The video below is just beautiful. Beautifully shot, beautifully edited and full of beautiful content.
Hot on the heels of my recent visit to the Cardiff Cycle Workshop, Matt Townsend, IT lecturer, eagle eyed article spotter and fellow runner/cyclist, forwarded details of the Maya Pedal Asociación (MPA) in Guatemala (he knows I’m a sucker for a good bike story). For 15 years the MPA have been recycling in a very different manner, re-configuring scraps of bicycles into Bicimáquinas; pedal-powered blenders, water pumps (30 litres per minute!), washing machines and threshing machines, that eliminate the need for additional fuel and electricity.
A simple idea, but an incredibly effective solution. As cyclists we’re all aware of just how much energy goes into powering the bike. Many of us are proud of it. The more competitive even measure it. But few consider harnessing that energy beyond propelling a bicycle forward or pulling a load (the odd bicycle film festival excepted).
The idea of these ingenious contraptions emerged from the desire to help the farming families of the San Andrés community, in particular the expense and shortage of electricity and fuel in the village. The MPA claim ‘an extraordinary result: a worthy project that does not pollute and is extremely fascinating in its involvement of volunteers from around the world who are building a fantastic pedal revolution’.
It’s hard to argue with that. Well done Carlos and Cesar (the co-creators of the project) and the small army of volunteers that have facilitated this extraordinary enterprise. I wonder how many tasks in the Western world could be completed in the same way? I wonder what the impact would be on health issues? Or the reduction in carbon emissions? Or just how fit my team mates would become if you used a Bicimáquina to boil a kettle? (thinking about it, let’s keep the South Wales Cyclo-cross riders AWAY from Bicimáquinas. At least until I fashion a few and steal a march).
I spend a lot (A LOT) of my training time on a turbo trainer, but to date, I’ve never blended Aloe Vera with it (1 min 13 seconds). Shame.
To find out more about Maya Pedal visit their website. As with all community endeavours, they often appreciate a helping hand.