It was the best gift he had ever given me!!!
It was a year and a half ago that Russ came home from China and handed me a beautiful bamboo bicycle frame. The amount of love and labor that he put into that frame brought tears to my eyes. It was a functional work of art that he had given to me!
Since then I have witnessed him teach over 70 people how to build bamboo bikes. With each bamboo frame building workshop he leads, I've been the official photographer, documenting each person building their frames. The care they take when they pick out the bamboo poles they want to use, and cut each piece to fit perfectly is so fun to watch. I especially love that moment when the poles fit together in the frame jig and it actually looks like a bike.
The second day of the workshop is mesmerizing as each person wraps the joints with carbon fiber thread and epoxy. After the workshops are over, I always ask each person if they had fun.
Their expression is always priceless. Because they don't auto respond with a resounding "YES!". They are thoughtful as they contemplate their answers, because the workshop is more than merely fun. Some of the words that have been used to describe the bamboo bicycle frame building workshops are:
Therapeutic. Meditative. Challenging. Rewarding. Awesome!
In this day and age of technology and social media, it has become more and more rare to spend two full days working with your hands to create something so unique and useful. And since we document you building your bike the entire process there is literally no need to even touch your cell phone in the process! So, that would explain why the process is so "therapeutic".
I also love the day about two weeks after, when the builder comes to pick up their completed bicycle.
(The frames need to cure for about a week after they are built and then Russ assembles the other parts that you choose once the frame is ready).
It was 2 months ago, when I was sitting in a meditation that I had a vision of myself wrapping carbon fiber thread around the joints of a bamboo bike frame and I remember smiling, when I realized that I had been secretly wanting to be in the CCBIKES bamboo builder club!
As CCYOGA is now two years old, I finally have the ability to take two full days off to build a bamboo bike with my own two hands so I am excited that November 5th-6th will be the days that I, too, become a bamboo bike builder!!!
Does anyone else want to join me?!?!
Text from the Lakewood, CO Sentinal News Paper Article by Clarke Reader
I’m from Texas, and my husband Russ is from Wisconsin. We met while he was in art school and I was dancing professionally in Chicago. We fell in love with Colorado before moving to Utah for eight years to teach at an international school.
While in Utah we built, with our own hands, a straw bale home and converted our car to run on waste vegetable oil before moving to Beijing, China, to teach dance and art.
We finally made it back to the city we’ve always wanted to live in and are proud to share our passions with the Lakewood community and beyond through The Container Collective.
As a certified Baptiste Yoga instructor, I strive to creates space for my students to feel comfortable and confident to stretch and move beyond their imagination, on and off their yoga mats. With a background as a professional dancer and dance instructor I try to make my yoga classes fun, fluid and challenging.
I get to watch a student walk through the door with the weight of their day on their shoulders. As they practice yoga they put their body into physically challenging positions that strengthen and stretch all parts of their bodies while being asked to breathe calmly. It is so rewarding to see each student transform over the course of an hour.
The yoga and biking lifestyle
For my husband, Russ, riding bikes isn’t just a hobby — it’s a lifestyle. While he was teaching in China for two years he apprenticed with David Wang of Bamboo Bikes Beijing to learn the bamboo bike-building process.
I moved to Lakewood from Beijing in August of 2014 and started Container Collective Yoga with free Yoga in the Park. I offered classes all around the Denver metro area to see which area had the greatest need for yoga. I was drawn to West Colfax because of the character of the people and the commitment to the arts and wanted to be a part of what made this area thrive again.
Russ moved back from China in August of 2015 to get Container Collective Bikes started by leading bamboo bike frame-building workshops, as well as doing bike repair and service.
What makes West Colfax special
We are excited about all that is happening with West Colfax and the 40 West Arts District. We love the character of the community and its commitment to growth. We’ve hosted several Mural Tour Bike Rides around West Colfax to celebrate all of the public art on display in the area.
If you have suggestions for My Name Is ..., contact Clarke Reader at email@example.com.
