Editor’s Note: In a short time, Beijing Bamboo Bicycles (BBB) has become a fixture of the Beijing bike scene. The studio makes helps volunteers make their own environmentally friendly bikes in a workshop space in Beijing. The workshop does not profit off the bikes—all is done for the sake of the community and the environment. This translated article includes a photo essay which captures the spirit of the BBB workshop.
In 2014, a young foreign man named David Wang quit his job and rented out two rooms in Langjia hutong in Beijing. He set up the Beijing Bamboo Bike (BBB) studio and started offering workshops on the weekends to teach others how to create their own bamboo bikes. Pictured: David Wang (far right) and two members of the BBB workshop studio Xiao Luo (Mowgli) and Claudio Rebuzzi.
David graduated from university in the United States with a degree in anthropology in 2010. He came to China to study different forms of youth subculture. David found that there were a lot of abandoned bicycles in his neighborhood in Beijing. He got permission to take some of them home and replace some of the broken parts so they could be ridden again. In 2013, David spend six months producing the first bamboo bike: the entire main frame of the bike is made of bamboo. The rest of the parts are lightweight and strong. Pictured: David, Claudio and other members of the studio discuss a newly designed frame during their lunch break.
David often used the BBB studio as a space to study China’s youth culture and communities. IN 2015, BBB opened a six-week free summer volunteer training program for high school and university students from different countries. The students learned how to make their own bamboo bicycles and did their own anthological research in the surrounding community. Students in the course researched what products and services they could create to improve the community. Pictured: Volunteers assemble their own bamboo bicycles next to encouraging slogans painting on the workshop wall.
David said, “BBB is not a business, their only value is what you put into them.” When a reporter asked him if he could buy a bamboo bike, David smiled and said, “I recommend that you try to make one.” Pictured: David saws bamboo to create a bike frame.
Claudio polishes the frame of a bamboo bike, attracting a curious gaze from a passing local resident.
David Wang polishes the frame of a bamboo bicycle. A little bit of polish is enough to make the bamboo bike look good.
David Wang and members of the studio discuss creating special collaborative bamboo bicycle courses in international schools.
Xiao Luo and a volunteer brainstorm an article to post on BBB’s public WeChat page.
Volunteers from the United States participate in BBB’s summer training program. Student Li Xinxi carries her bamboo bike to test out in the nearby alley.
David Wang rides with the American volunteers from the summer training program on their bamboo bicycles.
BBB has completed more than 64 workshops and has presented in Shanghai, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Laos, Japan, and the United States. More than 400 people have attended a BBB workshop, and 300 made their own bamboo bicycle. The walls of the studio are plastered with photos of people who have made their own bamboo bicycles at the studio. David hopes that the business will continue to grow as they cooperate with more schools and businesses in the future.
Source: QQ News
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Keywords: Beijing Bicycles Beijing Bamboo Bicycles
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