We continue building our bamboo bikes in our ‘temporary‘ Tianyar workshop as the Mount Agung volcano keeps us concerned, with higher levels of activity in the past few days, including small eruption on 29th May, with gas and ash columns rising 500 metres above the crater.
Please see our many exciting developments of the last 3 months and some great opportunities going forward, below.
Promoting our bamboo bikes in Jakarta
INABIKE 2018, 22-24 March: As outlined in our last report, Deni Nugraha (bamboo bike designer), Karina (EBPP health team leader and a competitive cyclist) and I took two MTB’s (m & f) and a City bike (we took free of charge on our Garuda flight!), all with beautiful laminated bamboo mudguards to the INABIKE Jakarta International Bike Exhibition, generating a lot of interest, many complements from the international visitors and - one order for a custom MTB frame! The buyer, an Indonesian professor and cycling enthusiast from Bandung, detailed the modifications he needed and shortly after taking delivery sent some great photos of his first tour in the northern Bandung mountains, with the great complement “Nice handling, good product”.
IVCA 2018: This was conveniently held in Sanur, where we exhibited 3 MTB’s, 2 City bikes and our newly designed bamboo tandem bike,attracting hundreds ofIndonesian and foreign visitors, many taking the bikes for a spin and quite a few making appointments to meet us to place orders.
EBBB Bamboo Workshop updates
Bamboo bike sales: In the last 3 months, we’ve sold 21bamboo bikes, 18 for a local cycling eco tour company and 2 beautiful black bamboo custom bikes, complete with hand-made black bamboo baskets and laminated bamboo bottle holders for an American friend, Linda, now on their way to her in a shipping container. On seeing the photos of the completed bikes, a delighted Linda exclaimed: “The bikes look beautiful! Can’t wait to take them for a spin!” She’ll promote our bikes in California and is optimistic that we’ll be getting many more orders. Fingers crossed!
Our most exciting sale though was to an Indonesia Parliament member, who represents Bali in the Jakarta parliament, whilst hosting an event on 28th April in Tianyar Timur (home of our present bamboo bike workshop), where local small businesses were displaying and promoting their hand-made products. Made Kari, our senior bike builder, came forward with one of our bamboo mountain bikes which he instantly loved and decided to buy – to promote in Jakarta! “This is a very beautiful and unique local product. I really appreciate the creativity of the local group who makes these bamboo bikes. I will display this bike at my house in Jakarta, so that more people know about this product and I am sure they will be interested too” he complemented.
Regional government officials visit to East Bali Bamboo Bikes workshop: On the 9th of April,Komang Kurniawan, Deni and our team proudly hosted a group of senior officials from various Karangasem Regency departments of planning agency, industrial department, co-operatives department, etc.,who were so impressed with our high quality bikes, hand-made by local craftsmen with locally sourced bamboo, that they are ready to offer support to our social enterprises by giving soft loan AND branding the bamboo bike as a‘Karangasem Regency icon’! We’ll follow up and keep you all updated!
New compressor and pneumatic tools: Thanks to the generous donation of our Jakarta supporter, Mr Ramli, we purchased a high capacity compressor and a wide range of pneumatic tools on 21st May that are enabling our team to gradually reduce the time to build each bike frame which will enable us to increase our output.
Unique bamboo bike tours: Our region in East Bali,covered with up to 40 metres volcanic ash, has no rivers, irrigation streams, rice fields or tourism industries and is a complete contrast to the typical images of Bali promoted internationally. With different flora, prevalent in our soil type and hotter climate, traditional home industries including palm sugar production and salt farming, coral reef restoration, etc., we hope to launch these unique tours by late June. However, we needfunds to build more bikes for the tours, which should pay for themselves quite soon after, – and need your support! As a new social enterprise created to provide sustainable bamboo-based livelihoods for local youth,we can succeed: but do need your help to get started.
We have come so far to this stage but still urgently need seed funds to develop our social enterprise, employ more local youth and support more local bamboo farmers who we buyour carefully selected bamboo poles from.