Welcome to the Give-a-Watt: Pedal it Forward Project 

The Department of Health and Exercise Science Physical Activity Laboratory and the Department of Human Dimensions of Natural Resources at Colorado State University are organizing an innovative multi-day Earth Week event that aims to promote health, increase energy awareness and facilitate community participation.  The project connects human movement, energy and societal contribution via a relatively simple device: a stationary, energy harvesting bicycle.  We plan to place these bicycles in the Lory Student Center Plaza during Earth week and encourage individuals to pedal and generate electricity while viewing health and energy conservation messaging.  Through our partners/sponsors we plan to donate the generated electricity (plus a matching contribution) to two local non-profit organizations, the Bicycle and Pedestrian Education Coalition (BPEC) and Fort Collins Bike Co-op.  BPEC aims to reduce motor vehicle/bicycle/pedestrian crashes, increase knowledge and awareness of safely sharing the road, increase the number of cyclists and pedestrians, and ultimately foster health and wellness.  The Fort Collins Bike Co-op’s mission is Building Community through Bicycling.  The Bike Co-op aims to keep Fort Collins cycling, educate our neighbors in all things bike related, keep good bikes out of the landfill, and recycle or refurbish bikes for local residents.


We anticipate that human energy generating technology that benefits local organizations is a viable means of increasing community awareness of the importance of physical activity and can be used to convey public health messages regarding physical activity, energy conservation and local non-profit organizations.  If this pilot project proves successful, we plan to expand the program to schools, recreation and fitness facilities and worksite wellness programs.

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Project at a Glance:

Through this event, we aim to test the feasibility of using stationary, energy harvesting bicycles in public, high-traffic areas as a means of:
  1. Promoting physical activity
  2. Increasing awareness of physical activity and energy conservation
  3. Contributing to local non-profit organizations using electrical power as currency.

Project Objectives

  1. Generating 15,000 Wh (15kWh) of electrical energy in 5 days.  This represents ~50% of the energy required for a typical Fort Collins household for a day.
  2. Participation by 2,500 individuals
  3. Through a partner and sponsor matching program, donating 3,000 kWh of electrical energy for every kWh generated by the participants (45,000 kWh total).  A kWh of energy is ~$0.08, so this represents a contribution of $3600.
  4. Demonstrating that the concept has strong public/student support, based on bike utilization, energy generated and participant satisfaction. 
  5. Increasing awareness in participants and passers-by of physical activity/health, energy conservation and the recipient organization. 

        Give a Watt: Pedal it Forward