The Circus of the Cycling Spoon

Starting on 1st of August 2011 an international group of 8 people crazy enough to take on wind, rain, mountains, bad roads, wild animals / children set off peddling in the glistning sun on the very splendid and smooth Oder-Nei├če cycling way. Instuments flung over their backs, spoons dangling and pots clanging they were heading east with the intention to create shows together as well as with the children in the rural areas they would roll through. Among them Musicians, Street Artists, Social Workers, Clowns, Special Needs Educators, a Human Bear from Noooooorthern Kyrgyzstan and 14 year old hand stand specialist.

Knowing from previous experiences that cycling artists consume tremendously humungous quantities of food, (bear in mind we also had a bear!) The Kashsa King stocked up on supplies.

The group of 8 soon grew to 14. Hmmm 14 … MORE kasha, MORE water = super heavy loaded bikes. Evening meal time soon became a big Celebration where we would indulge ourselves in our hard earned show money (in the form of crunchy local veggies and mass amounts of sweets!)

Cycling together we had the opportunity to share skills from many fields – in the fields (and forests), as well as gathering ideas for workshops and shows. Which we would perform in the touristic plastic popcorn places popping up pretty much all along Polands Baltic coast.

The beaches were just lovley (outside the PPP, (Plastic Popcorn Places)) but some roads were just not made for cargobikes….

We eventualy headed inland and sooner or later the fork gave in (possible due to the combination of the 4 crates of food it was carrying and nasty potholes). We found ourselves looking for a welding machine in the most desolate part of mainland Poland. To our disbelief we found one in the next village in a pile of metal trash and old tractor parts. The owner’s family kept a continues flow of milk and fruit going, whilst our group engineers got the job done. No question we returned in the morning to do a small thank-you-show for them… aaaaaand weld some more!

Our show continously developed, being boosted by Finnish Tango Singers, professional saxophone players, mimes, and fire artists.

With the help of our proffessinal camp place scouts, our camp places got nicer and nicer everynight.

With people coming and going pouring their ideas and creativity into the group we arrived in Gdansk. We were hosted by two wonderful people engaged in social work and political activism (check out – well we were so many they just moved out and gave us the keys to there flat. „GASP“ Shower! OVEN! PIZZA, Bananabread Mmmmmm… The next day we went to a social center for children in the „difficult areas“ of town and spent the day with workshops and shows for the kids.

Only some of us had braved the mountain of paperwork nessesary to enter Russia, so our group dropped down to five. A nice opportunity to work more intense on music, shows and workshops. We arrived in Kaliningrad after a few days of pleasant cycling and met a wonderful group of people who introduced us to the historical and cultural secrets of the city. Some of these people decided to become our traveling companions, we had one seat free on the tandem, the rest followed us via the magic thumb.

We were heading for a little village in the very east of the Kalinigrad region where Lena spent three years of her childhood and a big part of her family is still living there. We rolled peacefully down the small country roads through small sleepy villages. We were often helped on our way by the village elders who spent most their days looking in their beer bottles untill they find interesting strangers to laugh and smile with or just to explain how to use a map.

All seemed well… but we made our plans without the russian officials who were patroling the special border zone installed to hinder European travellers from returning too easy. So we need special papers? 3 days later in the next town, after doing some shows meeting the town officials and Sasha the most friendly taxi driver EVER and his wood breaking, smashing, collecting, igniting wife! All our worries about papers and permits were soon solved by the town major and our tounges were delighted by the taste of home made wildberryjam in front of the highest and hottest fires of all our journey. So finaly the vicious boarder patrol was at ease and could try out some accordion.

Finally we arrived in the magic and most accomodating village and were instantly sucked in by Lenas Babushka and Dedushka to tea and all the sweet Russian specialities you could dream of. Every morning we awoke in a big soft haybarn by the sounds of the village animals and their owners comically comunicating with them. We stayed for a week and arranged to do workshops at the local club leading to a big spectacular show for the whole village to enjoy.

