The current climate changes around us make it pretty clear that we need to work towards a more sustainable life. When you think about an eco-friendly mode of transport the first image that will flash before your eyes is probably a bicycle. You won’t be adding to the noxious fumes polluting the air, but we tend to forget how much the environment still suffers because of the production of bicycles. From the metal framework to the rubber tyres, factories across the planet are spewing harmful by-products left, right and centre so people can enjoy the feeling of ‘going green.’
While it is a step in the right direction, we can do one better and Vijay Sharma is showing us how. Sharma created India’s first bamboo bicycle back in 2009, and is now opening up his workshop for other like-minded individuals to come, learn and make their very own Bambike, as it is more commonly known.
Bamboo doesn’t look like the sturdiest material to support a human weight but it’s actually quite the opposite. The whole bike, while incredibly light, is surprisingly durable. Sharma’s bikes were put to the test at a 900 kilometre, eight-day-long mountain biking event and came out victorious. As he explained to The Better India, the framework is constructed from bamboo and the structure is held together by hemp fibre; the wheels too are bamboo and act as natural shock absorbers. “People in India have a perception that bamboo is a cheap material and therefore the bike will be cheaper than a traditional metal bike but this is a handcrafted bicycle and not a factory-manufactured product,” he said.
At the studio session with Sharma, facilitated by Vacation With An Artist (VAWAA), you play an important part in each step building. From selecting bamboo tubing, cutting and shaping the frame, to assembly of the bike, under Sharma’s guidance you get to go home with a beautiful bamboo bike built with your own hands.
Head to the VAWAA site for more information and book your session with Vijay Sharma.
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