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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Bamboo Bikes Coming to San Francisco

Posted By on Thu, Dec 16, 2010 at 2:30 PM

click to enlarge Wow. I feel like I could do this 12 hours a day, six days a week for the rest of my life.
  • Wow. I feel like I could do this 12 hours a day, six days a week for the rest of my life.
Wow. I feel like I could do this 12 hours a day, six days a week for the rest of my life.
Bamboo Bike Workshop Turns Simple Outdoor Activity Into Indoor Labor Involving Fiberglass, Noxious Resin

A new workshop set up to encourage San Franciscans to make their own bicycles out of fiberglass, carbon fiber, resin, and bamboo, promises to turn an easy, straightforward, and healthful outdoor pastime into one involving backbreaking labor done in a confined space wafting with potentially pernicious fumes.

"You'll build your bike by joining bamboo tubes with fiberglass and carbon lugs," said a company report announcing the opening of the Post and Larkin workshop Friday evening. "Frames made in workshops and with kits are as strong as conventional frames."

Whereas taking up the hobby of cycling ordinarily involves spending $450 or so for a  perfectly nice, durable, comfortable bike at a local shop, then immediately riding wherever you want to go, Bamboo Bike Studio will encourage people to spend around $1,000 for the privilege of toiling hours sawing bamboo into sections, wrapping the poles with fiberglass soaked in resin, then hanging the concoction with low-end parts.

"We constantly refine, and improve our bike-making process to help make sure the bikes you build will be strong and safe," said the grand opening announcement, in reference to bicycles made by inexperienced people who've taped pieces of wood together, put wheels on the creation, and taken it out in traffic.

click to enlarge Hey guys, isn't this fun? Guys? Guys?
  • Hey guys, isn't this fun? Guys? Guys?
Hey guys, isn't this fun? Guys? Guys?
Moneyed urbanites have for years prided themselves in spending free time engaged in the toils of 19th-century pioneers, which in their day were not considered leisure activities. Perhaps Bamboo Bicycle Workshop's arrival is a sign that the recession is easing, and that San Franciscans are more comfortable than they're really comfortable with.

In the 1800s, after all, a common worker couldn't imagine a future where she could buy a contraption costing a mere half-week's wages -- one that could transport her alone from downtown to the ocean in half an hour. One hundred years ago, bicycles were expensive, uncomfortable, prone to breakage, and apt to become stuck in rutted muddy roads.

The modern store-bought bicycle offers such economy, such ease, such opportunity for calming leisure, that it's high time somebody brought back the old, traditional ways.

Thank you Bamboo Bicycle Studio.

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Matt Smith

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