Here it is: sustainable technology as performance. As device for interrupting habit. As spectacle. As crazy pedaling fun.
It’s the Buscycle, a 15-passenger van converted into a zero-emission pedal powerhouse. Constructed by an all-volunteer crew, which included an MIT professor, a machinist, a robot enthusiast, some artists, a pastry chef, and leagues of bonafide sustainability nerds, the vehicle is made up of mostly recycled bike and auto parts. It requires the participation of 14 energetic passengers.
This set of sustainable wheels completed a cross-country tour in 2006. Tales from the road seem mostly to involve spontateous pedaling communities and a lot of looks from passers-by. But then, that’s the point: part of the idea for the project was to shake the top-down dictum of alternative energy and making it visible and accessible to everyone, even Joe six-pack.