As threatened in the comments section of one of my posts, I've checked out bicycle generators and found one that looks right for me.
When I began looking into this I was astounded at the interest out there. I found people who have designed and built their own generators and describe them in loving detail. There's a site for the people who demonstrated their contraptions on Ellen Degenerous' TV show. And there are those folks who participated in a fair some time ago where they charged people's cell phones while they waited.
And there are commercial sites that sell them for prices ranging from $716.45 to $1025.00. While some of these offer converted exercycles, I prefer the bike-n-go type which allows you to drop your own bicycle into the unit for stationary biking to charge batteries [cell phone, robot vacuum cleaner, robotic mop, standard batteries from AAA to 12 volt and higher] and pull it out for biking to the pool or to a friend's home. The cost of the generator itself is $339.00 + $37.50 to ship. The inverter, the thang that converts the DC power into AC, costs $365.95 and that price includes shipping within the US. To ship outside the US, add another $79.00. The pic below is the unit I'm probably going to get.
Now, I consider myself somewhat adept -- at least as a 'that'll do' carpenter. [I build a piece, stand back, squint and say, 'That'll do.'] But, I'm completely self-taught and, therefore, sufficiently respectful [read terrified] of such things as electricity, plumbing and so on, to know enough to hire professionals for those jobs. For the hardier of spirit, Convergence Tech which sells the Pedal-A-Watt system offers the plans to build your own for $50.00. There is a site that offers free plans [unfortunately, I lost that site -- I'll put on my deerstalker's hat, hunt it down again and post it later.]
Not having a spare $716.45 lying around at the moment, I'll be putting this off for a while. But, I'm definitely going to buy it asap unless I can persuade Santa to drop one off next week. But, somehow, I don't think I've been NEARLY good enough this year to convince him to make the stop, especially on such short notice.