Research Project

An analysis of feasibility of growing a sufficient amount of bamboo for a bicycle frame in Calgary based on recorded weather of 2009

Authors: Jason Gimeno Mila Gorobets Xiaozhen Huang Richard Magbojos

For: COMS 363 – L21 Paul Kennett June 23, 2010

ABSTRACT Bamboo is a readily available, renewable material with strength comparable to that of steel. Different bamboo species can be grown in very different environments with complex sets of conditions. In the recent years, bamboo bicycle frames have become more popular. Building such a frame requires cured bamboo poles of certain diameter and length. This study was based on Calgary with an individual in mind. The analysis of the climate data showed that about 3 growing months were available during the summer, with greatest precipitation, highest average temperatures and least number of days with frost. Based on the climate data, the research focused on the Arundinaria amabilis and Phyllostachis nigra species. We analyzed the costs associated with growing the bamboo outdoors and indoors, as well as simply buying it. All three ways of acquiring bamboo differ in costs, but can be made roughly the same with certain cutbacks, such as not using a greenhouse outside. This study concluded that obtaining bamboo for a bicycle frame in Calgary is entirely possible and the financial impact does not necessarily have to be significant to the owner. The choice of method of acquiring bamboo and curing it is entirely up to the builder.

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Growing Bamboo for a Bicycle Frame in Calgary Research Project

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Introduction ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 1 Methods ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 3 Bamboo: Basic information ……………………………………………………………………………………………. 3 Bamboo: Species ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 3 Bamboo: Height-diameter relationships …………………………………………………………………………. 3 Bamboo: Required conditions ………………………………………………………………………………………… 3 Materials: Bamboo poles ………………………………………………………………………………………………... 4 Materials: Curing …………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 4 Climate: Temperature data …………………………………………………………………………………………….. 4 Climate: Precipitation data …………………………………………………………………………………………….. 4 Climate: Bright sunshine hours .……………………………………………………………………………………… 5 Climate: Number of days with freezing …………………………………………………………………………… 5 Climate: Wind speed data ………………………………………………………………………………………………. 5 Cost ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 5 Results ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 6 Bamboo ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 6 Bamboo: Species …………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 7 Bamboo: Height-diameter relationships …………………………………………………………………………. 7 Bamboo: Required conditions ………………………………………………………………………………………... 8 Materials: Bamboo poles ……………………………………………………………………………………………….. 8 Materials: Curing …………………………………………………………………………………………………………... 8 Climate …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 9 Climate: Temperature data …………………………………………………………………………………………..... 9 Climate: Precipitation data …………………………………………………………………………………………… 10 Climate: Bright sunshine hours …………………………………………………………………………………….. 10 Climate: Soil ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 11 Climate: Sunlight …………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 11 Climate: Wind ……………….…………………………………………………………………………………………….. 12 Cost …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 12 Cost: Importing …………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 12 Cost: Planting outdoors ….……………………………………………………………………………………………. 13 Cost: Planting indoors …………………………………………………………………………………………………. 14 Conclusion ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 15 Recommendations ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 16 References ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 17 Appendix A: Temperature Data ..……………………………………………………………………………………………… 18

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Growing Bamboo for a Bicycle Frame in Calgary Research Project

LIST OF TABLES AND FIGURES

Figure 1: Bamboo types …………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 6 Figure 2: Phyllostachys nigra - Black bamboo ………………………………………………………………………….. 7 Figure 3: Arundinaria amabilis - Tonkin cane …………………………………………………………………………… 7 Table 1: Temperature data for Calgary for the year 2009 ………………………………………………………… 10 Table 2: Weather patterns data for Calgary …………………………………………………………………………….. 11 Table 3: Costs for Importing Black and Tonkin Bamboo in Canada …………………………………………… 12 Table 4: Costs for growing Black and Tonkin bamboo in Calgary ……………………………………………… 13

