The short answer is yes. The long answer is that you could but you probably wouldn’t like it. There have been tremendous claims that you can power your house for an entire day by cycling for one hour on specific bicycles with specific generators tied to them. Well, you probably could, but a house which is running a LED light bulb, or maybe 3 of them. This is what you could do riding a bicycle in an hour.
Here is some data on why powering your house with just a bicycle would a difficult venture.
Too Much Effort – Too Little Efficiency
Provided that you have a perfect generator which does not lose efficiency and that you have a battery which also doesn’t lose power, you’d still have to cycle a lot to just power your household for a day. Let us assume that you have a very modest behavior and spend only 10 kWh per day. This means that you would have to pedal for about 20 hours, give or take due to efficiency and power loss, but not at a normal pace. You would have to pedal like a professional athlete in their best form, on drugs, think Lance Armstrong during his prime years.
There is a high probability that you are not Lance Armstrong-like and that you do not have 20 hours of time worth to pedal at the highest humanly possible sustainable rate so powering your very modest power expenses for a day is looking a lot grimmer.
The other problem is the number of calories that you would have to consume to power yourself during that high-intensity workout and the answer is too much. You would have to pay a lot more money on food you couldn’t possibly eat to power your house for a time that you cannot even use because you would be extremely tired or more likely, dead.
The Economic/Energy Saving Aspects
Another thing to note is that electricity from the grid costs way less compared to the power you would generate.
Taking all the necessary things into concern, you would need a generator, which is expensive, a battery, again expensive, and a bicycle, which is moderately expensive. All these things cost money which you wouldn’t save in return.
A power grid produces a lot of power which is stable and generators tend to be efficient compared to the materials needed for their production and maintenance. Their running time of a couple of decades greatly outweighs their initial cost, especially if you look at the power produced during that time.
Your generator would only drip power, if you could call it dripping and the waste of energy would be highly costly, due to the amount of food and medicine you would have to take. Likewise, it is worth noting that you would also have to take in mind the energy you waste by eating the food which also took energy, pesticides and other stuff to be created. You would also be wasting the energy which was needed to create the generator and the bicycle, not to mention the battery. You take all of that energy, consistently and waste it by trying to produce power.
You’d be far better off saving more money and buying a wind turbine, both economically and energy-wise. The grid is more than happy to purchase the extra energy you produce, or you could just point it in your neighbors’ direction if you want them to have the extra juice.
Powering your house through cycling is extremely inefficient even though it would be possible, technically speaking.