The tour dÁfrique ride is divided into several sections. 65 of us are riding the entire time, but several people are joinging just for section(s). Some of those who join us are local riders, like the people from Zambikes, a bicycle company founded 4 years ago by two Americans. The company started by assembling steel framed bicycles for local medical workers and then transitioned to building towed carts and ambulances. This past year they began building bamboo framed bicycles, built from all local materials by local workers.
The owners of the company, Dustin and Vaughn, drove 20 of us out in the back of a large truck to the factory in the outskirts of Lusaka. When we pulled up the dirt drive, four Zambians were working on various stages of bamboo bicycle frames mounted on bike stands – sanding, wrapping, painting, and varnishing. We gathered around and received a comlete tour of the company including how the business was started, why they assemble the prodcuts that they do, and finallz how bamboo bikes are made (as told by each of the Zambian workers who works on each step of the process). It was so interesting and inspirational to see the pride in the workmanship of these beautiful crafts.
Several of us placed custom orders for bambook bike frames (they do mountain or road). If you are interested (they ship anywhere in the world), check out the Zambikes website at http://www.new.zambikes.org.