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INTRODUCTION Bamboo is an environmentally friendly, completely renewable resource, removal of which does not cause soil erosion. It grows year round in warm climates, but can be grown during the warmer seasons in countries that experience cold temperatures during the winter. Recently, there has been an increase in the interest with regards to bamboo products. One of such products is a bamboo bicycle frame. Bamboo is capable of fulfilling the strength requirements for the frame and is much lighter than the common alternatives. Naturally, a question arises – how easy is it to grow bamboo by an individual in order to construct a working frame? This research focused on answering exactly that with regards to the financial part of the question and was based on various types of data for Calgary, Alberta, Canada. We have looked at the climate records for Calgary and discovered that a reliable growing season can last about three months during the year. During those months, precipitation and number of bright sunshine hours are also the greatest (this would minimize the cost of watering the plant artificially). We then used the temperature data collected to pinpoint the species of bamboo that can be easily grown in Calgary during the three summer months. A great variety of possible species was found, each with unique characteristics, but this research group decided to focus on two Arundinaria amabilis (Tonkin bamboo) and Phyllostachis nigra (Black bamboo). Both species are capable of withstanding slightly negative temperatures and grow to the dimensions required by the bicycle frame. Curing bamboo for such application requires heat for maximum strength, but the negative environmental impact of the treatment is minimal. Two other approaches to curing were discovered – wet and dry, both require very little amounts of materials and the cost for those is quite low. We took a look at the expenses regarding growing bamboo (both indoors and outdoors) in Calgary and purchasing bamboo poles. The outcome of this comparison was that it essentially comes down to the bicycle frame enthusiast to decide – the cost for both methods can potentially be the same, but depends on the species chosen and the amount ordered. The expenses with regards to growing outdoors and indoors were different. A lot of the approximated cost, however, for growing bamboo outdoors came from the price of the greenhouse and the humidifier, both of which can be eliminated if needed.

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Analysis was performed of the data found and several conclusions were drawn regarding obtaining bamboo – there was no significant cost difference between the three methods. However, this is further described within the body of this paper. The curing methods were analyzed, but overall we concluded that the process should not pose any problem. The main goal of this research was to analyze the feasibility of an individual growing bamboo in Calgary. This paper presents an analysis of the weather patterns, costs, necessary bamboo care and alternatives to growing bamboo.

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METHODS Bamboo

Basic information Information regarding the family bamboo belongs to was acquired from Wikipedia (2010). The general information on types of bamboo was obtained from Little Acre Farm (2004).

Species The choice of species was partially based on known climate patterns in Calgary and partially on what has been recommended by blogs (such as Building a Bamboo Bike (2010)) or online guides (such as Ayasbek (2010)). We analyzed the weather data gathered (the methods for this are described in the Climate subsection) and chose species that fit the requirements the best. The requirements were that the species had to grow quickly, be able to reach desired height and diameter and not get damaged if the temperatures dipped slightly below freezing mark.

Height-diameter relationships To obtain the maximum height and diameter of the two bamboo species that we decided to focus on, information on Bamboo Sourcery (2010) and Bamboo Garden (2007) was utilized for Arundinaria amabilis (Tonkin bamboo) and Phyllostachis nigra (Black bamboo) respectively.

Required conditions Online resources were contacted for information on how to care for both species of bamboo. For the Arundinaria amabilis (Tonkin bamboo/cane), we used the planting tips on Dave’s Garden (2010). For the Phyllostachis nigra (Black bamboo), information on Bamboo Garden (2007) was used. More general care information, such as soil pH or watering, was acquired from Beaulieu (n.d.) and Bamboo World (2010).

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Materials

Bamboo poles In the recent years, there has been increased interest in constructing bicycle frames out of bamboo. Because of that, several sources have become available online that describe the process in detail. To obtain information on the size of poles required for a bamboo frame, we contacted Building a Bamboo Bike (2010) and Bike Bamboo (2010) for recommendations.

