At Lake Atitlan we built a bicycle powered blender with our Spanish cycle friends Alex and Ina, who had been volunteering at Maya Pedal.
Maya Pedal is a non profit organisation based in San Andres near Antigua, where they built bicycles and bicycle machines for the local (agricultural) community.
Feeling thoroughly inspired we traveled together to San Andres to spend a few days volunteering at Maya Pedal.
We got to do some maintenance on our bicycles and experimented building a recumbent bicycle out of old frames and several pedal powered machines!
This is what we learned about pedal power machines;
They utilize the force of leg power which is 5x greater than the upper body force. Technically equivalent to 1/8-1/4 of horse power energy!
Advantages of bicycle technology are;
*Availability of resources;
Bicycles are used worldwide, in developed and developing countries, parts are easy to find. And the majority of tools needed to do repairs are basic and accessible. Bicycles are mostly made of metals that can be welded together.
*Low initial cost;
Bicycle machines cost less to construct or buy, than any other types of alternative technology. In many cases the machines will not be used all day or all days of the week, so costs can be shared with other groups, family members, or communities.
Bicycle technology fills the gap between industrial technology and hands on farming.
*Supports economic growth of communities and families;
Bicycle machines can enable a community of family to be more productive, and generate an income.
*Simple use and upkeep;
Once you learn to ride a bicycle you won’t forget. Basic tools can be used to perform any maintenance on bicycle powered machines.
*Personal health benefits; exercise and fun!
*Environmental benefits; zero emissions!
Yeah, we are thoroughly inspired!
Please have a look at the pictures and let us know what you think!
If this is not enough, there is more information via www.mayapedal.org