Elden Clark (notice the bottle-capped screw heads).
(Photos © J. Maus unless otherwise noted)
North Portland resident Elden Clark hopes to turn his love for building bamboo bicycle trailers into a business.
I first spotted Clark’s work on a flyer he’d posted outside of a bike shop. Then yesterday, as I rode home through the Boise-Eliot neighborhood, I saw a bamboo trailer and stopped to check it out. No one was around, so I rang my bike bell and sure enough, out walked the man from the flyer.
Elden was loading up his trailer with a load of laundry (he said it could carry over 400 pounds) and I took a few minutes to learn more about his work.
Elden builds custom bike trailers out of bamboo stalks and bamboo flooring. He said he starting making them several years ago and hopes to some day give up his day job as a window washer and build trailers full-time.
He had some push-button quick-release wheels attached to this bamboo encased axle.
His custom attachment system.
He proudly showed me a few of his creations. The trailer he built for himself he calls the “step-ladder” model. It has ample room for cargo and then it swivels up and extends like a step-ladder — giving him a bit more height for reaching those high windows.
(Photo courtesy Elden Clark)
He has also made “landcaper” and “bottle collector” models and he talked excitedly about plans for an amphibious version. “It would be made out of cork and hollow-core bamboo and would be bike powered with paddles.”
Right now, Elden says he buys his bamboo from a local distributor but someday he hopes to grow it himself. He invited me back to his shop to see some of his tools and learn more about how he builds these awesome trailers.
If you’d like to contact Elden and have him build you a trailer, send an email to blockandtackle [at] gmail [dot] com.
Stay tuned for more from Elden and in the meantime, you can look for him washing windows at businesses in the Alberta and Mississippi Street areas.