Thanks to the Outdoor Program Crew and Willamette Valley Music Festival for an amazing week in Eugene!

May 11, 2010Posted by in Blog | Comments Off on Thanks to the Outdoor Program Crew and Willamette Valley Music Festival for an amazing week in Eugene!

Thanks to the Outdoor Program Crew and Willamette Valley Music Festival for an amazing week in Eugene!

 

Hundreds left the festival grounds and joined our LiveOnBike ride.
photo: Hansen

Huge thanks to the crew from the University of Oregon Outdoor Program, where Rock The Bike built a Biker Bar and related Pedal Powered Stage gear last week. Our work culminated in the all-day Willamette Valley Music Festival.

In many ways this was an ideal project for us, working hand in hand with local bike people, transferring knowledge of producing bike music events, and enjoying many fun rides throughout the week.

To get our gear to Oregon, we rented a full-size truck. Rolling past the refinery in Richmond on our way out of the Bay was a sober reminder of the carbon footprint of out-of-town gigs.

Pedal Power intern Jeff Hansen (hereforth “Hansen”) met us in Eugene, ready to work! Looks like he’s been taking care of himself since last summer.

Here is the project space we used, the Outdoor Program’s huge ‘barn.’ It’s under renovation right now and the crew will be pedal powering the opening party, June 4.

There was a very open community vibe throughout the week with many supporters and bike people coming through to pitch in here and there.
A reporter from the Eugene Register-Guard snapped this rad photo of Pastana, Hansen, OP’s Dave Villalobos, and yours truly, on El Arbol.

El Arbol served as a pedal powered shop radio at various points in the week.

El Arbol as Shop Box

Our daily commute to the Barn was 3 miles from our vacation rental house.

Alex truing up El Arbol’s rebuild wheel — 10 gauge spokes!

Jared May joined on Thursday night, adding his bass stylings to several short ‘tweener’ sets

El Arbol served as a two person generator and a functioning speaker that helped the pedalers feel ‘in the music.’

Functioning two-person generator and 650-watt speaker.
photo: Hansen.

Hansen pedaling a tall bike.

Northwest Community Credit Union turned out hundreds of smoothies with their first generation Fender Blender Pro.

 

At 4PM the festival audience got on their bikes and joined for a LiveOnBike performance by yours truly, Fossil Fool, the Bike Rapper, with Jared May on bass.

The LiveOnBike ride was a highlight of the week.
photo: Hansen

Jared picked a few effects pedals to strap to the footrest area, and we cruised without incident on my new rear wheel — Thanks Alex! The ride the night before had taught us an important lesson about how the weight of the passenger affects the deployment of El Arbol’s roots. Through trial and error the night before Jared found out that the rear facing passenger needs to stand on the footrest, taking weight off the roots at the moment of deployment and retraction.

 

Jared May on bass.
photo: Hansen

Just two months ago, I was copying a tractor seat from IKEA to create the rear facing seat in a block of pink foam.

At the end of the ride, we set up in a plaza near the festival for El Arbol’s first street party!

For the headliners, CunninLynguists, we powered DJ Flip Flop’s turntables and monitors. It was a fairly easy load, only 80 watts, and we never let him down.

What follows are dimly lit photos that show the scale of the event, one of Rock The Bike’s largest in terms of crowd size.

In the shot below, the two dancers above the crowd are on the backs of OP’s Mundo 500’s. The bikes themselves are completely hidden.

Here are the two Mundo 500’s earlier in the evening when the crowd was much smaller.

Alex returning event promo the day after the festival.

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Thanks Urban School!

Jan 9, 2010Posted by in Blog, V3 Mundo Cargo Bike | Comments Off on Thanks Urban School!

Thanks Urban School!

We had a blast last night at the Urban School, pedal powering their first dance of 2010. Thanks to Lucy, Lucas, Catherine and all the students and teachers.

As with any Rock The Bike event, we invite people at the event to pedal. The kid in the foreground is pedaling the Choprical Fish, which is powering the lighting at the dance.

Justin’s pedaling the Mundo 1000 during the sound check, one of our two bikes equipped with our Grasshopper generator system.

 

Despite their abundance of energy for gogo dancing and freaking, the Urban School students were a bit hesitant about joining in the pedal power effort. I felt good that we had shown up with a 6 person crew, including Adam, Masha, Hugh, Justin, and Ally.  But we were doing 90% of the pedaling. Normally, the GP (general public) does more like 40-50% of the pedaling. I tried pulling students in and there were a few cool students who kept pitching. But honestly the freaking on the dance floor was so prolific, that it was obvious that’s where their minds were. So after a while, I stopped walking out into the crowd using a Down Low Glow like an airport landing guide, and just pedaled. I thought back to David Butcher and how he holds it down at festivals, pedaling away on the Prime Mover. I found new time trial position I liked on the Fender Blender Pro, and entered a crank, sprint, lactic acid! cycle. Out of saddle sprint! Lactic acid. Two students get on, both girls. I adjust the seat for one of them and the indicator on our inverter already drops into the red.

 

“Pedal hard! Go for it. ”

 

I look around for crew and don’t see any one. The LED is floating in the red, occasionally hitting blinking red. I know I’m going to need to save this party. I hate having to be intense with the pedal power coaching, but I was yelling, “Pedal, Pedal, Pedal!” every time I saw that blinking light. I was trying to get in a hamstring stretch, but I kept having to coach the girls on the bikes. And my communication with the DJ wasn’t to the point where I could make eye contact with him. He was killing it anyway, and I liked the fact that we were driving the PRX hard. Screw the stretch. I tap out with one of the girl and go into another sprint on the FB Pro.

