Friday 9 January 2009


Crescendo in performance

After enjoying looking through my new "By Bike--Holland Agenda 2009" and getting the ever-observant Groover's comment about the cycling band, I did some research and once again the Internet does not let us down.

The band, from the village of Opende, began as a normal marching band and then added complex formations. Some of the members were getting bored so someone suggested (in 1973) that they perform on bicycles since apprently there had been a military bicycle band that had recently been disbanded (in every sense of the word!). Although it was first seen as a joke, the musicians discovered they enjoyed it and the project grew.

Some of the bicycles have been specially modified and the musicians perform in either red-and-blue uniforms or the traditional "Vollendam" outfits that are on my agenda. They perform some twenty times annually in the Netherlands, and have appeared in the UK, Germany, France and elsewhere in Europe, as well as in Japan. Nagasaki boasts a traditional Dutch village so they must have felt at home.

To see is to believe:

Of course, if you would like to hire Crescendo for your event (or "street-folding"), you can read about them and contact their manager here.

As someone who has enough trouble just riding a bicycle, I cannot imagine playing a musical instrument at the same time. Playing a trumpet while cycling the roads around Ottawa would be a ticket to some dental work.


Groover said...

That's awesome! Riding my bike hands free was a major achievement for me in 2008!

Riding a bike while playing an instrument would be completely out of my league.

Riding a bike while wearing clogs - it's calling for gravel rash!

Riding a bike IN FORMATION while playing an instrument and wearing clogs ... far out!

Great picture and video!

Unknown said...

I was in my high school marching band for four years. It was hard enough to play an instrument (clarinet) and do formations on foot. I cannot imagine performing on a bicycle. I still have balance problems on my bike and can't take my right hand off the bars for fear of toppling over! Thanks for sharing this amazing video!

Lily on the Road said...

WOW! Ditto for everything Groover mentioned!

Bundle up if you go for your ski. Hope you didn't cycle into work today!

ps. if you hear of an inexpensive used bike trainer for sale, please let me know. I just missed out on one from Monday's TriRudy...thanks.