Who would’ve known that a small, quiet Gawad Kalinga Village in Victoria, Tarlac is home to locally produced bikes made out of bamboo?
On July 6, 2009, bamboo bike designer and pioneer Craig Calfee visited the Philippines and conducted a one-week training workshop on bamboo bicycle frame building to select interested parties at the Yap Farm in San Jose, Tarlac.
Bambike owner Bryan Benitez McClelland quickly learned the process of making bike frames with bamboo and abaca fiber, and experimented and tested on different frame types like roadies, fixies, mountain bikes and beach cruisers. At present, he has been producing European-standard frames with certification. These safety tests include impact and fatigue tests for only the toughest standards in the bike frame industry.
According to their official website, “Bambike is a socio-ecological enterprise that hand-makes bamboo bicycles with fair-trade labor and sustainable building practices. Bambike is a company that is interested in helping out people and the planet, dedicated to social and environmental stewardship. Our goal is to do better business and to make the greenest bikes on the planet.”
Bambuilders (makers of bamboo bike frames) take approximately 50 working hours on a Bambike frame. That is a maximum of 10 bikes in a month. Bamboo used to build the bikes is carefully selected and Bambuilders take their time shaping the abaca joints. They then sand down the bamboo for a smooth finish and paint it in a waterproof, UV resistant top coat.
Bambikes are believed to be a better and greener alternative to carbon bike frames and cost less compared to their carbon counterparts.
If you wish to get to know more about this wonderful, sustainable enterprise that is fast becoming an innovative pride of Tarlac Province, visit their website at http://bambike.com