This is the gear we use at our own Pedal Powered Stage events, including the San Francisco Bicycle Music Festival.
A Pedal Powered Stage is a system that must include ALL of the following:
- loudspeaker(s) and audio gear
- protection circuitry and voltage buffer
- wiring and interconnects
The following elements are optional:
Creating a system yourself can be a great team-building experience but has a serious learning curve. Working with Rock The Bike, by buying our gear outright or scheduling a ‘barnraising’ (collaborative build), will get you up and running much more quickly and with higher quality components. You’ll be able to put your focus on organizing events much sooner.
Let our experience work for you. We’ve been Pedal Powering music events since 2007. This will translate to less frustration and more empowering moments when you use our gear at your events.
We would be happy to assist you in customizing a quote for your Pedal Powered Stage. Please note that the items in this category are often made to order. Please help us help you by giving us enough time to do our best work.
You can green your event by renting our Pedal Power gear, reducing your carbon footprint and inspiring people at your event. Check out all our great bikes for rent, and let’s start talking about your upcoming event.
Drying Location Suggestion: Stamp/Paper with your brand/logo
50 – 100 participants great spectator activity
6′ x 8′
* For local events, delivery is included. IF NOT IN THE BAY AREA, THERE MAY BE AN ADDITIONAL CHARGE.
Fender Blender Pro
No one is responsible for bringing as many Bike Blended Smoothies into the world as Rock The Bike. We invented the Fender Blender, the only bike blender on the market. We have successfully produced all-day smoothie booths at festivals such as Whole Earth Festival and Harmony, and we regularly blend at our Pedal Powered Stage music events to keep the pedalers happy and cool during peak moments.
“We would like to thank Rock The Bike for allowing us to rent out smoothie bikes for this year’s FunFest at the SF Giants’ AT&T Park! We managed to serve over 2,200 smoothies and received more thanks and smiles than we could have ever asked for. This was a first for LIFT and you helped us pull it off! Thanks again for working with us in such short notice and for helping us make this past weekend a success!” –Sincerely, The LIFT Team
A Bike Blender makes a huge impact at your event. The sound of ice crushing is a great head turner, and research shows that pedal power makes smoothies taste better.
Our event clients most commonly rent the Fender Blender Pro and man their own blender stations. Rock The Bike can also help you with a fully staffed smoothie station.
Rental cost $250 / day without Rock the Bike crew. We recommend a couple practice rounds before the day of your event.
We estimate the cost of ingredients to be $1 per 12 oz. smoothie.
Client is responsible for pickup and dropoff, which can occur the day before and the day after your event. The Fender Blender Pro is available for pickup in our Berkeley shop. It comes with a commercial-grade blender pitcher, the Vita-Mix. Extra pitchers can be rented for $20 per event day.
The Fender Blender Pro can be shipped and rented in other cities. It was designed with a detachable frame feature that allows us to ship it at reasonable rates while being easy to setup. For out of town rentals, we package and ship the Fender Blenders to you, so they arrive the day before your event, then you ship them back the day after your event. The rental rate is $250 per event day + cost of shipping both ways (usually $150 – $250 per bike in the continental US) and a packaging fee of $85. If our rental schedule permits it, we often work with clients to waive the transit days and only charge for the days of use.
If you want a Rock The Bike crewmember to be there coaching this activity at your event, the crew fee is $550 / day, plus $320 / day for each additional crewmember. Our crew will make sure the smoothies are tasty, the bike is set up properly, and that many event participants get a chance to take part. The cost of crew does not include the rental fee or cost of ingredients. For more smoothies, we recommend renting extra pitchers ($20 each), too.
Bike Powered Ice Cream Maker. We’ve seen the power of the Fender Blender, and we’ve kicked it up a notch. Serve up ice cream at your event, and allow guests to make their own flavors.
1.5 gallon capacity in 15 minutes, that’s 4.5 gallons of ice cream an hour! Ages as low as 12 can bike, all ages can enjoy.
$750 / day. Only available to rent, includes a 2 person Rock the Bike crew in Bay Area. Approved partners can rent the Ice Cream Bike without crewmembers for $400 / day. Also available to rent through Ample Hills Creamery in Brooklyn, New York.
