Sometimes two wrongs do make a right

For a lot of people the stationary trainer is a dreaded contraption. Something used only out of necessity. For a lot of other people sitting at a desk all day at work falls into pretty much the same category. But what happens if we take these two evils and put them together? Something miraculous – that’s what. See mom – two wrongs can make a right.

big_rigI’m talking here about Pedal Power Design + Build. Thanks to a massively successful Kickstarter campaign, the Willsboro, NY company is gearing up to produce two products: The Big Rig (pictured right) and the Pedal Genny.

The Big Rig, priced starting at $2000, is a seated work station with a pedal powered power generation and transfer system underneath it.

Our Big Rig is designed for off-grid applications and features a work surface, ergonomic seat for comfort, quick adjustments for different riders, a flywheel to smooth pedaling, a wide range of gearing, and an all-steel, hand-built frame. An average adult can use it to generate 100 watts of electricity, pump 5 gallons of water per minute, grind a variety of grains, as well as operate an air compressor, a hydraulic pump, most any hand-cranked machine, and a variety of small shop tools. It has been found to be particularly suitable for small scale agricultural applications such as cracking grains, churning butter, and pumping water.

Big Rig surface with mounted electrical outlets.
Big Rig surface with mounted electrical outlets.

That’s plenty of juice to power your cell phone or laptop. Stressful call from a client? Well just pedal harder and feel that stress melt away.

While the cyclists among us will find the pedal setup interesting, the device has some real-world practicality in regards to both portability and the environment.

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 also helps you understand your energy use and reduce your ecological footprint.

Electrical applications aren’t the only possibility here however. The surface features a modular mounting system and a slit in the surface to allow belts to be used to power just about anything. You can find examples of this and other configuration options in their photo gallery on their web page.

I’ve been looking into setting up a cycling cafe. I’m thinking of getting a couple of these and setting a house rule that these are the only outlets you can plug your computer or cell phone into to get power.