Bamboo bikes growing at Eden
Golden bamboo is being turned into a fleet of eye-catching bicycles in a three-day workshop which began at the Eden Project in Cornwall today (Thursday May 5).
Eden has teamed up with the Bamboo Bicycle Club of London to turn canes of different thicknesses grown next to the world-famous Rainforest Biome into frames for a variety of two-wheeled machines.
Under the guidance of the club’s founder James Marr, two women and three men are making on-road and off-road bikes in a workshop set up next to the Core education centre, drawing many curious onlookers as the bikes take shape.
One of the cyclists taking part in the bamboo bike build at Eden is champion racer Vin Cox - the former Guinness World Record holder for cycling around the globe, which he set in 2010 after riding an astounding 18,225 miles through 17 countries in just 163 days.
Vin, from nearby Charlestown, was the first Guinness World Record-breaking cyclist to visit Africa on the epic ride, which involved 12 boat and plane transfers and took him through five different continents and across 17 countries.
Vin selected thick lengths of bamboo to make a frame for a go-anywhere adventure bike. He said: “The bamboo frame will have clearance for fat four-inch tyres to cope with all sorts of loose terrain, from sandy deserts and beaches to soft snow. It will be great to go into nature on a bike built from a bit of nature.”
The bamboo bike build is due to finish on Saturday afternoon, in advance of the third annual Eden Classic sportive on Sunday (May 7).
The bike-makers have been invited to join the mass-participation event which is expected to number around 1,000 riders this year.
Cornwall is famous for its exotic varieties of bamboo – a woody grass with the reputation of being the world’s fastest growing plant - and Eden has some striking examples outside and inside the Rainforest and Mediterranean Biomes.
Bamboo Bicycle Club is a social enterprise that has been running for four years. Its team of experts teaches people to build their very own custom bicycle frame using bamboo and the bikes are used for regular commutes, racing, off-roading and travelling around the world.
There is still time join in the Eden Classic. More details at www.edenproject.com/edenclassic.