Bringing Pedal Power to your event increases the fun and participation while decreasing the use of diesel generators, extension cords, and batteries. This instantly gets your group moving, breathing, and active. People are more likely to loosen up, enjoy themselves, and learn something new when their body is engaged. Our most popular activity — and the most accessible starting point for anyone interested in Pedal Power — is Bike Blending. Please read on to see the different Bike Blenders and our full array of Pedal Powered activities!
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 [...]
A single pedaler on an elevated platform cranks out clean wattage into a powerful audio system. Our smallest and most approachable Pedal Powered Stage offering, but by no means wimpy, the One Bike / One Speaker system comes with everything you need to address a crowd with Pedal Power, or get some dancing going at [...]
This custom art bike, made and based in San Francisco, rides through the city at 12 feet tall, then sprouts roots, branches, and leaves at events, where it becomes a 2500-Watt double-stack main speaker at our Pedal Powered Stage. Integrated LEDs look stunning at night. The Tree has two seats and creates all of its [...]
The Fender Blender Pro was built from the ground up as the ultimate expression of human power. Designed for day-in, day-out use, the Fender Blender can hold its own at schools, festivals, trade shows, fundraisers, and events of all types.
The original Fender Blender bike blender. You can toss this in one of your Xtracycle bags, roll to an event, set up your rig, and start cranking out smoothies or Margaritas. Inventor Nate Byerley (a.k.a. the Juice Pedaler) created this product so that he could make money and smiles at summertime music festivals in California. [...]
Amaze attendees at your event with Pedal Powered Spin Art. It’s so easy it almost requires no supervision. With just a few pedal strokes, you can get the platter of your Pedal Powered Spin Art station spinning at 1000-2000 RPM, enough to produce dazzling spirals, circles, and streaks as you squirt paint on the paper. [...]
A Rock The Bike exclusive! Our DC mod eliminates the need for AC power for your loudspeakers, making Pedal Powered Stages up to 44% more efficient. Above: Modified PRX 612 wedge monitors in use as the band ZH performs. Also shown in aerial configuration in Rock The Bike’s Pedal Powered Line Array (suspended from Bamboo [...]
Take the cranking out of your arms and into your legs for a more ergonomic method that taps into larger muscle groups, yielding amazing results at your events. Crank out up to 2 gallons in only 20 minutes of casual pedaling! Our new Ice Cream Bike combines the wide size range and style of our [...]
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. In our newest favorite configuration of our Pedal Powered Stage system, we used the One Bike / One Speaker system, in which the ultracapacitor (storage tank) and protection circuitry are inside one of the speakers. There’s no red box 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. …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. …Read More
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!” …Read More
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.
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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.
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.
This custom art bike, made and based in San Francisco, rides through the city at 12 feet tall, then sprouts roots, branches, and leaves at events, where it becomes a 2500-Watt double-stack main speaker at our Pedal Powered Stage. Integrated LEDs look stunning at night. The Tree has two seats and creates all of its own power using an integrated One Bike / One Speaker circuit.
Above, El Arbol in action as a Aerial Dance rig at Gaia Fest in 2012.
Aerialist Shredder performs on hoop from El Arbol’s trusty rear branch.
Tara performs on El Arbol at the start of the SF Marathon
El Arbol without its Canopy of Leaves.
The sound quality is incredible. By using the audio elements from 2 Modified JBL PRX loudspeakers, it has the ability to get music out at festival levels with very low distortion. We use El Arbol as half of our Pedal Powered Stage at the San Francisco Bicycle Music Festival. The height of the upper loudspeaker (9′ up!) helps the sound spread out easily out above a crowd, without requiring deafening volume levels for those in the front.
It’s fun and expands the notion of ‘Stage’ to include the pedalers.