Eco-friendly Bamboo Bikes at the Heart of Old Manila

One afternoon while strolling in the cobbled streets of Intramuros, Manila we came across a bamboo bike shop called Bambike. Having initially read about it in social media, I was curious about the shop, so we opted to have a look. 
 
In old Manila Intramuros, you'll find bambike - a bamboo bike shop selling bikes of different shapes and sizes.
Bringing grass to the streets

I never knew one can ride on grass (as bamboo is a grass, in fact)! And these neat bamboo bikes are locally made. 

Christine, one of the shopkeepers, was kind enough to tell us more about these awesome looking bikes. She poured us coffee and introduced us to the shop which was opened just recently in April 2014.

The tricycle bamboo bike.
A single bamboo bike.
You may also test drive one of these mountain bikes here.
Bamboo bikes for tourist use.

The beach cruiser bamboo bike. With a wider seat base, makes for a leisurely biking experience.

 We learned the following about Bambike:
  • Bambike was owned and created by a Fil-Am Bryan Mclelland. Initially he manufactured, sold and repaired bikes from his garage. Then they explored online selling, until they set up shop here in Intramuros.
  • Bambikes are manufactured by a number of Gawad Kalinga (GK) villagers in Tarlac. It is one of the social entrep projects there.
  • Bambikes are built to be durable. Bamboos are known to have a natural shock. 
  • They also utilize the best bamboos for each bike. Each unit is handcrafted by their artisans who have been trained by Mclelland to maintain high quality. 

The shop interior with touches of Filipiniana and eco-friendliness.

They also serve refreshments here like the Bayani brew iced teas and Kapeng Barako brewed coffee.

In our country, there is a growing bicycle culture. I personally am a big fan of it especially that biking is not only good for one's health but it is good for the environment. I am grateful that our city infrastructure has already provided for bike lanes and paths. These are really useful. 

The bikes sold at Bambikes may be on the higher end, however. If you are someone who supports eco-sustainable projects, then it won't hurt your pocket to splurge on one of these durable bikes. I'm also keen on supporting an eco-friendly and social entrep initiative that benefit the poor.


Touring Old Manila in style

They also offer tours around Intramuros while using their bambikes. Since starting in April, they already accommodated a number of tourists all over the world (they let the tourist pin their native countries in a huge map in the shop). As what I can glean from the map, tourists of different nationalities have already been served.  


Wooden hats as headgear during the tour.



Bambike Ecotours Intramuros. A guided bamboo bike tour around the walled city.


A pamphlet of their tour rates.
Personally, I think touring Intramuros through biking is a wonderful alternative to the calesa (horse-drawn carriage). We recently talked to a Polish couple who abhorred the idea of riding on a calesa as it promoted animal cruelty. Having other means to look around the walled city, other than walking about, is a welcome change. 

Short-list a bambike trip around Intramuros walled city in your bucket list now! I sure will try this the next time around.

Look who we met here - well-awarded journalist Howie Severino with his own bambike.

Thanks Christine for showing us around!
Visit the Bambike shop at Plaza San Luis Complex, Real St. cor Gen. Luna Street, Intramuros, Manila (beside Barbara's Restaurant and Catering). You may visit their website here as well. 

Let's continue to love our health, our country and our environment!


Love always, 

Jacq

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