YouTuber Brandon William regularly tries workouts that test his strength and endurance, including military fitness tests. But in his latest video, he’s training for a different kind of power, and using an exercise bike to generate his own electricity for a whole day. An electrical engineer helps kit him out with a system that he can attach to his stationary bike, then challenges William to complete a check list of everyday tasks using nothing but power generated from the bike before 5 p.m. The first: charge his smartphone.
“This was a struggle to say the least,” he says. “My legs were on fire, and I was starting to realize how hard this challenge was actually going to be.”
After an hour and a half of pedalling, William hits 9 percent on the unit, meaning he has generated enough energy to attempt his second task: cook breakfast. However, scrambling eggs and making toast depletes all of the power in the generator. After eating and resting, he has to get back on the bike.
After racking up another 15 percent of charge on the generator, William fuels up again by making a smoothie with an electric blender. By this point it is 2:30 p.m., and he only has two and a half hours to accrue enough power to complete the final tasks on his list (powering a TV, a games console and a lamp) before the 5 p.m. deadline.
“If I’m being honest, I wasn’t sure I could make it,” he says. “With all the cycling I had done, and the sun beating down on me the entire day, I was exhausted.”
William hits his goal with a single minute to spare, and describes the experience as one of the hardest physical challenges he has ever done. “I have to say, after generating my own electricity for an entire day, I have gained a new appreciation for how easily I can access electricity,” he says.
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