Every band needs something to set itself apart, but riding a bike from gig to gig? "That's our shtick," says guitarist Kurt Liebert, 31, who with bassist Forrest Burtnette, 24, makes up the melodious rock group aptly named bicycle. Fresh off a West Coast tour and about to issue their third self-released album, Jan Hus, the duo (formerly trio) wants to provide a soundtrack for bicyclists everywhere. "When you think of surfing, you think of the Beach Boys," says Kurt. "When you think of biking, we want people to think of bicycle."
Are you musicians who bike or bikers who play music?
We're musicians who bike. We got together as a band two years ago in New York City. But I said I was going to bike across country because it was a dream of mine. And they were like, "Take us with you." We wear our bike shorts and shirts onstage and tow a minimum of gear: very compact guitars, the guts of my amp, a CD player, a laptop, sleeping bags, blankets and a tent—and a bunch of our CDs to sell.
Do you ever take a car?
Until this tour we'd been pretty religious about this, but instead of biking all the way up to Eugene, Ore., from San Francisco, we hitched a ride. When we got up there, everyone was giving us crap. To a lot of these bikers, it's more important that we bike.