Bicycle Pedal Power with Ed Begley, Jr.

Learn how to generate power with a bicycle, just like actor and environmentalist Ed Begley, Jr. does.

| January/February 2007

You might have noticed the new Sunday evening program on HGTV, titled Living with Ed. The show stars Ed Begley, Jr., actor and passionate environmentalist, whose home in Studio City, Calif. is a model of renewable energy production, recycling and sustainable living.

Begley explained how he produces energy with a bicycle each morning to make his breakfast toast. Just 10 minutes of pedaling generates enough power, stored in the batteries for his solar power system, to run the toaster.

To learn more about how to use a bicycle to make your own home power, read Cycle Power Part I: How to Build a Working Stationary Bicycle, Cycle Power Part II: How to Use a Stationary Bicycle to Generate Electricity or Cycle Power Part III: How to Use a Stationary Bicycle to Power Your Workshop from the Mother Earth News archive.

Begley is certainly not the only person who’s using pedal power in their homes. Mother Earth News contributor John Gulland, for example, has posted an excellent Web page about the pedal-powered generator he built. Gulland’s article about pedal power is scheduled for late 2007 in Mother Earth News.

If you want to learn more about all kinds of ways to slash your energy bills, we highly recommend The Home Energy Diet by Paul Scheckel.

2/28/2014 5:50:16 PM

We bought two years ago and still use the Pedal-A-Watt Bicycle Generator. I just checked and their website is still live at We got the package where you can store power and it has outlets on it to plug in your appliances. We love it.

1/12/2012 8:58:23 PM

I looked all over for a good pedal generator. Presto Wind makes a very nice hand crank and bike pedal unit.

8/13/2010 7:37:00 AM

This concept is being implemented in a City Jail here in the Philippines where prisoners are asked to use a stationary bike to charge a car battery that powers their lights at night. The full article is shown here and it has photos of the stationary bike that they are using. They are only using an outdoor stationary bike, in the long run it wouldn't last. They should purchase a real stationary bike, a recumbent one (photos of different types of stationary bikes can be found here for those who doesn't know the difference).

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