Curing We started the hunt for information on how to cure bamboo at T&T Supermarket. We felt that this was an appropriate place to start since they had a sub-store that specialized in herbs and teas, but also sold cured bamboo. From speaking and questioning the shop owner, we learned that there are two common ways to cure bamboo. After deciding that the information and details acquired from the shop owner at the T&T Asian Supermarket was incomplete, we gained some additional information online (from sources such as Wendt (n.d.) and Building a Bamboo Bike (2010)).

Climate

Temperature data Temperature data for 2009 was obtained from The Weather Network (2010). The data from every day of 2009 was acquired separately. Daily highs and lows were then added to a series of spreadsheets sorted by the month. All of the daily highs were then added and divided by the number of days in a month to obtain an average; same was done for the daily lows. For every month, maximum and minimum temperatures were found. The values are presented in Table 1.

Precipitation data We acquired the 2009 precipitation data for Calgary from Environment Canada (2010). An inquiry was made into the database for every month of the year, the value corresponding to Calgary and column titled “P” was read and recorded in a table. This gave us the values of total precipitation for separate months of 2009. 4

Bright sunshine hours The values of bright sunshine hours were obtained from Environment Canada (2010). This was done by simply reading the row corresponding to the data required and recording values for every month of the year. This data was a collection of averages from a 29-year range (from 1971 to 2000). This provided us with information that was not available from other climate data sources.

Number of days with freezing Since temperatures in the negatives are capable of quite easily killing bamboo plants, the statistics for number of days with temperatures below 0 oC were acquired. The Environment Canada (2010) website was used to obtain such data. The values were read from the corresponding row in a table for every month of the year and recorded in a table for further comparison. The data was a collection of averages from a 29-year range (from 1971 to 2000) and was used as a substitute for the data that we couldn’t acquire elsewhere.

Wind speed data Wind can damage bamboo by uprooting it, thus we decided to take a look at the average wind speed for every month of the year in Calgary. Data was gathered by consulting the tables on the Environment Canada (2010) website. The values were read, recorded and are presented in Table [NUMBER]. The data was a collection of wind speed data for a 29-year range (from 1971 to 2000) and was used as a substitute for the 2009 data that was not available.

Cost Several possible ways of obtaining bamboo were explored, each of which varied slightly depending on the species of bamboo being used. The types of bamboo will depend on the desired strength for the bicycle, and also other characteristics such as growing conditions and growing time. However, research concentrated on two types of bamboo: Arundinaria amabilis (Tonkin bamboo) and Phyllostachis nigra (Black bamboo). Reasons for using these specific types of bamboo were mainly based on strength and durability. Articles regarding these types of bamboo gave insight into the conditions required for growth. The growing of Tonkin and Black bamboo was categorized into two 5

possibilities: cultivation indoors or outdoors. Each method was analyzed by considering the type of equipment needed to satisfy the conditions required by the bamboo in order to grow. The approximate costs of the overall methods were then calculated. These figures were then compared to the amount of money required to simply import the desired types of bamboo. The cost of importing Tonkin and Black bamboo was found by exploring online sources which represented distributors in North America, such as Bamboo World (2010) or Lewis Bamboo (n.d.). Finally, all methods are compared in order to arrive at the one that would most likely be preferred by the average Calgarian.

RESULTS

Bamboo Bamboos constitute a group of woody perennial evergreen plants in the true grass family Poaceae (Wikipedia, 2010). There are many types of bamboo available, each with varying properties, such as the growth rate, the height to radius relationship, and the ability to grow in different climates. When building or designing a bicycle, strength and durability have to be taken into account, resulting in one type of bamboo being a more attractive choice than the others. Bamboo can be separated into two main types: the clumping (non-spreading) bamboo and the running bamboo. (Little Acre Farm, 2004) The rhizomes of running bamboo always grow underground at a relatively small depth and can spread to heavily cover nearby areas of land. These rhizomes also can further expand their underground space from the standing culms. Running bamboo is usually used to produce people’s hedges or screens, although how aggressive their growth is would be dependent upon the specific species. Many approaches can
FIGURE 1 Bamboo types (Little Acre Farm, 2004)

be used to make sure that their growth focuses on a certain area. While people expect to build

a hedge, they should divert the rhizomes of these running bamboos so they grow along in the 6

direction to produce such hedge. The rhizomes of clumping bamboo always run similar to inverted umbrellas and generate new shoots every year. As clumping bamboos mature, the circumference grows slightly bigger annually. (Little Acre Farm, 2004)