Ingredients for custard, mix-ins, ice, and rock salt not included. Costs approximately $1 / person, but depends on serving size and if you use organic ingredients. Custard must be prepared and chilled prior to the event. Also compatible with Frozen Yogurt and Sorbet recipes! Pair with a Fender Blender Pro and make milkshakes at your event.
Pedal Powered Spin Art
Great for smaller kids, who will be able to power the experience for each other. Spin Art is interactive, colorful, creative, peaceful, and inspiring.
With just a few pedal strokes, you can get the platter of your Pedal Powered Spin Art station spinning at 5000-10000 RPM, enough to produce dazzling spirals, circles, and streaks as you squirt paint on the paper.
Kids flock to the station, staring in awe as the colors spin and splatter across the paper. Older kids or parents can pedal for youngsters. Children as young as seven can enjoy this activity. Let them bring home artwork and memories from your event!
$800 / day for paint, paper, and Rock the Bike crew. Crew it yourself for $350 / day, and we’ll still provide you with the tempera paint and the paper. You can also use your own 8.5″ x 11″ paper with the company letterhead, or a stamp with your logo on it!
Client is responsible for pickup and dropoff, which can occur the day before and the day after your event. We can arrange for pick up in our Berkeley shop or in San Francisco.
Pedal Powered Stage
If you truly want to showcase human power in its most social form, getting your event participants to power up a band, street performer, speaker, or DJ is probably the most powerful example there is. Bringing the Pedal Powered Stage to your event is a more significant effort, requiring a larger crew. We have full audio packages for Pedal Powered Stages.
One person can easily generate the power to charge 5, 10, or even 15 cell phones at at time using our cell phone recharge station. Seen above in use at the 2008 Virgin Mobile Festival as a “Recharge Bar.”
Rock The Bike’s recharge bar is either based on a Fender Blender Pro frame or a Mundo 500. Both have a wide size range to fit men, women, and most kids.
Above: The Pedal Power zone at Dreamforce allows convention attendees to calculate their wattage output while charging electronic devices.
Don’t limit your possibilities to cell phones. Power a laptop and speaker and let the pedaler choose videos and web content to share with a small group. Great for conventions, meetings, and all-day events where people need power for mobile devices.
Call our toll-free number today at 1-888-354-2453 to talk about how we can power a Knowledge Portal at your event.
Price TBD on your needs.
Renting with Rock the Bike
The first step to renting equipment from us is calling (1-888-354-BIKE) or emailing us to see if we can accommodate your event. Then we will send you an estimate or invoice and the Rock the Bike Rental Agreement. Once you have read and completed it, fax -or- email it back to us.
To complete the reservation, we need:
A copy of a credit card and state issued ID
A credit card that we can authorize for the full value of the rental equipment
We sell two types of complete Generator Bikes, and also generator wheels to install on your bike, in three sizes: 24″, 26″, and 700c. We sell two ratings of wheels: Cargo Strength, or NeverGonnaHitThePavement. If you’re only going to use these as generator wheels, you can get away with a lower-quality spec on the rim and spokes. But if you’re planning to ride to and from gigs, and especially if you’re carrying a load on the wheel, you need our Cargo Strength wheels, rebuilt with downhill mountain biking rims and 12 Gauge spokes.
You can put our generator wheels on any bike. We recommend a bike with a wide size range, low stepover height, and gears.
So what kinds of complete generator bikes do we offer?
Cargo Bike Generators:
Examples include the Mundo 500 (above) and Xtracycle Generator. Each of these is capable of riding to your events with a load, then converting to generator use. Cargo bike generators can also become electric cargo bikes; though we no longer offer this conversion, we’ll point you in the right direction.
The widest, most stable generator we sell, and boasting a very wide size range thanks to its innovative bottom bracket design. A single-speed generator, it’s extremely simple to use.
Generator wheels to turn any bike into a generator:
The most affordable way to access our frictionless generator technology. You simply swap the rear wheel of your current bike and throw it on one of our stable trainer stands. Great for custom bikes like El Arbol above, or for low-cost generators. Still extremely quiet and powerful.
