As with many great projects, the concept of Bamboobee began with a dream. In this case, that dream was realised by our founder, Sunny Chuah, during his own ‘Circle of Life’ adventure by bike.
Read on to learn about how his adventure began – and how it inspired him to create Bamboobee as we know and love it today.
The First Journey
The story begins in 2009 when Sunny set off on a 12,000-kilometre solo journey. His route took him through fourteen countries in eight weeks and followed the ancient Silk Road, passing through Pakistan, Iran, and Turkey.
But when this route was complete, he wasn’t quite done! His return journey to Singapore via train and bus took him through another nine countries over four weeks.
As you can imagine, this leads him to meet incredible people, take in the sights of the world and explore countless new things – all of which provided him with endless inspiration.
The Second Journey
It was the inspiration of Sunny’s first journey that led to his second.
This time, he swapped the motorcycle for a bamboo bicycle he’d crafted himself. This was the first Bamboobee bike out of the many the brand has produced since.
This journey was the ‘Circle of Life Expedition’, and took Sunny 6,103 kilometres around Central Asia by bike. Throughout the journey, Sunny travelled through Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, China, Thailand, Malaysia and of course, Singapore.
Just as he did on the first journey, Sunny got to meet people from many different backgrounds and cultures and got to see sights that many have only dreamed of travelling to see.
By using a bamboo bicycle during this journey, he also got to learn more about the design principles and technical side of bamboo, as well as a lot about cycling itself – for example, the comfort of the rider on long journeys.
After experiencing the power of bamboo and arriving home with a new outlook on life, Sunny set out to set up a bamboo bicycle studio – providing others with bikes just like the one he’d made for himself prior to his incredible journey.
Setting up the Bamboobee Bike Studio
In 2011, Sunny started creating his first collection of Bamboobee bikes, designed to bring together cyclists, people, and nature.
Later, in 2013, Sunny launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise the money to properly kick off the Bamboobee brand.
“I knew that Bamboobee was going to be my life mission after my experiences on the Circle of life journey. From the highest snow-covered mountain passes of Central Asia to the scorching deserts of China, my first self-crafted bamboo bicycle carried me through the toughest terrains in the world for 3,792 miles (6,103km),” he wrote in the page’s description, giving potential buyers not only an insight into the inspiration behind the bikes but also what they were capable of doing. Any bike that can withstand such a trip is impressive – but even more so when it’s made from an unconventional material!
It was then that members of the public started to take a real interest in Bamboobee and invest in the products they believed in. The exciting concept and inspiring personal story behind the brand encouraged backers to pledge over $63,000 – enough for more Bamboobee bikes to go into production and ship to buyers all over the world. These included the Bamboobee Revolution and the Bamboobee Sunny – previous models from the original line.
This was the beginning of the Bamboobee you can see and purchase from today.
Six Years Later
Six years on in 2017, Bamboobee is now a thriving business with a wide variety of bike kits, bikes and bike accessories available to purchase right here, right now at Bamboobee.net.
There have also been more Kickstarter campaigns to help fund Bamboobee’s evolution, all of which have led to the introduction of new products and ideas such as the Bamboobee Bamboo Bike Frame Kit, the Mandy Fender and more.
The most recent campaign was in 2016 and was set up to raise funds for the Build It Yourself 2 Bike Kit – a new and improved version of the original BIY kit. The goal of this model was to create the most versatile bike kit that would allow any bike to be built within five hours.
The bike kits have been a great addition to Bamboobee’s initial release of pre-built bicycles and have proven to be popular with customers looking to create a bike that’s truly their own.
Based on Bamboobee’s previous success and growth, it’s no surprise that the campaign met – and exceeded – its goal of $18,000, raising a total of $23,943 from 81 backers.
What’s next for Bamboobee?
If this is how far Bamboobee has come already, we’re excited to see what happens over the years to come! To think all of this started with one journey is incredible.
We hope that Sunny’s Circle of Life adventure and the bamboo bike studio project it inspired will provide you with some inspiration of your own. Whether you choose to take your own journey of a lifetime or simply get more active on your bike, we’re sure you’ll find a sense of enrichment in cycling.
If you don’t have a bike yet, what are you waiting for? Start your own adventure today by browsing our range and choosing your ideal model!