Archive of category "Biking"
We’ve been promoting the blog as being Pedal Powered but the company that was supposed to ship us the pedal powered generator never shipped the product! Annoying…
So last night I went into McGyver mode to see if I could come up with some way to power the blog with a bicycle. I had less than 24 hours, so I had to use what was on site or could maybe go to an auto parts store (in the end I didn’t have to). Here’s what I came up with:
First I found an old training stand and mounted my bike on it.
Then I found an old cordless drill that I hadn’t used in years because it wouldn’t go in reverse. I hooked up some wires to where the battery would connect and then connected it to the training stand.
Then I found a pocket inverter that would convert 12 Volt Dc to 120 Volt AC and hooked that up to the wires coming from the drill.
Using a volt meter, I could adjust the speed of my pedaling to keep the voltage around 11 to 14 Volts. We then turned on the inverter and powered a lightbulb as a test.
Later today we’ll be hooking this up to a computer. I don’t know if we’ll be able to keep the computer powered the whole 24 hours like we had hoped but its at least something and not too shabby given 24 hours and all the parts were already on site.
Update: When we tried to plug in the computer the higher current draw made the voltage drop below the inverter’s cut off point, and we couldn’t bike fast enough to keep up. I went and found a small 12 Volt solar charge controller and a tiny 12 Volt battery and now the generator charges the battery as it is powering the computer.
The virtue of one way vs two way streets in urbanized areas falls into the category of “reasonable people may disagree”. Some claim traffic calming benefits to two-way streets, but other insist on pedestrian safety from one-way systems.
However, there is a perhaps unintended and little-mentioned benefit to one-way streets – the increased ability of cyclists to illegally run red lights and thus maintain a higher average speed in a dense urban grid. With one-way streets, it is easy to dart across when there is a break in traffic – something that is 50% less likely to occur with two-way traffic.