Rock The Bike: BLOG

Hear ye! Hear ye! Oakland recognizes RTB

Aug 18, 2016Posted by

proclamation pic

“Whereas, Rock The Bike, located at 6323 San Pablo Avenue in North Oakland, and founded and owned by Paul Freedman, cares deeply about motivating others through fun activities to take action to help with the ongoing climate change crisis . . . . Whereas, everyone who pedals out a smoothie on a Fender Blender gets to feel the thrill of converting their muscle power to usable energy . . . . and Whereas the Oakland City Council wishes to recognize Rock The Bike, outstanding Oakland small business for the key role that they play in keeping our economy strong; now, therefore, be it . . . resolved that the Oakland City Council sincerely appreciates and extends a heartfelt thanks to Rock The Bike, and to all the small businesses located within the City limits for their investment in Oakland.”

Every year, as part of National Small Business Week, the Oakland City Council recognizes an exemplary business in each of the council districts, and this year Rock The Bike was one of them. (more…)

Maker Faire May 20th-22nd

May 17, 2016Posted by

Maker Faire 2016 is happening May 20th – 22nd at the San Mateo Fairgrounds. Join us and spread the word with our Facebook invite HERE: 


Maker Faire 2015

Rock The Bike is pleased to announce it’s umpteenth year involved in creating Pedal Powered Music offerings for multiple days at the Maker Faire of San Mateo. This event has grown to be one of the largest Maker Faires in the country, boasting ten’s of thousands of participants per day, and new technology and inspirations to make your mind bend. Rock The Bike has been a huge part of creating and inspiring innovation at the Maker’s Faire and Bay Area, through pedal powered concerts that make us think of where our power is coming from, and how we might want to use our time and energy more efficiently as an individual or community. So let’s get to it! Here is the line-up and details of the Bike ride down to Maker’s Faire 2016:

Dominique Christina performs “The Praise Poem” at Bicycle Music Festival 2015

Feb 11, 2016Posted by

It was one of the first spoken word performances at a Bicycle Music Festival and the first we’ve featured in a highlight video. The performance of a poem about being a woman is poignantly set on the Climate Justice! banner, a reminder of how our movements are connected.

If you love the poem as much as we do, check out Dominique Christina’s other videos and web site.

The Pedal Powered Stage was loud and clear that day with 24 Generators in beautiful rainbow formation. The volunteer crew of Bicycle Music Festival transported all the gear you see (with the exception of the elevated stage) by bicycle. The video shows a few short snippets of this huge bicycle roadying effort.

Car Free Day in Dubai pulls in new levels of participation with Bike Blending

Feb 10, 2016Posted by

Bike Blenders in Dubai at Car Free Day

The Dubai Municipality’s Environmental Awareness Team took it to the people on Kite Beach as part of Car Free Day, an effort to pull over 30,000 private and government cars off the roads on February 21. Their custom branded Fender Blender Pros were the focus of their well-organized activation, drawing in people to experience the joy of pedaling, and then drink the tasty results of their efforts. The man on the left raising his hand is a ‘coach‘ — a crew member responsible for helping people on and off the bikes, pulling them in to the activity, raising or lowering the seat so they get maximum efficiency from their muscles, and cheering for them when they put their all into the pedals.


York Catholic School Board remixes Toaster Challenge at energy awareness assembly

Jan 23, 2016Posted by

Toaster Challenge Recreated

Sitting on the stool on the right side of this photo is an unassuming white form, but push the lever on it and you have a beast of a challenge — match the energy needs of an electric toaster by pedaling your hardest on an efficient bicycle generator. (more…)

This holiday season, we’re thankful to be participating locally in the Climate Justice movement

Nov 25, 2015Posted by

Photos by Marlon Aldana

As the weather turns nippy in Oakland and the Rock The Bike takes a breather from work to get in the holiday spirit, we wanted to take a moment to share this note of gratitude.

We are thankful to all our customers who have helped us grow our business and find a stable location in Oakland. You have given us the foundation and stability to make a difference in our local community, to say yes when a local Climate Rally needs a sound system and doesn’t want to rent it from ye’ olde diesel powered sound co. (more…)

Rock The Bike is Excited to Take Part in the 2015 Bicycle Music Festival!

Sep 10, 2015Posted by

MG_0357At the Bicycle Music Festival at Lake Merritt Amphitheater on Sunday September 20th, the audience will generate all the electricity needed for the sound system. Coming to Oakland for the 1st time, the festival has partnered with leading Climate Justice group 350 Bay Area and is the centerpiece of the 3rd annual Love Our Lake Day, which closes down streets around Lake Merritt for walking, biking, and community activities. The festival organizers wanted to create a Climate Concert where education on our global environmental issues can occur in a beautiful community setting that supports face-to-face interpersonal connection. Weaving art and music together with climate awareness, the event creates a space where participants can begin to take personal action within the movement.

San Francisco sprouted the very first Bicycle Music Festival in 2007, which has since inspired over a dozen small and large-scale festivals of its kind internationally. From Uruguay to Vancouver, Barcelona to Berlin, the idea of using human-powered technology to empower social change is a contagious one. And what better time than now? (more…)

It’s official, the Dual sLEDgehammer is a thing.

Jul 22, 2015Posted by


Now you can host a competitive pedaling challenge at your event with this side-by-side competitive sLEDgehammer. It converts 100% of the riders’ muscle power to light and feels harder as more light stages turn on. The rider who sustains the highest Wattage level for 3 seconds and reaches the victory sequence first is the winner.  We took it out to a party for the semiconductor industry last week and got dozens of people pedaling and competing, breathing and gritting their teeth in an evening-long series of heats to determine the strongest rider in the company.

Here’s a good view of the gear. The only thing out of view is the power-analyzing circuit that typically sits on a nearby table. The key elements shown are:  2 Generator Pros (bikes), 2 11′-tall sLEDgehammer light towers, cabling.



New video shows why we switched to BlendTec pitchers: better ease of use, better pricing.

Jun 26, 2015Posted by

The BlendTec Wildside + XR pitcher now comes standard with our High Performance Upgrade for Fender Blenders. You can still buy Vitamix brand equivalent pitchers at the time of purchase or after, but they’re more expensive. Plus, we like the BlendTec pitcher better. Great news all around. Thanks BlendTec!

Kids provided 75% of the energy for our 3-day festival stage at Maker Faire. How? Lots of bikes.

Jun 3, 2015Posted by

Maker Faire is very family oriented. The largest audience of the weekend was for Magician Bryan Patrick, whose sound needs were ironically minimal.

Since our earliest moments of Pedal Powered experimentation, I’ve been fascinated by how much sound comes from one pedaler’s efforts. I remember a 12-year-old powering my street performance at a charity bike event for an audience of 30-50 people in the early goings. He was into it! Not too hard, not too easy. Great sound out to about 20 feet from the speaker. The ratio of 1 pedaler for every 50-100 people at our events has roughly held as we’ve scaled up Rock The Bike’s full system to do larger events. At the Maker Faire in San Mateo this year, we brought an 18-bike system capable of entertaining over 1000 people, and at most times it was primarily powered by kids.