Sunday, September 25, 2011

Bamboo bicycles at Davis Barber Shop

Davis has had a long association with bicycling. Rumor has it there are more bicycles per capita than anywhere else in the country. The fact that the terrain is as flat as can be makes bicycling a popular mode of transportation, especially on the campus of the University of California Davis where parking is hard to find (and expensive).

In 2005, Davis was the first city in the country to receive Platinum Level recognition from the League of American Bicyclists, and in 2010 Davis became home to the United States Bicycling Hall of Fame.

Walking around town today with friends from San Francisco, we came across two very funky looking bamboo bicycles. One even was a tandem! The owner of Davis Barber Shop, a well-known local institution, has quite a collection of these bikes and they can be seen in various places around town. What I didn’t know that they apparently are still in use (see the last photo).

I have no idea what species of bamboo they’re made from, but since the bamboo comes from Tahiti, it’s definitely one of the large tropical clumpers like Bambusa or Dendrocalamus.

Very quirky, and very cool, especially to a bamboo geek such as myself.

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4 comments:

  1. What quirky bicycles! Even if you don't use them as such they would make cool garden accessories :)

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  2. Not to be a spoil-sport, but those aren't really "bamboo bikes". They're "bamboo decorated bikes" -- they appear to be a metal frame covered with bamboo.

    There are people creating bike frames from the bamboo itself.

    Still, these are pretty interesting in a Gilligan's island type of way.

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  3. Lol. I was just thinking they looked like Gilligan's island bikes!

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  4. Even though these are just bamboo-clad metal bicycles, I think they look far more whimsical and interesting than the ones actually made out of bamboo--those look too perfect for me, probably because they are made with the highest levels of craftsmanship. Personally, I prefer something more "cobbled together."

    I think these would make great decorative pieces for a bamboo grove. Lean one against a 4" culm in the middle of the grove and you've got an instant conversation piece!

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