Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Turning exercise into electricity

I remember learning a long time ago that Chinese farmers used bicycle power to pump water to irrigate their fields. This is an image that has held my imagination all these years and I have often thought that it would be smart to generate electricity from stationary bicycles while people used them for exercise.

Lo and behold, this is what's happening, and it makes me happy:

Oregon State University Students Exercise to Generate Power
"Thousands of college students regularly hit the cardio exercise machines to work off stress after an exam or to stay in shape. Oregan State University is harniessing the energy the machines can generate and converting it to electricity to feed back into the power grid."   AP, February 20, 2009 

Any chance this initiative could spread to other colleges, to fitness centers everywhere and even to home gyms? It would motivate me to exercise more if I knew that I was actually making electricity!

I'm entering a new phase of my preparations for my WALK, the nitty-gritty phase. I'm communicating with people I hope to meet with along the way and preparing equipment and materials for the walk. One of the things I need to do this week is put out a request for people to sponsor the WALK. I'll get out some information about how to do so in the next two days.

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