© Cin'énergie

An energy-filled bike ride

Posted on 07 May 2015.

On a bike ride from France to Argentina, Lucia Palenzuela and Maylis Mercat screen movies... by pedaling! The story of a humanitarian renewable energy adventure…

Cin'énergie is a 100% green traveling cinema: it shows movies – of course - but with electricity produced with the help of a bike!

In April 2015, Lucia Palenzuela and Maylis Mercat pedaled the last few kilometers along a shady road in Paraguay... Sipping a cold Yerba Mate after more than 12,500 km between France and Argentina was a well-deserved reward for this pair of cyclists whose energy is communicative. Maylis Mercat an engineering student at INSA in Lyon, and Lucia Palenzuela, a sound engineer, came up with the idea of a 100% green traveling cinema: it shows movies – of course - but with electricity produced with the help of a bike... A fun and sustainable idea that will remind some moviegoers of the famous cartoon The Triplets of Belleville. Dubbed Cin'énergie, this electrically modified two wheel adventure began in spring 2014 in the workshop of Papy Mercat, Maylis’ grandfather. The mechanic helped them make a triangular stand for their bike so it could be pedaled while stopped, like an exercise bike. A highly productive stand, since the wheel on this peculiar bike then drives a smaller trolley wheel that is connected to a 100 W motor. The electricity produced is stored in two buffer batteries used by the projector that is powered... by the spectators’ calf muscles!

From bio-coal to pedal-powered pumps

From France to Argentina, their two native countries, the pair are collecting and passing on information about renewable energy sources. As their journey progresses, Lucia Palenzuela and Maylis Mercat shoot short movies about the environment-related associations they encounter along the way... In the evening they show the movies they’ve made... provided the public agree to work the Cin'énergie pedals! From the Nebeday group in Senegal, which is working on developing bio-coal produced from straw as an alternative to charcoal, the main cause of deforestation there, to the Mauritanian NGO Banlieues du Monde, which is developing an agricultural pedal-powered pump, information about large and small initiatives alike is circulating around the world with the two travelers. As the pair say, "to show it’s possible to travel the world using more environmentally friendly energy, meeting people, giving them time - and a smile!". As for returning to Europe, they expect it to be in the fall of 2015. And for those who would like to read or watch what they’ve been doing, just click on the links in their blog… well supplied in words and images!