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Pedal power

The bicycle is one of the most efficient machines in existence

The bicycle is one of the most efficient machines in existence that converts human power into kinetic energy. This energy can be redirected into different outputs. 

At Anythink, we’ve created our own fleet of Take Charge bikes, set up to harness the energy generated by human power and convert it into electricity. 

Generating electricity through pedal power

The rotational motion of a bike wheel (standard or stationary) can be tapped into to create electricity via a generator. The generator converts kinetic energy into electricity using a series of resistors, capacitors and rectifiers. 

Bike basics

Traditional bicycle frames distribute body weight over the front and rear wheels. Rotational movement of the cranks interface with different gear ratios, which allow the rider to adjust to his or her environment. As the gear ratio approaches 1:1, the crank rotation equals the wheel rotation and it becomes easier to pedal, especially up a hill. As the gear ratio increases to 4:1, for example, a single crank rotation results in four wheel rotations and creates more resistance, making it ideal for going faster down a hill.

Why do you stay up?

This is a fairly complex question, but it has to do with three main effects:

  • Gyroscopic forces
  • How the mass is distributed over the front wheel
  • How forces act on the front wheel as it spins

Good for you and the environment

The act of biking has tremendous health benefits and helps to reduce our carbon footprint on the environment. Find the nearest bike path to you by visiting www.co.adams.co.us and selecting Parks & Trails. 

Get on your bikes and ride!

Use hoopla digital to create your next workout playlist. Instantly stream everything from classics like Queen to modern hits from Katie Melua. 

Send your questions or feedback to ithink@anythinklibraries.org.