Rock The Bike: BLOG

Thanks Sunday Streets! Highlights from the Pedal Powered Stage.

May 12, 2011Posted by in Blog | Comments Off

Many thanks to Rupa & The April Fishes, Cradle Duende, Izzy Wise, and Cello Joe for their performances. Also thanks to Tara Quinn who did an impromptu ground contortion routine shown above.

The crowd peaked at about 200-250. Rupa raved about the sound from our Pedal Powered Stage, saying “Our set at Sunday Streets sounded amazing, surprising power on his pedaled system.” Justin Ancheta, bandleader of Cradle Duende also thought we’d reached a new level of sound quality: “I think last year [after Sunday Streets in the Mission] I said it was the best I’ve heard, and this year topped it. The sound was great in front due to having Maya manage the board, monitors were working great.”


Above: Rupa Performs as two pedalers keep El Arbol powered up, along with 3 pedalers on stage right using Mundo 500s.

Crew Photo!

After Sunday Streets we hung out with a few new friends and did some social bike repair.

 

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Pedal Powered Recharge Bar

May 9, 2011Posted by in Electric Fender Blender Pro, Featured News, Pedal Powered Recharge Bar, Services | Comments Off

Rock The Bike produced a Pedal Powered Knowledge Station in San Francisco’s beautiful Yerba Buena Gardens for VM World, a major software conference. A Knowledge Station is a combination of a Recharge Bar and a DJ Rig. It’s more than just a place to recharge phones; it’s downright groovy! It’s a place to relax, pedal, get your heart going, meet others, and send great music out to a larger space. Over the course of the four days, conference attendees pedaled nearly 5 KiloWatt Hours (kWh) of energy as measured dynamically by the sign in the photo.

 

Conferences are all about the sharing of knowledge and connections between people. Lately, both of those things involve mobile technology. People share knowledge and connect to each other with the devices they hold in their hands, and those devices require power. At the Pedal Powered Knowledge Station, each bike has its own USB ports and AC power outlets capable of charging up to 8 phones. More…

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Pedal Power Spin Class

May 8, 2011Posted by in Blog, Services | Comments Off

Are you one of the growing number of people who walk past the big glass windows of their local gym and ask themselves: “What if? What if those people in the window on their cardio machines could be doing something useful with their power?”

The moment is now for Pedal Power spin classes. Although some big challenges will keep the trend from sweeping the nation’s gyms — mostly the costs of replacing traditional spin bikes with power generating ones — the excitement for spin classes that create energy is giving way to real results.

Rock The Bike aren’t the only ones working on this project, but we’re the most dynamic. We combine beautiful lighting displays, great sounding DJ rigs, and an intuitive Pedal Power system that responds to the instructor of the class. Pedaling actually feels harder when the instructor calls for an interval, and easier during a rest. The classes are as theatrical as they are physically challenging. Participants really feel they’ve accomplished something together, and they have. The amount of power generated by a participant in a Spin Class may be twice what we expect from a pedaler at one of our concerts, over nearly 80 Watts a piece of continuous usable output power.

 

There’s a critical difference between a regular spin bike and the kind that Rock The Bike uses. Spin bikes generate heat by squeezing the wheel with what are essential large, smooth brake pads. Participants make it feel harder or easier by adjusting a knob on their handlebars. In a Pedal Power Spin Class, you can use any of our bicycle generators to allow participants to crank out usable DC power from the bikes. What makes it feel harder or easier is varying the amount of output load that is connected to the system. This can be as simple as flipping a switch and adding more wattage to the load at key moments. You can either turn on additional lighting or dump increasing amounts of power back into the grid to vary the load. The latter is the way to allow pedalers to directly offset the energy consumption of the gym. As soon as you flip on that additional load, the Pedalometer will drop. Pedalers have to work harder to keep it in the green. Simple as that.

The work in LA this January was the second iteration of our Pedal Power Spin Class. The first was was a 2-bike system done in collaboration with Pure Austin Fitness in Austin, TX. The two generators kept the sound system pumping a live mix by DJ Manny. The second was the 30-bike system shown above, handling power peaks of over 3500 Watts.

 

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Rupa to headline as we Pedal power awesome local music acts at Sunday Streets in the Mission this Sunday!

