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Rock The Bike

“Battle of the Helmets” SJ Bike Party April 2009

Dear Bike Blog Readers,
After a long winter of being busy and not able to make the cold weather rides, I finally returned to the wonderful world of San Jose Bike Party. My first ride back of the season was actually the March “Psychadelic Robot Ride.” Although I enjoyed this ride, I didn’t have much time to prepare for it so I just kind of rolled with the route up to as far as I could. I had another commitment that night so I won’t write a review of it. At any rate, back to the point of this blog entry; “THE BATTLE OF THE HELMETS” 17 April 2009 Friday.
We arrived at Dick’s Center on Bascom Ave. SJ at about 7:40 P.M. which gave us plenty of time to eat our brown bag dinners, and prepare our bikes for the ride. There were already about 10-12 people in the lot already waiting for the meet up to begin. After enjoying two burritos from Juan More Taco in Fremont, Ca we prepared out bikes, checked our gear for the evening and donned our helmets! My friends Harry and Tim were on their way down to ride so this time we had more than the usual 2-3 riders in our group. Surprisingly we had more people come out and ride than planned but when it comes to bike rides THE MORE THE MERRIER!! We had 3 first timers and 5 veteran SJBP riders. There was a contest for best decorated helmet at the beginning of the traditional ride start announcements but I missed out on it because I was helping some people with tires. Harry found his tube was flat up arriving, so thanks to first time rider Tim that followed the “Cruiser Ride Checklist” Harry had a spare tube! First victory of the evening! The ride began heading south onto Bascom Ave headed for Campbell’s Rock Bottom restaurant parking lot. We got a little confused as to where to ride and ended up in the lot getting jammed with bikes going left, right and stopping in the middle of a moving bike lane. After getting back on course, we kept following the mass of bicycles headed through the city streets. MOST of the bikes were very peaceful, cool people being friendly to people on the streets, drivers and passers by. I felt sorry for this 4 door civic that got caught smack dab in the middle of the bike ride. Some riders were passing the car up on the driver side boxing it in the middle of the lane! I was calling out to the riders near me to keep right and let the car leave, but only one voice in a sea of hundreds is quickly drowned out. The route was well planned out with some long stretches of straight paths along city streets through down town strips, and SOME wide streets to accommodate cars AND bikes. This plan was GREAT, the RIDE went smoothly for most of us at least, A couple good and bad things about the “Battle of the Helmets Ride.”

GOOD =)
1. Well planned out route. Give gratitude to the SJBP planning committee. They work hard to plan rides!
2. The loop that leads back to the origin. Usually we end up @ SJSU and have to make a long haul back to Campbell in the cold after riding, tired, hungry and kinda quiet and lonely if you’re a soloist. It was great to unwind back at the lot with friend to talk about the ride!
3. Good vibes from some of the “guides” helping keep riders in line.
4. A BIG THANKS to the helpful Los Gatos Police!! They helped block traffic to keep the SJBP rolling together, AND helped a few riders that went down by giving first aid!!!
5. A BIG THANKS to the positive riders that would help others, show courtesy, respect and a love for SJBP and bike culture by just being cool!
6. A friendly hello and a wave to all the fun people in cars that would talk to SJBP riders friendly and to the party people on the sidewalks smiling and waving to us as we rolled by! You make the ride better!!
7. SUPER SAVAGE POINTS to the Unicycle riders and the hand cycle guy, you guys rock!!
8. To all the Bike Party positive people that help others, share a smile, a friendly conversation, cheer, and bring good energy to the ride, KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK!! Without you, the ride would become a disaster! Thanks for Rocking the Bike!!

