Two plug-in electric bikes donated this month to Southeast Portland’s Glencoe Elementary will introduce students to the concept of pedal-powered energy.
“We, like all schools, have some students who need extra time each day expending their energy just to allow them to focus in class,” teacher Lisa Davidson explained in her project description on the fundraising website DonorsChoose.org. “The UpCycles will provide a unique opportunity for those students as well as the other students who will be excited to give the bike a whirl and help power the school.”
The stationary generators will put out a negligible amount of actual energy, of course. The goal is mostly just to blow students’ minds.
“The connection that I want them to make is that I am a power plant, that I can make electricity using my muscle,” bike creator Adam Boesel says in the video above. “When you eat food, you’re a battery, and you store that energy. And when you get on this, you’re a power plant.”
Two bikes, provided by The Green Microgym, were purchased for $2,500 along with five solar panels designed to charge iPads and Chromebooks. With labor and processing fees, the cost came to $3,618, half of it from 12 donors and the other half from the Paul G. Allen Foundation.
Glencoe is a K-5 school located at 50th and Belmont in the heart of Southeast Portland’s grid, and as of last fall, 60 percent of the students were already walking, biking or rolling to school. So it’s no surprise that a neat demo project like this might connect with them.
Michael Andersen was news editor of BikePortland.org from 2013 to 2016 and still pops up occasionally.