Bamboo grows like crazy all over the south. Some call it invasive. It makes some people see red. But it has the ingenious teams at MakeLab* and HERObike seeing green. Green as in fresh new jobs. As in a renewable resource. As in dollars flowing back into the local economy of a rural Alabama town.
We define ingenuity as the clever, original, and practical use of existing resources. That’s why we were so inspired when Lance Rake, professor of Industrial Design at the University of Kansas, transformed the much-maligned weed into HexTube technology—a breakthrough in material design that allows bamboo bike frames to be lighter, stronger, standardized, and easily assembled for the first time.
Thanks to their successful Kickstarter campaign, the HexTube will make its commercial debut in February 2014 with release of The Semester Commuter and Semester CityBike.
It’s all part of HERObike’s ingenious plan to build more than a cool bike. They’re building new jobs and brighter futures for—and with—the people of Greensboro, Alabama. And we’re not the only ones who are high on HERO’s bamboo bikes:
- FastCo CoDesign
- FastCo CoExist
- Bike Design
- Design Indaba
If this story makes you feel good, pass it on—and don’t Bogart.
*full disclosure, Future is a proud member of MakeLab.
“smokin” © 2013 CC BY-NC-SA Blair Stapp