Cyclists Are Acutely Aware Of Their Body’s Relationship With Energy
Thoughts of it’s production, distribution and conversion are a heavyweight of preoccupation for anyone who rides a bike. We’re either eating because we’re going for a ride or because we’ve just finished one up. And we don’t know what to do with a meal that falls in between those two. What’s the point of eating if the meal isn’t going to be used for, or recovery from, riding?
Food allows our legs to push up Millcreek. Legs turn cranks. Cranks power the chain. That chain drives our wheel. It’s the transfer of energy being turned into work; it’s power, sweat and speed. We live, thrive, hammer and bonk based on the energy and power we’re able to pull from our Lycra-clad, farmer-tanned bodies.
We, as cyclists,realize the production of power is a good thing. It makes things like canyon climbs easier and blending our recovery smoothies possible. And if we can do something to increase our production of power, dammit, we’re in.
A Building Green
When Ryan and Alison had the chance to create their purpose-built dream shop last year, they knew right away that they wanted to build green.
“We wanted to have an overall green presence” Ryan says, “Everything in the new shop is electric. There’s no gas, so we needed a good green source of electricity.”
Last October, three months after moving into the new shop, Ryan and Alison had an array of 60 solar panels installed on the roof of Contender HQ. Not only would the new array allow them to run a leaner, greener shop, but the investment in solar energy was a way to make more power- something cyclists can never pass up.
Intermountain Wind and Solar finishing up their installation of our new solar panels
The array was installed by Intermountain Wind and Solar and it’s impact on the day to day operations of the shop have been heavy.
Since we haven’t had the panels a full year, it’s been exciting to see what kind of power these longer, sunny spring days have been able to produce. Lately, each day has been showing us a new record high as far as the kilowatt-hours produced from the array. As of this writing, the highest amount our panels have produced has been 119 kilowatt-hours (on May 1st)!
What does 119 kWh of energy produced mean for a shop like Contender? On average, year round, the shop uses 125-130 kWh per day. That number will rise significantly in the winter and summer months when the heat or A/C is going full blast and the CompuTrainer classes are in full swing (to around 250 kWh in January) and drop just as significantly during the milder spring and fall months (we averaged a usage of about 73 kWh this April). So the amount of power being produced is very significant. The array is not just supplementing Contender’s energy usage, on some days its production provides all the power we need.
Here’s some more stats:
Since the array has been installed, it’s generated about 10.1 megawatt-hours. That’s enough energy to light the Eiffel Tower for 50 hours -no small feat considering it takes 3.37 kWh to light the tower for just one minute.
Our energy produced also equates to planting 183 trees, powering a light bulb for nearly 90 years, or powering 12.5 commercial airline flights full of passengers from New York to Los Angeles. Not too bad for your humble, neighborhood bike shop and an array that’s only been operating for six months.
Look at our graphs! click on the link below to check our stats for yourself
If you want to check out a very colorful graph that gives all kinds of stats and info on our array and it’s energy production, click here.