Rock The Bike: BLOG

How Rock the Bike is helping during COVID: PPE Projects

Apr 17, 2020Posted by

We would like to express gratitude to our customers and partners who’ve helped us build enough stability to keep our team together through this crisis so far. We are grateful for the health of our team and their families. We are thankful for the clear skies and the hope that climate change can be tackled with the same force of collective action that we’re aiming at a virus. And, when that happens, we are hopeful it will lift everyone up, not leave people behind.


Rock The Bike is helping out during this time with our unique engineering and 3-D printing skills!

What we’re doing to help 

  • We’re contributing to 2 open-source PPE projects to serve healthcare workers. Our 3D printers have been running headbands for face shields, and our engineer Leif has been sending these on to Maker Nexus in Sunnyvale to complete and distribute to healthcare workers.
Leif testing out the piece that our 3D printing team created.
A doctor and family member of the Rock the Bike team in New York testing out the face shield with a headband that we created.
  • Through a family connection, we responded to a request from Contra Costa’s county hospital for a large cleanable intubation box. This project came from research in Taiwan. We innovated a new feature (stackable design) and turned around two samples within a week. It’s now in evaluation and we’re standing by to refine or make more as needed.
Here is an example of the equipment we are designing and printing for the hospitals who need help keeping their doctors safe during intubation procedures.
Here is an example of what these boxes look like in action.

Thank you for staying connected with us during this difficult time! We look forward to continuing to bring you bike-powered fun in the future and in your home!!

Is Your Fender Blender Pro Seat Sliding Too Much?

Feb 13, 2020Posted by

This bulletin addresses issues with seat post sliding performance. A correctly functioning seat post should be easy to slide up and down with one hand. If there are positions where it gets stuck, please see the three sections below.

1. Check which bolt you have: Check if the anti-rotate bolt behind the seat post is a domed button-head type. We’ve found that this design of bolt can cause issues with sliding performance. Even if your seatpost is sliding fine, we’d like to send you the replacement.

Get a replacement: Contact us and we will send you a replacement that doesn’t scratch the seatpost slot. Contact info below.

2. Deal with existing scratches: Check for scratching and burrs around the groove on the back of the seat post. You may notice that the seat post gets stuck as it slides into the frame in specific areas where the seat post is heavily marked or scratched.


Fix: Requires a sanding tool such as emery board, file, or sandpaper. If you would like us to send you one, please contact us, info below.

  • Remove the seat post from the bike. The hex key that comes with the bike will be needed to remove the anti rotate bolt.
  • Sand around and in the groove to remove sharp edges and burrs. Avoid breathing the dust. For the best sliding performance, you must take the rough spots all the way down. If your seatpost is really chewed up and you would prefer a fresh start, contact us for a new post! 
  • Immediately clean up any dust with a wet paper towel and wash your hands after completing the process.
  • Repeat sanding as necessary.

3. Chatter: Seat Post chatters when sliding down and needs precise manual guidance in order to slide; especially when the seat is extended to a higher number, like 9 or 10.

Fix: Lubricate the seat post with a silicone-based grease. If you would like us to send you some, please contact us, info below. How to apply the grease

  • Raise the seat post all the way up and clamp in place
  • Apply the lubricant onto the post near the top, middle, and bottom to form 3 rings, about the size of a rubber bands
  • Spread the lubricant over the whole seat post with a small piece of paper towel, napkin or rag (approx the size of a credit card)
  • Slide the seat all the way up and down five times
  • Using a fresh paper towel, wipe off the excess lubricant

If these or other performance issues are happening to your Fender Blender Pro, please contact us for support: 1-(888) 354-2453 techsupport@rockthebike.com

Pedal Powered Block Party with Andrew Thierry

Dec 23, 2019Posted by

What’s up bike people, We’re excited to share one of the best dancing and musical moments from the pedal powered stage since the 2012 highlight performance of Rupa and the April Fishes at the Bicycle Music Festival. Check out the video! Filmed at Montclair Village.

Music lovers dance in the street to the authentic zydeco sounds of Andre Thierry, a Bay Area trio. A 10-bike system was enough to power a block party music stage. A local spin class called CRUfit showed up with 7 strong adult riders ready for a workout. 3 more bikes provided slots for the general public to hop on and help. The sound system used approximately 500W average during the hour-long performance, meaning that the average power required from each pedaler is about 50W. Power is stabilized and stored in the Pedal Power Utility Boxes, though its ultracapacitor is only large enough to provide a 2-3 minute buffer. Pedalers were coached to “keep it in the green” which refers to the level of the ‘Pedalometer’.

Pedal Powered Stage: https://rockthebike.com/pedal-powered-stage/
Andre Thierry music: https://www.andrethierry.com/
Winter Williams Presents:https://www.instagram.com/winterwilliamspresents/?hl=en

NAU Student Runs Green Events with Rock The Bike’s Most Compact Bike Powered Sound System

Nov 22, 2019Posted by

A Look Inside Arizona’s 1st Bike Powered Concert organized by the students of NAU

NAU student Joanna Wheaton attended Rock the Bike’s pedal-powered concert at UCLA’s Ecochella in 2014, and she felt inspired by the potential for something like this at her school. Joanna is a part of her campus’ student environmental group — the Green Jacks — their goal is to reduce NAU’s environmental impact through student-organized, educational events. So this past year, Joanna led the way for her school to purchase one of Rock the Bike’s newest bike-powered packages. For Earth Jam 2019, NAU purchased a 10-bike system from us that we named “Party in a Box” because it stores so compactly when not in use, but is capable of powering  large sound systems for concerts. Students are able to demonstrate their resourcefulness by gathering bikes from their community, they just don’t have to take on the full responsibility of building their own system from scratch, something that is not easy to get right on your first try.  

