Not more than a decade ago, the streets of Beijing were clogged by traffic from millions of bicycles, and few cars could be seen on the roads. Today, the opposite is true and China’s capital city has practically become a graveyard for rusty bicycles.
The bicycles still in use must now compete for space alongside the thousands of electric bikes and cars that also use the city’s famous cycle lanes that line both sides of most roads.
Founded in 2013, Bamboo Bicycles Beijing is a workshop that attempts to renew interest in the traditional Beijing bicycle by putting a new, more sustainable spin on its frame.
“David Wang, founder of Bamboo Bicycles Beijing, said that he was inspired to found the workshop after finding piles of old, rusted bicycles in Beijing no longer in use”
The workshop, which is located in a traditional Beijing alleyway known as a Hutong, offers participants the chance to build their own bamboo-framed bicycles out of raw bamboo.
The end-product is not only more environmentally sustainable, but also considerably lighter, more agile and more shock-absorbent than most other bicycles.
Steve Ngo, a cooordinator for Bamboo Bicycles Beijing and workshop instructor, said that the workshop started small but has gradually attracted interest over time.