BAD = (
1. First of all SJ Bike Party has more than once stated who is welcome and who is not. I’m not going to go over this again.
2. The South Bay Police agencies have BEEN very supportive of our ride simply by NOT SHUTTING US DOWN!!!! They could easily roll on SJBP at the first block and road block us in which would be a huge mess and literally destroy all that we have come to enjoy as our monthly pastime!
3. My point for #2. Don’t F it up by cussing out cops, littering & throwing things at motorists (they are just commuters, not bike rider killing terrorists).
4. Be respectful. If you want to talk trash to police and I quote “$!#@%ING PIG! GO GET A REAL JOB!!” Hey rider with the black beanie, SHUT UP!! Man up and say that to the officer’s face. Coward!
5. To the guys that got pulled over, I don’t know why you were sitting on the sidewalk by the police car, but whatever you did, don’t show up next time and do it again!!
6. To the crazy riders, don’t ruin the SJBP by riding against traffic on a 2 lane downtown respect drivers right to share the road with us! Don’t cross into a red light left turning intersection when cars are carefully trying to cross!! You’re asking for a trip to the hospital or funeral home!!
7. To all the people I saw and didn’t see crash, fall over, wreck or get hurt. This ride was themed “BATTLE OF THE HELMETS”. A fun way to encourage helmet use, and save some injuries and casualties!! USE THEM!!!

Peace and chain grease.

Goodlifer profiles Habana Outpost

Because of its crowd appeal [the Fender Blender Pro] is probably the [eco-friendly feature] that gets the most attention at Habana Outpost.

Habana Outpost

This past weekend, Habana Outpost celebrated its season opening with an Earth Day Expo, featuring kids’ activities, outdoor film screenings, an eco fashion show, workshops, local vendor booths and live music. We arrived promptly at noon on Saturday, hoping to beat the crowd (which on this first warm day of the year could be nothing but insane). We did, and were the first to make use of the smoothie “bike blender”, a stationary bike with a blender attached to it — pedal and receive $1 off your smoothie, seems like a deal too good to pass up. Even though it may not be the most efficient eco-feature, because of its crowd appeal it is probably the one that gets the most attention.

Habana Outpost: bike blender

Taking the bike blender for a blueberry spin.
 

Habana Outpost: bike blender

TV cameras hovering over the coolest eco-feature, the human-powered bike blender

Sean Meenan opened NoLita’s Cafe Habana and Habana To Go in 1998, with a mission to serve home-style Latin food with unique Cuban and Central Mexican accents. Habana Outpost, located in the Fort Greene neighborhood of Brooklyn, is the third member of this culinary family. Besides being a fun place to spend a sunny day, Habana Outpost is NYC’s first eco-eatery, aiming to reduce wasteful consumption and promote sustainable solutions by using earth-friendly practices in the design, construction, and day-to-day operations.

Whole Moon Bicycle Cruise – Saturday 05.09

Posted by VoodooChild

Starting at Central Park in Davis, CA (C and 4th St.) Join us for sunset and moon rise as we take a slow and steady cruise and end up at the WHOLE EARTH FESTIVAL.

Also happening earlier that day…

Central Park in Davis (C and 4th St.) – Join us in celebration of Bike to Market Day and browse the free gift exchange area of items from and for the community. All donations welcome!

One love!

Rainbow

530.574.2652

 

Bike to Maker Faire from Dolores Park with the Rock the Bike crew!

Posted by fossilfool

Maker Faire is welcoming bike people in a major way this year. They’re aiming to have bike parking that can handle up to 2000 bikes (up from 300 last year). They’re offering $15 adult tickets to folks who ride to the event. [Read on.]

You don’t need to be part of our Cruiser Ride to take advantage of this offer. You can ride from any location. Cash makes it easy. Go to the V.I.P. bike entrance at the West Lot.

Read our online proposal to Maker Faire from earlier this year.

Saturday:

12:30 — SHAKE YOUR PEACE! Bike touring band with great foot-stomping numbers. They’ll be joining us on the ride.

1:30 — Antioquia Afro-Columbian Progress Rock.  They’ll be on the ride!

2:30 — McPuzo & Trotsky Whimsical duo with witty tunes.

3:00 — Justin Ancheta Reggae and Rock. Beloved San Francisco street performing band. Bike touring musician.

4:00 — Guella — SF-based, world/funk band.

5:00 — Cello Joe , Bike Touring, beatboxing Cellist. Will be joining us on the ride.

6:00 — Oona Garthwaite — A knockout voice, an electrifying performer, powerhouse songwriting. Not to be missed.

