keep telling us "you're halfway there" but the fact is we'll be in nyc in less than 35 days. so we're actually about 2/3 of the way there. we kind of can't believe it.

the columbia show was a whirlwind. we rode in, we ate some grub at Main Squeeze, went Thrift Shopping and posed with mannequins, we played, we slept. the humidity outside was probably the thickest we've felt on the tour so far. we were soaking wet in our sun dresses. the crowd was full of dancing kids which kept us entertained the whole time.

this was a pretty part of the trail with a tunnel

today we road 75 miles on the katy trail with a great group of people. we had 8 riders come out with us.

cole, lee and pete road the enitre way from columbia to rhineland!
the longest ride yet for these bmx pros. turned touring cyclists for the day. and they road with single speeds and fixed gears. way to go guys. lee even got chomped by a wasp of hornet.

details: animal sightings on the trail as follows, one or two snakes, two turtles, an indigo bunting, a small rabbit, a deer, multiple squirrels, an unidentifiable mammal of medium size, and butterflies galore. zero road kill.

abby's food log today: redwood hills goat yogurt with berries, peaches, bannans, salt and pepper cashews, fig newtons, 2 string cheeses and flax seed crackers, 2 clif shot blocks, 1 go macro granola bar, apple, grilled cheese sandwich, brown rice with braggs amino acids and flax oil, steamed broccoli, salad with almonds, cherry tomatoes from our host Amanda's garden, cucmber from garden, and some chocolate chip cookies. it's almost 10 and she's still kind of hungry. amanda hasn't stopped eating yet so she can't accurately account for her food 'till she stops eating blueberry and poppyseed mini muffins.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

MO' MO' MO' how do you like it? how do you like it?

our kansas city show was a blast. fans were great and sooo supportive of our nerdy desire to put on a wizard of oz show. thanks everyone!

jim - the first saw player of the tour did a beautiful rendition of "over the rainbow"

the ride out of kansas city was beautiful thanks to our tour guide Mark who led us in the right direction.

our riders outbound from Kansas City

during the ride, a passing motorist yelled something in a language we couldn't quite understand. it sounded something like, "AYEHSH HOWL"

it was an 80 mile trek into Missouri's "college town" of Warrensburg. we searched for food options and reef flip flops for amanda, found neither and ended up at the grocery store for some pesticide ridden salad greens with radishes and english cucumbers. that wasn't enough so we broke down and voraciously ate a large Quizno's sub sandwich. we were hot and exhausted and fell asleep at 7 o clock.

this morning we rode 75 miles to Boonville. what a great ride it was, except for getting chased by the biggest dog we've ever seen. abby yelled at the house to call off their beast but nobody appeared to be home. the ride went through corn fields and rolling hills and there was virtually no traffic all the way to sedalia where we then hopped on the Katy trail: sorry, no cars allowed!!! amanda plays piano on the katy trail

the katy trail is shady and full of LIVE animals such as big fat black snakes, little green snakes, rabbits, squirrels, and red birds, lots of butterflies that kept flying into my face. it was a hot one but we left early and got done by 2 o'clock. then, salad fixin' at the low budget motel...uh oh, still hungry...we saw a Walmart, a mexican restaraunt, and a Subway...
amanda tried to claim subway is the best of the shitty sub sandwich shops so we compared our veggie sub today to yesterday's Quizno's. subway failed. they weren't even as good. but that didn't stop amanda from eating three 6" subs. to be fair, abby ate 1 inche of one of them, so we suppose she actually ate 17". abby ate 13" of sub. while we can't really condone eating at chain sub establishments, they did provide us with a sense of being full.

amanda followed the day's eating frenzy by drinking a quart of chocolate silk soymilk and her new favorite luna bar is peanut butter cookie! abby has an on-going dilemma. she can't decide whether her Terry Cycle low rider biker shorts or her Rock and Republic jean cut-offs are her favorite riding gear. abby and amanda do agree that the Clif Organic shot blocks are a must have during hot summer excursions. they've saved our butts on multiple occasions during this heat wave.

tomorrow we ride the Katy trail to columbia which is supposed to be a "college town". if they have brown rice and a dark green vegetable we'll be happy.

