Rock The Bike

Thanks Sunday Streets fans and crew!

Rock The Bike pumping up the Mission District for Sunday Streets. by you.
Morning ride: Crew pumping up the District for Sunday Streets.

Sunday Streets (near the beach), August 9, 2009 by Steve Rhodes.

Set up our Pedal Powered Stage on the Great Highway, with dancing on the beach. Photo: Steve Rhodes

Represent.  by you.

First we loaded the Biker Bar with hundreds of pounds of audio gear.

Custom V1 Mundo trailer hitch flexed a bit under this extreme load. by you.

The custom V1 Mundo trailer hitch flexed a bit under this extreme load, but basically it was a very controllable ride.

Adam entertains. by you.

Adam entertained in Golden Gate Park on the way to the beach.

Fossil Fool & Rock the Bike perform at Sunday Streets, August 9, 2009 by Steve Rhodes.

We set up a 5-bike Pedal Powered Stage on the Great Highway — two electric Mundos and the Biker Bar.


Cousin Ken pitching in on the Biker Bar. by you.

Cousin Ken pitching in on the Biker Bar, with Arie along for the ride.

Fossil Fool & Rock the Bike perform at Sunday Streets, August 9, 2009 by Steve Rhodes.

Fossil Fool, the Bike Rapper, with guests Mafiosa Felice, Terry, and Jared May.

Sunday Streets (near the beach), August 9, 2009 by Steve Rhodes.

The scene from a nearby dune. Photo: Steve Rhodes

Police car going by as Sunday Streets ended by Steve Rhodes.

Cops threatened to shut down Tornado Rider.

So we moved.

IMG_0725 by Steve Rhodes.

IMG_0724 by Steve Rhodes.

And they shredded the venue.

Tornado Rider - Rock the Bike at Sunday Streets, August 9, 2009 by Steve Rhodes.

IMG_0738 by Steve Rhodes.

Hoop Jam with Movement Maker Mei.

All photo montages: Steve Rhodes

This is the 36V 18Ah Sealed Lead Acid rechargeable battery that helps us get up and over the hill from the Mission to the beach.   by you.

This is the 36V 18Ah Sealed Lead Acid rechargeable battery that helps us get up and over the hill from the Mission to the beach.

Ready for gear return mission. by you.

Rolling the 'Long Things' bundle. by you.

Rolling the ‘Long Things’ bundle.

Fully loaded Biker Bar, probably 275 pounds of gear, including bass drum, two JBL PRX535's, and the Fossil Fool tent. by you.

Fully loaded Biker Bar, probably 275 pounds of gear, including bass drum, two JBL PRX535’s, and the Fossil Fool tent.

We made $52 in tips. This is what we did with the money. by you.

We made $52 in tips. Thanks to all the fans who pitched in for Tornado Rider and the Rock The Bike crew. This is what we did with the money.

Down Low Glow (front) and MonkeyLight ambient glow comparison. by you.

Late night gear return mission.

Pedal Powering Youth Speaks assembly at Lincoln High School

Lincoln high athletes powering Youth Speaks event.

Youth Speaks’ Brian rocks the mike as Lincoln High athletes power the audio gear (and answer questions while they’re at it).

Big thanks to Lincoln High School and ESLI for inviting Rock The Bike to two days of environmental assemblies and education.

Leif carrying speaker on the Mundo

Riding to the event early in the morning, hauling the massive JBL PRX 535 speaker. It happened to be Bike To Work Day.

Bike To Work day traffic on Valencia

Crew of Junk Raft to rock a Soul Cycle on their ‘Junk Ride’ West Coast ocean advocacy tour.

Junk Raft.

The name alone arouses curiosity. A Junk is a type of Chinese sailing vessel that dates back to the Han Dynasty. And they were used for extensive ocean voyages.

But what is a Junk Raft? In the case of eco-mariners Dr. Marcus Eriksen and Joel Paschal, The Junk Raft is an ocean vessel crafted from junk plastic bottles, a Cessna 310 airplane fueselage and various other ‘junk’ materials.

The Junk Raft recently sailed from California to Hawaii to protest the growing pile of trash in our oceans. These plastics end up in the bellies of Albatrosses – things that really shouldn’t be floating out there, like lighters and toys. They don’t break down, not in the albatrosses and not in the ocean itself.

And it’s that very durability of plastic that has made the Junk Raft’s courageous voyage possible. Marcus and Joel literally netted up 15000 bottles from the waste stream of Los Angeles, forming two pontoons that floated them all the way to Hawaii. And what a journey it was.

Now Marcus and Anna Cummins, another plastics crusader, are teaming up, in more ways than one, and hitting the road, biking from Vancouver to Baja on the Junk Ride. To help them tell their story, we created Bike Speak.

Marcus and Anna wanted a small, self-contained thing they could carry with them on their tour, that would allow them to host cruiser rides, and do pedal powered slideshows and presentations at schools and parks. At the same time it had to pack enough punch to address a reasonable size crowd both indoors and out. They already had a Fender Blender X, so they we made an Xtracycle-compatible cabinet and a generator attachment that can be used with the Fender Blender base, without requiring tools to switch back and forth to smoothie mode.

