My legs hurt from making electricity

cyclepowerbike1nov09cThese past few days, in a basement on Oak Street, Andy Claydon, Dave Strenski, and John Shuler have been building a power-generating bike. And tonight we had our first real test of the complete system, which we hope to have running at Saturday’s Shadow Art Fair. There are still a few kinks that need to be worked out, but, for a contraption made largely from scavenged parts, it did incredibly well.

I rode for a few minutes, and, by the time I was done, I was powering a radio, two fans, and a flat panel video display, which together drew about 100 watts. It was more work than I’d thought that it would be, but I enjoyed the experience. Among other things, it gave me a renewed appreciation for the plentiful, relatively inexpensive energy that we presently enjoy here in the United States.

So, when you come out to the Shadow Art Fair on Saturday, be sure to spend a few minutes on the bike. If everything goes according to plan, as you pedal, and create power, you’ll be treated to a short video tour of Ypsilanti. And, hopefully, in the process, you’ll start to see the outline of what we’re working toward.

And, as I said above, none of this would have been possible if not for the vision, dedication and hard work of Andy Claydon, Dave Strenski, and John Shuler. There were multiple times that this whole project could have come screeching to a halt, but, thanks to them, it didn’t. And, now that we’ve got the first bike built, I’m confident that we can keep moving forward… With any luck, we’ll have two or three bikes by March, and we’ll be able to project our first movie, and really test the concept.

This entry was posted in Alternative Energy, Shadow Art Fair, Special Projects, Ypsilanti and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.


  1. dragon
    Posted December 4, 2009 at 1:33 am | Permalink

    Said by John McCain on his weekly ‘Meet The Press’ with dick breath David Gregory, as he was quoting Khalid Sheikh Mohammed after the jumper cables on his testes were being “lit up” for the 183 rd time.

  2. Andy C
    Posted December 4, 2009 at 2:12 am | Permalink

    Our first bike powered stand is in pretty good shape but if anyone had a 12 volt dc voltage regulator that we could borrow for Saturday it would be a help. Presently the rider will need to regulate their own output using a voltage meter. It works fine but a 12 volt dc voltage regulator would be ideal.

  3. Kim
    Posted December 4, 2009 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    Thank you, Andy, Dave and John for putting Ypsi one step closer to the day when we’ll have our own lunar orbiter.

    DIY rules.

  4. Edward
    Posted December 4, 2009 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    So, you’ve seen the Strenski bat cave!

  5. ELP
    Posted December 4, 2009 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    You aren’t suggesting, Draggon, that they’re real objective it to create a torture device, are you?

  6. Andy C
    Posted December 4, 2009 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    I did think about attaching a bunch of these bikes to an electric chair. One would not be connected similar to the one gun has blanks in the firing squad.

  7. Frontier Justice
    Posted December 4, 2009 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

    Just think of how safe we’d all be if everyone had the means to put their neighbor to death. It would be a paradise. Everyone would be so much more well behaved and polite.

  8. Me
    Posted December 5, 2009 at 12:41 am | Permalink

    “One would not be connected similar to the one gun has blanks in the firing squad.”
    @Andy C
    I thought it was only one gun in the firing squad that had the bullet; not one that didn’t.

  9. dragon
    Posted December 5, 2009 at 1:54 am | Permalink

    It’s a slippery slope.

    Next it will be jogging for jocularity.
    My arms are killing me from all this waterboarding.

  10. Me
    Posted December 7, 2009 at 1:56 am | Permalink

    Also, you might want to make a feature on the bike that actually gives the rider a small electric shock when the voltmeter gets below 16V.
    Just to let the rider know that he/she is slacking off.
    And then the shocks get stronger and stronger every time the rider goes below 16V until, after say, five chances, the shock completely lobotomizes the rider so the next person can jump on and give it a try.
    Just a suggestion.

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