2 days ago, we were busy getting a new stage prop ready...our pagoda piano

boo and greg construct the pagoda in our hotel

rick designs the dragon and paints the pagoda

3 little girls at the hotel want to help paint

Forgot to post the quote of the day the other day:
after stopping at the gas station outside of Lawrence to get water and grub, Boo bought some hot and spicy cheetos and beef jerky chew. while we were riding away, Boo said, "Oh, Shit! I forgot to put jerky in my mouth!"

Rumble Strips Vol 2 issues 7 & 8

click to enlarge rumble strips

Sunday, July 23, 2006


The show in Lawrence, KS was great. a group of wonderful people turned up for the early evening outdoor show at the Gaslight. fortunatley the temperature had dropped about 20 degrees since the day before so it felt comfortable and we could all enjoy ourselves. the train that runs through town passed by just in time for a rendition of "moon over the freeway." our friend rick (also our webman and calendar graphic designer) flew out from LA to visit and ride with us. Our friend Ty drove a whopping 10 hours to make an audio recording of the show!

We saw THE BEST dancing at our Lawrence show!

here is Gus, the 8 year old winner of the "Sister Kate Dance-Off"

Here is Gus's Dance that won him a prized Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Clif Bar and Vol. 1 of Rumble Strips (a combined 5 dollar Value)

Gus talks about going for your goals

on another note, here's amanda's "crazy salad" that she fixed in our hotel room - a swell alternative to gas station food

the day before our show in Lawrence, amanda met Doozie and Brad at the venue. Brad and his family let us use their garage to build a set piece for our Kansas City Show. Thanks, guys!

greg builds a stage prop at Brad's house

here's brad blowing glass

our guest riders Mike, Rick, Boo, Eric, Nick, and Cooper

we rode 42 miles into Kansas City. it was a pretty ride and alot cooler out than the 105 degree heat wave last week.

then we were invited to an organic home-cooked meal at the beautiful home of Mike and Chrissy. It was delicious!

Our wonderful hosts who cooked us the best meal of the tour, Mike and Chrissy

The dessert

Tonight is our Wizard of Oz show in Kansas City. We hope for an extension of this 85 degree bliss for our ride towards Columbia, MO on monday.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

heat wave

so we said that abby had heat stroke back in oberlin, but upon further research we think that it was "heat exhaustion" which can lead to heat stroke. despite our efforts to avoid the heat of the day by getting up at 4 am, we've still been riding in 90-100+ degrees with humidity. and every day since that 106 degree ride back in Oberlin, Abby has continued to exhibit symptoms of heat exhaustion.

we rode 62 miles from smith center to Lucas, Kansas.
we'd heard about Lucas's artist community and we got to play an impromptu gig at the hundred year old "Garden of Eden".

we also got a tour of the town by Don and Erica of "The World's Largest Collection of the World's Smallest Versions of the World's Largest Things" - a Roadside Attraction that travels around the country with miniature replicas of things like the Largest Doughnut and the Largest Ball of Twine (the one we saw!)
It was a very warm evening and we were happy to see so many folks come out to hear us play in the garden. We also met a real Ditty Bop - a Morse Code Decoder from the Navy who told us how to say our names in Code. What a fun surprise.
here is some folk art taxidermy in Lucas

we rode 52 miles from Lucas to Salina
Getting up pre-dawn to race against the heat, we found ourselves near some farms with some scary barking dogs in the dark. that's become a staple of these parts so far. not our favorite aspect of the trip.

we rode 60 miles from Salina almost to Manhattan, KS
Another 4 am morning. 90 degrees even that early. rode under the mooon and stars and had a visit from head wind who slowed us down and kept us cool. we rode along our route to a military base. at the gate, a handsome soldier told us bikes were allowed with photo id. we weren't carrying our id's. amanda showed the soldiers a Ditty Bops sticker, telling them it was sort of like a photo id, we were pictured on it, we had a website, could we please get through, we'd ridden all the way from LA. no dice.

