Citi Bike Riders Will Help Power the Times Square Ball on New Year's Eve

Across the country, New Year's Eve is a time for champagne and celebration, but in New York City, it's also a time for some serious sweat. 

Citi Bike, Manhattan's bike-sharing program, is helping New Yorkers generate enough pedaling power to light up the Times Square New Year's Eve ball this year. 

WNYC reports that on Saturday, six stationary Citi Bikes were set up on the corner of Seventh Avenue and 42nd Street in Manhattan, where they'll stay until Monday evening, collecting energy from passersby who want to hop on and cycle.

Expected to generate about 75 watts of energy every hour, each stationary bicycle is hooked up to a 12-volt deep-cycle battery. On Monday night, the energy stored in those batteries will be transferred to the New York City power grid in anticipation of Tuesday's epic party.

The New York Daily News reports that it takes about 50,000 watts of energy to power the ball, which is encircled by more than 30,000 LEDs and weighs in at almost 12,000 pounds.

To native New Yorkers and tourists alike, it's an instantly recognizable symbol of the city that never sleeps. 

Citibank spokesperson Elissa Gray told WNYC that the energy-generating plan isn't only about sustainability but about camaraderie. "It's a really great way for people to come together at the end of the year," she said, "in a way where they feel like they've been a part of something—something big." 



Related stories on TakePart:

The Awesome Second Life of the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree

Watch This Daredevil Ride a Bicycle Backward Down a Mountain

Bike Technology: 5 Innovations That Could Change Bicycling Forever

DIY Bike Lanes: Guadalajara Cycling Activists Paint Their Own

Original article from TakePart