Pedal power

We were delighted to get an email from Ben Denham (thanks for the kind remarks) where he sent us some links to sites about bicycle powered machines. Mayapedal produce bikes, trailers etc, but also a range of bicycles adaptively reused to power machines

that perform a range of agricultural tasks like dehusking,

pumping water,

even washing clothes.

Our favourite was the bicycle blender, probably because we do like our banana smoothies and it will probably do margaritas as well. As Ben said

It gives you a whole new perspective on the stationary exercise bike. I always thought they were an absurd invention but this just goes to show that so long as the energy that you are generating is sensibly harnessed the stationary bike is actually one of the most beautifully efficient pieces of machinery you could imagine.

He also sent us a type of man bites dog story. We had been musing on the strange proliferation of chairs made out of bike parts,

his link was to a project to make a bike trailer out of aluminium chair parts. Eureka! If we could combine these into a pedal-powered banana chair so that you could lie down while exercising while also blending we would have the recumbent-exercise-bike-smoothie-and-margarita-maker (REBSAMM).

Now, we all laugh at recumbent bikes but they are actually far more efficient than the normal bike, and promoted by the great engineer Paul McCready in his role as president of the International Human Powered Vehicle Association. McCready is known as the father of human powered flight because he designed and built the first workable human powered plane, first solar powered plane, GM’s electric car and various other forms of efficient and comparatively environmentally sound hi-tech transport. He is also on the board of the Society of Amateur Scientists (Citizen Scientists, Unite!).

And in case you were wondering whatever happened to his pedal powered plane that once flew across the English Channel, well, it’s in the Smithsonian but its related technologies seem to have been captured by the US military who are probably adapting them to their own evil ends. It’s all too depressing, just pedal me another margarita.

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