Since man’s romance with fossil fuels and electricity began, bicycles have mostly been viewed as an obsolete technology. But pedaling remains one of the most efficient mechanisms to harvest human energy. While it falls short of a panacea, increasing our use of pedaling beyond traditional transportation is on the rise – and it shows what’s possible. The simple, healthy act of pedaling is replacing fossil fuels for a growing list of innovative projects.
Around the world, bicycle-based systems are powering boats and snowplows, school busses, water lifting machines in farming villages that have no electricity, gyms and rec centers, and even music concerts. And with gas-powered generators in New York’s Zucchotti Park being banned, the protestors at Occupy Wall Street have turned to pedal power for alternative electricity generation as well.
From obesity to climate change, solving some of our most seemingly intractable problems start with the simplest of steps, or in this case, pedals. This week on Sea Change Radio, we talk pedal power with two evangelists for the technology. First, host Alex Wise speaks with Adam Boesel, whose Green Micro Gym in Portland, Oregon is raising awareness alongside pulses. Then, we hear from Paul Freedman, the founder of Rock The Bike, a San Francisco organization that puts on pedal-powered concerts and other events. Later in the show, Wise reads excerpts of “Power For The People” by Kate Gordon at the Center for American Progress.