After writing an article about wood constructed eyeglasses, it reminded me of a bicycle I discovered through a magazine in the Philippines made primarily of bamboo. The article outlined a graduate student’s journey to the Philippines to concentrate on his studies and ended up applying them to the sustainable production of these bicycles. Not only was it stylish and beautifully designed with its frame built from the raw wood, the article noted the various ways that it helped contribute to the developing communities that build them. Many of the locals are already skilled woodworkers so they quickly pick up the art of crafting these bicycles. This has opened up a new job market for the community. The raw material of bamboo is abundant in these areas and grows quickly, making it a replenishable resource that’s easily accessible. This eliminates the need to import the metals that typically make bikes. The profits from these bikes also help contribute to the local economy. Lastly, the production of these bicycles promote an environmentally friendly lifestyle as they encourage consumers to use bicycles for transportation.
I did as much research as I could online to provide a link to this student’s work but only found information on the original designer of the bamboo bike, Calfee Design. They create a variety of custom bikes but information on the bamboo bikes can be found on their affiliate site: bamboosero.com. It could be that the graduate student I discovered in the article worked to introduce the Calfee bamboo bikes in the Philippines. These are beautiful bikes and I would love one to accompany my Bianchi road bike in the garage.
Below is a video that displays the bike builders working diligently in their art, accompanied by some good old San Miguel to help them get the job done.