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Rock The Bike

What kind of devices can I charge with my Recharge Station?

Q: What kind of devices can I charge with my Recharge Station?

A: Anything that can be connected by a USB cable can be charged by the Recharge Station. However, our Recharge Desks don’t support the newer “Smart Charge” technology.

Why is it hard to pedal the recharge station at first?

Q: Why is it hard to pedal the recharge station at first?

A: It’s important to note that our generator bikes have some initial resistance when a person begins to pedal. Riders may feel that it’s tough to pedal or requires some effort. The resistance will then subside and pedaling will become easier (ie less resistant).

A person needs to pedal for a couple rotations, maybe 10 seconds, to get power flowing through the system. Then the phone will be charging from that point on.

There is a small capacitor in the system, so if you stop pedaling the phone will keep charging until the capacitor’s battery is drained. This can be anywhere between 1-5 minutes, depending on how much power you put into the system.

Do I need multiple people pedaling to charge a device?

Q: Do I need multiple people pedaling to charge a device?

A: No! One person can easily generate the power to charge up to 8 USB devices using our Pedal Powered Recharge Station. Great for conventions, meetings, music festivals, and all-day events where people need power for their mobile devices but might not have easy access to electrical outlets.

The best way to activate the Recharge Station is by placing it prominently where people are gathered. The bright glow of the green LED and the activity of the pedaler attract participants to share the desk socially, charging their devices and taking turns pedaling.
Rock The Bike’s Recharge Station is based on a Generator Pro or Electric Fender Blender Pro, which can accommodate a wide range of riders: men, women, and most kids.

When pedaled the Recharge Station enclosure glows green for clean energy! The glow is visible from across the room, or in daylight, generating curiosity and interest at your events. The top of the desk has an illuminated gauge which changes from red to blue as the circuit fills up with power providing feedback to the pedalers.
Don’t limit your possibilities to cell phones. Power an iPad or other USB devices and let the pedaler choose videos and web content to share with a small group.
Technical specs
A pedaler generates:
60 watts for an effort equivalent to casual biking on flat road.
100 to 160 watts for an athletic cyclist.
300+ watts for an athletic pedaler during vigorous sprints under 30 seconds.

Excess generated power is stored in the Recharge Station circuit to continue charging devices and light the green LED. A typical pedaler will fill it up in about 3-5 minutes of pedaling. A full station will continue charging devices until empty, usually for another 8-12 minutes depending on devices attached.
Each NORMAL USB device (like a phone or tablet) consumes 5-8 watts. That is a limitation of the USB standard.
We offer a CUSTOM OPTION to install QuickCharge USB ports compatible with newer devices that support rapid charging at up to 18 watts. Many newer tablets and phones support QC3. Check your device to see if it’s compatible.
Charging a device takes the same time as it would ordinarily take, whether at normal or rapid speed, due to the limitation of USB. Adding Quick Charge allows a pedaler to get a 20% to 30% charge in 10 – 15 minutes, which requires only 5 – 7 minutes.

How does the Recharge Desk work?

Q: How does the Recharge Desk work?

A: The pedaler generates about 60-80 watts continuously at an easy pace. When the Arbduino computer detects incoming power it starts charging the ultra capacitors which are like batteries, except they’re high current (quick charge and discharge) and can be charge cycled many thousands of times.

The Arbduino computer also turns on the USB chargers, lights the LED charge gauge in the desktop window, and lights the green glowing LED to light the bottom of the desk. As the capacitors fill up with power, the LED gauge in the window will light up from red (low) to blue (filling) to white (almost full) to blinking white (full). If the pedaling continues when the circuit is full then the desk will stop accepting power as a protection feature.

Each device being charged consumes about 5 Watts. Some devices May consume up to 12 Watts. The ratio of pedaling time to charging time is usually about 5 minutes to 1 device. It varies because the lights and the computer in the desk also consume power. The funnest way to use the desk is pedaling continuously, especially with a group it becomes a healthy and practical social activity

How fast will my phone charge when it’s plugged in to the Recharge Desk?

Q: How fast will my phone charge when it’s plugged in to the Recharge Desk? If I pedal faster will my device charge faster?

A: Pedal power won’t cause your phones to charge any faster than they normally would. This is because you are creating enough electricity to charge an electronic device and nothing more. Faster pedaling does not equal faster charging however constant pedaling will equal constant charging. It’s not the speed it’s the duration. If you want things to charge quicker than they normally do, suggest riders switch their devices to airplane mode or use high quality USB “quick” cables.

If a person’s phone is completely dead, it will take them however long to charge their phone as it does when the phone is plugged into a wall outlet.

How many charging units can charge at one time?

Q: How many charging units can charge at one time?

A: Recharge Desks are outfitted with eight USB ports. When you purchase a Recharge Desk from us, they won’t come with any charging cables but when you rent one, we provide you with cables, but please we please ask that you return them!

