In a time when people are looking for ways to develop environment friendly ways to travel, bicycles seem to be the most efficient means of transportation when it comes to cutting down on pollution.
But one man taking eco-friendly travel to another level is Vijay Sharma, a carpenter’s son who has built India’s first ever bicycle made completely out of bamboo. He credits this innovation to time spent in his father’s carpentry workshop as a child.
The frame of the bicycle is made entirely out of bamboo instead of metal and hemp fibre was used to keep the structure together instead of glass or carbon fibre. Sharma made two prototypes before coming up with the perfect technique as the handlebars, wheels and pedals have metal parts.
Using bamboo saves both time and energy spent for mining aluminium and moulding it to make frames and it also has a zero carbon footprint. It’s a natural tube which is tensile and strong, as it also makes for a good shock absorber and is light weight.
As the Bambike successfully cleared Japanese industrial tests for bicycles in Chennai, it took 2 lakh vibrations without the frame breaking apart. It has been crafted for gifting to the winner of the Tour of Nilgiris, which is one of the longest bike rides in India.
But Vijay now only teaches people the art of making Bambikes, as the bamboo cycles has no takers in India and he sold the last of his 20 bikes in 2015, all of which were sold to enthusiasts abroad.
The 42-year-old is now working on a battery powered four wheeled cycle cart with his designer friend, but isn’t sure if it will be economically feasible. He also likes gardening and brewing his own beer....