Citi Bike was one of the biggest and best things to hit NYC in 2013, so it makes sense that the city will be using the bright blue bikes to ring in the new year. A few days before the clock strikes midnight on Tuesday, New Yorkers will be able to literally “ride in” the New Year on a set of six stationary Citi Bike Pedal Power Stations on 7th Avenue and 42nd Street to help power the 2014 Times Square New Year’s Eve Ball fitted with more than 32,000 LED lights. And if one of your New Year’s resolutions happens to be getting into shape, well then more power to you! Sorry, we couldn’t help ourselves…
Riders that want to get a head start on burning those holiday calories and powering the New Year’s Eve ball can do so beginning on Saturday, December 28th at 1 p.m. and continue pedaling (although you probably want to take some kind of break) until December 30th. Each Citi Bike Pedal Power Station will be connected to a 12-volt deep cycle battery. Riders can generate a max of 75 watts per hour of kinetic energy that the station will collect and store in the batteries until it’s transferred to the New York City power grid on the big day.
“On New Year’s Eve, we’re going to tap into the energy that’s ridden Citi Bikes the equivalent of 450 trips around the globe,” said Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan in a release. “With the year’s biggest party being powered by Citi Bike pedals, the world is in for an even more electrifying experience when the ball drops.”
This will be the first time Citi Bikes have been used in a pedal power system. Although 75 watts is a little less ambitious than the ASE Power Arizona concept that planned to make each bike a 300-watt per hour generator, the fact is the technology exists. We actually looked into the possibility of energy-generating bikes earlier this June and found the city simply did not have the funds to do it on a large scale. But perhaps this trial run can lead to more Citi Bike power stations to electrify events and help make a greener New York City.