The eco-friendly, trendy cycle designs are far cheaper when assembled at home.
There is, unfortunately, a price we pay in order to move around mother earth in a sustainable fashion. The trendy bamboo bicycle for example, an eco-friendly mode of transit built from a relatively sustainable natural resource, draws prices in the thousands of dollars. But a DIY bamboo-bicycle movement is growing, and could make these green machines far more affordable (and prevalent) across the globe.
Bamboo Bicycles Beijing is representative of where the industry is likely heading. It's not simply a bicycle shop. Nor is it entirely a makers' space. Profiled recently by the International Business Times, cyclists show up to the Beijing shop and, over two days, build their very own bicycle out of raw bamboo.
Shown in the video above, Beijing residents assist in not just the painting and design of their bamboo bike, but also its assembly. And once it's complete, they cycle away, spending only the equivalent of $322, according to the report.
A similar-style operation is bringing low-cost bamboo bicycles to Europe and the U.S. London-based Bamboo Bicycle Club ships DIY kits of various styles, from road to tandem frames, for about $350 to $450. And if you lack confidence in your ability to assemble a bamboo bicycle in your garage, you can sign up for one of the club's workshops. There, over a weekend, they'll walk you through the process. There's even a bamboo cycling culture taking root in Ghana.
Amid apocalyptic projections for the world's climate, building bicycles out of eco-friendly bamboo may seem like a hot, new idea. In fact, it's an invention that's been lying dormant for over a century. According to the Guardian, a British inventor came up with the design for a bamboo bicycle as early as 1894. "It's just never taken off," the newspaper explained. The do-it-yourself model, however, could change that.
Top Image: Reuters / Cheryl Ravelo