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Bamboo Bike

JUNE 6, 2011
Bamboo is the material of the future. Strong and lightweight, it grows like a weed over most of the habitable earth. Designers are finding more and more uses for it everyday, from flooring to clothing. It has been in use for a long time as well, in construction, furniture, and food. Carbonized bamboo filaments were used in the development of the light bulb. I owned a 1925 CCM bicycle that was originally equipped with bamboo rims.
Taking things one step further, high-end bicycle builders are crafting their own custom frames from bamboo. As a cyclist the sight of these designs makes me drool. I would love to get the chance to work on one of these!
In remote parts of Africa, transportation options are limited. Getting bicycles into the hands of the locals increases mobility and opportunity. Using bamboo, locally grown and inexpensive, to build bikes is the aim of the Bamboo Bike Project. The objective also involves creating a bike building community to help develop the local economy. Very smart!

Great to work with Gail Ghezzi on this assignment, from OnEarth Magazine.