The Lightning Bike & Green Venture

Green Venture is all about living sustainably, and exploring ways each of us can avoid making our mark – on the environment that is. From healthy soil, fresh air, to clean drinking water, what can we do, and what we can consider, when it comes to all the choices we make in our daily lives. Funny thing is, a lot of them are actually really really easy. But still, we struggle. The Lightning Bike is all about energy. The energy we use in almost absolutely all that we are and do. Look around, everything around you not from nature, required energy to produce, ship, sell, be consumed, and then trashed. We get this energy from a variety of sources, some cleaner than others. Burning coal, nuclear, solar, wind, natural gas, etc, etc – there’s lots of it so we use it freely and in abundance. Its super cheap to, so that makes it easier to disregard as well. But what of Human Power? That is, power or energy created through a physical action. Could be rowing, biking, walking, all would work. The premise being that in order for my computer to be on right now allowing me to type this, I would either need to be riding a bike hooked up to a generator, or, I would have had to cycle earlier to charge some batteries in order to power my computer. Maybe I would be drafting this with pen and paper before typing it into my computer just to save time, but I didn’t do that because last months hydro bill was only $67. Why even turn my computer off at all – save all that start up time.

I fabricated these custom, retro style bars for use in multiple riding positions.

The Lightning Bike at Green Venture is looking to explore questions around energy, and this
exploration is going to require some real physical commitment. As of right now, the bicycle part of the
Lightning Bike is complete, and my tech guru Tim is working diligently to complete the generator box
that turns pedal power into 1500 watts of juice. I’ve asked for some cool LED’s on it, but we will see
about that as LED’s require power on their own, so do I want to pedal for some LED’s? Maybe I’ll be
okay with a mechanical set up. After all, before abundant electricity, equipment and home appliances
were mechanical and required our physical input in order to operate. As soon as the generator power box is complete, the exploring will begin. 1500 watts. I wonder how many watts my computer and the monitor are using right now? And can I type while cycling? Anybody know any really good cyclists? Contact me if you do.


By Christopher McLeod

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