Oregon band Blind Pilot toured by bike and encourages other musicians to try it [Austin 360]

Israel Nebeker has a message for the musicians of Austin. If you dread piling into a van for weeks at a time and dropping hundreds of dollars on gas, Nebeker would like you to know that there's another way to tour: by bicycle.
"Touring in an automotive vehicle is horrible. After about a month, it starts to break you down," says Nebeker. "On a bike, though, ... I don't think you could have a bad experience. Even if it's a sketchy experience, you're just creating pretty amazing stories."
Nebeker is the self-effacing singer, songwriter and guitarist for Oregon-based sextet Blind Pilot, which has twice — in 2007 and 2008 — toured the West Coast by bicycle. Both tours were about 1,500 miles and took about six weeks, and their longest day of riding was about 120 miles.
The band began as a partnership between Nebeker and drummer Ryan Dobrowski. Together, they crafted buoyant, vulnerable, soaring folk-pop in the tradition of Bright Eyes, M Ward and Damien Rice. Their first album, "3 Rounds and a Sound," a cult hit released in 2008, earned plaudits from USA Today, the Boston Globe, NPR and others. Blind Pilot expanded to six members and racked up festival appearances and opening slots for the Decemberists, Counting Crows, Hold Steady and Dave Matthews Band.