May 3, 2011Posted by in Blog | Comments Off

Posted by fossilfool
Time:
05/08/2011 - 12:00 - 16:00

Rupa & The April Fishes will headline the Pedal Powered Stage at Sunday Streets

This Sunday we’ll be Pedal Powering hours of live local music at San Francisco’s groundbreaking cyclovia program, Sunday Streets. Headliners Rupa and the April Fishes are an internationally touring band that calls San Francisco home. Be there as we Pedal Power this amazing quintet, as well as up and coming local ‘Klezmenco’ hoppers “Cradle Duende” (listen at http://www.reverbnation.com/cradledduende ) , the digitally enhanced Cumbia sounds of Bernal Heights’ Izzy Wise, and the hilarious singalongs of the world’s only beatboxing cellist, Cello Joe. After we’ve done all that, we’ll reconfigure our gear for a LiveOnBike performance by Fossil Fool, the Bike Rapper!

Our latest Pedal Powered Stage uses artful ‘Soul Cycle’ music bikes including the imaginative El Arbol and the stout Blue Whale. These custom fiberglass rigs are built on our exclusive Modified JBL PRX loudspeakers, so they sound great and make the most of every watt of available Pedal Power. You can see them in action in the video from Earth Day at USF below.

Location: 24th and Florida St. Many thanks to the Sunday Streets crew for this awesome spot in the heart of the Mission District.

Lineup:

12PM — Izzy Wise

1PM — Rupa

2PM — Cradle Duende

2:45PM — Cello Joe

3:30PM — Fossil Fool, LiveOnBike!

Sunday Streets is a revolutionary way to experience San Francisco car free. It’s one of the first american ‘Cyclovia’ events, in which large swaths of a city are closed off to cars and people can experience a human scale community, if only for a day. Rock The Bike has been participating in Sunday Streets since 2009.

 

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Happy Earth Day from Rock The Bike! Get on the Bikes and Ride!

Apr 22, 2011Posted by in Blog | Comments Off

We have been focusing on Pedal Powering events in a big way this year. What excites us about this work are moments like this one from our event today at USF. Many thanks to the student crew including Brittany for the warm welcome.

So we say Happy Earth Day to you and yours. Yesterday we Pedal Powered the USF Earth Day event for the 2nd year and had a blast the students. The Pedal Powered Stage was a 4-person system that included both of the recent custom fiberglass Soul Cycles from Fossil Fool: El Arbol and The Blue Whale.

Tomorrow we bike to the Civic Center Earth Day Celebration to Pedal Power some of the speakers and bands.

 

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Pedal Powering Awesome Local Music at Sunday Streets Season Opener March 20

Mar 9, 2011Posted by in Blog | Comments Off

Posted by fossilfool
Time:
03/20/2011 - 11:00 - 15:00

We’re stoked to kick off our 2011 Pedal Powered Stage season with a performance by two Balkan-influenced San Francisco bands, formidable danceable groups with musical flavors from French, Spanish, and Balkan traditions. Check out the video above to see an example of this style of music. Come Pedal Power them at the March 20 season opener of Sunday Streets!

Live music will start around 12PM with a performance of Fanfare Zambaleta. The performance will be at East Park, a beautiful plaza along the Sunday Streets route with a view of the Bay, shown near the top of the map image at the bottom of this post.  Assuming we all get out of bed on time, we plan to arrive and warm up the spot with Pedal Powered DJ music a little as early as 11 AM. Look for Rock The Bike cruising the Sunday Streets route towards East Park on our amazing Soul Cycle party bikes, including the newly completed El Arbol, around 11! After the show, ride back to the Mission District with Rock The Bike after the event ends at 3PM.

Last year at East Park, Rock The Bike was ensconced in Pedal Powered hot-wire foam sculpting of an in progress El Arbol (below). Now that El Arbol is complete and twice as tall, we’re stoked to return to the same spot and Pedal Power amazing Live Music for the assembled rollerbladers, tourists, bicyclists, families, and pigeons.

The performance is FREE, but we will be be busking for the band AND cranking out delicious Bike Blended Smoothies (with farmer’s market fruit) to benefit the Bicycle Music Festival, coming June 18 this year. So please, bring a reusable cup and some bills for the band!

 

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San Francisco Bicycle Music Festival June 18, Be There!

Mar 9, 2011Posted by in Blog | Comments Off

Posted by fossilfool
Time:
06/18/2011 - 11:00 - 23:00

Tri-Tip Trio jamming out in the audience at Bicycle Music Festival 2010
photo: Space Cat

10 Bike Pedal Powered Stage, our largest LiveOnBike mobile stage, and amazing Musical and circus performances. Be There!

 

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Ride with us to Maker Faire, Pedal Power live music, see the world’s first aerial dance performance from a Tall Bike!

Feb 21, 2011Posted by in Blog | Comments Off

Posted by fossilfool

Tara Quinn tests the rear branch of El Arbol.

