I have blogged before about alternative bicycle frame materials, including bamboo. No surprise then this recent story caught my eye. Here’s Hugh Allman, a cyclist in East London who had made his unique frame himself and was understandably distressed when his pride and joy was stolen. That’s the thing with us cyclists. Our bikes are more than simply components screwed onto a frame – they’re a part of us, we invest ourselves in them.
Hugh Allman had apparently made the frame himself with the help of some friends who run workshops for the general public in building bamboo frames. The components had come from another bicycle and it worked. It is naturally light and fairly stiff. The bamboo being a natural material brings an element of sustainability to an already ‘green’ means of transport. Although it seems such frames are assembled in a moderately lo-tech manner, they do appear to be fairly decent, albeit eccentric, bicycles.
Meanwhile back to the theft, apparently he’d been for a cycle ride with some friends and stopped at a coffee shop during one of those summer downpours and it was then the dastardly deed was done. As if that wasn’t galling enough, by chance he spotted the bicycle for sale on a market stall the following morning.
While it would have been easy to have waded in there and then, Hugh Allman called the Police who said they’d come down and look into the matter. He hung around waiting for them before they eventually arrived. When the Police approached the market stall the bike was gone and you might think that was the end of the story. Not so. The bike had been placed to one side and then recovered by an undercover Police Officer. All was well. He had his bicycle back and it’s fair to say this was against the odds.
This has got me thinking
It wasn’t hard to find the Bamboo Bicycle Club in London. You can attend a weekend course and learn about frame building and walk away with your very own bamboo bicycle frame yourself. Alternatively you can get hold of a kit to make it at home, including the offer of renting a jig which is an essential piece of the jigsaw to hold everything in the right place.
I’d love to have a go at this sometime. Shouldn’t be too hard to find a donor bike with the right components and just imagine the satisfaction and fun from riding on a bicycle frame I’d made myself! I do like some of the quirky things in the cycling world and this has to be amongst them! This had got me thinking……