Above: Your bike can now be a generator, every bit as powerful and quiet as the ones we use at Rock The Bike events.
Special lightweight or higher/lower voltage generators: We’ll consult with you to find lighter weight options for bike touring or specific application.
Want your bike to generate power? Now you can, with a hand-built generator wheel from Rock The Bike. You can also use it to upgrade your Mundo into an electric bike.
These generators have gearing that is optimized for 24V systems but will function on 12V system. In order to use the power you generate, you’ll also need a Pedal Power Utility Box.
Requires 2-3 weeks to build from time of payment. Please specify desired output connector.
What kind of bike makes a good generator for our generator wheels?
Bikes with a wide size range
Bikes with good standover height
Bikes without rear suspension. Suspension (or “shocks”) makes a bike less stable when it’s mounted on a Stationary Stand.
Bikes with a front derailleur and 2-3 chainrings. These have a wider gear ratio, making it easier to find the right gear ratio.
Cost: 700 c – $450 (not suitable for cargo use) or $425 as add-on to Fender Blender Pro purchase. 26″ – $525 (suitable for cargo use) 24″, 20″ – $525 (not suitable for cargo use.
In the Box:
Wheel with Generator Hub (in selected size)
Rectifier cable with 2′ lead to wheel and 20′ cable for the DC output.
7-speed freewheel with 11-tooth cog for highest voltage range, or 1 speed on Electric Fender Blender Pro
2 Bamboo Tripods for elevating precisely arrayed speaker clusters / 16 bikes / Stage lighting / AC power.
The Festival-grade package is both sonically and visually rich and serves as a prominent landmark at your event. Designed for the largest audiences, with large tripods angling the loudspeakers at distant rows. Beautiful at night.
Crowd Size: 500-2500 Setup Time: 3-4 hours Crew size: 8 Getting it there: The entire sound system can fit on 6-8 cargo bikes and cargo trailers. Terrain will affect exact choice of roadie gear. Please consult with us! Generators: We recommend 5 Mundo 500, 1 Boda Boda, 4 RTBGen, 2 Electric Fender Blender Pro, 4 generator wheel and stands. Event space: We recommend a 12 x 24 stage. Additional space for Pedal Power generators, approx. 8×20. Storage space: All gear will fit into a 10×15 storage space. Please see our storage recommendations for more info. Lighting: Includes Stage Lighting panels for night events. Tripods have integrated lighting. AC Power rating: 1000 W, Pure Sine Wave.
In this post we will simplify the world of Pedal Powered Stage gear into 4 simple packages: Small, Medium, Large, and Festival Grade. After producing over 150 Pedal Powered music events, we have created a dependable, reproducible system are are ready to simplify the process for you.
Why: Check out Fossil Fool’s TED talk and other interviews on our About Us page to get the motivation for Pedal Powering music events. It’s about teamwork, community building, fun, and replacing gas generators.
Where: You can do it anywhere, but outdoor music events are the best settings. Our system uses cargo bikes to carry all the gear to events. Then we convert the cargo bikes into generators. See photos of past events:
How: Call us to get an estimate going for your gear package. We ship almost anywhere and specialize in building gear you can learn quickly and use dependably. You can also come to a Rock The Bike event and learn from us directly. Typical lead time for a Pedal Powered Stage is 6-8 weeks.
The Medium Pedal Powered Stage puts teamwork at the fore. 4+ people work together to power a live show.
Gosh, I wish this one had a better name. It’s an awesome demonstration, great bang for your buck.
4 Bikes / 2 Speakers / AC Power
Cost: ~ $13950
Also known as the SHAKE YOUR PEACE! rig. This is the smallest system we sell that allows you to truly power up a band. This option provides AC power; most bands have at least one performer who needs AC power for their instruments (amps, keyboards, effect pedals).
Crowd Size: 150-300 Setup Time: 30 minutes Crew size: 4 Getting it there: 2 of the bikes are cargo bikes. 1 tows another. Event space: Generators will take up about 12 x 8. Recommended stage size 10 x 14 including loudspeakers. Storage space: All will fit in 5 x 10. Lighting: Stage lighting panels can be connected directly to a bike or the included Utility Box. AC Power rating: Comes with a 600 Watt pure sine inverter capable of delivering 1200 Watt surges in power. However, for practical purposes, AC power will have to be less than 200 Watts (continuous) for a successful event.
