14 January 2011

Friday Videos: Ginger Ninjas

"At 2 a.m. November 1, 2007, an unknown Northern California rock band called the Ginger Ninjas set out from home on a seven month tour to southern Mexico. They had no van and no gigs. Instead, they hauled their guitars, cello, drumkit, camping gear and human-powered sound system on special load-carrying bicycles, and planned to pick up shows as they went, trusting in a mysterious force they called the “Golden Bubble” to provide for them and keep them safe from storied dangers.

Intent on living a life of gritty adventure, testing the limits of stepping lightly on the planet, exploring the far reaches of a Mexico that few Americans know, bringing a positive message southward, promoting the bicycle as cooler-than-car cure for global warming, and propelled by the mindful cultivation of blind faith and deeply resonant, kick-ass music, they pedaled 5,000 miles and played 100 shows, slept in James Bond mansions on private beaches and under bridges with braying donkeys and crap piles, got kicked out of plazas and talked transportation with big city mayors, demonstrating day by day and mile by mile that it is feasible to live, travel and play without deep dependence on gasoline.

Music and bicycles—universal symbols of human openness and connection, elements of our common humanity, and paragons of low-tech sustainability—become vehicles for seeing the world at human speed. From the Sierra Nevada through the suburban wastelands and urban decay of southern California, over the world’s busiest border crossing, across the wilderness and austere beauty of Baja, in and out of the heart of Mexico City, the band’s quest to reach the fabled pyramids of Chiapas becomes the backdrop for its sincere yet complex quest to make a difference. The documentary is an intimate exploration of youthful freedom, profound insights, emotional transformation, and the interpersonal relationships that develop among the travelers in their multi-season odyssey."

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