Bamboo Harvest

Posted: 9th June 2010 by Nigel in Bamboo Bike, Working with Bamboo

Today was an exciting day; I harvested the bamboo to use for my bike. I had been searching around for some appropriate timbre bamboo, and I really didn’t find anything. All commercially available bamboo was from Asia, even though it grows like a week here. Fortunately I found someone on craigslist who was “thinning out his grove” and was selling some bamboo. No pictures, no prices, lots of capital letters.

It took a few emails before he responded, and then I went over there to see what he had. The ad said “grove” so I was expecting a large forest type area on a large piece of property around the back of the house with bamboo. What I found was quite different. It was a tiny property in a fairly dense residential neighbourhood about half way between my house and downtown Vancouver. The whole house was hidden behind hundreds of large bamboo shoots, which had expanded to both sides of the sidewalk. The proprietor, Jack, was a quirky fellow who answered the door with pot smoke billowing out around him. Long (did I mention long?) story short, I cut down a piece of my choosing for $15.

I pulled out my trusty calipers to ensure I got a piece which was the perfect diameter. It was also important for it to be straight, with very few branches for the first 30+ feet so that I could make the whole bike from a single shoot.Then I cut it down with a hacksaw and very carefully drove home. Fortunately I only live a few kilometres away.

As a side note, this is what a new bamboo shoot looks like.