With the human power module, a volunteer can pedal the system to run the amplification while Marcus and Anna give their talk. And with the Fender Blender bike blender system, they can serve up fresh smoothies to the crowd after the talk while enjoying great sounding music pumped out by the system’s internal rechargeable NiMH battery, good for an estimated 14 hours of light and music.

With each custom Soul Cycle that comes out of Rock The Bike, we try to push the envelope a little further. A few of us had been sketching hinged cabinets with two modes: stereo for cruising, and unidirectional for public address. Hence the flip-up action. We followed the snapdeck aesthetic, following the curves at the head and tail. The curve at the tail is functional. It matches the Fender Blender base. We used an ultra efficient amplifier for amplification and four Pro Audio full-range speakers. These speakers are small and extremely lightweight with alloy housings and neodymium magnets, weighing only 1 lb each! A crossover protects the tweeters. The entire finished cabinet, with speakers, amplifier, battery, mixer, voltage regulation system, microphone, and integrated lighting weighs in at a only 12 lbs! By far our lightest Soul Cycle to date.

A two-channel mixer is built into the controls. This stereo mixer will enable Marcus and Anna to play background music from their laptop’s slideshow program, while speaking through a lightweight microphone we provided.

We came up with a custom voltage regulation circuit to protect the internal battery, mixer, and amp from the motor. The circuit also taps a little power to trickle charge the battery. We also added a separate noise suppression circuit to mute static from the generator.

When the cabinet is flipped up, the user has access to a small “cubby” door. Inside the door is a small storage compartment where the microphone, cords, and handlebar mount can be stored when not in use.

The handlebar mount will accommodate an iPod or other mp3 player and features a battery fuel/voltage gauge. This gauge will tell the user the current charge state of the battery while also giving the human power pedalers an indication of how their pedal power is affecting the system.

Be sure to check the Junk Ride schedule for news about Marcus and Anna’s latest educational adventure and the Bike Speak system. During the Spring and Summer of 2009 Marcus and Anna will be touring the West coast. SF-Cruisers can expect a Junk Ride social ride with Anna and Marcus when they come through San Francisco. Like the Junk Raft’s epic sail to Hawaii, the Junk Ride mission is not easy. At last check Marcus was mentioning that he intended to tow a raft so that the pair could ford rivers. Rock on! Send them fanmail on their blog, and please stay tuned for more on that social ride.

Dig It crew posts Stone Gossard of Pearl Jam rocking a cover of “1999” on Pedal Power

Stone Gossard has been touring with an event series called “Dig It,” sponsored by Timberland and partnering with tree planting groups such as San Francisco’s Friends of the Urban Forest. Rock the Bike helped bring the element of Pedal Power to his performance this past Saturday at the Regency. Initially the plan was for Stone to perform one song through our Pedal Power Stage, and the rest through the massive installed line arrays at the venue. But the band liked the experience and the sound quality so much they played their entire first set through the Pedal Powered Stage.

Clif Bar Rocks the Bike with Soul Cycle Mothership on 2-Mile Challenge tour

Clif Bar Rocks the Bike

When Clif Bar wanted to pump up the volume on their “2-Mile Challenge” bike advocacy tour, they turned to Rock the Bike for a human-powered Soul Cycle Mothership party bike. The party bike helps spread smiles at events and increase the numbers of visitors to Clif Bar’s 2-Mile Challenge bus.

The bio-diesel burning, retro-looking tour bus is a rolling exhibition of bicycle transportation options and inspiring bike culture stories.

Ryan Mayo, Clif Bar’s Mobile Marketing Manager, had this to say:

“We feel strongly that there is great need for people to start thinking creatively about using the bike as a means of transportation to fight the effects of climate change. With our Soul Cycle Mothership, we’re dropping climate neutral beats and inspiring others as we ride!”

Clif Bar has found that the element of music helps increase the numbers of visitors on their 2-Mile Challenge bus. The Soul Cycle Mothership makes a personal connection with event goers as they stream by. Inspired participants can pedal-power a couple songs, and even sing karaoke-style through the Mothership’s PA system. And 2-Mile Challenge Tour staff can make announcements over the music, pulling people in when the crowds get heavy. When crowds are light, they pop the bike off the beefy dual-sided kickstand, switch to battery mode, and get mobile.

human powered party bike

Mayo adds, “Last week at an event, I was cruising around the venue with the Soul Cycle Mothership, when Bob Marley’s “Get up, Stand Up” came on the player. I cranked the volume dial up and turned heads throughout the whole place. People threw their fists in the air and sang along as I rode by – Don’t give up the fight! The sound infectiously spread smiles throughout as we shared our organic Clif Bars with the people.”

Specialized President Mike Sinyard pedals water-purifying Aquaduct trike in Tour of California prologue.

From our Flickr friend MacPaulster’s account:

“Hats off to Mike Sinyard, CEO at Specialized Bicycles, for riding the winning “Innovate or Die” contest entry, Aqueduct, in the charity Prologue of the Tour of California 2008. The pedaling of this rig powers both the drivetrain of the tricycle and the pumps that purify water.

The machine is intended for Third World countries where clean drinking water is challenging to find. The bike can be ridden to the questionable water source, where the tank in the rear is filled. Then, while the bike is ridden back, water is filtered into the reservoir on the front. Additional water can be filtered while the bike is stationary by disconnecting the drive train.