Urban Velo

Bicycle-powered Television at Bed and Breakfast

Running on a treadmill at the Y last week, while watching others spinning like mad on the stationary bikes, I couldn’t help but wonder why they haven’t hooked these machines up to generators and started recycling the energy. It seems like a no-brainer to me. So, imagine my surprise when I found this article the very same day.

An eco-friendly bed and breakfast in the UK has hooked up a stationary bike in one of their rooms to the television, so if you want to watch your favorite shows (let’s assume it’s just raining outside) you have to start pedaling. This may be a sort of novelty experience for the visitor who wants to have as eco-friendly an experience as possible while traveling, but I don’t see why hotels and other such institutions can’t harness this power on a larger basis. Feel free to add comments on places you know that have done just that.

About Scott Spitz

Commuting, touring, kid hauling, couriering, mechanic work, sales, advocacy, fixed, free—Scott has had his hands in it all over the years.

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  1. VincentMay 15, 2012 at 8:52 am

    Oh man! I am all over this topic! I’m the president of the Energy Club at the University of New Hampshire where I am getting a master’s in mechanical engineering and we’re working to get electricity producing exercise equipment in the gym here. The trouble is the payback period. The human body can’t output much power to begin with and then the inefficiencies of converting mechanical power to electrical means it takes 20+ years for the machine to pay for itself (and something will likely break in that time period).

    ReRev is a company that makes retrofit kits, mostly for universities, because the education factor is worth much more than the actual power produced. If you want to do something really meaningful with bicycle power, use the mechanical energy straight away to drive something like a washing machine. That’s what I built as my senior design project this year. Good stuff! Love the articles! Keep up the good posts!

  2. scottMay 15, 2012 at 10:32 am

    Thanks for the clarification Vincent. I figured it had something to do with return and expense. Do the retrofit mechanisms have the potential to harness enough of the energy (say, at a YMCA) to at least pay for the retrofit kits…and maybe a little extra? I suppose they could always stick them in front of the vending machines and at least make people work for their crappy snacks. :)

  3. InnkeeperVAMay 15, 2012 at 3:05 pm

    I love it!
    Unfortunately those who want to be the couch potatoes and hang out in the rooms – or those on a romantic getaway, vs those out hiking and sightseeing in these Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, are not very likely to peddle to watch their shows or ball games. But I still love it! InnkeeperVA at The Claiborne House Bed and Breakfast of Virginia.

  4. arlerondMay 23, 2012 at 1:24 am

    hi it’s possible to have the same thing in my home ?
    i’m really interested by this kind of thing

  5. Watching TV | CycliseJuly 11, 2012 at 5:09 pm

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