The gear / What you get: Budget: Options / Upgrades: You supply:
Crowd Size: 100 to 250 Setup Time: 1 hour. Crew size: 4 Budget: 12K Optimized for what types of performances? Bands without many AC Power instruments. Other notes: With a Medium sized Pedal Powered Stage, you need to be conscientious about what types of bands you work with. Specifically, instrumentation.
The gear: We recommend: Generators 2 Electric Fender Blender Pro 2 Mundo generators (upgradeable to Electric Cargo Bike): 3 Generator wheel + stand (upgrade any bike)
Circuitry: Split-Rail Utility Box with integrated 600 Watt AC inverter. Pedalometer: 4′ tube, visible across a wide area.
Barebones downgrade: No Pedalometer tube.
Bass upgrade: Get a subwoofer.
Required additional gear purchase / sourcing: 2 speaker stands. Modified JBL PRX 635 Loudspeaker with built-in Dubla and single Ultracapacitor brick. All cabling included. $5000
Substitution: Pedal Powered DJ Booth. Add 1-2 subwoofers. Keep only 1 monitor. Now you’ve got a righteous rig for dance music. If you’re working with a great DJ, your audio needs will be different than if you’re planning to Pedal Power bands.
Be at the forefront of the Pedal Power movement. Make history. The large Pedal Powered Stage includes enough loudspeakers, generators, circuitry, and interconnects for you to entertain a 1000-person audience, or larger. ‘No compromise’ sound for performers, thanks to ample monitors and AC power. The experience of playing on a Large Pedal Powered Stage is about the same as playing on a conventionally powered stage. To the audience it also feels and sounds like a medium-sized festival stage from a major festival.
Crowd Size: 300-1000 Setup Time: 2-4 hours Crew size: 6 Getting it there: The entire sound system can fit on 4-6 cargo bikes. Use of cargo trailers will help reduce the number of roadies needed! Also, terrain will affect how much each roadie can haul. Generators: We recommend 3 Mundo 500, 1 Boda Boda, 2 RTBGen, 1 Electric Fender Blender Pro, 3 generator wheel and stand. Event space: We recommend a 10 x 20 stage. Additional space for Pedal Power generators, approx. 8×20. Storage space: All gear will fit into a 8×10 storage space. Please see our storage recommendations for more info. Lighting: For nighttime events, we recommend 3 stage lighting panels, plus additional decorative elements like speaker grill lighting. AC Power rating: 1000 W, Pure Sine Wave.
The technical needs of a Pedal Powered event vary greatly depending on things like audience size, venue, and power needs of musician’s devices. Over the past 6 years Rock The Bike has Pedal Powered events large and small. In this post we’ll try to help you arrive at what type of Pedal Power system would make the biggest impact for you.
- Outdoor v. Indoor. Doing anything in an outdoor space requires more power, as there are no resounding walls. What are the spaces you wish to use as venues? Do you have a photo of one of the events you host?
- Will you be doing nighttime events? Is there always light available? Do you have a need for Pedal Powered Lighting?
- What is your main motivation for doing Pedal Power?
- Audience size. How many people are in the crowd at the events you envision Pedal Powering?
- Do you need to provide AC power? Examples of why you’d need this include: charging cell phones, charging laptops, powering a mixing board, powering a power tool as an example of Pedal Power.
- Stereo v Mono. A 1 Bike / 1 Speaker setup is awesome for demonstrating Pedal Power and for public speaking. But to have a proper concert, it helps to have two mains.
- Related… Do you want or need to be completely off the grid? Sometimes you just want to demonstrate Pedal Power but in places where there is wall power. Other times you need to be completely off the grid. Do you have devices that need to stay ON (such as laptop, projector), and is there a source of AC power (Wall Power) available for these devices? Or would you like to be completely ‘off the grid’ and have Pedal Power be the source for all your power needs?
- Subwoofers. You can’t use subwoofers without extra pedalers. Subs are great for dance music. Not essential but really appreciated. And you can Pedal Power them!
