Deni, Karina and I departed for Jakarta at 7am on Wednesday 21st March after half a day packing our 3 beautiful bamboo bikes into specially made cardboard cartons to take as accompanied baggage. Quite an experience seeing them go through the airport scanners! On arrival, we loaded the bikes into the Go-Box truck we’d pre-booked and arrived at the Jakarta International Expo by 10.00am, heading directly to our well-placed 6 metre x 3 metre stand, where Deni and Karina (I ‘supervised’) immediately started assembling the bikes, followed by fixing our attractive 3.6 metre wide banner and the 2 standing banners.
22nd March 10.00am - Launch of East Bali Bamboo Bikes: Within minutes of the official opening, we had dozens of exhibitors and visitors – mostly foreign - flocking to our stand, many gazing in amazement at our prominently displayed City and Mountain bikes, picking up our EBBB flyers and asking “Are these really made from bamboo?”. It was sweet when quite a few people examined one or more of the bikes, pointing to our beautifully contoured and finished epoxy jointing of the bamboo frames, asking “and is this also bamboo?” We were of course pleased when many interested visitors asked “Can I ride one?” Luckily, we had a large open space in front of our stand and a wide area outside.
From the 22nd to 24th March, the 3 of us were continuously greeting interested visitors, offering rides and all visitors, whether cyclists or not, loved our bikes! All were also amazed by the beautiful laminated bamboo mudguards, both plain our woven bamboo, spiral bamboo bottle holders – and wowed by our unique prototype laminated bamboo smart phone holder, affixed to the handlebars. In addition to one firm order for a custom mountain bike (MTB) from an Indonesian cycling enthusiast professor, who cycles through different European countries every year, we had a wonderful Dutch man who fell in love with our bikes, visiting us 3 times in one day, and will order one for his son and asked for quotes to ship a container full of bikes to Den Haag!!
I was interviewed by a few journalists, including from Japanese online media: Jakarta Shimbun, and it was a great experience and learning curve for promoting East Bali Bamboo Bikes www.eastbalibamboobikes.com, where we are increasing our local bike building team with applications from our 2018 high school graduates, who’ll start training in July 2018.