In June of 2011, a team of four young cyclists will ride across America on hand-built bamboo bikes to share the story of the Alabamboo initiative.
Alabamboo is a growing movement to bring sustainable bamboo production to Alabama. A collaborative effort by a number of participants (non-profit organizations and business in Alabama and beyond), the Alabamboo initiative aims to strengthen the economic and social fabric of the rural south by introducing a sustainable agricultural product that will lead to more jobs, more localized production, and cleaner air.
We will converge in Greensboro, Alabama and build bicycles from Alabama-grown bamboo. We will then pedal west for two months, stopping at various locations to share the story of Alabamboo, sustainability, and alternative transportation.
The United States is the largest importer of bamboo in the world, with no domestic, commercially available supply of its own. Our goal is that Alabamboo will one day represent the largest domestically available resource. Bamboo is a valuable and sustainable alternative for many products including textiles, wood floors, furniture, and paper products. It is also one the most efficient carbon-sequestering plants in the world. There are many misconceptions about bamboo and the truths make it more of a miracle plant than a nuisance. There is already a growing movement taking place in Alabama and we want to be a part of sharing the story.
The Impact of Alabamboo
An effort is underway to build a workshop in Greensboro, Alabama that will be the future home for building bamboo bicycles. This facility will create jobs and empower local residents with access to affordable and sustainable transportation options. The bamboo bike facility and cross-country bike ride is a small part of what Alabamboo is aiming to accomplish. HERO is working with Marsha Folsom, wife of former Alabama Governor Jim Folsom, to develop this ride as one part of a much larger bamboo initiative. Marsha is helping lead a movement to have bamboo grown as a sustainable agricultural crop in Alabama in partnership with Washington-based Booshoot Gardens. BooShoot has developed technology to produce bamboo tissue culture for propagating bamboo rapidly at a large scale—and Alabama is ripe for growing it. We branded the initiative “Alabamboo” as the first step to making Alabama mean bamboo the way Florida means oranges, Idaho means potatoes and Maine means lobsters.
About the Team
We are cyclists who believe in the power of action to inspire others and share a story. We are adventurers who believe in the power of exploring to widen our horizons. We are young, curious people who believe in the power of conversation to spark a dialogue about the ways in which a simple plant can lead to positive change for our country. Read more about us here.