This year we’re planning to host the 3rd Annual Dolores Park -> Maker Faire Social Ride, put on the Pedal Powered Stage at Maker Faire, and do a debut of an Aerial dance performance from El Arbol (above).

 

Meet at Dolores Park’s 19th St. steps at 9:00AM. There will be Bike Blended Smoothies at the start. Bring a cup!

Ride 21 miles to Maker Faire. Mellow route, social pace.

Download the print the route map on Google maps: http://tinyurl.com/3ryad79

RSVP on Facebook to help build momentum for the ride: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=186605664707350#!/event.php?eid=163941343661961

 


Oona Garthwaite performing on the Pedal Powered at Maker Faire 2009

12:00    The Genie

1:00    Charlemagnet

2:00    Sour Mash Hug Band

3:00    Shovelman

4:00    Cradle Duende

5:00    Justin Ancheta

6:30    Fossil Fool with Zori and Nicco

7:30    Tara Quinn: Aerial Contortion

Sunday, 5/22

11:00    School of Rock

12:00    School of Rock

1:00    Zen Finger Painting

2:00    Dgiin

3:30    Mongoloid

4:30    Valerie Orth

5:20    Izzy Wise

 

El Arbol:

 


photo: Aufdencamp

This year at Maker Faire we’re psyched to be featuring the evolution of El Arbol, our flagship music bike, and inviting Maker Faire goers to help complete it by adding leaves to its Canopy. Over the course of the 2-day Maker Faire, the Canopy will fill up with drawings of projects and inventions, Pedal Powered Spin Art, scrap paper decorations, and other lightweight scraps from around the Faire.

In the works since 2008, El Arbol is a 15′ tall rolling tree with several unique features including the first-ever deployable ‘roots’, shown deployed above. These 6′ wide stabilizers (please don’t call them training wheels) swing out on command, allowing the tree to remain upright at low speeds and stop signs, and to be used as a Pedal Power generator.

El Arbol also features a state of the art 2-person Pedal Powered Stage with amazing audio clarity, thanks to the vertically stacked speakers in its trunk. Two people pedaling can provide plenty of energy to amplify a band’s performance to an audience of hundreds.

Process:

We’ll display a series of poster-sized photos from the making of El Arbol on the sides of our 10×10 tent, engaging Faire goers in the creative process that goes into a multi-year project like El Arbol. We hope to inspire Faire goers to think big and get inspired for their own projects in the coming year.

Over the last four years, Faire goers have seen Rock The Bike progress from making party bikes like the Choprical Fish to creating a 6-bike Pedal Powered Stage. Now we are setting our sights on creating a Pedal Powered circus using El Arbol as the equivalent of the circus tent.


photo: Aufdencamp

Above, testing out the rear branch of El Arbol as an aerial rig. We plan to feature some of the aerial artists in our crew at this year’s Maker Faire.

 

 

 

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What’s Rock The Bike planning for Maker Faire this year?

Feb 21, 2011Posted by in Blog | Comments Off


photo: Aufdencamp

This year at Maker Faire we’re psyched to be featuring the evolution of El Arbol, our flagship music bike, and inviting Maker Faire goers to help complete it by adding leaves to its Canopy. Over the course of the 2-day Maker Faire, the Canopy will fill up with drawings of projects and inventions, Pedal Powered Spin Art, scrap paper decorations, and other lightweight scraps from around the Faire.

In the works since 2008, El Arbol is a 15′ tall rolling tree with several unique features including the first-ever deployable ‘roots’, shown deployed above. These 6′ wide stabilizers (please don’t call them training wheels) swing out on command, allowing the tree to remain upright at low speeds and stop signs, and to be used as a Pedal Power generator. More…

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No guarantees it’ll work for you but here’s how I fought the tall bike law in court and won.

Jan 29, 2011Posted by in Blog, Featured News | Comments Off

California’s Vehicle Code prohibits tall bikes, stating you have to be able to put your foot down and stop safely. I agree with the ‘stop safely’ spirit of this law. We don’t want to be seeing people keeling over. But tall bikes are fun, can be designed to be safe, and are great for Bike Culture events and rides. Here’s how I designed a tall bike that keeps to the spirit of the law, and then successfully defended myself in court!

When I started making my tall bike, El Arbol, three years ago, I knew it was going to be bigger and heavier than the other ones I’d seen. So I began looking for ways to stabilize it at low speeds so I could stop without needing to put my hand on a nearby truck.


Kipchoge riding his Long Tall Sally in San Francisco traffic.
More…

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