- Do you want to be able to bike it all there? If you want to ride with the gear to the venues, there is a need for cargo bikes or trailers.
- Do you have a crew? Who are the people who will set up the Pedal Power system? Who will be the technical lead on this project?
- Do you want to have kids be able to participate? If so you will need extra bikes, because they want to pedal but cannot contribute that much actual wattage. At around 12-14, kids are big enough to contribute real amounts of power. Younger than that, they care greatly but won’t make a difference (power wise) and may take seats away from bigger kids or adults who can.
If you could please provide some quick answers to these it will help me craft a recommendation.
The 6th Annual San Francisco Bicycle Music Festival was our biggest ever and a milestone for our grassroots Human Powered Music Fest. Many thanks to the bands, fans, and our huge volunteer crew. Any one of the 3 phases of the day would have been epic enough. But we had a beautiful, idyllic daytime music festival in the park, an outrageous mobile party, and a post-modern urban block party all in one day. Daytime: 500+ people in a meadow, enjoying live music in the beautiful sunshine… Followed by a fire-truck dodging, freeway underpass screaming, Fossil Fooling LiveOnBike session, with captain Ariel using no electric assist to pull 3 performers and audio gear weighing 250 pounds on our Mobile Stage… Followed by a street party with an elevated stage, a glowing Bike Tree, and a 3-person pedal powered stage lighting system.
We had 19 pedalers at the peak in Golden Gate Park! Plenty of power for our 10000-Watt sound system to run. In the distance you can see our Pedal Powered Line Array hanging from its bamboo tripod.
We mobilized the entire festival on an outrageous LiveOnBike ride with yours truly, Fossil Fool, the Bike Rapper, performing with two bandmates on an elevated Mobile Stage towed by a Mundo. Above: the view from the Mobile Stage.
Earlier that week… Load testing the Mobile Stage outside our workshop in Berkeley.
We had stunning lighting at our night venue, Showplace Triangle. Three of our LED Stage Lighting panels, a renegade LED project hanging from the billboard over the stage, and the Bike Tree, El Arbol, all powered by 3 different pedalers. One pedaler did the greens, another did the blues, and a third did the reds. The tube on the left with red and green lights is the Pedalometer, which shows pedalers how hard to pedal.
SHAKE YOUR PEACE! rocked their return to Bicycle Music Festival perfoming. Bandleader Gabe Dominguez is also the co-founder of San Francisco BMF.
The large “880″ in the photo is the instantaneous wattage total. A single electric kettle or hair dryer uses up to 1500 watts, yet we were able to entertain hundreds of people with a total wattage of under 1000. Actually early in the day, an electric kettle did bring down our festival. A member of our volunteer squad plugged it in to our Pedal Powered Stage to have water to sterilize his cookware for our lunch. A fuse in our Pedal Power Utility Box blew. Another fuse blew before we started using our eyes to solve the problem. We saw a bright orange extension cord going all the way to our crew area. Aha!
This rig required no electricity, and produced delicious Pedal Powered Ice Cream. Each batch on the Ice Cream Bike takes about 20 minutes to churn.
In keeping with Bicycle Music Festival tradition, our roadies transport all of of the loudspeakers, Pedal Power gear, food, banners, and festival gear to our venues by bike.
Even our 18′ tall bamboo tripod, affectionately known as the Tarzan Tower, can be broken down to a 10′ bamboo bundle and hauled behind one bike.
What follows is an explanation of the key elements of a Pedal Powered Stage. If you are ready to buy individual components, please see the Pedal Powered Stage products section of our online store. If you’d like a custom quote for a Pedal Powered Stage, please start by emailing us with the answers to our Pedal Powered Stage questionnaire.
Pedal Power Generators:
Above, two Mundo 500 generators in use at the Eugene Bicycle Music Festival. The rear wheel is elevated off the ground so that you can pedal in place and generate power.
How many? You will need enough bicycle generators that the pedaling effort per person is approx. 50-75 Watts. Based on our experience at events, 50-75 Watts is the amount that an average audience member can continuously provide. You should also have ‘ringer pedalers’ in your crew. Ringer pedalers are strong racer or everyday commuting cyclists who can contribute up to 4 times more than an average pedaler. Whether you’re relying on ringers or the GP (General Public), you’ll need to provide enough bikes that the effort can be shared.
