If you are thinking of building a bamboo bike or have always been attracted to how they look, how durable the material is, or how light the bikes are - sign up for the Bamboo Bike Workshop! You will not regret it! Becky Duffy, one of our very own CCYOGA teachers, spent a weekend with CCBIKES building her first bamboo bicycle. She shares her experience with us below.
As many yoga goers may or may not know, the entire left side of the Container Collective building is dedicated to bikes. Russ Hopkins, owner of Container Collective Bikes, leads Bamboo Bike building workshops once a month. Every time I walked into the studio on the bike building weekends, I would see people busy creating their ride-able pieces of art in the bike shop. Everyone always seemed to be laughing, learning, listening to music, and just having an overall good time. When the opportunity arose, I was more than excited to create my own bike.
I was a little nervous at first since I usually spend more time on my mat than being handy with tools. Russ put me at ease by consistently providing clear, easy to follow instructions, and did so at a great pace. It was so exciting to pick out my own pieces of bamboo. I picked pieces that had some fun characteristics (bends, bumps, & colors.) One of the neatest things is that each bike that was built during the workshop was completely unique to the bike next to it due to the variety of bamboo available. By the end of our first day, everyone had picked out their bamboo pieces, cut them to fit each other, and sanded them down to create a precise fit.
The second day was dedicated to wrapping each joint, where bamboo meets bamboo, with carbon fiber and epoxy. I was encouraged to bring a friend along to help with the building process and was so glad that I did. My friend got to learn how to build a bamboo bike and I got to work more efficiently with an extra set of hands.
I am not an avid biker, so when Russ asked what kind of bike I wanted I wasn't sure how to answer it. He helped me narrow it down to three points: how many gears, where I would be riding most, and what riding style I found most comfortable.
I decided I wanted an upright comfortable riding position on a hybrid bike that I could take on dirt trails and commute in the city. As he ordered the parts, Russ provided open shop hours throughout the week where we could come and go as we pleased. One of my favorite customized features of the bike building process is that wood burning tools are provided to engrave pictures, symbols, or any other creative inspiration into the bamboo.
Every single step in the workshop was up to each individual builder to decide. This means that every decision that went into creating this ride-able piece of art was entirely up to me. How cool is that?!? No matter how hard someone tries to find my bike in a store or online they will never be able to find or duplicate it.