Rock The Bike

Our Story

We’re bike people. We’re inventors and advocates working away in a sweet workshop in Oakland, California, pushing the limits of bike culture. Our mission is to get people in touch with their ability to make a real, lasting impact in the ongoing climate crisis, through Pedal Powered event activities and products that help Bike People shine in their communities.

We want lots more people to think “Pedaling is cool. I want to ride a bike.”

Our dream is to help spread the spirit of the bike into the broader culture by organizing, entertaining, inspiring, educating, and inventing new ways to get the message out there. And more importantly, we help our customers spread the message in their communities.

We continue to foster a thread of idealism in our work.

Check out all the steps we’ve taken in our timeline:

The Ice Cream Bike
The Ice Cream Bike

First sale of a sLEDgehammer to an energy campaign. Working with Ample Hills Creamery, the “Ice Cream Bike” is invented.

Byerley Bicycle Blenders
Byerley Bicycle Blenders

In 2008 we bought the bike blender business from its inventor Nate Byerley. It became our #1 product. We’ve learned a lot from bike blending and it has pushed our company to a different industry. While we may have been in the bike business before, we’re now in the events and promotions field. We create event activities that can be used to engage people and promote a message, whether it be a health campaign, educational goal, or a brand.

Powering Pedal Powered Live Music Events

Musician Gabe Dominguez rolls into the shop looking for an ultraportable sound system to do SHAKE YOUR PEACE! shows in beautiful natural locations. After a quick and dirty build, the show happens at Provo Canyon in Utah, and includes the famed Pink Unitard moment. An ultracapacitor inside Gabe’s speaker fizzles and smokes when a well meaning strong adult cyclist wearing a pink unitard overpedals it. Aha! Ultracapacitors need a protection circuit and pedalers need an indicator to show them how hard to pedal. These two features become the core functionality of the Pedal Power Utility Box.

The Down Low Glow
Down Low Glow bike light

Riding through the Mission District in San Francisco one night, Paul gets stopped about the neon blue ground effects lights on his cargo bike, and it leads to the first sale of the Down Low Glow. It’s the invitation needed to call this Social Biking passion a business: “Fossil Fool”. In the following years, Fossil Fool and then Rock The Bike sell nearly 3000 Down Low Glow lighting kits until pulling the product from the market in 2009 for battery safety concerns. It was a hit amongst bike commuters looking for extra respect on the roads. The product was picked up in major blogs such as WIRED, Gizmodo, and TreeHugger.


Paul takes the reins of Xtracycle’s nonprofit arm, later dubbed “Worldbike,” which has a shared office space in Berkeley CA along with Bike East Bay, Pedal Express, Byerley Bicycle Blenders and the Tinkers Workshop. Leif, a mechanical engineering student, volunteers for Worldbike and works with Paul on fixture design for a long tail cargo bicycle.

The Soul Cycle is Born

Paul loses his .com job, decides to join cargo bike upstart Xtracycle on a school bus promo tour of the West, in which the Xtracycle crew deploy their ‘Salsa Cycle’ to enable musical rides in adventure sports towns. It’s Paul’s second taste of social biking and enough to get his creative juices flowing. Before long Paul creates his own custom ‘Soul Cycle’ with which to lead social rides back in SF, complete with new features: control switches on the handlebar, speaker backlighting and neon blue ground effects lighting.

Humble Beginnings: Rockin’ the Bike

With Rock The Bike a distant gleam in his eye, Paul Freedman is 16 years old working summers at Belmont Wheelworks when he gets his first taste of a social bike ride, rolling with co-workers to an after work friendly mountain bike race. When ‘Buddy Bob’, the manager of the Wheelworks’ Somerville store, shows up on a stretched out recumbent bike with music speakers bumpin’ and a keg in tow, the whole vibe changes from agro to groovy.