Saxophone carrying on a 5 mile route?

Would it be practical to carry an Alto Saxophone in a very snug case, wearing a back pack on my 36er for a few miles? I hate how the bus gets me to school 45 minutes before I have to be there, and I can’t drive or get a ride from friends… and uni is way more fun. In my experience, carrying things in my hands, even in excess of 10 lbs, doesn’t throw off my balance too much, but my commute would take roughly half an hour. Would it even work? It’s not terribly practical to see how well I could ride with said objects currently due to wind advisories (45-50mph winds right around now), so I thought the next logical choice would be the forums.

Thanks, Ian

you should practice by carrying heavy objects while wearing a backpack. i havent tried to carry my sax on my coker, but then again i play tenor. i think you would be ok, just remember to save the sax, not the uni.

Yeah, that’s what I figured. I’m not terribly worried about being able to do it, as with an adjustment in balance I assume I could maintain it, but the safety of my sax, and obviously me, concerns me a bit - I don’t fall often, but if I’m caught off guard by someone or something in my path, I could easily send me, the uni, or the sax flying straight into traffic… which would not be a good thing.

Certainly it’s possible, I believe Scott Wilton rides to school with a (trumpet?).

As long as it’s not loose I think you’ll be ok. The problem is a swinging weight. I just use a 29" but I use it to go everywhere with nearly anything on me. My max was 15kg of clothes: full backpack and 4 full bags in my hands and under my arms. I looked like the Michelin doll :smiley:

If it’s balanced and tight it would be ok. My advice is to use the hardest case you have, the extra weight compensates the extra protection for your expensive sax. Just remember to use some kind of cushion for your back and fasteners for both your waist and shoulders and to practise short courses first.

It’s possible to ride with all kinds of crazy loads. I’ve carried a 50-pound inflatable kayak on my back for 36 miles.

I think that any of the woodwinds from the piccolo up to a soprano saxophone would be fine. An alto sax is pretty much out of the question. An oboe or a clarinet and you’re totally in.

was it inflated at the time?

In my experience it’s too dangerous to have sex on a uni.
what… oh, uh… never mind. :o


by Tom Holub, on Flickr


Cyclops water entry, KSR Day 2 by Tom Holub, on Flickr

please explain that last photo.


My instrument on a uni joke

I did a few shows with Cyrus Koskey, in Fanual Hall, Boston, many years ago. Cyrus had an excellent spot, and we were planning to do 3 shows, rake in some real dough.:slight_smile:

I didn’t ride uni then, so I just assumed everything was easy, since the performers almost never fell off. We agreed I would do the ball and torch juggling. I told Cyrus how awesome it would look to have him up on the 8’giraffe playing his accordion while I juggled. He seemed to agree, but then said we could do only 2 shows.

“Why would we only do 2 shows I asked”, wondering why he thought it would take more time to do the show that way.

"Oh , we got plenty of time ", he said, “but I only have 2 accordions.” :slight_smile:

That’s the water entry on Day 2 of the Kinetic Sculpture Grand Championship in Humboldt County, California.

Wind will probably be the biggest issue - if it were me, I’d investigate some way to attach the sax case to your back or the backpack.

I’ve commuted w/ a backpack filled w/ things bigger & heavier than an alto sax.

I would only consider doing it w/ the sax in a hard case (in case of a UPD & it hitting the ground hard) and fastened securely in the backpack.

Winds at half of that would be nearly unrideable for me.

Yeah, I totally agree with you. I just went out and tried to free mount with my backpack in my hand, it was practically impossible. If I had been wearing it I’m sure I could’ve mounted, same with the saxophone… but carrying it by hand isn’t practical, for me at least.

I’ve carried a tenor sax in it’s case while riding my trials. It wasn’t practical and kinda painfull… On your back should be fine though, it isn’t much harder than doing it on a bike…

My weirdest and clunkiest object carried for a distance was my cello in its heavy case. I rode with that sucker for about 3 miles once. Mom was not pleased.

my final opinion is not to do it. it is dangerous for you and your sax, and there must be another way around it.what i would do is take the bus and when you arrive at school practice unicycling for 45 minutes. problem solved