Bamboo Bicycle Voyages

There’s been a lot of buzz in the last few years about bamboo. The possibilities for the plant as a sustainable resource seem endless, with products ranging from flooring to cloth to biofuels. A bamboo grove creates five times the bio-material of a pine forest, intakes massive amounts of carbon and is easily renewable – it doesn’t even need to be re-sewn after harvesting.

For all these reasons and more, bamboo usage in products has been growing rapidly in recent years. Currently, the United States is the largest importer of bamboo in the world but there’s a growing movement in the rural south that’s looking to change that. The Alabamboo project’s goal is to bring bamboo production to Alabama, making bamboo to that state what oranges are to Florida, or potatoes are to Idaho.

So what does this have to do with Oregon, a state about as far away from Alabama as you can get? In late May, four young cyclists departed from Portland, arriving in Greensboro, Alabama, where they built their own bicycles out of Alabama-grown bamboo at the Bamboo Bike Studio ( Since then, they’ve been pedaling their way Westward across the country, spreading the gospel of bamboo.

Find out more at You can donate to the cause, find out where they are and see tons of pictures that will make you daydream about building a bamboo bike and embarking on your own country-wide adventure.

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