One person can pedal enough power to charge eight devices!

 

Bike-It Ben’s No-Bake Energy Bars

Ben Sherratt aka Bike-It Ben from Sustrans at Brighton & Hove has developed a simple recipe for a quick and kid-friendly energy bar. He was so kind to share his recipe for the No-Bake Energy Bars (vegan!) he made with his Year 1 kids at St. Luke’s Solar School. They’re made using his Rock The Bike Fender Blender Universale. Check out the recipe below and give it a try with some of your school kids. Ben mentions this below, so ICYMI, year 1 kids are aged 5 to 6 years old.

Ingredients:
recipe card

“Here is a pic of our recipe cards for year 1 pupils to work with (aged 5-6) they loved them and ate them all up! We also added cocoa powder to them for a chocolate flavour, again very popular!” -Ben Sherratt Photo by: Ben Sherratt

Instructions (from Ben):

The recipe is really simple.

Ingredients! Photo by: Ben Sherratt

I just blitz the oats in the blender then keeping to one side then I mix the other ingredients together with the coconut oil which has been heated first until it is liquid. Blend it all to a nice paste and then add mixture to the oats to make a stiff paste.

 

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Blending! Photo by: Ben Sherratt

Spread this into a non stick tin which can be boiled or lined with rice paper.

 

Mixing! Photo by: Ben Sherratt

Pop into a refrigerator overnight, then slice into bars. Variations on the recipe that I have tried have included adding peanut butter, cocoa powder, and desiccated coconut.The kids really love these bars and it works really well as a lesson in schools.

 

Sustrans introduces kids to sustainable, human-powered alternatives, and they’ve been using Rock The Bike products throughout their organization since 2009. Yeah, we’re proud.

Boilerplate!

“Sustrans makes smarter travel choices possible, desirable and inevitable. We’re a leading UK charity enabling people to travel by foot, bike or public transport for more of the journeys we make every day. It’s time we all began making smarter travel choices. Make your move and support Sustrans today. www.sustrans.org.uk”

Thanks Ben and Sustrans for teaching youth that sustainable alternatives are possible and fun! There is hope for our planet as long as we educate our kids about ways to reduce their fossil fuel and grid dependency.

Let’s hope Hepsie and our aspiring journalist have remained committed to cycling (and cake sales)!

The Anti-Flu Super Smoothie: Water is Life, Food is Medicine.

It’s officially the Fall season and winter is coming. We recently put on a smoothie booth for Kaiser Permanente‘s employee health and wellness fair in Tracy, California at the Eagal Lakes Resort. We were prepared to serve 400 smoothies from 10 AM to 3:00 PM. We set out from the San Francisco Bay Area at 8:00 AM, headed east into the Central California Valley, prepared for a warm October day and lots of curious healthcare workers (and their families!).

cowboy_fbp-min

Kids can’t wait to jump on our bikes!

The day was beautiful and sunny, just as we had predicted and the crowds were curious, also as predicted. But what we didn’t predict was how quickly we would serve all 400 smoothies–in just three and a half hours! We started serving at 10:00 AM, on the dot, and didn’t stop until we ran out at about 1:30 PM.

For this particular event we chose one recipe and called it our Anti-Flu Super Smoothie, to fit the theme Kaiser had chosen for their event,”Camp Flu-be-gone“. We calculated our quantities for serving 400, 9 oz. cups of tasty, tasty smoothie and were pleasantly surprised that our numbers were pretty spot on. Having found a tasty, easy to replicate recipe,  we thought we’d share our success with you, dear reader.

If you are setting up a smoothie booth and want to serve one recipe for 400 smoothies (again, 9 oz. cups), give this recipe a try!

The Anti-Flu Super Smoothie


Qty 400 Smoothies ( 9 oz cups)
What we bought:
  • 50 lbs of blueberries (4 cases at 10 lbs and 4 bags at 2.5 lbs)
  • 3 lbs of flax seed* (weighed out in the bulk section of our local natural foods grocer)
  • 18 jugs of pomegranate juice @ 64 oz each
  • 1 case of curly kale (about 24 bunches)
  • 400 9 oz cups
  • Back up bags of mixed berries (8 oz bags, or whatever was available)

 

Ingredients for One smoothie jug:
  • 16 ounces of pomegranate juice
  • 1 Tbsp of flax seed*
  • 1 cup of blueberries (frozen)
  • 1 stalk of curly kale

 

How to make it:

In your blender jug, first add 16 ounces of pomegranate juice. Then add a tablespoon of flax seed. Next dump in the frozen berries. And finally, the kale. Imagine that you are layering your smoothie ingredients when you put them in the jug. You want to add the liquids first, then the softest ingredients followed by the progressively harder, denser or more fibrous ingredients. If you are blending kale, carrots or ice, those items should always be added last.

