York Catholic School Board remixes Toaster Challenge at energy awareness assembly

Jan 23, 2016Posted by in Blog, Featured News, Generator Pro, How to produce a Pedal Powered event, Pedal Power Utility Box, Pedal Powered Stage Gear, Roll Up Generator Stand, sLEDgehammer, Uncategorized | Comments Off on York Catholic School Board remixes Toaster Challenge at energy awareness assembly

York Catholic School Board remixes Toaster Challenge at energy awareness assembly

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

Operation Freedom Grinder: Recovering a Stolen Bike with Pedal Power

Aug 15, 2013Posted by in Pedal Power Utility Box, Product Videos | Comments Off on Operation Freedom Grinder: Recovering a Stolen Bike with Pedal Power

Operation Freedom Grinder: Recovering a Stolen Bike with Pedal Power

3 weeks after it was stolen, Rock The Bike crewmember Kai spotted the heavily customized Mundo cargo bike locked to a signpost in the Mission. He emailed a photo and we gave it a positive match. We asked him to please put a lock on the bike. We borrowed an angle grinder from Cyclecide’s Big Daddy and made a plan to come back the next morning with a 2-bike Pedal Power system… 

Read the whole story here: https://rockthebike.com/when-a-bike-gets-stolen-activate-your-networks-to-get-lots-of-eyes-looking-for-you-and-then-get-that-bike-back/

Read More

When a bike gets stolen, activate your networks to get lots of eyes looking for you. And then get that bike back.

May 28, 2013Posted by in Blog, Featured News, Pedal Power Utility Box, Pedal Powered Stage Gear | Comments Off on When a bike gets stolen, activate your networks to get lots of eyes looking for you. And then get that bike back.

When a bike gets stolen, activate your networks to get lots of eyes looking for you. And then get that bike back.

 

After a recent Bicycle Music Festival volunteer meeting one of our best cargo bikes, a Mundo 500, was stolen. It was locked to itself. This electric cargo bike was heavy, immobilized and impossible to push. The thieves must have had to lift it into a truck. I realized it the next morning and felt dejected and ashamed.

I gathered some resolve to ask around for my bike. I remembered my friend Kipchoge’s story of recovering his stolen laptop by spending 3 days lurking in the underworld of San Francisco’s seediest Tenderloin and Mission neighborhoods. When he finally found himself face to face with the man who’d stolen it, in the hallway of a dingy hotel, the man admitted he hadn’t yet wiped the hard drive or sold it yet because he liked a video on the desktop. The video showed Kipchoge and his friends riding into the woods on Xtracycles carrying chainsaws, in order to do trail maintenance.

I printed out the photo below and headed out to talk to people in the nooks and crannies under highway overpasses and in the Plaza at Civic Center.

I also reached out to crewmembers and friends on facebook for help. I posted it everywhere, in all the group pages for which I was a member. RTB’s Nio connected me with Jenny Oh, who has built a bike theft recovery network that is remarkably effective at getting stolen bikes back to their owners. She reposted my photo and shared her tips for getting bikes back. Following the advice I filed an online Police Report.

I found that friends and even the people on the street were overwhelmingly sympathetic with my cause.  Alas, they weren’t giving me any leads.

Read More

Basic questions to consider when crafting your Pedal Powered Stage

Oct 16, 2012Posted by in Electric Fender Blender Pro, Electric Fender Blender Pro Related Posts, FAQ, Featured News, Generator Pro, LED Panels, Modified JBL Loudspeakers, Mundo 500, Pedal Power Utility Box, Pedal Powered Stage Gear, Pedal Powered Stage Lighting LED Panels, Pedalometer, Roll Up Generator Stand | Comments Off on Basic questions to consider when crafting your Pedal Powered Stage

Basic questions to consider when crafting your Pedal Powered Stage

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: https://rockthebike.com/pedal-powered-stage-packages


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: http://www.flickr.com/photos/rockthebike/sets/72157622547485971/
  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.

 

Read More

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

Jul 6, 2012Posted by in Blog, Featured News, Ice Cream Bike, Ice Cream Bike Pro Pedal Powered Ice Cream Maker, LED Panels, Modified JBL Loudspeakers, Pedal Power Utility Box, Pedal Powered Stage Gear, Pedal Powered Stage Lighting LED Panels, Pedalometer | Comments Off on Many thanks San Francisco Bicycle Music Festival: World’s largest Human Powered Music Fest.

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

 

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.
Read More