It’s not every Summer Solstice that you wake up with a clear blue sky, in fact, I don’t remember the last time it happened. So today started perfectly. Breakfast outside, sunlight twinkly through the trees, and a day filled with expectation. Moreover, this is the first outing of the year for our ‘Smoothie Bike’.
It’s a wonderfully simple idea. A bicycle that has been reconfigured with a liquidiser on the back, so as you cycle, the bike goes nowhere, but the energy you use powers the liquidiser, which has any combination of fruit and liquid you fancy within it. The harder you cycle, the smoother the juice.
In theory anyone can give it a go. In practise, the bike only works if you have a certain length of leg, which can cause a slight problem so often you end up giving a hand via the pedals. It’s an interesting look.
So, today we are at a local school’s summer fair. It’s beautiful. There is a plethora of home cooked curry, cakes and nibbles. The always popular bouncy castle, the Back2Front stall, helping those who are interested, plant small vegetables to pop into pots and put anywhere in their outdoor home space, clothes in a glorious array of colours, circus skills, a cafe… you get the drift. And then there’s the smoothie bike.
Now most of you will have, at some point, encountered the ‘School Fair’. Children are giddy, parents are weary, and there’s always a grandma who has been dragged along, but would rather be home. And it is no exception here. The upshot of this is that most of the children are asking their parents if they can have a go, whilst the grandma silently ‘tuts’ in the background. The added hurdle with the smoothie bike is that although children always see the potential, adults either buy into the idea straight away, or have to see it in action to even start to see the joy it can bring.
So we begin.
Initially there is not much interest in the notion of cycling for your smoothie, but gradually momentum builds up and we find ourselves needing two sets of arms and desperately trying to remain calm amidst the chaos. Glorious, but not for the faint hearted. And not, it seems, compatible with the colour white. So, many of the children who give it a go, walk away with pride, loving their smoothie because they put the effort in to make it, unconcerned that they are slightly splashed with smoothie pink on their otherwise perfect summer fair outfit.
And me? I leave with pink feet, smoothie stained fingers, and a dull ache in my lower back from ‘pedalling’. Oh, and as I return home and catch my own image in the mirror, I notice I have been sporting bicycle chain oil across my forehead. Nice.