A man biked from Denver to Tulsa to raise money for artists struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The ride has raised nearly $17,000 so far.
Nate Cook is a band member with The Yawpers. Cook said he's a cycling novice, but he decided to take on the 11-day, 730-mile journey to Tulsa.
"If I was going to kind of try to do something good, it should come at great physical cost to myself,” Cook said. “I was woefully unprepared for the journey and somehow still managed to make it."
Cook biked while the digital director of his record label followed in a car. Nina Stiener said they would stop every 20 miles to rest and regroup.
"It's definitely not a cushy, green bike path from Denver to Tulsa," Stiener said.
Stiener said that Bloodshot Records’ clients are on the road year-round. Despite the resurgence of vinyl, touring remains most artists' main source of income.
"The music industry has been hit especially hard,” Steiner said. “Touring has always been the bread and butter of artists."
That's why Cook hopped on a bike to raise money for the Sweet Relief Musicians Fund. The fund provides health insurance and basic necessities for artists.
"I was kind of in a unique position having a platform as a musician,” Cook said. “I wanted to be able to give back to the community that's kept me alive."
"It's a really scary time for people without insurance, and a huge portion of artists don't have insurance," Stiener said.
Cook and his band are scheduled to play Monday night at the Mercury Lounge. Tickets are $25.
"What elevates the human experience and the ability to cope and emotionally understand your surroundings,” Cook said. “[M]usic and the arts are germane to the human experience."
Cook also has plans to turn this bike ride into an annual festival, but was he planning to bike back to Denver?
"Ah, God no," Cook said.