Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Bamboo... for a bike?

Ok so most of us know the amazingness of bamboo, if you don't well this should give you a bit of idea. It’s a German site, the link is translated with google translator. Anyway, this story was forwarded tome today by a good friend, it was a featured article on bamboo bikes in Zambia, Africa. Basically the story focuses on the creation of the Zambike and how, out of a perceived need for a rugged bike and quality jobs, a company was built and is flourishing while changing lives and communities. I guess that when I hear about bamboo used for a bike frame I still wonder how it actually works, it just does not seem strong enough, despite what i know about bamboo! This is not new though, Calfee design has been building high end bamboo bikes in California for many years now, i actually saw them featured on a Discovery Network show a year or so ago, now they are teaming up with Zambikes to sell them in th US. I feel that too often many cyclists forget that without fossil fuels their bikes would not be built, yes they don't burn anything but they still use a good deal of energy, many exclaim how they cycle and have cut their dependence on fossil fuels, yes they have cut back on their direct burning of it but working with bamboo is truly a great way to lesson the overall impact of personal transport by using a plant species that is extremely fast growing, can flourish in many climates, does not need fertilisers, and is easy to harvest. I don't see a way just yet to live without the use of fossil fuels in some way, but these bikes bring us one more step closer to that dream of true independence. Pretty sure I want one now.

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