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Your Name in Lights!

Oct 4, 2018Posted by

 

LightBox in use at the 2018 New York State Fair. We calibrated it to be a fun challenge and attraction for kids. 3 kids working together can do it.

Fun, challenge and teamwork in action are the main benefits of our newest Pedal Powered Activity, the LightBox, an 8 x 8 Pedal Powered custom illuminated light sign that could be a hit for your org or company.

Having a multi-person activity like the Light Box leads to genuine teamwork moments at your events. We’ve seen this so many times in our concerts that it got us excited to create a team light challenge. It’s visible from hundreds of feet, making it an attraction. As people get closer they’ll see the bikes and get excited to take a turn. Coaching it is easy. Just help the riders on and use your hands, voice or a PEDAL! sign to start each challenge. You’ll see people high fiving as they bring your name to light.

Each logo requires its own individual creative approach to get the most from the available pedal power. For the NY State Fair we divided the classic I heart NY logo into its four letters/symbols, then wired each to one of the outputs of a sLEDgehammer circuit. When people pedal, more of the symbols turn on until they all enter a ‘party mode’ for a few moments. Then the game resets for the next group.

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Have you checked out our cooking show videos? 

Jun 20, 2018Posted by

Watch as experienced Pedal Power chef Kate Zuckerman of Brooklyn-based Sweet Cycle coaches audience members to process and then freeze ice cream custard with Rock The Bike’s Icycleta Ice Cream Bike attachment. Using a special mixture of natural thickeners, Zuckerman shows how to make delicious ice cream without egg yolks — easier and cheaper than french custard. Pedal Power is an ideal match for ice cream — the slow speed doesn’t mix in too much air. Even kids can comfortably power the Icycleta Ice Cream Bike attachment.

Learn to make some pesto with Rock the Bike’s owner, Paul Freeman. Catch up with him in the back garden of Rock the Bike with Edible Schoolyard showing off one of our High Performance Fender Blender Pros.

Paul’s Pesto
1 lb greens : parsley, basil, dino kale
1 C olive oil
1/2 C toasted walnuts or pine nuts
12 cloves roasted garlic
1/2 wedge Parmegiano Reggiano cheese (approx 3 oz)
1/2-1 tsp salt
salt and pepper to taste

Or make some Smoky Beetroot Hummus with Brittany. You can mix up this recipe using the Fender Blender Universale or the Fender Blender Pro.

Smoky Beetroot Hummus
3 small beets, about 1/2 lb roasted in toaster oven
1 (15 oz) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
juice of 1 lemon
2 tbsp tahini
2 cloves roasted garlic
1/2-1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp chile flakes

For topping:
1/4 c shelled pistachios, coardsely chopped
2 tbsp chopped dill
french feta, for serving
crackers, for serving

1000 smoothies in 6 hours?!

Apr 9, 2018Posted by

Occasionally we attempt a really big smoothie operation, in which we show up with hundreds of pounds of fruit, ice, juices, etc., and get lots of people bike blending.
If this is what you’re going for too, here are the factors you’ll need to consider:
– Time (prep, setup, and the event itself)
– Ingredients
– # of Bike Blenders and enough space to position them
– # of pitchers
– Other kitchen gear: tent, tables, washing system, banners, waste system.
– size of your crew
– will you be sampling (giving away the rest of the pitcher)? Or will each person blend their own smoothie?

Last Wednesday we did a big gig at the Cal Campus in Berkeley. The client / partner was Under Armour and their event firm Engine Shop. The goal was 1000 smoothies in 6 hours with 10 Fender Blender Pros. We nearly hit the goal. We got a lot of things right and learned a lot too, and here’s a report of all that.

Set up time.

We showed up with a fully packed van at 8:30AM for an 11 O’Clock start time. Unloading with 4 people took 30 minutes, including positioning the bikes. By 9AM we were up to 5 people. With this size group we were able to set up the entire smoothie booth operation in 2 hours with time for coffee!

Crew size:

I planned on having a crew of 5 at the peak, but this wasn’t enough. We really needed a crew of 7. The event provided us 1 coach and our crewmember Caleb came on as a floater midday, to bring some things we forgot from the shop, and to help with the lunchtime rush. He stayed till the end. We had an experienced crew. Only their staffer was a newbie.

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Coming to a Spin Class Near You

Aug 20, 2017Posted by

Rock the Bike has rocked events around the Bay Area with our message of pedal-powered revolution. We’re ramping it up – for the first time, people who take their daily spin class will wire back the energy generated by their workout into their electrical grid, helping to power their work place as they get inspired to bike towards a lower carbon footprint.

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Update on advocacy and giving

Feb 12, 2017Posted by

We’re stepping up our giving and pro bono work more than ever before. Below is a rundown of what we’ve been up to lately. Thank you to all our customers; your purchases stabilize our operation and make this kind of direct social impact possible.

Paul and the BooLander recently rode the Climate Ride Death Valley, and used his network of friends, fans, and RTB fans to raise over $3600 for Climate orgs. Paul pitched in $1400 of that, covering the ride costs. Fundraising is still open!

boolander_climate rally_orange sweater-min

 

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BooLander, new custom tall tandem, hits the streets and the National Parks

Jan 23, 2017Posted by

Coverage update! The BooLander gets a sweet write up in Bicycle Times Magazine

and a beautiful video from KQED Arts:


What’s up bicycle customizers, feast your eyes on the BooLander, the latest custom bike to hit the streets at Rock The Bike. 

The BooLander is a vertical tandem (riders are top / bottom versus the more common front / back arrangement) with optional swing-out ‘landers’ or ‘roots’, that stabilize the rig when mounting, dismounting, starting, and stopping. (more…)