With viewcounts racking up, Chobani’s Team USA Experience is officially going viral. 30 everyday athletes are introduced into a new environment and invited to pedal to power an incredible spin class that unfolds before them with live music, interactive LED art, and a huge hillside projection. Rock The Bike produced the Pedal Power Spin Class system and the interactive lighting: per-bike LED strips that responded to individual pedaling effort, and a 16′ LED mandala. The 4-speaker sound system was the same we use at our Pedal Powered DJ events and medium-sized concerts. You can see the all important Pedalometer (the light tube that shows pedalers how hard to pedal) and two of our generators: the Generator Pro and the Generator Wheel and stand combo.
Here’s a Behind-the-Scenes look that shows our experience of producing the Spin Class. You can follow the captions and dialogue to see how we recognized and overcame one of our main technical challenges: too much power. With 30 athletic pedalers, there weren’t enough output power devices connected to use up all the power. Whether we’re setting up a 1-bike music system, or a 20 person Pedal Powered Stage (music concert), the goal is the same: to create an energy environment where the pedalers are challenged or at least engaged by keeping a certain device ON. You have to anticipate and set up enough bikes to share the load. At the Chobani shoot, the challenge was the opposite: we needed enough load to deal with the power from the bikers. On the practice day (pedalers wearing their normal workout clothes), we faced numerous overvoltage trips. An overvoltage trip happens when a Pedal Power Utility Box disconnects pedalers from its electronics to prevent voltage from climbing to dangerous levels. Although this is a safe method for dealing with high power moments, it’s a bit unpleasant for the pedalers. They suddenly feel pedaling get easy, which is especially awkward if they’re being asked by a Spin Class instructor to pedal hard! We needed a way to keep them in middle of the voltage range, so the next night we dropped a ‘halogen bomb’ on the spin class: 900 Watts of DC power that we could flip on in 300-Watt segments. Whenever the Pedalometer was approaching the white at the top, we’d turn on the dummy load and bring it back into the middle level of the green. Pedalers never tripped our system.
Interestingly we found that we only needed to use the dummy load in the first half of the class. By the second half, the lighting and music were challenging enough that we no longer needed to burn off power. We’d successfully worn out a 30-person Spin Class!