7:00 — Fossil Fool, The Bike Rapper

Sunday:

12:00 — Quinn Deveaux Classic front porch blues sound.

1:30 — Five Cent Coffee

2:30 — Street Beats

3:30 —Gomer Hendrix Experience

4:30 — Open Mike

5:00 — Fossil Fool

Meeting at 8:30AM and departing at 9:00, the ride is about 19 miles over mostly flat terrain, and we will take a leisurely pace, cruising with great music on our party bikes.

We’ll arrive at Maker Faire at approximately 11AM, plenty of time to set up our Pedal Powered Stage for the first band of the day.

Let us know you’re coming! RSVP by writing a comment on this page.

The route from San Francisco: We’ll be closely following the San Mateo County North South Bicycle Route. This is a flat route, which closely follows the Caltrain route. This route starts on Tunnel Avenue, then uses Bayshore Boulevard through Brisbane and then a series of different streets through South San Francisco to get the Delaware Street in San Mateo. It takes about 1.5 hours to ride this route at an easy pace.

Get a map of the route at: http://bikesiliconvalley.org/files/nsroute/nsroutemap.pdf

Note this is a schematic map to define the route, use with a good local street map if you are not familiar with this area.

Our multi-person pedal power rig, the Biker Bar, will be supplying the bands with clean power to amplify their music.

El Arbol will not be completed in time for this year’s Maker Fair, but the frame and kickstand are in progress, and you can check them out. If you’ve been designing a Soul Cycle (music bike) or Human Power application, bring your sketches down and get advice from Rock The Bike’s designers and engineers.

By train and bike. Use Caltrain or BART to cover most of the distance, and then bike the final leg. Bikes are allowed on Caltrain. Take your bike on board Caltrain and get off at the Hillsdale Station. BART allows bikes on board, however, not in the first car. Get off at the final Millbrae station. About a 30-40 minute ride to the Expo Center or board Caltrain for a connecting ride to the Hillsdale station. Exit on the west side of the station, the street directly in front of the west side of the station is California Avenue.

To ride go south on California, which becomes San Mateo Drive in San Mateo. At Tilton turn left, ride about 3 blocks on Tilton and the turn right on Delaware Street. Continue on Delaware for about 2 miles to the Expo Center. For information on using your bike on Caltrain and BART go to: http://www.bikesmc.org/id47.htm

From San Jose or the South Bay

Caltrain to the Hillsdale Station.  Caltrain information at: www.caltrain.com

At the Hillsdale station, cross the platform and go down the steps to the parking lot (on the east side, you will see debris from the old Bay Meadows racetrack). Walk left (north) from the station along the fenced off bike/ped path north to the Expo Center. It is about a 10 minute walk.

Sam Trans (Bus)

Route 390 from Palo Alto. 40-minute ride from Palo Alto, Schedule at:http://www.samtrans.com/pdf/Schedules/Route_390_02-01-09.pdf

Santa Clara VTA Bus Service

Route 22 Runs from San Jose to Palo Alto where you could transfer to Samtrans. Route 22 schedule at:http://www.vta.org/schedules/SC_22.html

In San Mateo get off the bus as close to 25th Avenue as possible. Walk to 25th Avenue and walk east (toward the bay) and walk about 2 blocks to the Expo Center.

Note: We recommend using Caltrain for a faster, easier trip.

By Train and Bike

Ride to nearest Caltrain station (www.caltrain.com), take your bike on board. Get off at the Hillsdale Caltrain station and ride north to the Expo Center.

By Bike – To Ride to the Expo Center

For all San Mateo County cities south of San Mateo, we suggest the San Mateo County North South Road.Get a map of this route at:

http://bikesiliconvalley.org/files/nsroute/nsroutemap.pdf

Note this is a schematic map to define the route, use with a good local street map if you are not familiar with this area.

From Mountain View and Palo Alto

Starting in Mountain View (Castro Street) Go south on California Street

When California Street ends at Medio Avenue, turn left on Medio Ave.

Turn right on Miller Avenue. Follow Miller to a Bicycle/Pedestrian Bridge, which connects to Wilkie Way. Continue south on Wilkie Way to West Meadow Drive.

