An Indian Company That Makes Sustainable Bicycles Using Bamboo - Homegrown

An Indian Company That Makes Sustainable Bicycles Using Bamboo

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 Bamboochi is showing us how. Bamboochi creates handcrafted and customisable bicycles, which are, as the name suggests. made out of bamboo. Bamboochi is the brainchild of former Indian Air Force pilot Shashishekhar Pathak.

In 2013, Pathak and his wife decided to invest in a property a little south of Pune in the interiors of a region called Bhor taluka. A distinctive aspect about the locale was its bamboo plantations, they were everywhere. This got the Pathaks thinking. “The initial plan was to create furniture, but there is enough being made around India, especially in the north-east where you get bamboo of superior quality. While watching television one day, we stumbled upon the idea of bamboo bicycles and we had our next project,” said Pathak in an interview with Firstpost. “For years, bamboo has been used for construction due to its strength and durability. In fact, bamboo bicycles were made as early as the 1890s, and really took off during World War II. But the era of steel and aluminium brought consistency in the raw materials, so manufacturers made the shift. The advancement in technology — carbon fiber and strong adhesive glues — makes it possible to create a sturdy product with bamboo today,” explained Pathak.

The locals of the area further fueled Pathak’s enthusiasm to execute this plan. Majoritarily engaged in paddy farming, the locals would be on the look out for odd jobs in the city to keep them occupied during the six-month-long period when the fields did not need to be tended to. Also, using bamboos to make bicycles would also benefit the local bamboo farmers, who couldn’t expand their customer base owing to the remote location’s lack of connectivity. All these factors pushed Pathak to turn his innovative idea into reality.

The first prototype took about a year to produce, the second bicycle was an updated version of the first one, equipped with with gears, hydraulic brakes and shock absorbers. In a matter of just five years, Bamboochi has gone from being an idea to a product that is now exported across the globe. Bamboochi now offers varied sustainable models to choose from depending on your personal preferences. Also, Pathak encourages cycling enthusiasts to assemble their bikes themselves as he believes that adds to the overall experience.

Click here for more information about Bamboochi.

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