Bikes are becoming more eco-friendly thanks to companies like Bamboocycles, a Mexico City-based company that designs and creates bicycle frames made out of local bamboo and carbon fiber. The company offers weekend workshops that teach people how to build their own bicycles out of bamboo, and this fall, Bamboocycles will host its first continental United States DIY workshop in Roanoke, Va.
“Bamboo resists twice as much weight in compression than steel, is not subject to fatigue, and absorbs 4 times more vibration than full carbon frames,” explained Diego Cárdenas, founder and owner of Bamboocycles. “[I] built my first bamboo bike in 2007 and discovered that it was a great experience that should be shared with others.”
Running from September 30 to October 2 at Roanoke’s Cardinal Bicycle, the workshop is open to everyone. Participants will have a variety of frame styles to choose from including gravel, hybrid, trail, road, and city bikes. The collaborative event was dreamed up by the owner of Roanoke Boutique Hotel who rented a bamboo bicycle while on vacation in Costa Rica this past winter.
“As soon as I saw my rental Bamboocycle, I knew I had to have one back home,” said Diane Hailey, owner of the hotel. “I called Diego and begged him to come to Roanoke, sent him every press release and media link about Roanoke’s active bike community, and really sold him on coming here. Once I started sending him links to all the great things happening in Roanoke, I think he knew Roanoke was the city to start his workshops in the U.S.”
Bamboocycles provide all materials needed to build a frame, except for the rear wheel and fork of the bike. Once participants have signed up on the Bamboocycles workshop web page, they can reach out to Cardinal Bicycle to help them find a suitable rear wheel and fork ready for the event. Until this workshop in Roanoke, almost all Bamboocycles workshops have taken place in Central and South America, but more expansion is on the horizon.
“We are a young group from different backgrounds and disciplines,” Bamboocycles writes on their website. “We do this because we want to live in a less polluted world, boost creativity in people, improve quality of life through health, promote the use of natural renewable raw materials and spread the word about them, and also support the growth of Mexican industry.”
Cover photo courtesy of Bamboocycles