Bikes and Brass

Becca Combs-Cawley

It’s time to ring in spring – and few things ring like brass.

Loud Mouth Brass is hosting a spring bike ride, Bikes and Brass, all day Sunday.

The group will lead a ride through town and on the Douglas Trail with their instruments and sound equipment in tow.

Anyone is welcome to join the ride.

Riders can meet up with band members at 10 a.m., at the Smart Ride Ecotaxi garage in the alley behind 115 N. Broadway Ave. Riders can get a quick ABC tune up there — air, brakes and chain. From there, the group heads by bike to Little Thistle Brewing, and then to the Douglas Saloon and Social Club for a two-set performance from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Then it’s back to Little Thistle for a raffle drawing.

The event is right up Loud Mouth Brass’ alley, said sousaphone player Becca Combs-Cawley.

“We like bikes, we like weird shows,” she said.

“We like playing weird shows,” added Ryan Donohue. “The weirder, the better.”

The group played four shows over two days on RAGBRAI — the Register’s Great Annual Ride Across Iowa. Combs-Cawley would ride a leg, meet the band for a midday show, and then play again in the evening.

Most of the Loud Mouth members are cycling enthusiasts — sometimes out of necessity.

“A lot of us cycle with our instruments,” Donohue said.

For a time, Donohue didn’t have a car and would ride to his gigs, he said.

He pointed to a dent on his tenor saxophone case where it struck a bike wheel from a spill Donohue took while riding.

“That’s the only close call I’ve had so far,” he said.

Although Combs-Cawley can ride a short distance with her instrument, for this event, it will be in a case and pulled on a trailer.

“We might have to walk a bike up a hill or two,” she said.

Trying to ride and play at the same time it a good way to crash or chip a tooth, she said. but with some strategically placed cords, she was able to pose for an excellent event poster photo (taken by Jason Dicus).

“I can only go about two blocks with the horn,” Combs-Cawley said.

However, an impromptu concert on the trail isn’t ruled out, if the weather cooperates, she added.

If the weather is bad enough to call off the ride, the concert at the Douglas Saloon and Social Club will go on as scheduled.

Proceeds from the raffle will go to the Rochester Community Bike Club. The club is also accepting bike donations which they will refurbish or salvage in order to provide bikes to people who need transportation.

“Our hope is people stick with us the whole day,” said Combs-Cawley.

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General Assignment Reporter

John joined the Post Bulletin in May 2018. He graduated from the University of Iowa in 2004 with degrees in Journalism and Japanese. Away from the office, John plays banjo, brews beer, bikes and is looking for other hobbies that begin with the letter “b.”