Riding a bike is no longer the statement it once was.
Lanes for cyclists are becoming commonplace, bike swapping programs are quickly spreading, and even high-end labels like Gucci are getting in on the action, designing haute wheels for those who could afford to hire a driver but would rather bike.
But few can say that their bike is completely sustainable—and that they made it, to boot.
So is the premise of the Bamboo Bike Studio, a Brooklyn-based company that is as much about making a statement as it is making your own wheels. The bikes are made with locally produced bamboo (hailing from the wildly exotic Tri-State area in the Northeast), a fast-growing and renewable material far better for the environment than the steel, aluminum, and carbon fiber traditionally used in frames. It might sound a bit Swiss Family Robinson, but in actuality the woody plants can withstand as much—if not more—than your average Huffy, as the past thousand years of bamboo construction have proven.
And because you don’t need a degree in welding, putting together a bamboo bike is surprisingly easy. The Bamboo Bike Studio recently started hosting workshops, where in just two days you can ride out with a fully made bike. Already, Columbia University’s Earth Institute and the Millennium Cities Initiative have backed the program, and the goal is to establish equally sustainable bike factories in countries as wide-ranging as Ghana, Ecuador, and Kenya.
It’s certainly a big statement to make—and one that’s pretty nice to look at, too. Talk about a ticket to ride.
REBECCA WILLA DAVIS
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