The Newest Frontier In Not Getting Fat: Bike Desks?

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For anyone truly worried that “sitting is the new smoking” or about their environmental impact on this planet, a perfect new way to spend money: the “bicycle desk,” an electricity-generating $2,000 contraption courtesy of Pedal Power, which with a month to go has already well exceeded their $10,000 fundraising goal on Kickstarter.

Their bigger creation, “The Big Rig,” comes with the option of a generator kit that can power two 110-volt outlets, two USB ports, and one car-lighter socket (they’ve also got a smaller, more affordable version called the “Pedal Genny”). On their Kickstarter, co-creators Andy Wekin and Steve Blood explain:

The bicycle is one of the most ubiquitous and indispensable technologies ever developed. It is efficient, elegant, environmentally friendly, fun, healthy, inexpensive, and user-maintainable. It is a human scale means of travel that increases our range and speed ten-fold — yet we only use its core technology for transportation even though it is suitable for performing a multitude of tasks.

For the past five years, we have designed and built stationary pedal-powered machines (dubbed “dynapods” by Alex Weir). In addition to several custom dynapods, we have developed two core products: 1) the Big Rig, a multifunction machine with a built-in seat and work surface, and 2) the Pedal Genny, a more portable, single function machin


Of course, human power goes beyond electricity and the primary reason why pedal power is so useful is because 2 legs can generate 8 times more power than 1 arm with considerably more endurance. For routine tasks that otherwise would require a lot of effort by hand, using pedal power can be a tremendous boost in efficiency.

All of which seems like a pretty worthwhile project, albeit a pricey one that probably won’t become a mainstay of U.S. office culture any time in the immediate future. But if someone were to just up and offer us one? We’d take it. After all, it’s much, much cooler than an exercise ball chair, or even worse the “standing desk.” 

Follow Virginia K. Smith on Twitter @vksmith.


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