Pedal Power

For people who can't stop cycling.

For folks who can't get enough cycling crammed into their day, there's this: an inventive desk that translates pedaling into electricity to power an array of gadgets.

The "Big Rig" bicycle desk is a custom-made $2,000 workstation that lets you engage in a variety of belt-driven activities, such as milling grain, sharpening knives, and splitting logs. For those who don't live in the middle of the forest, there's also a $400 generator kit that feeds juice into two 110-volt outlets, two USB ports, and one car-lighter socket. That's enough hardware to keep your laptop and accessories alive through much of the day, as well as your lower legs and thighs lookin' extremely tight.

The desk was created by a pair of upstate New York gearheads, Andy Wekin and Steve Blood, who've been honing the technology for 5 years. Here's their pitch from a fully funded Kickstarter campaign:

With an efficiency of 97%, bicycle technology is nearly perfect. So why do we use it only for transportation?

Bicycle technology can and should be used for many everyday tasks. Using your own power rather than plugging into the grid is not only fun, but helps you understand your energy use and reduce your ecological footprint.

There are a billion bicycles in the world today – nearly one in every home. One day, we hope to see every household charging phones, processing food, and pumping water with pedal power.

Like that high-tech desk that generates electricity from the warmth of your derriere, a mass-produced "Big Rig" won't be appearing in stores anytime soon. In fact, it can take Wekin and Blood as long as four months to ship one. But with their Kickstarter money, they are planning to release open-source schematics, so makers can build their own using (among other things) stock bike parts.

Have a look at the "Big Rig" in action:

Images courtesy of Pedal-Power

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Warren Logan
    Transportation

    A City Planner Makes a Case for Rethinking Public Consultation

    Warren Logan, a Bay Area transportation planner, has new ideas about how to truly engage diverse communities in city planning. Hint: It starts with listening.

  2. Illustration showing different neighborhoods of a city in different colors, resembling a 3D zoning map.
    Design

    CityLab University: Zoning Codes

    Don’t know your R1 from your FAR? We’re here to explain how zoning laws work, how these ordinances shape your city and neighborhood, and why we fight over them.

  3. an aerial view of Los Angeles shows the complex of freeways, new construction, familiar landmarks, and smog in 1962.
    Transportation

    The Problem With Amazon’s Cheap Gas Stunt

    The company promoted its TV show The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel with a day of throwback 1959-style prices in Los Angeles. What could go wrong?

  4. Maps

    The Map That Made Los Angeles Make Sense

    For generations in Southern California, the Thomas Guide led drivers through the streets of Los Angeles. Now apps do that. Did something get lost along the way?

  5. A photo of a police officer in El Paso, Texas.
    Equity

    What New Research Says About Race and Police Shootings

    Two new studies have revived the long-running debate over how police respond to white criminal suspects versus African Americans.

×