Holiday Greetings (reprint of newsletter)

Dec 21, 2013Posted by in Blog, Featured News | Comments Off on Holiday Greetings (reprint of newsletter)

Holiday Greetings (reprint of newsletter)

Bike Blenders growing in popularity and variety. 

Above: Wheely Good Smoothies in Baltimore continues to dazzle at farmers markets with their customized Fender Blenders. The newest is their Rainbow Fish (using the Fender Blender Pro as the base).

 

Bike Blenders continue to be a force for good, both out in the world and in our business. Good for business because of the amazing outreach that happens each time our customers use their blenders in the community. Thank you, we really appreciate it! We’re seeing strong interest and even fellow human power entrepreneurs, i.e. competition, in the UK and Australia. There is an increasing acceptance among event people and educators that bike blenders work: they’re reliable, fun, engaging, and educational, and you get to nourish people with thick, healthy, tangy smoothies and other treats. 

It’s an exciting time for innovation on Bike Blenders at RTB as well. We’re stoked to be working with BlendTec on a new Fender Blender (BlendTec) line. High performance, American-made, and with a mission that resonates with ours, the Utah-based company (both manufacturing and design / HQ) are pedal powering their very own Fender Blender Pro (BlendTec) and raving about it.         

“We’ve been getting an awesome response all around internally and externally!” sayeth BlendTec. 
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3000-person Pedal Powered concert system fits in briefcase. Rock The Bike’s biggest custom build to date.

Nov 17, 2013Posted by in Blog, Featured News, Generator Pro | Comments Off on 3000-person Pedal Powered concert system fits in briefcase. Rock The Bike’s biggest custom build to date.

3000-person Pedal Powered concert system fits in briefcase. Rock The Bike’s biggest custom build to date.

RussianDolls sound system speaker

Demolding montage
Demolding wave guides. Each of the slots is at a slightly different angle, allowing the 6 tweeters to reach different parts of the crowd.  Photo: Mike Cobb.

1/9/15 Update! The Russian Dolls / BRX system is in use! Check out the photos and blog post about the 9/21/14 People’s Climate Rally in Oakland.

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It’s always exciting when you move from the brainstorming and drawing phases of a custom project into the hands-on, smelly, goopy, dusty build phase. That’s happening right now for a project that could hopefully have a big impact on how we do our largest Pedal Powered concerts. It doesn’t have a concise name at the moment, so I’ll call it the 3000-person Pedal Powered Concert System that Fits into a Briefcase. Another name I’m considering is “America’s Concert” in honor of the AC72 America’s Cup boats that partially inspired it. It’s also inspired by Fukishima & Global Warming, Bike Party, James Bond, and Rube Goldberg.

It’s a new way to reduce the volume and weight of our 12-speaker concert PA system, using ultralight materials and a stacking / nesting / Russian Dolls redesign of the loudspeaker cabinets.

Loudspeakers contain lots of air. Air is what allows them to reproduce low frequencies like bass notes and the beat of dance music.  But it means that they take up lots of space.

 
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How many people will it take to power my laptop and projector, or pedalboard (or any device)?

Sep 4, 2013Posted by in Electric Fender Blender Pro, FAQ, Generator Pro, Off the Wall, Pedal Power Utility Box, Pedal Powered Stage Gear, Roll Up Generator Stand | Comments Off on How many people will it take to power my laptop and projector, or pedalboard (or any device)?

How many people will it take to power my laptop and projector, or pedalboard (or any device)?
Pamela Parker's guitar pedals

Pamela Parker’s pedal board at the Peace Day SF rally. Photo: Nio.

Okay, so you have a device or set of devices in mind (like a laptop and projector), and you want to know whether it’s possible to power them with people on bike generators. Here are the steps to figure it out:

First, you need to measure the power consumption of the device you want to power. There are two ways to do this. You can read the writing on the product or you can actually measure it using a device like the Kill a Watt. The second way is better for two reasons: It’s more educational and fun, and more precise; some product ratings (written on the product) are just approximate. Some products use different amounts of power at different settings. For example, a loudspeaker will use way less power than it’s rated for if you’re listening to music at moderate levels. So get yourself a Kill a Watt and get scientific!


Above: A Kill a Watt in use.

Connect the Kill a Watt to the wall, then connect your device(s) to it, and read the wattage number. (Be sure you’re in watt mode; the device may default to showing volts. If the reading is very close to 110, USA AC power voltage, then you are probably reading volts.) If you look carefully you’ll see that the watt mode will have the unit “watt” next to the reading.

Next, visualize what types of pedalers you are expecting at your event.  The wattage you can expect per person will change depending on who is pedaling. This is common sense: A competitive cyclist can generate more power than a 3rd grader.

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Can I use my own speakers / mixer and still benefit from your Pedal Power system?

Jul 31, 2013Posted by in FAQ, Modified JBL Loudspeakers | Comments Off on Can I use my own speakers / mixer and still benefit from your Pedal Power system?

What’s unique about the speaker is that it’s the only Pro Sound loudspeaker that can take DC power, i.e. bike power, as an input. Most Pro Sound loudspeakers require AC power. For the Pedal Power world this means you have to use an inverter to turn DC power into AC. But it only gets turned back into DC inside the speaker. Those two conversions aren’t needed with our system, so it runs considerably louder for the same amount of pedaling. Very impressive!

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1 Bike / 1 Speaker used for 500 activists at 350.org’s Global Power Shift summit in Istanbul

Jul 30, 2013Posted by in Featured News, One Bike One Speaker, One Bike One Speaker Press | Comments Off on 1 Bike / 1 Speaker used for 500 activists at 350.org’s Global Power Shift summit in Istanbul

1 Bike / 1 Speaker used for 500 activists at 350.org’s Global Power Shift summit in Istanbul

When we heard 350.org was gathering 500 climate justice activists in Istanbul for the Global Power Shift conference in June, we offered to loan them our latest and simplest yet Pedal Power system, “One Bike / One Speaker” .  Since several of the organizers were coming from the Bay Area, we reduced our smallest system to two boxes, both within airline regulations for checked baggage, bringing the shipping cost to 0. We met up with two of the organizers to hand off the two boxes, one at a BART station and one at our shop. 350.org would have to supply a bike in Istanbul and swap the rear wheel for the lightweight generator wheel we provided. We supplied detailed setup info to ensure the system would get good use.  Next: wait for update. 

Update from Kevin a few days into GPS:  “Hey! Just saying it’s rocking. We did a 500 person plenary outside which was great, and its become a staple for our daily announcements. Next up, the Open Mic…”

The photos show that this One Bike system was able to amplify music and speech for the entire conference. 

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