Rock The Bike

Smoothie Bike encourages exercise, healthy eating

Finding a unique way to involve the community in active and healthy living can sometimes be a challenge.

Nancy Randolph, manager at Manitowoc County Human Services, rides the Smoothie Bike at a recent farmers market. (Photo: Submitted by Lindsay Brookshier )

This is the challenge that Broken Spokes manager Colin Knab and the community-based initiative, Healthiest Manitowoc County, are tackling with their newly created Smoothie Bike. Taking its cue from similar bikes that have been sweeping the nation, this locally owned business and community initiative is bringing the Rock the Bike movement to Manitowoc.

“It’s just seeing biking in different ways and what biking can do,” said Knab. “It’s all about getting into the culture of biking, it’s just one step to move forward into that.”

Using an exerciser trainer model, the Smoothie Bike depends entirely on its rider to power the blender. To mix the drink faster, the rider will have to pedal faster because the bike only operates at one speed. But the bike has the capability to make more than just smoothies. The bike can create dips, pesto, milk shakes and even soups.

The philosophy behind the bike ties into the goals that many organizations within the community, such as Healthiest Manitowoc County and Broken Spokes, have been working on for years. Specifically, they have been supporting initiatives to increase the consumption of locally grown fruits and vegetables and being active 60 minutes a day.

“The Smoothie Bike is a creative tool for the Activity and Nutrition Coalition to expose, engage and educate youth, parents and community members about the importance of fruit and vegetable consumption,” said Cath Pape, Healthiest Manitowoc County grant coordinator. “We can’t afford to ignore our poor health. Two out of three Wisconsinites are overweight and at risk for heart disease, diabetes and cancer. Our local food movement understands that investing in a strong food system is right for health, business and budget. The bike is a fun, friendly reminder that we have better health when we make better choices about where we live, learn, work and play.

For members of the community that experienced the Smoothie Bike, creating something delicious using locally grown food and the power of their own body made the bike an exciting concept.

“I love the ‘Fender Blender’ bike and am amazed at how quickly it becomes the center of attention when someone is pedaling it. I think that using the bike to bring focus to the Healthiest Manitowoc County initiative is a fantastic way to market the ‘buy local and eat fresh’ approach.” said Nancy Randolph, manager at Manitowoc County Human Services who gave the bike a spin at its showcase at the Manitowoc Farmers Market.

The bike’s success at the Farmers Market is a promising sign of how the community is pedaling its way to a healthy lifestyle through the enjoyment of locally grown food.


This article was posted on July 15, 2014  by HTR NEWS, and written by Lindsay Brookshier. For the full article please go to: