Rock The Bike says a huge thank you to Central Park Conservancy for getting us involved in Earth Day 2009, and helping us get Rock The Bike NYC off the ground. Here are some of the highlights from our visit to New York over the past 11 days.
We had a blast meeting the public at Earth Day. Above, Pedal Powered Spin art.
We debuted our new multi-person pedal power system, the Biker Bar. Three bikes share a common drive shaft, that turns a powerful generator on the fourth bike, an Electric Mundo (blue bike on the left)
Unfortunately, in its first outing, the Biker Bar was no match for the power-hungry PA equipment that event organizers supplied. The power consumption of the audio system was approximately 300-400 watts with one person speaking on a microphone, not even any music playing.
Ever since we started doing Pedal Powered Stage events, clients and organizers have been asking “Why can’t we use the speakers we already have?” Good question. We commonly answer “Because we use the new generation of digitally powered speakers, and their higher efficiency makes pedal power possible.” But in the process of working with Central Park and other clients, they kept asking… So with Central Park, we accepted the challenge. We put our efforts into making the Biker Bar powerful, simple, and efficient. We told them “Sure, you can.”
But on the day of the event their equipment’s power draw was just too much. Suddenly Pedal Power felt really hard. When a chain snapped, we talked with the Central Park team and decided to focus on our other offerings and let their music stage run on wall power. Luckily they had that backup option at the ready. In future events, we definitely plan to have a 30-45 minute battery backup, which will allow us to fix mechanicals or other issues without letting the performers down.
Luckily, the Spin Art station and the Bike Blenders were a huge hit.
Kids of all ages were able to make Spin Art and pedal for other kids.
Above, the Tropicalia team making bike blended smoothies.
We had bright bikes and big smiles to share with the crowds.
And tricks to share… Above, Sara floating on a Mundo. Galen ollies.
We biked everything back to Brooklyn on a hot afternoon.
Travis piloted the Biker Bar, which becomes a cargo trailer to get gear home from an event. Just add the wheels!
The Electric Mundo helps haul the 250 pound load up and over the Williamsburg Bridge.
Above: Rolling back from Central Park with our crew, friends, cousins, and the Choprical Fish.
Getting ready for Central Park was a huge task. We arrived a week ahead of time and only set our tools town to pack for the park at 2AM the night before. Check out the preparations below:
First things first! How about a social ride to get to know each other.
Leif keeps the beat as Galen and Lopi haul gear across Brooklyn with Mundos and the trailer.
We set up a little workshop at Brooklyn’s 3rd Ward.
Below, hand stretching the frame of the Mundo to fit the electric rear wheel.
We generated many sparks and generally looked bad ass with our protective eye wear.
We solved engineering riddles. Above trying to anticipate issues with the drive train of the Spin Art station.
We used the Choprical Fish as transportation bike and ‘getter’.
Above, 75 pounds of Sealed Lead Acid batteries.
Of course having the Fish in New York meant there were a few impromptu street parties and even a cypher around town over the past week.
Above, freestyle session in front of a school in Soho. A teacher came out and said “How about a song about getting back to class?!”
Fossil Foolin’ at a 3rd Ward party.
In our last couple days in town, we picked up a couple cool new Mundo dealers. Above, Brooklyn Bike and Board
are your Mundo people in Brooklyn. Map.
Leif delivering Mundos. The same bikes we used to get work done in New York are now for sale and ready to ride at two locations in Manhattan and Brooklyn.
And in Manhattan, cargo bike innovator George Bliss picked up the Mundo for The Hub Station in Soho
Many thanks to the Rock The Bike NYC crew for their hard work and excellent hosting.