Turn right on West Meadow Drive.

Turn left on Bryant Street. Follow Bryant Street through Palo Alto.

If starting in Palo Alto start using Bryant Street. Bryant Street is an official bicycle boulevard and is a great street for bicycles.

When Bryant Street ends at Palo Alto Avenue, turn left. In about 1 block turn left on to the bicycle/pedestrian bridge to Willow Place. Turn right off Willow Place to Willow Road.

Then turn left onto Middlefield Road.

At this point you are on the San Mateo County North South Route. Use the map referenced above.

From Sawyer Camp Trail

At the south end of the trail, take Crystal Spring Road east (this road is directly opposite the gate at the south end of the trail). Turn left at the first stop sign on Crystal Springs Road. After a few miles, turn right at the stop sign at the four way intersection of Stonehedge on the left, and West Third Ave on the right. Turn right onto West Third Avenue. Follow West Third Ave through downtown San Mateo.

Turn right on Delaware Street and follow Delaware Street to the Expo Center

For a lower traffic route, turn right on Claremont Street (1 block before Delaware Street), then when Claremont ends at 16th Avenue turn left and to get back to Delaware Street.

From the East Bay

BART: Use Bart to the Millbrae station. At Millbrae transfer to Caltrain, ride Caltrain to the Hillsdale Station. Or take your bike on BART and ride from Millbrae station to the Expo Center. Or take BART to the Hayward Bart Station and take the AC transit M line bus. See AC Transit below.

AC Transit (Bus) runs their M line across both the San Mateo Bridge and the Dumbarton Bridges. These buses leave from Union City to cross the Dumbarton Bridge and Castro Valley and cross the San Mateo Bridge. Get off at the Hillsdale stop. The bus stops on El Camino Real at Hillsdale. Directly across El Camino Real is the Hillsdale Caltrain Station.

Walk to the station and then cross the tracks to get to the bike/pedestrian path on the east side of the tracks. Turn left (go north) for a short walk to the Expo Center. The bus connects to the Hayward BART station. Schedule at: http://www2.actransit.org/maps/schedule_results.php?version_id=7&quick_line=m&maps_line=m&current_schedule=ALL

By Bike:

The AC transit M lines buses can carry up to six bikes, you could ride to catch this bus. Take this bus across the bay and get off at the Hillsdale stop. See directions above to get from the bus stop to the Expo Center.

The Dumbarton Bridge has a bike/pedestrian path on the south side of the bridge. After crossing the Dumbarton Bridge, follow the bike path to Willow, cross Bayfront Expressway to the bike trail on the east side (toward the Bay) which parallels Bayfront Expressway. Follow this bike trail (which is a section of the Bay Trail) north to Marsh Road. Turn left on Marsh Road and go west on Marsh over 101. Marsh Road ends on Middlefield. Turn right (north) on Middlefield. This is now the San Mateo County North South bicycle route, use the route referenced above to ride to the Expo Center.

Additional Information

 

511.org is a good source of Bay Area Transportation information.

There you can find links to all Bay Area transit providers.

BART: www.bart.gov

Samtrans: www.samtrans.com

Caltrain: www.caltrain.com

AC Transit: www.actransit.org

VTA (Santa Clara)  www.vta,org

Information Provided by Bike San Mateo County www.bikesmc.org

 

Thanks Central Park! Rock The Bike NYC is alive and kicking.

Rock The Bike NYC

 

Rock The Bike says a huge thank you to Central Park Conservancy for getting us involved in Earth Day 2009, and helping us get Rock The Bike NYC off the ground. Here are some of the highlights from our visit to New York over the past 11 days.

 

Kids Love Spin Art

 

We had a blast meeting the public at Earth Day. Above, Pedal Powered Spin art.

 

 

The Biker Bar

 

We debuted our new multi-person pedal power system, the Biker Bar. Three bikes share a common drive shaft, that turns a powerful generator on the fourth bike, an Electric Mundo (blue bike on the left)

 

The Biker Bar -- Multi-person Pedal Power farm.

 

Unfortunately, in its first outing, the Biker Bar was no match for the power-hungry PA equipment that event organizers supplied. The power consumption of the audio system was approximately 300-400 watts with one person speaking on a microphone, not even any music playing.