In order to make Pedal Power fun and inspiring, your goal should be to have the lowest ‘overhead’ possible. Overhead is how much Wattage your system draws when no music is playing. Using energy intensive devices like rack-mount audio gear, subwoofers, large guitar and bass amps, laptops, and lights can add significant Wattage to your system’s overhead. If you already know what devices you want to run, start by measuring their Wattage with a Kill-A-Watt. Having a lower overhead means that more of your pedalers’ energy goes into music, not keeping devices on.
If you are planning to use our Modified JBL PRX Loudspeakers, you can follow this table to estimate the crowd size possible for a given number of pedalers. These numbers are for danceable levels of music and assume a favorable overhead.
Number of Pedalers
Estimated Crowd Size Possible in an Outdoor Location
200-500 (with One Bike / One Speaker)
2000+ We haven’t had enough chances to test at these power levels.
What kind of generator? The most effective generators are hub generators. They are efficient, quiet, and can convert a huge flow of power if the pedaler is cranking hard. The less effective ones are friction generators (tire rubbers). We recommend only hub generators, though for people on a long-distance bike tour, the extra weight is a drawback. Using efficient, quiet generators is better because it makes Pedal Power feel more impressive, which makes people want to pedal more, which in turn makes them want to ride bikes well after your event. Check out this page to see all of our generator options: the Mundo 500 (electric version of our favorite cargo bike), the Electric Fender Blender Pro (towable bike blender and generator), and generator wheels to turn any bike into a generator.
Do not bother with Hi-Fi equipment (including home theater, bookshelf speakers, and computer speakers) or car audio gear. Neither of these were designed for large spaces and large crowds. If your goal is to produce an outdoor music event, you need to use “Pro Sound” equipment that was designed to reach larch crowds at events.
We sell Modified JBL PRX Loudspeakers. We modify and sell the full line of JBL PRX speakers, from the smallest wedge monitor (the PRX 612) to the 1000-watt subwoofer, the PRX 618. The ‘modified’ part means that we hack the circuit boards to allow them to run on DC power, bypassing the need for AC power (wall power). Since the conversion of Pedal Power from DC to AC and then back to DC inside the amplifier is wasteful, our Modified JBL PRX loudspeakers run 43% more efficiently than in AC mode. PRX loudspeakers are already some of the most efficient powered speakers commercially available, thanks to their Crown digital amplifier, so the additional power savings in DC mode makes them (quite possibly) the most efficient Pro Sound loudspeakers in the world! They make Pedal Power feel truly impressive. Pedalers have a big smile on their face when they hear how much powerful, crisp sound results from their good clean Pedal Power. This is a Rock The Bike exclusive offering.
PRX speakers are made of high quality plywood and have a durable coating. Although they’re heavier than some plastic speakers, they are relatively lightweight for Pro Audio gear, making them manageable to get to and from events by bike.
What ever loudspeakers you use, don’t forget the importance of proper elevation and positioning of the loudspeakers. Pro-sound speakers like the ones we sell at Rock The Bike have scientifically calculated dispersion cones that help the sound spread out to the sides. In order for these dispersion cones to do their work, your speakers have to be up in the air on a speaker stand.
Generally you need at least two mains to do an event. But we know from experience that with 1 speaker, good music, and Pedal Power, people will dance. Generally speaking, divide the anticipated size of the audience by 100 to get the correct number of mains. This is only applicable for events up to 500 people. Beyond 500 people, using speakers on stands is not going to cut it. You need to start thinking about elevating the speakers even further, using subwoofers, and considering a Line Array configuration.
Above: The Pedal Powered Line Array in action at “Slaughter By The Water,” a heavy metal festival.
What about monitor speakers? Monitor speakers are how the bands hears themselves during performances. Very few musicians can perform at their best without monitors. Generally you need 1 monitor for every 2 bandmembers of a full band. At least 2 for most bands. For public speaking events like a press conference, you can do without them. We sell the Modified JBL PRX 612 wedge monitor.
