Blend Your Own At Bike-Powered Smoothie Stand You can get a smoothie at the Baltimore farmer's market, but you may have to work for it. The owner of the bicycle-blender hybrid encourages customers to hop on and blend their own drinks.
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Blend Your Own At Bike-Powered Smoothie Stand

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Blend Your Own At Bike-Powered Smoothie Stand

Blend Your Own At Bike-Powered Smoothie Stand

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REBECCA ROBERTS, Host:

At the Sunday farmer's market at Baltimore, Maryland, you can find everything from organic produce to soap made from goat's milk. Now, one enterprising vendor is using a bicycle to literally pedal his wares. Donna Marie Owens has more.

DONNA MARIE OWENS: Natan Lawson is 21. His stand at the Baltimore farmer's market is called - now listen closely - Wheely Good Smoothies.

MARIE OWENS: I first saw pedal-powered machines when I was interning on a farm in Oregon. They have a pedal-powered nut-sheller and I thought it was cool, didn't see the connection to smoothies yet.

MARIE OWENS: But after Lawson spotted a bike blender in Vermont, an idea took root. He studied diagrams on the Internet. He enlisted help from a local bike shop.

(SOUNDBITE OF BLENDER)

MARIE OWENS: The result? Two bright and shiny mosaic-covered creations that resemble stationary bikes at the gym. A third kiddy bicycle is attached to a stuffed brown hobby horse.

(SOUNDBITE OF GUITAR STRUMMING)

U: (Singing) Lucy in the sky with diamonds...

MARIE OWENS: The smoothie stand is raking them in at the lively open-air market. Lawson describes one of the gourmet flavors he's created.

MARIE OWENS: I have the Fuzz, which is two whole peaches, organic lemonade and ground chipotle spice.

MARIE OWENS: You're probably wondering how the eco-friendly contraption works. The rear wheel drives a rod that powers a blender on the back of the bike.

U: Better than a spin class.

MARIE OWENS: And how long does it take?

MARIE OWENS: Depending on the smoothie, the bike and the person, somewhere between 15 seconds and 30 seconds.

MARIE OWENS: I hopped on and did my best Lance Armstrong impression.

(SOUNDBITE OF BLENDER)

MARIE OWENS: Keep going, keep going.

MARIE OWENS: Not to brag, but I was greased lightning. That is until a wardrobe malfunction.

MARIE OWENS: Let me grab some tongs.

MARIE OWENS: What if you don't have enough energy?

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

MARIE OWENS: As you might imagine, Lawson does an awful lot of pedaling, but more than half his customers opt to power their own drink.

MARIE OWENS: A lot of people, they come to the market with their friends and they're cheering them on. So, it goes to their head and they start pedaling like a racer. But it's good. You get a smoother smoothie.

MARIE OWENS: For NPR News, I'm Donna Marie Owens in Baltimore.

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