 

Ever since we started doing Pedal Powered Stage events, clients and organizers have been asking “Why can’t we use the speakers we already have?” Good question. We commonly answer “Because we use the new generation of digitally powered speakers, and their higher efficiency makes pedal power possible.” But in the process of working with Central Park and other clients, they kept asking… So with Central Park, we accepted the challenge. We put our efforts into making the Biker Bar powerful, simple, and efficient. We told them “Sure, you can.”

 

But on the day of the event their equipment’s power draw was just too much. Suddenly Pedal Power felt really hard. When a chain snapped, we talked with the Central Park team and decided to focus on our other offerings and let their music stage run on wall power. Luckily they had that backup option at the ready. In future events, we definitely plan to have a 30-45 minute battery backup, which will allow us to fix mechanicals or other issues without letting the performers down.

 

Spin Art

Luckily, the Spin Art station and the Bike Blenders were a huge hit.

Paul spinning up the Spin Art as kids look on enthralled.

Kids of all ages were able to make Spin Art and pedal for other kids.

Above, the Tropicalia team making bike blended smoothies.

Sarah on the Mundo

We had bright bikes and big smiles to share with the crowds.

 

Galen ollying.

 

And tricks to share… Above, Sara floating on a Mundo. Galen ollies.

 

 

Travis hauling the Biker Bar

We biked everything back to Brooklyn on a hot afternoon.

Travis piloted the Biker Bar, which becomes a cargo trailer to get gear home from an event. Just add the wheels!

The Electric Mundo helps haul the 250 pound load up and over the Williamsburg Bridge.

 

 

Cruiser ride in Manhattan

 

Rolling down 5th Avenue

 

Above: Rolling back from Central Park with our crew, friends, cousins, and the Choprical Fish.

 

Eden in the pack

 

Getting ready for Central Park was a huge task. We arrived a week ahead of time and only set our tools town to pack for the park at 2AM the night before. Check out the preparations below:

 

Sunset cruise in Brooklyn.

 

 

First things first! How about a social ride to get to know each other.

 

Carrying gear

Leif keeps the beat as Galen and Lopi haul gear across Brooklyn with Mundos and the trailer.

Riding gear through Brooklyn.

We set up a little workshop at Brooklyn’s 3rd Ward.

Below, hand stretching the frame of the Mundo to fit the electric rear wheel.

Leif and Emily stretching the Mundo frame to fit electric rear wheel.

We generated many sparks and generally looked bad ass with our protective eye wear.

Lopi cleaning up the spin art station.

Removing screw heads with grinder.

Olivia cutting frame to get seat tube.

We solved engineering riddles. Above trying to anticipate issues with the drive train of the Spin Art station.

Choprical Fish as getter.

We used the Choprical Fish as transportation bike and ‘getter’.

Above, 75 pounds of Sealed Lead Acid batteries.

Hip hop cipher in SoHo.

Of course having the Fish in New York meant there were a few impromptu street parties and even a cypher around town over the past week.

Above, freestyle session in front of a school in Soho. A teacher came out and said “How about a song about getting back to class?!”

Fossil Fool rapping at 3rd Ward party

Fossil Foolin’ at a 3rd Ward party.

Brooklyn Bike and Board

In our last couple days in town, we picked up a couple cool new Mundo dealers. Above, Brooklyn Bike and Board

 

are your Mundo people in Brooklyn. Map.

Leif delivering a Mundo

Leif delivering Mundos. The same bikes we used to get work done in New York are now for sale and ready to ride at two locations in Manhattan and Brooklyn.

George Bliss picks up the Mundo

And in Manhattan, cargo bike innovator George Bliss picked up the Mundo for The Hub Station in Soho

Many thanks to the Rock The Bike NYC crew for their hard work and excellent hosting.

Pedal Powering Earth Day concert in Central Park, launching Rock The Bike NYC!

What’s up bike people?

