The Blog

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Tandems, a climate change denier and LED's

As I continue to engage the High School students with electric bikes, the idea of an electric tandem has become increasingly attractive.  So I started cruising around Craigslist looking for the perfect tandem.  I wrote a note to the people selling tandems and here it is:


I am interested in your tandem and would like to ask you to consider possibly donating the bike after reading the following:

Last year I rode an electric bike across country with my sister to demonstrate the viability of electric bicycles and to feature "sustainable solutions".

It was a complete blast!!

Now I am leveraging that experience into an effort to bring electric bicycles into the local high school. There are a number of reasons for this.

1) Getting students out of cars. The parking lot at the school is mayhem as you can probably imagine.

2) Teach "at risk" students about both bicycle mechanics and electric drive systems. (I plan to convert the bicycle to electric.)

3) A tandem offers the opportunity to create a very 'cool' vehicle. From what students keep saying, a tandem would be completely awesome since they could then give rides. After dropping their passenger off, the driver would not have a huge heavy bike to haul home since the motor would help.

I am volunteering my time at Woodside High School because I firmly believe that fossil fuel free vehicles need to play a much bigger role in meeting our transportation needs. A tandem offers passenger accommodation, which is a huge benefit.

Since Woodside High is a State institution, your donation would be tax deductible and I would be able to get you a letter for tax purposes that would let you deduct the replacement cost of your bike.

If this is interesting to you, please let me know.

Here's a link to the Green Academy at Woodside High School. I am working with the students and staff in this program.

Cheers, Oliver Bock 650 851 7883

I thought it was a good letter.  The first two people I sent it out to ignored me but the third one sent me a real winner.  Here it is:

This is not something I would be interested in.  I think green stuff is generally a screw job.  I also have no interest in helping "at risk" students.  They get enough help already.  If you want to really help them teach them how devastating liberalism is.  I also love my fossil fuel vehicle.  Good (sic) help America!!!!!!

Even though I didn't get the bike, I'm sure getting a lot of mileage out of this response.   I shared it with the students and now I'm sharing it here.  And this response is from someone nearby!  No, California is not only populated with liberal, Volvo driving, Latte drinking environmentalists.
Needless to say, I still don't have a tandem.
A nice cargo bike I saw in Portland.  There's a strong pedal only purist attitude that I found in Portland even though some of the most dedicated electric bike people live and work in Portland.  This bike is human powered and the carrier is designed for the owner's Great Dane!

On a more friendly note, I visited my 11 year old lighting engineer who is very excited about the lights we got and how he's going to wire them up so that they will convert the 36 volts of power from the battery to the 12 Volts that they use.  Erik carefully described the electronic devices he will build to do the conversion as well as include a flashing feature.  We're planning an install day once he gets the electronics built.