Sunday, December 1, 2013

Pedal Power: In Work Leisure, and Transportation, edited by James C. McCullagh.

Pedal Power: In Work Leisure, and Transportation, edited by James C. McCullagh. Paperback book published by Rodale Press 1977, 133 pages with black and white illustrations and photographs.

“How to produce your own energy from a stationary bicycle—with actual building instructions for a newly designed energy cycle!”

After deciding to write about Pedal Power, I have been unable to find the video that I wanted to insert with this blog entry (youtube has let me down).  Yep, I have been unable to find a video of Edward G. Robinson peddling hard to create electricity in the film Soylent Green (… it’s people).  Maybe I’m wrong.  Maybe Edward wasn’t peddling away when Charlton Heston came home to their small apartment after a hard day doing whatever he was doing.  Maybe it’s a different film.  Can anyone out there confirm any of this?

So I see a book on Pedal Power and all I think about is Edward G. Robinson peddling hard whilst everyone is eating Soylent Green.  The scene was not a positive one and I can’t remember feeling joyous at the end of the movie, so when I associate Soylent Green with Pedal Power it doesn’t necessarily bring back warm friendly memories, it’s more of a grim future where demand of all things exceeds supply. 

This book which has nothing to do with Soylent Green and is a great and positive DIY manual for the environmentally conscious peddle pusher.  It has all sorts of information on harnessing the power of pedals in all forms, which is not a new idea and indeed the book doesn’t claim that it is.  Heaps of interesting and informative examples of older forms of pedal power are shown and the book then goes on to demonstrate modern uses and how to construct the bits and pieces.  With rising electricity prices and global warming terrorising us all, this book could have some of the answers that we need… whether we like it or not.

Maybe peddle power is the answer to the grim future.  Maybe we should “watch TV from electricity produced at home!”… or maybe we should read a book... that is if there are any more books.  

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