By Somer Breeze-Hanson, Northwest GuardianOctober 10, 2013
JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. -- For a few weeks in October, exercise can produce electricity on Joint Base Lewis-McChord.
As part of Energy Awareness Month, an EcoBike will tour JBLM fitness facilities to give exercise enthusiasts the opportunity to peddle for power.
The EcoBike is the creation of David Skarr, a former Naval Aviation electrician and a member of the Air National Guard. As a student at North Seattle Community College, Skarr used a stationary bike at the school's Wellness Center to create an electricity-producing exercise bicycle. The EcoBike produces 60 to 130 watts of electricity while peddled.
The EcoBike made its JBLM debut Saturday at the Energy Expo outside the McChord Field Exchange. Members of the JBLM community had the chance to try out the repurposed bike that has the capability to charge cell phones.
Sakhawat Amin, energy program coordinator in JBLM's Directorate of Public Works, met Skarr at an energy summit, where he learned about the EcoBike.
This week the EcoBike made an appearance at McVeigh Sports and Fitness Center on Lewis Main. Next week the bike will travel to Wilson Sports and Fitness Center on Lewis North, followed by a week at the McChord Fitness Center.
"Let's see how much we can generate this month," Amin said.
Caroline Milam, 62nd Aerial Port Squadron, would love to see EcoBikes powering the gyms on McChord Field.
"I didn't even know this was an option," she said. "This campaign is ... a great illustration of how to get the word out there. It's not just talking to people. You're doing it, you're living it."
Kevin Schrader walked out of the McChord Field Exchange Saturday and found the Energy Expo. Dressed in his PT uniform, the Guardsman with Joint Forces Headquarters of the Army National Guard hopped on the EcoBike and tried it out.
The Directorate of Public Works is in the "exploration stage" of how an EcoBike would do on JBLM, Amin said.
For those wanting to try out an EcoBike, Skarr will have one at JBLM's second Energy Expo Oct. 19 outside the Lewis Main Exchange.