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It’s National Bike Month – 3 Weird Ways to Celebrate

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Bike-powered band


3. Do Something Pedal Powered.

Three students at the University of New Hampshire have created a bicycle-powered washing machine that uses less than ten gallons of water per load. The students Britta Moore, Garett Cassidy and Vincent Lyon, were intending the washer’s use in nations where electricity supplies and appliances are still less than omnipresent.

Pedal-powered washing machines are fascinating, and we’ve seen a few at TreeHugger.

This trio’s design is aimed to be assembled of very low-tech parts – a 30-gallon plastic drum drilled full of holes and placed inside a 50-gallon metal drum. Clothes, soap, and three gallons of water go into the inner drum to agitate and spins via gearing that links the userís bicycle to the double-drum system. Washing, rinsing, and spin-drying each take 10 minutes of pedaling.

The most important design feature is that the machine can be unhooked from the bicycle, which can then be ridden away. Neither the first nor the last word in human-powered ingenuity, the bike washer is still a good reminder that pedal power is truly amazing, and worth celebrating in some fashion this month.


Related Stories:

Long Commutes Are Bad for Health

Study: Bike-Share Riders Aren’t Wearing Helmets

San Francisco is Doing Great Things That Other Cities Should Copy


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First photo from jack satta via flickr; second photo from jjay69 via flickr; third photo from greta red via flickr

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11:09PM PDT on Jun 5, 2012

Bike camping now why didn't I think of that, thanks for the idea.

3:09AM PDT on May 27, 2012


10:06AM PDT on May 26, 2012


6:42AM PDT on May 24, 2012

Very good article. Other cities should use Portland as a role model, especially NYC, which is claiming to be a very "green" city.

6:42AM PDT on May 24, 2012

Very good article. Other cities should use Portland as a role model, especially NYC, which is claiming to be a very "green" city.

4:47PM PDT on May 23, 2012


2:03PM PDT on May 23, 2012


10:42AM PDT on May 23, 2012

Sell your car and use the bike.

9:24AM PDT on May 23, 2012

Where is it written that we have to own a car and spend hours stuck in traffic, belching greenhouse gases and even shooting at each other? We can easily go places on stress-free public transportation and get some exercise by biking, as its done in other developed and undeveloped countries. We have to get over our addiction to cars if only to stop global warming.

5:09AM PDT on May 23, 2012

I am lucky enough to live close enough to work (volunteer but oh well) to be able to walk to work. So I don't expect to take up biking.

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