There's a sense of energy and industry. And of fun. Woodwork class was never like this.
Bamboo is one of the most interesting trends to emerge in bike construction. Names like Californian manufacturer Calfee Design or Yorkshire's Bamboo Bikes have revived a construction method pioneered as early as 1894. The problem for most cyclists is the price. A Calfee frame retails for $2,995 (£1,868) or $5,852 (£3,650) ready to ride. The entry-level Bamboo Bikes frame will set you back £1,199. Factor in £550 more to make it road-ready.
Cost and the design challenge led engineers James Marr and Ian McMillan to spend years cooped up in a shed in Brecon, Wales. Their idea was to establish a boutique bamboo bike manufacturer. Only after they had refined two years' research into a marketable product - James now tosses out phrases like "close-noded thick-wall tubes" while talking about bamboo - did they realise they were on the wrong track. "We realised we didn't want just to sell frames. We wanted to share the joy of making something; the craft of creating something unique and sustainable," James explains.
So, Bamboo Bike Club was born - more community than company since it launched in September, and still a project between full-time jobs. The £389 price of their monthly course buys you a computer-designed custom frame (road or mountain bike) plus a fun weekend of bike-building.