Difference between revisions of "Worldbike"
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= a group of bicycle designers who make open source bicycle designs to build or modify an existing bike to be more suited to our brothers and sisters in Africa.
"Anyone with a welder, a cutoff saw, and access to used mountain bikes can make a low-cost utility bicycle for a family in the developing world to use as a tool for income generation. Better yet, there is an existing infrastructure for getting these bicycles to people in need. A handful of community bicycle projects such as Bikes Not Bombs and Village Bicycle Project regularly ship bicycles to Cuba, Ghana, and beyond. But they almost always ship regular bikes. Regular bikes are always appreciated, but do not have integrated carrying capacity and can't be used to transport people, agricultural produce, etc.
The Open Source Bike Project is a great chance for garage mechanics, tinkerers, engineering students, bike industry designers, and others to take part in a growing open source movement to design a bicycle for the needs of the developing world.
The impacts of the Open Source Bike project will be principally felt in identifying and solving the key design challenges in using bikes in the developing world. Through the distributed brains of the worldbike bike community, we'll be able to mobilize talent that otherwise wouldn't be able to participate in this effort.
Realistically, the total numbers of families that benefit from the Open Source Bike project will be small in relation to the size of the need. Even if every container of every Bikes Not Bombs shipment were filled with lovingly crafted Chop 'N Drop Worldbikes, we'd still be talking about thousands or tens of thousands of bicycles shipped per year, compared with tens of millions of bicycles sold through the standard commercial channels in the developing world, and over a billion people in need of dependable, affordable transportation. Clearly, a shift in the industry at large is needed, and the Open Source Bike project will be the catalyst for that transition.
We spearhead this project at our headquarters in the Bay Area, California. But this project extends through the ether of the internet to the minds of passionate bicyclists around the world. Chop 'N Drop Worldbikes might be created in South Dakota, San Francisco, England, Thailand, or anywhere else the internet reaches. These bikes will get to the developing world either through shipments of community bicycle programs, or as the luggage of a bicycle tourist (who leave her bicycle with a friendly family, thus making a direct donation)." (http://www.worldbike.org/projects/open-source-bike)