Category Archives: Bamboo

Sustainable Living Fair 2012

VeloBamboo will be back for the 2012 Sustainable Living Fair at Old Dominion University. We’ll be giving two workshops this year, demonstrating DIY stencil- and screen-printing, fire-bending bamboo, and more. We’re offering FREE installation on any bamboo handlebar grips or fenders purchased at the fair, as well as bamboo bicycle test rides. Intrepid urban homesteaders can even try pulling one of our three different cargo trailers.

Come on out!

Bamboo Bike Trailers

Big thanks to Nick over at Simple-City for sending us plans to a tensioned bamboo bike trailer…we’ve got to clear three more frames off the build list before we can get started, but it looks like it’ll be a fun project.

And a Bamboo Bicycle under the Christmas Tree

Almost two hundred years ago, Baron Karl von Drais saw the European grain harvest crash as the dust of Krakatoa blocked out the sun. Horses and cattle were starving. Baron von Drais figured there had to be a quicker way to move down the road, and voila, the velocipede was born.

Baron Karl von Drais on the original hobby horse.

It would take a few more decades before pedals and a chain drive would be added, but the basic building blocks of a bicycle were there: two wheels, steering, and brakes.

And now our daughter is learning to balance a bike by herself on an updated, bamboo “draisine.”

Abby and her hobby horse.

Go, Abby, go!


a little easy reading, courtesy of wikipedia.

Bamboo bikes: it's not a new idea.

Bamgoda: DIY Bamboo Star Pagoda

“Bamgoda” recently got a new roof of riveted, waxed canvas. Here are a few pix of it at the Old Beach Green Market this summer. (Thanks, Christina!)

And here’s Bamgoda with the new roof: riveted & grommeted waxed canvas.

Thanks, Christina, you eco-maniac, for the picture!

Bamgoda is constructed from sixteen pieces of bamboo, about 24 3.5m pieces of 4mm braided rope, and a canvas roof. The roof weighs at least fifteen kilo, but I still ballast the legs with four 5kg weights. One person can assemble it in about forty minutes, and it disassembles in about half that time. The bundle of bamboo (a “faggot“) is lashed up and mounts easily on the roof rack of our Honda Element.

Bamgoda has withstood several violent thunderstorms, when Malwart “EZ-Up” tents were blowing over left and right. It’s stable and inviting. And yes, it’s available for rent.

My alma mater of Redhook

It’s been over a year now since I built my second bamboo bike at the Bamboo Bike Studio in Redhook, Brooklyn. Like this page, there’s more activity on their Facebook page, but both are full of inspiration and information.  Check ’em out…

A Pretty Little Frame

All prettied up for a photo op

I dusted off my trusty D90 and headed out to the backyard for a photo op. The goal was to get some drool-inducing pix of the latest, finished frame. Look for it soon around Ghent!

Detail: cablestay and head lug

One of the benefits of being a professional photographer is that I still have the eye and technique to create great images.  More often than not, though, I leave my SLR and networked flashes in the Pelican Case, and just take a shot with my camera phone.

Bamboo, on bamboo, on bamboo

For those interested in the technobabble, all shots were taken with a Nikon D90 in “Commander Mode,” with an SB600 flash in CLS network mode, a 28mm Nikkor f/2.8 lens, a polarizing filter, lens shade, a Bontrager work stand, and a sub-par piece of black bamboo.