Philippines bikes made of bamboo hit market

Philippines bikes made of bamboo hit market

Manila : Philippines | Mar 25, 2012 at 7:50 AM PDT
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A company called ‘Kawayan Tech,’ whose objectives were to develop "indigenous forms of bikes and other alternative means of transport," including bamboo bikes and bamboo skateboards as "social entrepreneurship," according to its mission statement, has began selling bikes made of bamboo. The bikes appear to be doing well in the local market the Manila Bulletin reports.

The company was founded by a group of five environmentalists, all members of the University of the Philippines Mountaineers Club, namely, Hecky Villanueva, an urban anthropologist; dive instructor and resort operator Boy Siojo; visual artist Eng Chan; US-based educator John Climaco; and Eric Cadiz, an electrical engineer who also runs a motorcycle dealership.

Each bike was handmade, from varieties of hard and durable bamboos which were dried, treated and joined together by using sturdy abaca fibers that could ‘absorb bumps and chatter of the road and trail.’

They have sold 80 different kinds of bikes, including one they called a ‘push bike’ for children learning to ride, at a price of P5,000 or ($119), ‘city bikes’ for P10,000 ($238), and higher-performance bikes, such as mountain bikes, for P20,000 ($476).

Ms. Villanueva, one of the members of the ‘Kawayan Tech’ group, said "People will usually think metal bikes are better because they've been tried and tested. But bamboo bikes can be symbolic of being environmental; they show support of a livelihood program or social cause; and represent who you are -- a fun, healthy, earth-loving citizen."

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