Once everything is in the jug, attach is to blender base, strap it down, and start pedaling. Pedal for at least 60 seconds at a high cadence. Everyone can blend this smoothie but if kids start them, adults should finish them, in order to properly process the kale.

This smoothie is really tasty. The pomegranate juice adds nice “zing” to the flavor profile and the flax seed* contributes exciting texture. There’s no need to add ice to this recipe if your berries are frozen. To keep frozen things frozen, we use a large insulated cooler box.

Printable recipe page!

*A word on flax seed. Flax seed eaten whole is tasty. However, flax seed is most beneficial for you when it is ground or pulverized. For a more healthful and nutritious smoothie, try pulverizing your flax seeds and then sprinkling some whole seeds on top of a poured smoothie.

 

Fender Blender Mundo

fbmundo-blender-base

An homage to the original Fender Blender bike blender. You can toss this in one of your Mundo bags, roll to an event, set up your rig, and put your High Performance pitcher to work making blended beverages, sauces, soups, or whatever else you can think of.

The Fender Blender Mundo fits the Mundo V3, V4, and V5 models.

The Mundo and the FBM are a great combination. During the week you commute and do the shopping. On Sunday, you roll to the park and crank out smoothies at the Barbeque. You don’t need tools to set up your bike for blending. This version gives you 2x the volume and power with the High Performance upgrade.

The FBM fits the Mundo V3, V4 and V5 models*. You can blend using the Mundo’s centerstand.  For extra stability and if time allows, take the side loader bars off the Mundo and install our stationary stand. Or, for a faster stable stand, put milk crates under the side loader bars and attaching them with cam straps, –as you can see the in the photos from Yuba above!

fbmundo-blendtec

*Note: it is necessary to remove or modify the rack deck and rear fender for the blender to mount properly

 

 

Please inquire for SpinArt compatibility.

Generator Pro

 

GenPro green-min

When you do events with Pedal Power, especially with groups of pedalers, it’s good to have a simple, comfortable bike that looks inviting and leaves no option but to get on and pedal. The Generator Pro is that bike. It has no gears, no brakes — only the seat to adjust. The handlebars don’t even turn. Nothing rubs the tire, nothing gets hot, and no parts wear out when people pedal for hours on end at events.

What it does have is a large and effective brushless generator wheel. The size of it creates a flywheel effect that smooths out people’s pedal strokes. The magnets and coils inside the hub never touch each other. The power comes through a cable at the center of the wheel. The hub is rated for more power than even the strongest Tour de France riders can summon.

The frame of the bike has a very wide size range. You’ll see 7-year-olds high-fiving adults as they pedal alongside each other. All you have to do is make sure the seat is adjusted for each rider. The ease, comfort, and fun of people pedaling in groups are what this bike was designed for.

18 matching rainbow colored Generator Pros.

Above: 18 Generator Pros in use at our Pedal Powered Stage at PedalFest in Oakland’s Jack London Square, an event benefiting our local bike advocacy org Bike East Bay. Please note: Wheelcovers are not a standard feature but are available as an option with your purchase.

This generator is for customers who want the best, like the way it looks in a group, and desire the benefits of its simplicity. The lack of unnecessary features in this high-performance generator allows your staff to direct their attention to other things at your events, like people!

Watch this video and see all the different ways the Generator Pro was used at PoliticalFest2016 at the Democratic National Convention.

 

Key features:

-Compatible with any Rock The Bike electrical activity, such as the Recharge Station, the sLEDgehammer, the Utility Box.

-Consistent performance thanks to its large flywheel-grade generator hub.

-Cruise-y looking and comfy. Looks great as a group at events.

-Powerful gear ratio. Those who want to crank won’t be disappointed.

-Uses the same frame as our Fender Blender Pro — with the same wide size range.  You can add that activity later.

-Can be branded — see our examples.

-User manual.

Tech Specs:

-The Generator Pro is not a complete activity by itself. You must match it to one of Rock The Bike’s compatible Electrical Activities, which each have their own level of difficulty. For example, if you want usable AC power, you’ll want to match up the Generator Pro to the Pedal Power Utility Box. If you pedal the Gen Pro on its own with no matching circuit, it will have no resistance and the wheel will just spin faster and faster.

-Voltage output is nominally 24, but will be pegged to the load you connect. It will work best with 24V systems (all of Rock The Bike’s systems are 24V systems).

-A 20′ Rectifier Cable is included, terminating in a Neutrik NL-2 connector. Without the Rectifier Cable you won’t have usable DC power but 3-phase AC power. If you want a different connector or bare wires at the end of your Rectifier Cable, please let us know at the time of your order and we’ll do our best to accommodate your needs. A common alternative to the Neutrik NL-2 in the Pedal Power world is the Anderson Powerpole connector, which we can easily substitute upon request.

We’ve made a handy-dandy guide to help you navigate our electrical activities.

Check it out!

electrical-activities-info-graphic-low-res