We co-produce and Pedal Power this annual community-powered music festival which always falls on the Saturday closest to the Solstice. This year, our 7th, is going to be our best ever. Please say you’ll join us
Check out this amazing video from last year’s event:read more
After a recent Bicycle Music Festival volunteer meeting one of our best cargo bikes, a Mundo 500, was stolen. It was locked to itself. This electric cargo bike was heavy, immobilized and impossible to push. The thieves must have had to lift it into a truck. I realized it the next morning and felt dejected and ashamed.
I gathered some resolve to ask around for my bike. I remembered my friend Kipchoge’s story of recovering his stolen laptop by spending 3 days lurking in the underworld of San Francisco’s seediest Tenderloin and Mission neighborhoods. When he finally found himself face to face with the man who’d stolen it, in the hallway of a dingy hotel, the man admitted he hadn’t yet wiped the hard drive or sold it yet because he liked a video on the desktop. The video showed Kipchoge and his friends riding into the woods on Xtracycles carrying chainsaws, in order to do trail maintenance.
I printed out the photo below and headed out to talk to people in the nooks and crannies under highway overpasses and in the Plaza at Civic Center.
I also reached out to crewmembers and friends on facebook for help. I posted it everywhere, in all the group pages for which I was a member. RTB’s Nio connected me with Jenny Oh, who has built a bike theft recovery network that is remarkably effective at getting stolen bikes back to their owners. She reposted my photo and shared her tips for getting bikes back. Following the advice I filed an online Police Report.
I found that friends and even the people on the street were overwhelmingly sympathetic with my cause. Alas, they weren’t giving me any leads. More…read more
When I heard Bill McKibben was going to be in San Francisco to announce a recent success in Supervisor Avalos’s initiative for San Francisco to divest from Oil giants, I jumped at the chance to Pedal Power the speech. Avalos’ office put me in touch with the organizers who were excited to make it happen.
On the day of the rally, Nio and I transported two of our Modified JBL Loudspeakers and towed one electric Fender Blender Pro to use as the generator. We used our newest Pedal Powered Stage system for small events, called One Bike / One Speaker, in which the ultracapacitor (storage tank) and protection circuitry are inside one of the speakers. There’s no red customized toolbox as there usually has been in Rock The Bike’s Pedal Power setups. This makes it fast to set up, and easier to transport.
The first thing Bill did when taking the stage was fist-bump the pedaler. His message on the mic is very inclusive and echoes previous giants of social movements: “We may not beat this challenge, but I so look forward to fighting alongside all of you.
I love that in the AP’s entire article about divestment, the only mention of bicycling is in the lead photo. Rock The Bike!read more
This morning on Bike To Work Day I was racing to drop off a Bike Blender to UCSF for their Health Fair. In classic fashion I’d double-booked the drop off with a really important meeting, the ISCOTT commission meeting where Bicycle Music Festival was to present our Nighttime street closure plan. I didn’t check the bike routes and ended up climbing this WALL of a hill. Switchbacking too tight I flipped the blender and pushed it up the second half. Happy Bike To Work Day!
Drop complete, ready to sprint to ISCOTT. Only problem is I have no lock, and they’re NOT going to let me bring it in. More…read more
Justin Ancheta Band to debut their new CD “Plant” at Cafe Du Nord in San Francisco April 13. RSVP: http://www.facebook.com/events/325251237585774/?ref=ts&fref=tsread more
Here’s a copy of a recent receipt from Trader Joe’s for a Bike Blending event that served 100 people.
To serve the most people in the least time, here are the factors to consider:
- Ingredients. This is the easiest. Ingredients cost $0.60 per 8 oz smoothie. Scale this to meet your crowd needs.
- Crewmembers. This helps you prepare the pitchers of ingredients faster. 1 person per bike for a relaxed event. 3 crewmembers per bike if you think you’ll be slammed.
- Number of Fender Blender bikes. Increase the number of bikes to maximize your participation levels when maximum crowd flow is expected. Each bike can do 100- 250 8 oz smoothies per hour, depending on the number of crewmembers.
- Type of pitcher: See the Osterizer v. Vitamix comparison. It’s easier to serve large crowds with a vitamix.
- Number of pitchers. Two pitchers are incredibly useful. Make double the same amount of time by prepping a second batch while blending the first. If you foresee having vegan/dairy-free smoothies you might want a pitcher just for those.
Our Pedal Powered lighting challenge, the sLEDgehammer, has escaped the tube. We’ve both advanced the circuitry and the creativity of this piece of gear, making it even more of a crowd pleaser.
The sLEDgehammer is a Pedal Power game where you have to pedal really hard (but not for very long) to win. When you win, the power you’ve built up by pedaling gets unleashed in a dazzling light sequence. In the example above, a river appears to flow down the courtyard away from the pedaler, then the Peace & Love sign lights up. The 9-segment ‘reward’ sequence lasts only a couple seconds. When someone wins the game and sees the sequence, there’s a palpable release of energy. The celebrations are awesome to see. At the holiday party where we set this up, people were shouting “Peace & Love!”
The technical needs of a Pedal Powered event vary greatly depending on audience size, venue, and power needs of musician’s devices. The questions in this post will help you to know what features are most important for you, and how much power you’ll really need. Please answer these questions and email us using the contact form. Also, please check out some of our recommended packages to see systems intended for different crowd sizes: http://rockthebike.com/pedal-powered-stage-packages
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Friends, customers, and fans: Please support my campaign to speak at the global TED 2013 conference. There is an open voting and comment period happening NOW until the end of August, in which you can watch and review all the amazing auditions that took place in the past 6 months. I auditioned in Vancouver in May. While the TED team make the final decisions, your feedback and ratings are going to help this talk get noticed. Please see bold instructions below for info about how to take action!read more
Beginning July 30 from the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, we will pedal northward, covering 180-miles in 4-days, arriving in style at Gaia Fest, an awesome music and camping festival at the Black Oak Ranch in Laytonville.
And now, we are ready to bring YOU safely by bicycle to Gaia Fest!
We will be carrying all the supplies we need for our tour, then setting up a Pedal Powered Stage featuring some of the best bands at the Gaia Festival, right across from the Main Stage!read more