What about the speakers you already have? You may already own certain Pro-sound gear or have musician friends who have gear. Can you just plug that in and roll with it? Basically, the answer is yes, but you may pay a significant penalty in both weight and efficiency with older PA gear. Many newer powered speakers have digital amplifiers. These generate less heat and therefore require less power/fewer pedalers. How can you tell if your speaker has a digital amplifier? Look up the model number online, or measure the wattage of your speaker using a Kill-A-Watt.
Can bands still use their own amplifiers? Musicians are used to playing their guitar, bass, and sometimes keyboard through a specific amplifier. The amp is part of their instrument, part of their sound. Unfortunately, their amp increases your overhead. Ideally you will have enough bicycle generators that the extra wattage of their amplifier doesn’t matter. Asking a musician not to use their own amp is an unusual request. However in our experience, we get great results asking bass players to ‘go direct’ or play through the PA. This means that the bass player leaves her amp at home, and plugs the bass into a channel on our mixer, just like the lead singer. There’s still plenty of bass but there are fewer devices ON and therefore lower overhead. If you have a small Pedal Powered Stage with, say, 3-5 pedalers, you may not have enough raw power to keep additional devices on besides the bare essentials (the mains, a monitor, and the mixer). Fortunately, the bass players we’ve worked with are very happy with the sound they get at our events.
Pedal Power Utility Box, i.e. the Circuit
This Utility Box contains a AC Power Inverter and DC power outputs for our Modified JBL PRX Loudspeakers.
The Pedal Power Utility Box contains the AC Power inverter, a capacitor that holds a few minutes worth of power, the protection circuitry that keeps the system safe from overvoltage conditions, and outputs for your DC-powered devices (like the loudspeakers mentioned above). Our Utility Boxes now include a 4-line Pedalometer in the lid that shows pedalers how hard to pedal. Even if you buy our Modified JBL PRX Loudspeakers, which run on DC power, you will still need AC power for devices like guitar pedals, amps, mixer, etc. All this functionality is protected inside a durable red plastic toolbox with a sturdy handle and latches. Your circuit takes Pedal Power in and kicks out a steady stream of regulated, usable power to the audio equipment and devices. The simplest type of output power is traditional AC power; this means you will be using a DC-AC inverter. But in our Split-Rail Utility Boxes, there are special outputs for Split Rail Power required by our Modified JBL PRX speakers.
Can you store the energy created? The circuit also includes whatever storage method you are planning to use. We use 30V Ultracapacitor ‘bricks’, which hold just enough power for a few minutes of music.
Why do I need protection circuitry and what type do I need? The microprocessor brain in our Pedal Power Utility Boxes monitors the key system voltages and triggers relays that disconnect the pedalers from the system to prevent overheating and damaging the devices you’re running, or the Ultracapacitors. In addition to overvoltage protection, you also need fuses in case of short circuits. The input cables that connect the bikes to the system are long and are often subject to harsh conditions: people walking on them, tripping over them. Of course, you should tie these down as well as you can with reuasable Velcro ties. But you should also install fuses that prevent a bad yank from causing a meltdown. The circuit itself needs to be protected. We use Tupperware inside the box to prevent our microprocessor brain touching anything else and accidentally shorting. Your circuitry can’t be out in the open where it can be damaged in transit or where a metal wrench can be set down on it, causing a short circuit.
In a bicycle based system, any wire can be tugged or rub against a tire and degrade from wear. They need to be ‘strain reliefed’ and insulated. Connections from bikes to the circuit need to be both quick-connect for ease of setup and robust. We use Neutrik connectors, the industry standard for Live Sound.
Our current pricing structure is that most of your wiring is built in to the price of the other components. For example, if you buy a generator, you get an input cable. If you buy a speaker, you get a speaker power cable. We use only 14AWG gauge wiring for power cables that will see the outside world.
All the wiring needs to be safe and robust for multiple setups / tear downs. It has to be long enough to allow you to place the bikes where pedalers have a good view, and where they don’t get in the way of the event or of dancing.
You will need a way to show Pedalers how hard to pedal. Otherwise they may drift off in their thoughts (and power output) or overpedal your system.