Clarke Reader, Lakewood, Brittany Hopkins, Russ Hopkins, yoga, cycling, Container Collective Yoga and Bikes, West Colfax, My Name Is
CCBIKES Leads Bamboo Bike Building Workshop at MIT
The text message read, "Do you want to build bamboo bikes at MIT?" It was from David Wang, the founder of Bamboo Bicycles Beijing. He's the guy that Russ, the owner of Container Collective Bikes, in Lakewood, CO learned from when he lived in Beijing!
So at the end of August, Russ flew out to Boston to help 21 MIT (as in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology) students build 9 bamboo bikes in 3 days. This was an epic undertaking, but they did and they sure had fun doing it!
When we worked with Colorado Academy at Container Collective Bikes, 12 high school students age 14-18 we really got to focus on the following:
ENGAGE YOUR STUDENTS with practical life skills and a project that they can ride away on! Led by Russ Hopkins, a college preparatory educator with 10+ years experience working with students in project based experiential learning.
What your students will learn:
I had totally fallen off of the wagon of my healthy eating habits and just couldn't stay away from cookies, sodas, and chips. What kind of yoga teacher and yoga studio owner eats all that junk?!?! The real kicker for me was that my expensive yoga pants weren't fitting and I didn't want to have to buy new ones! One afternoon in early summer one of my friends, that also owns a yoga studio, let me try one of her green shakes and it blew my mind because it tasted like a blueberry muffin!!!
As it turns out this tasty shake was a key component in 10 day cleanse involving the green shake, some vegan protein supplements, electrolytes, and alternated between eating fruits/veggies and drinking these tasty shakes. My curiosity was peeked and I thought, "Why not?!?! Instead of spending my money on the junk food for ten days, I'll spend it on these healthy green shakes!"
It turns out it was so easy because over the course of the cleanse, I was getting to eat and drink all day everyday!!! And believe me, I love eating all day!
It was wild to see the progress over the 10 days with every day watching the "extra" melt away with my cravings and my pants were fitting better by the minute!
The part that really sealed the deal for me wasn't just that my pants fit so quickly, it was that on day ten of the cleanse was also the day that we had a guest yoga teacher, Dave Farmar coming to teach at the studio that night. His classes always kick my butt!!!
Two side notes here:
1: I had my nutritionist look at the products and ingredients and she approved!!!
2: I've always told myself that "I need meat protein to feel good and strong".
But at the end of the day transformation I took Dave Farmar's class having only had fruits, veggies, these tasty shakes, and the vegan protein supplements for ten days, aaaaaaand I felt like a rock star in his really challenging yoga class!!!! I felt strong and powerful! My pants fit, and I kicked my cravings for the junk foods!!!
As you can tell, I'm pretty excited about it and I am even more excited to do it with our community October 1-10.
To find out more about the 10 Day Transformation email us using the form below or ask one of the teachers the next time you come to class at Container Collective Yoga in Lakewood, CO!
Even if you don't live anywhere near our Lakewood, CO yoga studio, you can join in the fun. Still use the email form below and will get you the link to the cleanse and you can participate with us from far away!!!
~Show up early to get settled.
~Stop by the desk to say "Hi!" and check in before your yoga class.
(We are pretty good with names, but it's always helpful to remind us!)
~No shoes in the yoga studio.
~Keep the door to the yoga room closed behind you.
~Please no perfumes or body odors.
(Even though you are likely to sweat please shower before coming to class.)
~Slightly stagger your mat with your neighbor and keep straps and blocks at top of your mat
(This makes being close to your neighbor's mat more comfortable)
~Lower volume of conversations in the yoga studio
~Golden rule applies with clothing
(ex. If you don't want to see through other people's yoga pants make sure they can't see through yours.)
~Let the yoga teacher know about any injuries or health concerns or if you prefer to not have hands on assist before class.
~We are so grateful you are a member of our yoga community here in Lakewood, CO!!! Keep being awesome!