Rock The Bike: BLOG

A bangin’ Bike To Work Day

May 11, 2013Posted by

This morning on Bike To Work Day I was racing to drop off a Bike Blender to UCSF for their Health Fair. In classic fashion I’d double-booked the drop off with a really important meeting, the ISCOTT commission meeting where Bicycle Music Festival was to present our Nighttime street closure plan. I didn’t check the bike routes and ended up climbing this WALL of a hill. Switchbacking too tight I flipped the blender and pushed it up the second half. Happy Bike To Work Day!

Drop complete, ready to sprint to ISCOTT. Only problem is I have no lock, and they’re NOT going to let me bring it in.  (more…)

Justin Ancheta LiveOnBike at Sunday Streets

Mar 30, 2013Posted by

Justin Ancheta Band to debut their new CD “Plant” at Cafe Du Nord in San Francisco April 13. RSVP:

Bike Blending: How many crew? How much ingredients? How many bikes?

Jan 28, 2013Posted by

Here’s a copy of a recent receipt from Trader Joe’s for a Bike Blending event that served 100 people.


To serve the most people in the least time, here are the factors to consider:

Ingredients. This is the easiest. Ingredients cost $0.60 per 8 oz smoothie. Scale this to meet your crowd needs.

Crewmembers. This helps you prepare the pitchers of ingredients faster. 1 person per bike for a relaxed event (100-200 servings). 3 crewmembers per bike if you think you’ll be slammed (300 – 500 servings).

Number of Fender Blender bikes. Increase the number of bikes to maximize your participation levels when maximum crowd flow is expected. Each bike can do 100- 250 8 oz smoothies per hour, depending on the number of crewmembers.

Type of pitcher: See the Osterizer v. High Performance comparison. It’s easier to serve large crowds with a high performance blender.

Number of pitchers. Two pitchers are incredibly useful. Make double the same amount of time by prepping a second batch while blending the first. If you foresee having vegan/dairy-free smoothies you might want a pitcher just for those.

The sLEDgehammer has escaped the tube.

Dec 17, 2012Posted by

pedal powered game

Our Pedal Powered lighting challenge, the sLEDgehammer, has escaped the tube.  We’ve both advanced the circuitry and the creativity of this piece of gear, making it even more of a crowd pleaser.

The sLEDgehammer is a Pedal Power game where you have to pedal really hard (but not for very long) to win. When you win, the power you’ve built up by pedaling gets unleashed in a dazzling light sequence. In the example above, a river appears to flow down the courtyard away from the pedaler, then the Peace & Love sign lights up. The 9-segment ‘reward’ sequence lasts only a couple seconds. When someone wins the game and sees the sequence, there’s a palpable release of energy. The celebrations are awesome to see. At the holiday party where we set this up, people were shouting “Peace & Love!”


Basic questions to consider when crafting your Pedal Powered Stage

Oct 16, 2012Posted by

The technical needs of a Pedal Powered event vary greatly depending on audience size, venue, and power needs of musician’s devices. The questions in this post will help you to know what features are most important for you, and how much power you’ll really need. Please answer these questions and email us using the contact form. Also, please check out some of our recommended packages to see systems intended for different crowd sizes:

Above: Shake Your Peace! performs during the Bay Rising Tour on their Pedal Powered Stage crafted by Rock the Bike.

  1. In  your mind’s eye, how many people are taking in the music at your ideal event? Audience size is the most important factor in knowing how many loudspeakers, generators, and circuitry to get.  Are you aiming for school assemblies? Street performing? A festival stage?
  2. Who is pedaling to generate power at your events? Is it competitive cyclists? fit adults? the general public? teenagers? kids? How family friendly are your events? Doing events with kids means you’ll need more bikes! The reason: Kids love to pedal but can’t generate much power. Also, they need to use bikes that are sized accordingly. If you want to do these events, you need to plan ahead so kids can participate.
  3. What style of music do you want to amplify? Or do you have a specific band your are planning to work with? Are you a bandleader? If so, what is the instrumentation in your band?
  4. Indoor vs. Outdoor? In your mind’s eye, where are your Pedal Powered events taking place?
  5. Do you want or need to be completely off the grid? Off The Grid means that you are completely independent and not relying on power from any other source. Some people just want to demonstrate Pedal Power, but are doing so in places where there ready access to wall power. Perhaps they don’t mind using some wall power and some bike power. This can be a way to decrease the number of bikes in your system, but still offer people the chance to create power with their bodies. For example, if you want a Bike Powered Cinema, you could power the loudspeakers with bikes and the projector with wall power. Other people want to make a statement by using NO power from the grid, or they are trying to bring a concert to a natural setting or park where there is no built-in power at all. They’ll need to be completely off the grid. What is right for you?
  6. Related. What is your main motivation for doing Pedal Powered events in your community? Examples: Have fun, get involved in music events, raise environmental consciousness/bike excitement, encourage healthy lifestyles, publicize a commercial offering. It helps us to know why our customers are interested in Pedal Power, and it may affect our gear recommendations.
  7. Are you planning to bike it there?  Biking it there requires more crew, gear, and experience than loading a truck, but can be enormously gratifying. Check out these photos to see if this inspires you:
  8. Will you be doing nighttime events?
  9. Do you already have a crew? Are you interested in leading a crew? Doing larger events with the general public requires a crew, including specific roles like Sound Guy, Roadie, Coach, Tech, MC and more.


