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Business owners buzzing about bicycle program

"Several of us here ride in town for pleasure and recreation and excercise," said Steven Hardy-Braz, who said he's wanted a program like this in his town for a while. (Ashley Boles, NewsChannel 12 photo)

Ringing a bike bell and making a cup of coffee ... two things you may not have been used to doing at Rise and Grind coffee shop in Farmville.

Until now.

Rise and Grind coffee shop is part of a first-of-its-kind program in Farmville. LimeBikes has made the Pitt County town the first small town in America to have a dockless bike share program. The coffee shop is where the bicycle is parked currently. But come early March, you won't just see the single lime bike in front of the establishment.

East Carolina University and Uptown Greenville are also working with LimeBikes and will hopefully have a similar program up and running later this year.

"I don't know if bikes and coffees intermix or go together but we do have plenty of customers who ride their bikes down here and get a coffee or meet with friends and grab a milkshake," said Sandy Mills.

"They'll come in and go 'Is that your bicycle? Is it for sale? How does that bicycle work?' It miraculously appeared one day and I learned all about it and we had all this information in the shop about it."

The concept is simple, according to Daniel Hemme, operations manager for LimeBike.

"To ride a bike, you would simply open up the app on a smart phone, its all app based," said Hemme. "Simply press unlock in the app and scan the QR code."

After you scan the code, you hear a beeping sound and you're free to ride at a cost of $1 for up to 30 minutes.

"Several of us here ride in town for pleasure and recreation and exercise," said Steven Hardy-Braz, who said he's wanted a program like this in his town for a while.

"They agreed to let Farmville be the first small town in America to see how well it works."

For local business owners such as Mills, it's just good business and a novel idea.

You bring people to Farmville, you bring business to Farmville," Mills said.

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