Rocker to roll through Suffolk

Published 11:47 pm Friday, June 26, 2009

Gabriel Redding is used to spending long days on the road.

As part of The Redding Brothers, an indie-rock band formed with older brothers Josiah and Micah, Redding has spent much of the past six years touring across the country.

This summer, however, his travels will be much different.

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Redding will begin biking across the country to raise funds for the Multiple Sclerosis Society.

“I had kind of thrown around the idea for several years of biking across the country, because I like adventure, and it seems really fun,” Redding said this week. “Summertime is the only time that I have free with our touring schedule, because we play at so many colleges. I decided, hey, I need to bike across the country, and decided I was going to do it this summer.”

Redding’s love of distance cycling came about, in part, thanks to his brothers. Years ago, back in their native West Virginia, the older Reddings took part in a 150-mile bike-a-thon benefiting the MS Society.

“I was too young to do it but I really wanted to go, because it sounded like a big great adventure,” Redding said. “But I was too young and didn’t have a good bike.”

This past September, Redding was back home in West Virginia when the bike-a-thon was again being held.

“I had a few weeks open, and I said, ‘Hey, I’m going to go on the one they went on,’” Redding said. “That kind of really got me into the distance cycling.”

Redding also said he is impressed with the work being done with the MS Society, and he wanted to be able to help out further with its mission.

“I really liked what they were doing and what they were working with,” Redding said. “I decided that I wanted (my bike ride) to be a benefit for the MS Society, as well. I really like the work that they did and the people they were helping. Every day, I’m meeting more and more people who either have a family member or know somebody who has MS or who has it themselves. It’s a pretty widespread disease.”

Redding, along with the help of some friends, began planning his 43-day trip across America. After laying out the route for the trip, they called hotels, and many locations donated a room for the night to help the cause. Redding said he also would be staying with friends and family members along the way.

Additionally, restaurants and local businesses have been donating gift cards for Redding to have while on the road, which is important because he will be burning about 8,000 calories a day while biking.

While Redding is the only one biking the whole way, the MS Society does not support single ride-a-thons. Therefore, he arranged to have a support car complete with friends, who will take the trip with him.

“Which is really great of them, because they’re going to be bored out of their minds driving at 15 mph for 3,200 miles,” he said. “They’re the ones doing the real work, not me.”

Redding will begin his ride across America Monday in Virginia Beach, and he will be passing through Suffolk in the early afternoon. He will finish up in Seattle, Wash.

Anyone interested in following his progress can visit his Web site at to see video blogs that he will be producing from the road every couple of days. People interested in donating to the MS Society also can do so from his Web page.

When Redding gets back, it will be back to work. The Redding Brothers will release their third album this fall, and he also will tour in support of his solo album.