Timeline History

Bamboo Bicycle History, Technical

In researching bamboo, we came across numerous references to the strength, hardness and toughness of bamboo. Most of theis came from the flooring industry. But there were a few references to whole bamboo tubes, particularly for the thick walled fighting sticks used in various martial arts. And of course the bamboo fishing rods demonstrated tenacity and are still held in high regard when compared to modern carbon fiber fishing rods.

Read more

Timeline, Bamboosero

  • 2011 April

    - Bamboosero receives a shipment of 14 frames from Ghana – Our first shipment needing only minimal rework!

  • 2011 March

    - Ben Opk and Wisdom Toxla team up as the official Ghanaian inspectors and work out of a central facility rented by Bamboosero in Accra to inspect frames that will be sold locally and exported

    - Craig leaves for Uganda to update the Gulu group and train two new groups in Kampala that extends the Bamboosero network in Uganda to other parts of the country

  • 2011 February

    - Bamboosero begins to sell Ghanaian made bamboo bicycle stands to individuals and retail outlets.

    - Bamboosero to attend the North American Handmade Bicycle Show for the second year.

  • 2011 January

    - Bamboosero receives a shipment from Ghana of 12 bike frames. Extraordinary and inspiring progress can be seen in the level of quality.

    - Su Hartley travels to Ghana for 10 weeks to solidify best practices amongst the builder groups, establish a central inspection facility, and assist the businesses in their efforts to implement business administration strategy.

  • 2010 November

    - 4 tour participants decide to purchase the bamboo city tour-bicycle directly from the builder in Ghana

    - Bamboosero departs for Ghana to host the second annual Ghanaian Bamboo Bike Tour

  • 2010 October

    - BBC produced segment on Bamboosero airs on BBC World News

    - Bamboosero displays a 60 cm road bike in Ireland at the Green Machines exhibition

    - A Uganda city bike is sold to an Irish company and becomes the first electric bamboo bike

    - Bamboosero attends Biktoberfest in Marin, CA and the SF Green Fest

  • 2010 September

    - Bamboosero receives nod from BBC World Challenge as a finalist

    - Takashi leaves from Bamboosero with ambitious plans to be first to cross US on bamboosero bike after crossing Japan on another bamboosero bike.

  • 2010 July

    - First long distance tour completed by Matsumoto Takashi of Japan in crossing Japan.

    - Facebook account created

    - Extensive off-road torture testing of road frame on Santa Cruz fireroads

  • 2010 June

    - Craig returns to Ghana to ensure proper application of previous training focusing on the details of finishing the frames. The training was conducted during the World Cup when the Black Stars of Ghana defeated the USA.

  • 2010 April

    - Craig returns to Ghana to conduct continuing education focusing on the smooth finish of the lugs necessary to compete in the N.A. and European bike market.

  • 2010 February

    - Alongside Calfee Design booth, Bamboosero debuted at the North American Handmade Bicycle Show (NAHBS). Five Bamboosero frames were displayed. They generated a substantial amount of feedback and interest. Bamboosero USA realizes the necessity for a finer finish quality. Bamboosero sells first complete bike: a frame built by Zambikes to a visitor of NAHBS.

    - Another round of tools distributed to all Bambooseros; inspection tools for crank clearances as well as tools to guide the installation of brake bridges.

  • 2009 December

    - Bamboosero USA invites Bambooseros worldwide to compete in The Handmade Bicycle Show. Bambooseros prepared special show frames and shipped them by February 10, 2010.

  • 2009 October

    - Craig returns to Ghana to train the fifth Ghanaian Bamboosero group, the Yonso Project. Previously trained Ghanaian Bambooseros assisted in the training. Impressed upon them the heat bending possibilities of bamboo. Though these had previously been introduced they present quite a learning curve to the builders.

    - Distributed additional newly-developed inspection tools to enable self-checks and so that Bamboosero builders continue to define their destiny.

    - Completed training in Zambia. Working with ZamBikes, the training included building a bamboo ambulance.

  • 2009 August

    - Dr. Refik Culpan of Penn State Harrisburg, PA conducted feasibility study for Bamboosero Ghana, theoretically focusing on domestic sales.

  • 2009 July

    - Craig trained 4 new groups simultaneously in the Philippines. Video here.

  • 2009 June

    - Bambooseros of Ghana hosted a 10-day Bamboo bike tour.

    - Some Bambooseros begin to produce finer finishes and more accurate frame geometries. Ghanaians were finally building enough frames to allow us to capture a snapshot of their current capabilities.

    - Craig took these observations as guidance in how to bridge that gap. He further engineered alignment tools which would allow them to perfect their craft. They were getting closer to where the frames needed to be to sell them on the market!

  • 2009 April

    - Craig briefly visits Ghana to give technical updates including the use of primary alignment tools engineered to aid the builders as they develop their ‘eye’ for perfection. These tools also alleviate the need for realignment work, most of which was being done by Bamboosero’s parent company, Calfee Design in California.

  • 2008 November

    - French news team AFPTV visited Ghana Bambooseros in their shops. Abompe makes their 2nd frame in front of the news camera! Watch the clip here!

  • 2008 August

    - Held 6-day Bamboosero bike making training workshop in Abompe. Video here.

    - They gathered, treated & cured bamboo to ready the new group for future frame production.

    - As many locally available parts, tools & skills as possible were used. The new Bambooseros focused on learning the frame making process and training themselves to ‘eye’ things for perfection.

    - Enjoyed an exhilarating ride into the heart of this 2,000 person village parading not only a beautiful product but a newly learned skill.

  • 2008 February

    - Followup trip to continue working with entrepreneurial model.  Craig parted ways with Columbia, over a disagreement about how to implement the making of bamboo bikes in Africa.  It’s a classic Sachs/Easterly debate test case.  He visited ‘shade tree’ mechanics observing skill level, techniques used, and availability of parts. Investigation of locally available bamboo and fiber to be used for bamboo bike making.

  • 2007

    - Columbia Univ collaborated with Craig on the bamboo bike economic development effort.  Funding for a feasibility study trip was granted – destination Ghana (chosen for national language being English as well as strong bicycle culture).  Craig taught the first group to build the frames.

  • 2006

    - Craig put a short description on the Calfee Design website of his idea to proliferate bamboo bike making to solve local transportation needs and create sustainable jobs in developing countries.

  • 1995-2006

    - Modeling the bamboo frame construction after that used in his increasingly successful carbon fiber frame business, Craig worked to refine the bamboo frame making process. Dozens of frames were made for shows, employees and special projects.

  • 1995

    - Craig makes his first bamboo bike. View Article

  • 1984

    - Craig arrives in Kenya on a sailboat. On a shoestring budget, he travels across central Africa by truck to Cameroon. Along the way, he notices there is a lot of bamboo, people use bikes and joblessness is a problem.