The Columbia Athletic Club in Columbia, Maryland is taking indoor cycling to a whole new level. Each bike in the class has been specially fitted with devices that return the energy created when riding back to the gym’s electricity supply.
The bikes are wired with generators, so as the wheel turns, it is also turning a turbine in the generator. This creates electricity, which is then collected at a centralized hub and used by the gym.
During a class, each rider has a monitor that shows how much electricity is being produced, and a screen shows how much energy the class is collectively generating. On average, a class of 20 can produce enough energy to light 72 homes for a month.
According to an article on Savage-Guilford, the gym spent tens of thousands of dollars upfront to adapt the bikes, but in the three months that they’ve been in use, the gym is already seeing a return on investment.
It reminds us a little bit of Global Inheritance’s Energy Playground, which uses various pieces of equipment like teeter-totters and bicycles to create energy at music festivals.
No matter how the energy is made, it’s interesting to see the many ways people are powering our lives.