Around here, we’re mad for smoothies. The youngest doesn’t want to get dressed until he’s had his blended concoction of mangoes, raspberries and bananas. And who can blame him? If your parents offered to make you a smoothie nearly every day of your life, you’d take ’em up on it, right?
Besides being wonderful parents and frozen-food gourmets, we’re also a little nuts for bikes. So it wasn’t much of a leap to decide to combine our passions into one Xtracycle-flavored taste explosion.
Of course, the easiest way to join these loves would be to get out the plastic and order a Fender Blender from Rock the Bike. These HPB (human-powered blenders) are much-loved by the kind of Xtracyclers you’ll often see lingering, sweaty, around large piles of fruit at the Bicycle Music Festival, Burning Man, and various bikey celebrations. I’ve tasted the results of such purchased efforts and unfortunately, while the smoothies taste delicious, they are really tainted by the same bitter aftertaste that comes with buying most commercially produced goods.
So, no, in my quest for a pure smoothie, I wanted to skip the commercialism, re-purpose items from our garage and kitchen (items that I’ve already paid the aftertaste tax on), flex my languishing DIY skills, and see if I could take the bike blender power to 11.
In the end I spent more time on the project than I expected, but the resulting efforts were worth it. We turned this:
Interested in building your own mobile blender? Read on…
In designing my own VitaMix VeloMix, I felt I had to improve on number of limitations present in the existing bike-blender offerings:
- Lack of power. Not everyone has Fabian Cacellara’s legs. Heck most of America has pale pudgy pork chops masquerading as legs. You just can’t count on hours of high-watt output from your would-be smoothie producers. Wouldn’t it be great if the DIY bike blender had a way to run for hours with little operator effort?
- Low-Technology: While the typical bike blender uses a rudimentary-but-adequate gear-and-friction mechanism to provide its ice-crushing prowess, I decided to go with something a big higher tech. I mean, I’m a man in the second decade of the 21st Century. I watch YouTube and have a cellular phone. Surely there’s a better way to mash fruit than friction and spinning tires.
- Lack of Portability: Instead of having the blender tethered to the Snapdeck, as required by the aforementioned friction mechanism, wouldn’t it be great if you can place the unit where you want, such as the, front rack, snapdeck, custom mount, or even table?
With my all-new design, those shortcomings are a thing of the past. Instead, you and your VeloMix can concentrate on cranking out the best mobile smoothies on your block.
Pretty sweet eh?’
And since it’s a mobile blender, your ability to make delicious frozen beverages on the go is only limited by the cord you carry. To increase your range, merely add more cords. You’ll find that the Xtracycle’s generous hauling capacity means more cords are no problem!
With just a little effort (and an assload of cord) you’ll find yourself the life of the party almost half a block from your house!
Sure, such inventing took a lot of effort on this first day April, but these smiling faces make it worth it in the end!
And that’s just version 1.0. A tinkerer like me always has something up his sleeve. Hmmmm, I wonder how much ice-crushing madness that 2-stroke from motorized bike could bring to the party?