Biking Towards Sustainability – Highlight on The Bamboo Bike Project

How do you take a green form of transportation, make it greener and help people in rural Africa?  By showing them how to build bamboo bikes! 

Bamboo Bike from 1896

Photo Courtesy of jeffmcneill

In the poorer regions of Africa most transportation is in the form of walking or bicycling.  Most of the bikes are imported from China; they aren’t very sturdy, as they are usually manufactured for the leisurely rider.  People in rural Africa need stronger bikes to cross many miles on unkept roads, as well as to transport goods to market.  Enter the engineers and scientists at The Earth Institute at Columbia University who developed the Bamboo Bike Project.

The goals of the project are:

  1. To build a better bike for poor Africans in rural areas.
  2. To stimulate a bicycle building industry in Africa to satisfy local needs.

Bamboo is a great material to make bicycles from because the material is so strong and light.  And in Africa, it’s available locally.  Check out the Bamboo Bike Project’s blog to read about John Mutter’s (co-founder of the Bamboo Bike Project) experiences and the building of their factory in Ghana.

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