we turned around and tried an alternate route, a frontage road that dead ended at the highway that didn't allow bikes. we had already ridden 60 miles and the heat was climbing so we met up with Euro Van and hitched a ride the rest of the way to Manhattan, Kansas. Upon arrival, Abby got sick again. amanda is not permitting her to ride tomorrow. it's time for recovery mode. it's supposed to be 108 tomorrow.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

We're in the Middle of the United States, literally

two days ago we rode from St Francis to Norcatur, KS. the first 70 miles were great fun and we left at 5:30 in the morning so it wasn't hot. however, the last 20 miles of our journey were friggin friggin HOT! supposedly it was 105 degrees. abby got heat stroke, she had the chills. amanda passed the turn off and rode an extra 3 miles. the ride was 92-94 miles depending on if you were on course or lost.
they didn't like bikes much at Raye's market in Oberlin

here's a video of amanda's shadow

and her bike

we recouperated in the home of our new friend Bee.
she's a pal of our puppeteer Lynn Jeffries. Bee fed us, let us do our laundry, took us to the health food store in a storm, and was such a charming host. she let us stay an extra day to rest and we had a great time.

greg rutledge's picture of the fireflies and bicycles in Norcatur

last night we played a gig at the Cardinal Bar and Grill for some locals on pizza night. we had strawberry rhubarb and apple crum pies and tried out Gooseberry Pie for the first time. it's not for everyone, but Greg thought it was for him.

This morning, we departed at 5:15 am with Boo and a guest rider named Daniel. It was a nice surprise to have a guest rider join us in the very small town of Norcatur! Boo rode 50 miles today, beating her old record of 43 miles! today's ride was 80 miles and we finished before 11:30 am.
amanda caught alot of bugs on her arm today. see if you can spot them between the freckles and moles

our awesome hotel in Smith Center

this afternoon we will be at the geographic center of the United States after which we will be visiting the World's Largest Ball of Twine. We have running bets on the diameter of the twine ball. the winner of the bet will get to buzz cut the losing members' hair.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Rumble Strips Vol 2 issues 1-4

Click on Rumble Strips to Enlarge


Our last show in Colorado was great fun. We were really excited to get to open for the Indigo Girls and the show was in a giant barn. The audience had some of the most entertaining dancers we have ever seen. We rode a whopping 15 miles to the venue!

The next day we bid farewell to Ian who had to get back to Cali. We started our ride just east of Denver International Airport. We learned the hard way that just because G Maps say that a road is paved doesn’t mean it stays paved. We had our first interaction with some backroads dogs who liked to hover near our heels. That got our hearts racing.

We spent a magical evening in Anton Colorado in a lovely little cottage. We sat on the porch with Elva who taught us all about the history of Anton, population of 15. It turned out she was a wonderful quilt-maker and she helped us sew our backdrop.

She was a lovely host. We won’t forget our favorite night of the tour watching the pink lightning storm which was a million times better than any fireworks we’ve seen in our lives. Abby felt like a magical being.

This morning, Abby quickly realized that although she may be a magical being, she is also a human. In the first 5 miles of the ride Abby crashed while carelessly trying to retrieve her walkie talkie that had fallen out if its holster. She had no serious injuries, but skinned her knee so bad that it bled for the rest of the ride. DeWald says, “Thanks for loaning me that pink bandana, Amanda. I felt just like Punky Brewster, except with more blood.”
here is some of the blood

this is a poor excuse for a road, according to abby's knee

here we are doing a radio phoner interview with Sirius Radio while attending to Abby's hurt knee

Abby had 2 flat tires

The theme song for “Family Matters” was stuck on repeat in Amanda’s head for much of the ride.

strange sighting - cars buried in the side of a hill along our route

We rode 83 miles to St. Francis, Kansas and we have already discovered that NO, everything after the Rockies is NOT flat.