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Independent Professional: Experienced educator and management consultant for engineering educational institutions, researcher, trainer, technical consultant on sustainable technologies, related to cement manufacturing and characterisation, using industrial and agricultural wastes in cement and concrete, durability of concrete and fuel cell power.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Bamboo bikes

Jim Cornfield in the Scientific American , June 2009 Special Editions, reports
about the growing popularity of Bamboo Bikes. The versatile bamboo provides a green and renewable alternative to traditional bike metals

In the cycling world, the name “Calfee” evokes images of upscale, featherweight carbon-fiber road bikes, produced by California designer-manufacturer Craig Calfee. The bamboo now constitutes one leading edge of his portfolio, because the bikes have the lowest carbon footprint on the planet.

Bamboo’s versatility is no secret. Certain varieties are fast growing yet extremely rugged. There are bamboo bridges, dams, boats, even airplanes, thanks to its shape and remarkable vibration damping.

Today about a third of the 400 bikes that Calfee’s Santa Cruz factory makes are bamboo and getting strong reviews. At four pounds, the bamboo frames are heavier than Calfee’s signature carbon-fiber models but lighter than standard metal.

After he visited the West African nation of Ghana, Calfee established an outreach program and micro-industry there to manufacture bamboo bicycles for local sale. With his training and logistical support, Ghanaians have begun to produce serviceable cargo bikes, using their local bamboo, which sell at very modest prices. Calfee plans to expand such operations beyond Ghana.He has brought some jobs and optimism to the country’s poor. He thinks the project will become a self-sustaining.

Note: This article was originally printed with the title, "Bamboo Bikes Grow."

Watch video on Bamboo Bike
Know more about Bamboo

Bike infrastructure:
It's no secret that bicycling is the most eco-friendly, inexpensive and efficient means of going about daily business in your dense community. Read more ....