(Photos © J. Maus)
Bamboosero means “one who works with Bamboo” in Spanish; but for a growing number of entrepreneurs in places like Ghana, Zambia, Uganda and the Phillipines, it means much more than that.
Bamboosero is the brain-child of famed bike builder Craig Calfee of Calfee Design. The goal is to create a global network of builders trained in the craft of melding bamboo tubes to hemp-fiber lugs. Bamboosero not only teaches the framebuilding how-to, but also equips the budding builders with the business tools to ready their creations for the export market (or someday, even for the local market).
Sales manager Aaron Kaufman says they don’t see themselves as just another bike company. “We’re establishing independent businesses… this is more about economic development.”
We’ve all heard the saying, “Give a man a fish, he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish, he feeds his family for a lifetime.” Kaufman says, “Substitute bicycles for fish and you get the idea behind Bamboosero.”
At Bamboosero.com, interested customers can shop online, choosing from one of four stock models. Frames run about $695 and a city bike is sold for just $1,295 — not a bad price for a handmade bike, especially for one that gives you not just a great ride, but direct involvement in the power of bicycles to change lives.