Our latest LED Pedalometer, shown above, is visible across a wide area, day or night. It’s controlled by a microprocessor that continuously monitors system voltage.
Our original Pedalometer (2oo7) involved a fan blowing air into a tube perforated with holes. The higher the system voltage, the harder the fan would blow and the higher the beer can would rise in the tube. It was quite motivating.
The ideal Pedalometer is the classic thermometer style, because it’s intuitive, making it possible for pedalers to get lost in the music while still providing the exact amount of Pedal Power needed. The pedalometer uses color-coding to show the pedalers when they need to pedal harder and when they need to slow down. Just keep it in the green.
The voltage information shown on the Pedalometer is also important to the sound guy/girl, who can raise and lower the overall listening levels and the bass levels according to the available system power. The Pedalometer also engages the audience in the Pedal Power experience. Even the bands get involved. When they see power levels dipping, they may make a funny comment about it between songs to help pedalers boost it back up.
Pedalers need to be coached. There are two essential aspects to doing this: the human touch, and accurate, up-to-the-second information about the system voltage.
Don’t forget the importance of human communication, like “Pedal!” signs and direct coaching. It’s also important to check in your pedalers and see who needs water or a break, or to just tell them to keep up the good work. Pedal Power coaches get maximum power from each pedaler by raising or lowering the seat as needed. They help pedalers get on and off the bikes. They pull new pedalers from the crowd. They provide the human touch and show appreciation for the good clean pedal power.
Additional load-carrying gear to get to events by bike. This can include Bikes At Work trailers, Xtracycles, Mundos.
For night time events, you will need to light the performers. Rock The Bike’s stage lighting panels throw a considerable amount of light.
Food is the fuel for a Pedal Powered event. Offer pedalers a free bike blended smoothie and they’ll have the juice to keep providing their good clean Pedal Power.
Check out all the options for Bike Blenders in the Fender Blender section of our store. Bike Blenders also make a good fundraiser for your cause. Keep plenty of water on hand too!
We help our event partners engage their communities to provide the greenest source of power possible. Read on to see how we do it!
We say a huge thanks to our amazing event partners from the first half of 2011. Sorry it’s taken so long! Here are some of the highlights. We look forward to Pedal Powering many more great events this year.
At the University of San Francisco’s Earth Day event, we pedal powered a Spin Arttable, cranked out tasty bike blended smoothies, and got some good grooves going for the lunchtime event. Below, Anastasia and Nicco jamming, with 4 pedalers providing the amplification.
We helped get the groove going with a Pedal Powered DJ Booth at a charity fitness event in Malibu. Two Mundo 500‘s supported an 8′ wide DJ surface, and powered the two Modified JBL loudspeakers shown.
A month earlier — the sketch we scanned for the client.
We got better at getting to gigs by bike. Above, roadie Jeff shuttles a Mona Lisa-esque Giulia and a conga drum with a Mundo cargo bike, on a day we had more people than bikes.
We got a lot better at surfing. Above: Ariel delivering a Fender Blender Pro rental to the San Francisco Parks Trust for an event in Golden Gate Park.
We’ve had a perfect safety record, including on our amazing Bike Tree, El Arbol, shown above carrying two crewmembers and a conga.
We hosted the 3rd annual Maker Faire -> Dolores Park Social Ride. 200 people showed up and we rode 21 miles to Maker Faire with awesome music and great spirits.
Maker Faire was the first event where people made leaves for El Arbol:
We had a blast at the 5th Annual Bicycle Music Festival, the world’s largest 100% Pedal Powered event, sponsored and co-founded by Rock The Bike.
Hundreds joined on the LiveOnBike parade from Golden Gate Park to Showplace Triangle. Two mobile acts performed on our new Mobile Stage, including 2 opera singers from the SF Conservatory of Opera, who performed aria duets, an act of street theater that prompted drivers to lean out of their windows and call “Stay beautiful!”.
You can green your event by renting our Pedal Power gear, reducing your carbon footprint and inspiring people at your event. Check out all our great bikes for rent, and let’s start talking about your upcoming event. Equipment Overview Product Daily Fee Crew Size Set Up Additional Supplies Needed How Many Can Experience Hourly Space [...]