Watch Fossil Fool’s TED Audition.

Aug 13, 2012Posted by

VOTING IS CLOSED! Thanks for reading and watching the video!

Friends, customers, and fans: Please support my campaign to speak at the global TED 2013 conference. There is an open voting and comment period happening NOW until the end of August, in which you can watch and review all the amazing auditions that took place in the past 6 months. I auditioned in Vancouver in May. While the TED team make the final decisions, your feedback and ratings are going to help this talk get noticed. Please see bold instructions below for info about how to take action!


Ride to Gaia Fest with Rock the Bike

Jul 13, 2012Posted by

Beginning July 30 from the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, we will pedal northward, covering 180-miles in 4-days, arriving in style at Gaia Fest, an awesome music and camping festival at the Black Oak Ranch in Laytonville.

For the past 4 years, we have mobilized hundreds to ride 20 miles south from San Francisco to Maker Faire.

At the Bicycle Music Festival, we move our entire festival, including our 10000-watt Pedal Powered Stage and hundreds of fans, from our day venue to our night venue 5 miles away.

We have studied from the masters of self-supported music and bike touring, the Pleasant Revolution.  Cello Joe, in foreground, will be biking with us. Kipchoge, in background will also be biking to Gaia, but from the North.


And now, we are ready to bring YOU safely by bicycle to Gaia Fest!

We will be carrying all the supplies we need for our tour, then setting up a Pedal Powered Stage featuring some of the best bands at the Gaia Festival, right across from the Main Stage!


Many thanks San Francisco Bicycle Music Festival: World’s largest Human Powered Music Fest.

Jul 6, 2012Posted by


The 6th Annual San Francisco Bicycle Music Festival was our biggest ever and a milestone for our grassroots Human Powered Music Fest. Many thanks to the bands, fans, and our huge volunteer crew. Any one of the 3 phases of the day would have been epic enough. But we had a beautiful, idyllic daytime music festival in the park, an outrageous mobile party, and a post-modern urban block party all in one day. Daytime: 500+ people in a meadow, enjoying live music in the beautiful sunshine… Followed by a fire-truck dodging, freeway underpass screaming, Fossil Fooling LiveOnBike session, with captain Ariel using no electric assist to pull 3 performers and audio gear weighing 250 pounds on our Mobile Stage… Followed by a street party with an elevated stage,  a glowing Bike Tree, and a 3-person pedal powered stage lighting system.

Rupa & The April Fishes perform at Golden Gate Park’s Log Cabin Meadow. Photo: Volker Neumann.

We had 19 pedalers at the peak in Golden Gate Park! Plenty of power for our 10000-Watt sound system to run. In the distance you can see our Pedal Powered Line Array hanging from its bamboo tripod.
We mobilized the entire festival on an outrageous LiveOnBike ride with yours truly, Fossil Fool, the Bike Rapper, performing with two bandmates on an elevated Mobile Stage towed by a Mundo. Above: the view from the Mobile Stage.

The suite next to the metalshop in our Berkeley workshop community is available!

Jun 9, 2012Posted by




There’s a suite available next door to our metalshop in our Berkeley workshop community, which also includes the East Bay Bike Coalition. “Unit A” has good light from its large glass doors and skylights, concrete floor, high ceilings in most of the space, lots of built in storage, a sink, gas heater for the winter, and access to a shared bathroom, kitchen, and outdoor shower. Our landlord has expressed a high priority on finding a new tenant within the bicycle field, so that we can continue to develop a thriving business community at Channing Way. There is ample bike parking in the large courtyard space and we are on a well-trafficked bicycle boulevard.

The workshop community has the honor of being the only structure zoned for ‘Light Industrial’ in this otherwise residential neighborhood. This makes it ideal for inventors, frame builders, seamsters and seamstresses, or fabricators. We are close to good food and 3 BART stations.

Unit A also has access to our metal shop seen below. Depending on the nature of your skills, needs, and experience, you can make an arrangement with us and the landlord to use the tools in the metal shop. Perhaps you can share your skills!

The highlights are:

– Large lathe
– Mill with digital readout. (Not CNC)
– Large layout table
– TIG Welder
– Large band saw
– Keith Bontrager bicycle frame jig


Asking price is $1200/month for Unit A. Please contact landlord Nick Bertoni, 510-517-9991 or Rock The Bike, 510-548-2453, for a tour.

Bike Blenders, Pedal Powered Concerts and Activities for Events and Education

Mar 21, 2012Posted by


Kid I'm powering it!Bringing Pedal Powered activities to your event increases the fun and participation and puts people in an open, joyous, and receptive state, where they’re ready to interact and learn. It’s green energy in action! Our activities provide a way for people use their own muscle power and instantly achieve a delightful and memorable result.

Our most popular activity — and the most accessible starting point for anyone interested in Pedal Power — is Bike Blending.

We’ve spent the last 13 years developing Pedal Powered activities that help everyday people experience their power to make change. From 1-bike stations like Bike Blenders and Recharge Stations to 20-bike concert systems , Pedal Power rocks! We do the hard work of engineering the bikes and systems to be safe, dependable, educational, and fun. You bring in your group and share the gift of human power with people for the first time.

Please read on to see the different Bike Blenders and our full array of Pedal Powered activities!