During our workshops we tried to spark new ideas and the experience of self success among the kids and youth we worked with. By getting to know people from other countries as well as new forms of expression, new ideas of living and communicating with each other could evolve. Also circus, music and theater can provide an interesting alternative to drinking – a big issue especially in the rural areas where there is less possibility of finding a fulfilling work or freetime activity.

With the work we did with the kids we try to question existing structures and help them find new solutions or their own ways to solve problems. Lastly but most importantly fun was the key element that brought everyone together. In what we do the process is allways more important than the product opposed to the pressure of accomplishment and achievement which often dominates daily life.

After a fantastic show with the children of the village and us enjoying the local banjas, we had say goodbye to lenas grandparents and the kids….and got on the road again (now 4 of us).

After a few days we arrived in Tshernjahovsk where we where welcomed by the inhabitants of the Castle Insterburg with open arms and fairywings. The castle, being a cultural center in the area, kept us very busy and entertained. Shows for high Military Officials, Orphans, Othodox church Choirs, Museum Visitors, Old and very young people (nowhere in between) and making music in the Catacombs as well as all around the castle took much of our time.
We were very surprised to stuble across such a project in this region that helps realize creative visions of everyone who finds his way there. This place was bustling with ideas and projects that were creating and preserving culturual live in the city.

After a fulfilling and very inspiring time at the castle we made our way out of Russia towards Klaipeda where our ferry was leaving. The days where getting colder, our shows better and better, colourful leaves were falling like the money in our ukulele box our hosts became friendlier and more spanish… just enough time for the last show on the helicopter pad of the ferry floating across the baltic, back home or into the next project…

Traveling on 2 continents

the 2 groups riding with 2wheels4change performing at about the same time on 2 different continents:

The Circus of the Cycling Spoon in Gdansk, Poland

the moNkey bAnd in Almaty, Kazakhstan

here we go!

It’s been exactly three weeks since the second ‚2 Wheels 4 Change‘-chapter hit the road in Berlin…
We started with 8 people who just partly knew each other, a bunch of self-built bikes and a lot of instruments. So far 14 people have joined us, some already left us again. There are also some familiar faces, who‘ve been also on the last trip with us.

In the first days we already practiced songs and acrobatics, exchanged skills and brought together a nice little show, which we first presented on the sleepy streets on Schwedt in Germany. Of course everyone really enjoyed the nice sleeping places in forests, along rivers, lakes and when we reached the sea in Poland also on the beach. Camp fires nearly every evening warmed our dirty feet and our souls…

This trip we are proud to present ‚The Circus of the Cycling Spoons‘, including crazy clowns, acrobats, a fire-breather, a muscle-man from Kirgistan, trumpet, tuba, three ukuleles, two guitars, two washboards, two accordions, horn, saxophone, melodica, mouthharp and hip-shaking drum-section. We use bicycles to ride from show to show and from meal to meal. Kasha every morning and new culinaric inventions every evening warm our stomachs – we live and eat like kings. Luckily we are able to make enough money with loads of shows to feed us all (group chocolate and soymilk everyday).
So today we arrived in Gdansk with 8 people and no idea where to spend the night. Luckily we met the nicest people here, so now we see the inside of an apartment for the first time since the beginning of the trip. Tomato-soup is on and we‘re all happy…
Tomorrow we will do workshops in a youth-center for kids in difficult situations as well as a show in the city.
Sadly all the people without russian visas will leave us in the next days, so we will cross the border just with five of us. But right now we just enjoy the moment.
See you on the road…

We‘ re rolling

Hey there everyone…

we ‚ve had a terrific start and perfect weather for the first 6 days…
the oder-neisse cycling path kicks ass … and we ‚ve making good money on the streets with a nice show…

we re 14 people right now … just taking one lane for ourselves :)
in case you wanna join here is our polish contact number:

0048 519655014

more stories and pictures when there is time and pc’s