New Year’s in Times Square is going green this year by using energy stored up from bicycle pedaling to power the 2-0-0-9 sign that lights up as the New Years Ball drops at midnight.
Six bicycles with generators connected to batteries are available for the public to pedal at the “Duracell Power Lodge” located at 1540 Broadway (between 45th & 46th streets). Approximately 230 hours of pedaling are required to light the sign for about 10 to 15 minutes. You can pedal now through Dec. 31 from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday, and 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.
Although everyone seems really impressed by the noble idea of powering the New Year’s sign with bicycle pedaling, when I went over there this afternoon, very few people were actually riding the bikes. When I first heard about it, I figured there would be a line-up to try the bikes. I am curious to know how much power they have stored up already and if they will have enough by New Year’s Eve. I tried cycling for a few minutes myself and really worked up a sweat. But it was fun and I got a snazzy sticker that says “I powered 2009” for my efforts.