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Bicycle Power

Mr. Something Something is a Canadian Jazz and Afrobeat band that’s bringing new meaning to the words “alternative energy”. The band is powered by…you! Ten bikes are hooked up to bicycle trainers by the back wheel.

As the audience begins to pedal, the back wheel starts to spin, generating an electrical current. The faster you pedal, the more energy is produced, the louder the music, the more energized you feel, and the harder you pedal; hence, the name SoundCycle.

About 200 watts is produced per bike, which is funneled into an inverter, and eventually stored in a battery. The stored energy is used to bring Mr. Something Something alive – it powers their amplifiers and their musical instruments. The battery is helpful in the event that energy is low (which rarely happens! Audiences love being a part of the action). You can listen to some of their music on MySpace.

In an article about Mr. Something Something in National Geographic, band member Johan Hultqvist describes the band’s ideal as “dance floor activism”. It’s not just the sustainable green energy that the SoundCycle provides; it’s also the background music for active audience involvement and inspiration. In the article, Hultqvist says:

“Believing that you can affect change is crucial. I see it all the time: the dance floor is empty until one or two generous, joyful souls get out there, changing the whole atmosphere in the club. Someone’s got to get the party started. The same is true for civic engagement, be it for social justice or sustainability. All great change starts with a good idea and a small group of people. So inviting people to participate has always been at the heart of our show and our music.”

Amazingly, Mr. Something Something isn’t the only group plugging into bike power. Chocosol is a social enterprise that produces and sells chocolate, and they make it all using the power of a bike! We discovered Chocosol at the Conscious Food Festival, where we stood and watched the team grinding chocolate right in front of us. Their business model impressed us, being economical, nutritious, environmental and ecological. Not only is their product made using a bike, but all of their deliveries are by bikes. They educate their volunteers about fair-trade practices, bean sourcing, and their environmental methods of production.

Watch this video of a member of the GreenHeroes team, Elaine, powering up with a bicycle.

GHteam, Elaine, powering up with a bicycle

Mr. Something Something is going on tour! Find out where they’ll be playing so you can be a part of the action. To contact and book Mr. Something Something, visit their site here.

Remember – in the battle to save the planet, exercising your pedal power is key. Enter our contest to nominate a bike riding hero, highlighting the challenges they face and how they overcome them. Let us know about your ride to work, how you envision a better biking future, or your efforts as a bicycle innovator, using bike-powered solutions to change the planet. Contest details, prizing, and more information can be found here.

GreenHeroes.tv is all about saving the planet, one story at a time. Do you have a great story to tell about how you’re helping to make the world a greener place? Enter the contest to nominate a friend or yourself – you could be one of Canada’s next GreenHeroes!

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