A couple of years ago Kristin Rule, alias 'The Unconventional Cellist' undertook a 20 week music tour, toting her cello on a motorbike with a solar trailer. With a new album recently released, she is soon to be touring again, but this time by bicycle accompanied by a solar-powered, electric-assist trailer.
The 30 watt solar photovoltaic panel on the 'Mechanarchy 'Watt-Bot' trailer stores electrical energy in a pair of 12 volt batteries. These provide up to three hours of electrically assisted riding for pedalling a cello laden Yuba Mundo up hills. The assistance offered by the 'Watt-Bot' is said to be "akin to having an extremely strong tailwind." But there's much more to the story.
The 'Watt-Bot' trailer frame and bicycle tow hitch are both hand built from recycled materials. Not only does it act as an electric assist booster for the bike riding between gigs but can also provide power for the street or bush gigs where mains power is not really available. Power management is controlled by the handlebar mounted Cycle Analyst, from eBikes.
The huge panniers on Kristin's Yuba Mundo are crafted of salvaged canvas by Ron D Swan. The panniers not only lug around the usual clothing and camping gear, but also the mixing desk, microphones and even a custom built stage.
Even Kristin Rule's recorded music has an environmental edge, in that it is packaged by Media Movers, who make CD cases that are plastic-free, crafted from 100 % post consumer waste with no chemical bleaching and printed with
soy based inks.
TheSlow Ride Album Launch is due to kick off in November 2010. and tour Victoria, Australia.
More info on Kristin Rule's website