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Thread: Participants sought for TV Science Documentary

  1. #1
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    Default Participants sought for TV Science Documentary

    Hello,

    I received the following request from Emma, who works for a TV production company working on a project for the BBC:

    Hi Eric,

    Thanks for taking the time to talk to me just now. As I explained on the telephone I work for a television company called Dragonfly Productions. We’re currently producing a new science documentary for the BBC and need to recruit some fit cyclists to help us.

    We need these cyclists to take part in a novel experiment which attempts to convert human pedal power into electricity. The experiment will take place on the 5th and 6th of September in Milton Ernest, Bedfordshire and will be filmed for our documentary - to be broadcast on BBC1 this autumn.

    Please find attached some information for you to circulate amongst you members

    With best wishes and many thanks,

    Emma


    The information attached was a poster with details:
    You'll need to be 16 or older.
    The event (& filming) will take place September 5th & 6th (Next Weekend!) in Milton Ernest (Emma apologised for the short notice!)
    If you are interested, you can contact Emma on 0207 033 3198 or email her at pedalpower@dragonfly.tv.

    Sounds like an interesting way to spend a weekend! Plus some TV time for a Cambridge CC jersey? I'm racing or I'd be there in an instant. Let me know as well if you decide to participate.

    Cheers,

    Eric
    Go Canada!

    -Eric-

  2. #2

    Default

    Are they paying for the work?

  3. #3

    Talking

    Hey Eric - I've submitted my entry form for this event - I'm just waiting for Emma to contact me with the final details.

    I asked her about bringing my own cycling shoes and pedals to fit to the bikes so that I can pedal more efficiently. (thus producing more electricity !) She seemed to think it was a good idea although we might have to keep changing the pedals about since there will be a kind of rota system which means you might not be sitting on the same bike all the time.
    I was going to take my CCC kit too - as you say, it could be good TV exposure for the club. Maybe we could turn it into a televised 'advert' for Cambridge CC !

  4. #4

    Default

    My turbo trainer already does this so it's hardly a novel idea.
    Also somewhat pointless given the feeble power output of even the fastest human beings.

  5. #5
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    Default The Point

    Quote Originally Posted by Duncan Murphy View Post
    My turbo trainer already does this so it's hardly a novel idea.
    Also somewhat pointless given the feeble power output of even the fastest human beings.
    I imagine the point is to try and illustrate in tangible terms our energy use. I rode a bike hooked up like this to several different appliances (light bulb, stereo, tv, etc) and it was quite effective to actually feel the resistance increase as each was turned on.

    It could be quite interesting to see how many cyclists it takes to keep an average household going for a day! I'm not sure what the details of the experiment are, but I reckon it's more likely to be this than finding a new, untapped energy source.

    Can you imagine a future where fit cyclists are hunted down and chained in basements to provide power for the comfort filled lives of the sedentry upper classes? Yikes!
    Go Canada!

    -Eric-

  6. #6
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ego_land View Post
    Can you imagine a future where fit cyclists are hunted down and chained in basements to provide power for the comfort filled lives of the sedentry upper classes? Yikes!
    Sounds like the dystopian sci fi sequel to Belville rendez-vous!

  7. #7

    Default

    I've signed up for this marathon turbo session, from what i hear they are trying to get about 100 guys in this cycling power plant, working on a rotation system just to power 1 house! I'm told it takes 14 guys going flat out to power a kettle! should be good fun. they don’t pay you anything, but i think they will cover your travelling expenses.

  8. #8

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Vickery View Post
    I've signed up for this marathon turbo session, from what i hear they are trying to get about 100 guys in this cycling power plant, working on a rotation system just to power 1 house! I'm told it takes 14 guys going flat out to power a kettle! should be good fun. they don’t pay you anything, but i think they will cover your travelling expenses.
    That sounds a bit over the top to me, as far as I know a kettle needs about 2kW so 400W for a reasonable club cyclist for 5 minutes is 5 people.

    Rather than humans they'd be much better off with horses or husky dogs, which is of course what we've been using for hundreds of years to do our dirty work.

    Even a Tour de France pro probably doesn't average much more than 250W for a 6 hour stage. So you might be able to light a few rooms in winter
    And then work out how much food they need to eat. More interesting is just how inefficient even the most efficient devices we have are. The vast majority of the source energy we start off with is just lost through waste heat.
    Last edited by Duncan Murphy; 28-08-2009 at 08:45 PM.

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