Rock The Bike will be sending out the Bike Vibe from the heart of New York City on Sunday, April 26. Come help power the music on our new multi-person Biker Bar pedal power rig. We’re teaming up with the Central Park Conservancy on an awesome Earth Day event. We’ll also be bringing pedal powered Spin Art for the kids, and hooking up local smoothie business Tropicalia with Fender Blenders.

Rather than truck gear to New York and back, we’re building our most advanced Pedal Powered Stage to date, and then leaving it in New York in the capable hands of Rock The Bike NYC. Now they can bike to music, arts, and cultural events all summer long, carrying all the gear, spreading music, community, and bike love in New York. In addition to the Pedal Powered Stage, Rock The Bike NYC will also have Mundo Cargo Bikes and Fender Blender Bike Blenders for test rides and rental, and the Down Low Glow for night rides.

The first social sunset cruise is coming up this Thursday in Brooklyn. Please pass it on to your New York friends.

The event at Central Park is a free, all-ages daytime event that will offer gardening, crafting, tree-climbing, walking tours, live music, and the occasional bike rap from Fossil Fool on the Choprical Fish.

Ride to the park, kick back, and celebrate Earth Day with some DIT (Do It Together) entertainment. Meet the talented crew of Rock The Bike NYC. Check out their hilarious MTA Service Specialists parody site, protesting the recent fare hikes on the New York subway.

Time: 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm EDT
Place: Naumburg Bandshell (mid-Park at 72nd Street)
Central Park, New York City

Rock the Bike open house, LiveOnBike performance ride, and Antioquia show at Ashkenaz

Posted by fossilfool

The evening starts with an Open House at Rock The Bike’s Berkeley workshop: 1336 Channing Way. We’ll show you our latest inventions and shop improvements.

Then we head up the hill to Campus, Sproul Plaza, to be precise, for the…

SUNSET CRUISE: A leisurely bike ride from UCB Sproul Plaza to Ashkenaz via Downtown and North Berkeley BART stations. Gathers at 7:30pm at Telegraph & Bancroft. Ride departs at Sundown (8pm) w/ en-route performances by Fossil Fool (LiveOnBike) + DanceSkateLive.

Then we roll up in style to Ashkenaz for the launch of the “I Like My Bike Night” series, a bicycle culture celebration and unbridled dance orgy on the 1st Friday of every month, will happen on May Day – also the first day of National Bicycle Month.

Musical Delights:
Antioquia (www.postpeakoilrock.com/music.html)
Carne Cruda (www.carnecruda.com)
Fossil Fool pedal-powered DJ set & LiveOnBike performance (www.fossilfool.com)

Other Goodies:
Free Bicycle Valet Parking by EBBC (www.ebbc.org)
Bike repair station by Street Level Cycles, a project of Waterside Workshops (www.watersideworkshops.org)
Yummy bicycle smoothies thanks to Rock the Bike’s fleet of Fender Blenders (www.bikeblender.com)
Live painting by Alan Tarbell (www.alantarbell.com)
Down Low Glow door prize donated by Rock the Bike (www.https://rockthebike.com)

***60% of this evening’s proceeds will go to Antioquia’s “Post (Peak Oil) Rock Project” to wean our music off fossil fuels using pedal-powered sound technology, bike-touring, and veggie oil fueled transport! ***

Find out more about the event including detailed public transportation info and how to purchase “Project Friend” (VIP) tickets online.

Ashkenaz Music & Dance Community Center — Berkeley’s home to world music + dance since 1973.
Always all ages.

Times: Sunset Cruise departs 8pm (Sundown); Ashkenaz doors open 8:30pm; Show 9pm-1am.

Location: Ashkenaz, 1317 San Pablo Ave., @ Gilman, Berkeley.

Cost:
$8 with bicycle valet ticket
$13 without bicycle
LiveOnBike performance ride is free

 

Sunset Cruise to Meet Rock The Bike NYC

Posted by fossilfool

Come check out our progress as we build a Pedal Powered Stage at Rock The Bike NYC. In the early part of this event, you can test ride a Mundo Cargo Bike, bike blend a smoothie, and meet the people who’ll be producing bike music events in New York.

Also meet Paul, a.k.a. Fossil Fool, and Leif from Rock The Bike in San Francisco.

