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Pedal to the Metal: Beat Bikes launches at Fun Fun Fun Fest

It was a long few weeks of welding, soldering, coding, recoding and music mixing. And despite a few close encounters with a blowtorch, we did it. On November 7, Beat Bikes launched at Fun Fun Fun Fest.

Earlier this year, Austin B-cycle, the bike-sharing system here in Austin, enlisted the help of GSD&M. Since then, we’ve been intent on transforming Austin B-cycle into an Austin institution. Like the bike-sharing equivalent of breakfast tacos. Or roller derby. Or chicken $#!% bingo. You get the idea.

As a part of this plan, we set out to expand Austin B-cycle’s presence at Austin’s festival circuit. So we collaborated with our friends at Dell to invent something the world had never seen. We call it an interactive pedal-operated, beat-switching, music mash-up machine. Or if you’re into catchy titles, Beat Bikes.Here’s how it works:

Using the latest technology from Dell, Beat Bikes lets you mash up music by pedaling stationary bikes. You can change the speed of the music based on how fast you pedal and even switch between beats by pressing a series of arcade buttons. It’s basically RPM converted to BPM, for all you cyclists and musicians out there.

Beat Bikes had its inaugural run at Fun Fun Fun Fest earlier this month, where riders could mash up music from local artists like The Octopus Project, The Black and White Years and Aaron Behrens. The launch was a resounding success. We had hundreds of riders from all walks of sobriety. And they all had a blast.

If you missed it, don’t despair. Beat Bikes will make more appearances at SXSW and other festivals in the coming year. Stay connected to us, Austin B-cycle and Dell on social media to see when and where it’ll show up next.

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