 

Justin’s back! The other girl taps out and we bring the LED back to orange, and green. It was kind of like that all night. Three electrics would have helped, but really we just needed more from the students. I think some type of introduction would have helped. The students probably didn’t know what the function of the pedal power bikes was, other than to climb all over them and have a blast. No, they knew, but the hormones were too strong. Freaking trumped!

 

Rock The Bike has left the building.

 

We only brought one of our PRX speakers this time. The other is in the shop on a pedal power integration project.

 

See more photos from the night on Flickr.

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Thanks Fair Oaks St. and the Yes Men! for too much fun in San Francisco Halloween weekend.

Nov 2, 2009Posted by in Blog, V3 Mundo Cargo Bike | Comments Off on Thanks Fair Oaks St. and the Yes Men! for too much fun in San Francisco Halloween weekend.

Thanks Fair Oaks St. and the Yes Men! for too much fun in San Francisco Halloween weekend.


Late night Haunted Hay Ride on the Biker Bar, cruising down 18th from the Castro to the District, with five European tourists along for the ride.


Rockin’ Halloween colors on our way to Fair Oaks St. with a Masked Masha rolling a Mundo with the Down Low Glow. At sunset, yeow!

Whoah. Amazing weekend. So much gratitude to the crew, the people of Fair Oaks St., and the Yes Men!


Kai and Pastana showed up Saturday afternoon to help mod the Biker Bar into a Haunted Hay Ride.


Tara had texted me earlier to “try 6th and Bryant as a source for $15 hay bales.” Then on the way there I realized she was sending me to the wholesale flower market. Thanks for the tip, T! I pulled in and immediately saw a bale in a stall. One cam strap on the Mundo. Back to the house.


We reduced the hay to useful cushion sizes and cam strapped Kai’s birdcage to the Biker Bar.


Kai bringing Pooh into the mix.

Do you wanna go on a Haunted Hay Ride? Yes I wanna go on a Haunted Hay Ride? Do you wanna go on a Haunted Hay Ride? Yes I wanna go on a Haunted Hay Ride?  When you wanna to go on a Haunted Hay Ride? Hmm, I dunno, how about now?


We kept the dancing going for the big kids for another couple hours.

Sunday Afternoon. Do it again.


Heading to the San Francisco debut of the Yes Men’s touching and hilarious “The Yes Men Fix The World”


Adam practicing one of the building block skills for no-hands surfing.


The lucky recipients of three $4 million Survivaballs.


Escorting the Survivaballs from the Roxie to the closest Chevron.


The Yes Men used the march as an opportunity to tout the
benefits of the Survivaball. Rock The Bike supplied the mobile P/A and
later the Pedal Powered Stage for the rally.


We turned up the dance music, including an exhuberant “I Will Survive.”


After the Chevron protest, we kept the afterparty going.
The Mundo 1000 has been holding it down as our most efficient pedal power bike.

If you’ve read this far and you’re local, you’ll probably want to join our SF Cruisers email list, and come out Monday night to Dia De Los Muertos with the Rock The Bike crew.

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Thanks SF Marathon runners and pedalers

Jul 27, 2009Posted by in Blog, V3 Mundo Cargo Bike | Comments Off on Thanks SF Marathon runners and pedalers

Thanks SF Marathon runners and pedalers

Viv crew hamming it up between awards categories by you.
Rock The Bike brought our Pedal Powered Stage to the finish line of the San Francisco Marathon, where fans, runners, volunteers, and the crew pedal powered the awards ceremony. Above, Viv team volunteers helped us get a groove going between the different award classes.

Medaler Pedaler (with son). by you.

Even marathoners who’d podiumed — note the ribbon around this pedaler’s neck — summoned the energy to power the sound system for the award ceremony. One described it as “Good Recovery”. The two Electric Mundos shown above offer amazing stability, with their Lunar Lander kickstands, and an excellent size range for pedalers of all ages. The runner above was able to get his son pedaling along side him.

Biker Bar loaded after the SF Marathon. by you.

 

Above, arriving at the venue with our gear strapped to the Biker Bar. The wooden cover that protects the pedal power equipment mounted to the aluminum chassis also stiffens the overall structure, making it predictable and safe to ride with hundreds of pounds of gear. Depending on the distances and terrain where you’ll be riding, we recommend using the Mundo 1000, our electric cargo bike. The Mundo 1000 has plenty of pickup to get you up the hills, and its long wheelbase helps you get a stable ride when towing the Biker Bar.

First time dropping a tandem on the Biker Bar by you.

Although few people biked to the event, we were able to get the Biker Bar involved in the Pedal Power effort. This was the first time we had dropped a tandem on the Biker Bar, which couples the output of three bikes mechanically in a cromoly tube. It’s cool to think that the biker bar could actually harness six pedalers’ power!

 

Checking out the Pedalometer by you.

Our six-foot Pedalometer shows fans and pedalers the health of the pedal power system as measured by voltage.

A steady stream of marathoners, including the first place women's finisher, wanted to pedal their own smoothies. by you.

Better than mystery powders, what could be better than a fruit smoothie after a hard run? Luckily the Fender Blender Pro was in effect.

Rolling to the marathon as runners grab water. by you.

Above, our early morning gear run to the event brought us unexpectedly onto the route itself.

Towing FB Pro no handed in FreeLoader bag. by you.

Rolling back from the Marathon. Leif cruising no-handed on the Xtracycle with unclaimed flowers, pulling the Fender Blender Pro in trailer mode.

 

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