Then we’ll cruise with some great music mixes as we head to NYFA Dumbo event and then to the House of YES for an amazing performance.

Meet at Madagascar Institute, 217 Butler between Nevins and Bond.

 

Crew of Junk Raft to rock a Soul Cycle on their ‘Junk Ride’ West Coast ocean advocacy tour.

Junk Raft.

The name alone arouses curiosity. A Junk is a type of Chinese sailing vessel that dates back to the Han Dynasty. And they were used for extensive ocean voyages.

But what is a Junk Raft? In the case of eco-mariners Dr. Marcus Eriksen and Joel Paschal, The Junk Raft is an ocean vessel crafted from junk plastic bottles, a Cessna 310 airplane fueselage and various other ‘junk’ materials.

The Junk Raft recently sailed from California to Hawaii to protest the growing pile of trash in our oceans. These plastics end up in the bellies of Albatrosses – things that really shouldn’t be floating out there, like lighters and toys. They don’t break down, not in the albatrosses and not in the ocean itself.

And it’s that very durability of plastic that has made the Junk Raft’s courageous voyage possible. Marcus and Joel literally netted up 15000 bottles from the waste stream of Los Angeles, forming two pontoons that floated them all the way to Hawaii. And what a journey it was.

Now Marcus and Anna Cummins, another plastics crusader, are teaming up, in more ways than one, and hitting the road, biking from Vancouver to Baja on the Junk Ride. To help them tell their story, we created Bike Speak.

Marcus and Anna wanted a small, self-contained thing they could carry with them on their tour, that would allow them to host cruiser rides, and do pedal powered slideshows and presentations at schools and parks. At the same time it had to pack enough punch to address a reasonable size crowd both indoors and out. They already had a Fender Blender X, so they we made an Xtracycle-compatible cabinet and a generator attachment that can be used with the Fender Blender base, without requiring tools to switch back and forth to smoothie mode.

With the human power module, a volunteer can pedal the system to run the amplification while Marcus and Anna give their talk. And with the Fender Blender bike blender system, they can serve up fresh smoothies to the crowd after the talk while enjoying great sounding music pumped out by the system’s internal rechargeable NiMH battery, good for an estimated 14 hours of light and music.

With each custom Soul Cycle that comes out of Rock The Bike, we try to push the envelope a little further. A few of us had been sketching hinged cabinets with two modes: stereo for cruising, and unidirectional for public address. Hence the flip-up action. We followed the snapdeck aesthetic, following the curves at the head and tail. The curve at the tail is functional. It matches the Fender Blender base. We used an ultra efficient amplifier for amplification and four Pro Audio full-range speakers. These speakers are small and extremely lightweight with alloy housings and neodymium magnets, weighing only 1 lb each! A crossover protects the tweeters. The entire finished cabinet, with speakers, amplifier, battery, mixer, voltage regulation system, microphone, and integrated lighting weighs in at a only 12 lbs! By far our lightest Soul Cycle to date.

A two-channel mixer is built into the controls. This stereo mixer will enable Marcus and Anna to play background music from their laptop’s slideshow program, while speaking through a lightweight microphone we provided.

We came up with a custom voltage regulation circuit to protect the internal battery, mixer, and amp from the motor. The circuit also taps a little power to trickle charge the battery. We also added a separate noise suppression circuit to mute static from the generator.

When the cabinet is flipped up, the user has access to a small “cubby” door. Inside the door is a small storage compartment where the microphone, cords, and handlebar mount can be stored when not in use.

The handlebar mount will accommodate an iPod or other mp3 player and features a battery fuel/voltage gauge. This gauge will tell the user the current charge state of the battery while also giving the human power pedalers an indication of how their pedal power is affecting the system.

Be sure to check the Junk Ride schedule for news about Marcus and Anna’s latest educational adventure and the Bike Speak system. During the Spring and Summer of 2009 Marcus and Anna will be touring the West coast. SF-Cruisers can expect a Junk Ride social ride with Anna and Marcus when they come through San Francisco. Like the Junk Raft’s epic sail to Hawaii, the Junk Ride mission is not easy. At last check Marcus was mentioning that he intended to tow a raft so that the pair could ford rivers. Rock on! Send them fanmail on their blog, and please stay tuned for more on that social ride.

