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?!?!