The specific technical approach we take at each Pedal Powered Stage event now depends on the size and nature of the audience, the purpose of the event, the nature of the music. Ultimately we strive to provide an eye-opening and inspiring experience to both the audience and musicians. New compromise approaches have allowed us to connect with more and different types of audiences.
Some audiences are physically fit college students. Others are primarily kids. We’ve developed a few different ways to use our own equipment to adapt to different event conditions. If you have an upcoming event please take a look and consider these models.
Purist: All energy used is generated by the pedalers. This approach is simple, electrifying and athletic. Outages are allowed to occur when pedalers don’t respond to low voltage signals from the Pedalometer. To prevent outages, our coaches actively recruit new pedalers and stoke pedalers to pay maximum attention to the Pedalometer and boost their output when it’s low. Even small improvements like raising and lowering the seat for a few riders can make a real difference in total power outputted by a group. If outages happen repeatedly even though the bikes are fully occupied and well adjusted, this is because the system is using more energy than people can reasonably pedal. The tech crew must find ways to add more generator bikes or turn off energy-hogging equipment. Advantages: fun, entertaining, educational, simple. Disadvantages: bands can be interrupted by outages, may require more bikes.
Primed Purist: Like the above, but accepting of the fact that people don’t usually like pedaling before an event begins. What happens before an event? Sound checking of bands, testing our gear. Using batteries to power the sound check we get through it as quickly as possible.
Grid backup: All or some equipment is powered by the grid. Pedalers put energy back into the grid. An “Ahead / Behind” meter shows pedalers whether they are keeping up with the energy use of the system.
Fitness of the audience.
Message v. Music