Are you a film festival afficianado?

We’re looking for someone who’s as passionate about film and film festivals as we are about bikes and bike culture. We want to submit our videos to small, big, quirky, progressive festivals. We need someone who knows how this all works to help us pick some good ones and do the applications.

This is a volunteer position. We’ll give you a budget to pay registration fees. You write the applications on your own time, get a credit in the film, and then bask in your glory when we get selected and screened. If this is you or someone you know, please get in touch by using the “Press Inquiry” category on our contact page.

Big thanks in advance!

We hate spam as much as you do.

Thanks to our new coders R.J. and Kevin, we’ve gotten our SPAM situation under control.  Thanks for your patience while eliminated the SPAM comments.

 

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What’s up bike people?

The SPAM situation on RockTheBike is totally out of hand and I apologize for it. It’s an embarrassment to have these types of negative links on RockTheBike, because we pride ourselves on being positive people offering our community-minded, family-friendly site and videos. Fortunately help is on the way. Our new coders R.J. and Kevin are on the case. It should hopefully be resolved within 1-2 days. I will keep you updated.

Carbon Neutral press conferences

SHAKE YOUR PEACE!’s Gabe Dominguez pedal powers a press conference of Salt Lake City’s mayor Rocky Anderson, opening their Live Green festival. May 2007.

Below: Rock The Bike’s Paul Freedman pedal powers a press conference for San Francisco’s Wade Crowfoot, announcing the city’s endorsement of pedal power.

Thanks Earth Hour Pedalers and Bands, for rocking it at the 2009 Debut of the Pedal Powered Stage!

Pedal Powered Stage 2009 Debut at Earth Hour SF
Pedal Powered Stage 2009 Debut at Earth Hour SF. Photo: Steve Rhodes

Thanks to everyone who came down to the Earth Hour celebration at Market Bar in downtown San Francisco, where Rock The Bike had the 2009 debut of our Pedal Powered Stage. We biked in all the gear and pedal powered all the lighting and sound equipment and smoothies, making Saturday’s event Carbon Negative. A Carbon Negative event is one that has such an inspiring effect on participants that it causes individuals to reduce their carbon impact in the coming months and years.

Big thanks to Guella and Justin Ancheta, and Fossil Fool for their performances, to Raul and the Market Bar crew for their hospitality, and to Mayor Newsom and the Neighborhood Empowerment Network for sponsoring the event. Check the  Video from CBS news.

We debuted two new Mundo-based Pedal Power bikes: the Electric Mundo and the Lunar Lander. More photos and info to come on both those projects.

The Rock The Bike community came out strong for the event. Here’s a shot of art bike creator Jay Broemmel cruising on his Schwinn Broom:

 

Pedal Powered Stage at Earth Hour SF Downtown gathering

Posted by fossilfool
Time:
03/28/2009 – 19:00 – 22:00

Come on down to Market Bar at the Ferry Building this Saturday Night and be part of the celebration of Earth Hour 2009. Rock The Bike will be setting up the Pedal Powered Stage and hooking up Justin AnchetaGuella, and Fossil Fool with some good clean pedal power.  Other highlights include the Sustainable Living Road Show, and hopefully a flatland BMX performance by Pete Brandt (video). Lineup below.

It’s Earth Hour, people! Don’t forget to turn off all the lights in your home before heading out to catch the music. Also remember to unplug those pesky chargers and wall adapters for devices you only occasionally use. Earth Hour this year could reach a fifth of the planet. Check out the participation map on their site. It’s your choice whether to power down and chill in your neighborhood, or head out to join us at the Ferry Building, where you’ll see many of San Francisco’s landmark buildings turn their lights out, groove to Justin, Guella, and the Bike Rapper, and help us to pedal power two hours of local live music!

Learn more about Earth Hour 2009 in this City Hall news conference:

 

Lineup:

7:00 — Pete Brandt sunset Flatland performance

7:30 — Guella

8:30 — Justin Ancheta

9:30 — Fossil Fool, the Bike Rapper