Species We decided to choose clumping bamboo as the target type because it does not present a risk of spreading uncontrollably. The type of clumping bamboo would be hardy, but would grow quickly in Calgary. Certain clumping bamboo species, such as Black bamboo (Phyllostachys nigra) or the Tonkin cane (Arundinaria amabilis) only get affected by cold for temperatures lower than -12 oC (Bamboo Sourcery, 2010) and thus appear to be a safe choice for growing in Calgary. We chose to base our research around these two species.

FIGURE 2

Phyllostachys nigra - Black bamboo (Noah Bell, 2007)

FIGURE 3

Arundinaria amabilis - Tonkin cane (FYFURNITURE, 2008)

Height-diameter relationships Arundinaria amabilis grows to be 50 feet (15.2 meters) with a radius of about 2 ½” at such height (Bamboo Sourcery, 2010). The Phyllostachys nigra grows to about 35 feet (10.7 meters) with a maximum radius of 2 ¼” (Bamboo Garden, 2007). The growth rate for both species largely depends on the nutrients, water, light, and temperature (MrBamboo, 2010).

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Required conditions Just like any other plant, bamboo will thrive in specific conditions. One must try to maintain such conditions when growing bamboo for a bicycle in order to provide enough material in a reasonable amount of time. Clumping bamboo is a very adaptable bamboo, which can suit various environments (Gardening Site, 2007). The size and growth rate of clumping bamboo will vary in different conditions (MrBamboo, 2010). Bamboos in general require regular watering to keep the soil around their roots moist (but not wet). If the planting location is windy, the plant will need to be watered more frequently. Most species grow the best in direct sunlight, but nonetheless can thrive in partial shade. (Beaulieu (n.d.)) The Arundinaria amabilis can withstand temperatures as low as -12.2 oC or 10F (Bamboo Sourcery, 2010). The Phyllostachys nigra only gets affected by the cold once temperatures dip below -15.0 oC or 5F (Bamboo Garden, 2007). At those temperatures, the leaves get damaged and the plant will need significant time to recover if the onset of cold is not lasting. In the case of lasting low temperatures, bamboo plants will most likely not survive, although mulch can be applied in an attempt to keep the root system alive. (Complete Bamboo, 2008)

Materials

Bamboo poles According to Building a Bamboo Bike (2010), it is recommended to get at least three 1”-1 ¼” diameter and three 1 ½” diameter poles, each 8 feet long. Although the maximum piece length does not exceed 3 feet and growing shorter bamboo might seem acceptable, bamboo is quite soft when young and only gains its strength as it matures (Young, n.d.).

Curing bamboo There are two common ways to cure bamboo. The two ways to cure bamboo is the dry method, and the wet method. The dry method involves leaning the bamboo against the wall in a well ventilated 8

area. When leaning the bamboo, it is important that you rest the base on something that will protect it against moisture. If you’re leaning the bamboo on a dirt surface, concrete blocks or stones should be used for the base of the bamboo to rest on. (Sweeny, n.d.) An alternate to this method is to tie the individual pieces of bamboo together and hang them in a tree for about 6-8 months. There is no cost for this method. The wet method involves saturating the bamboo in salt water, and leaving them in the sun to dry. For this process, a big cauldron is needed with a salt to water ratio of ½ a cup of salt per gallon of water. Let the bamboo sit in the water for about 90 days at the bottom of the cauldron, then leave it out in the sun for about 4-6 hours a day until it is thoroughly dry. (Sweeny, n.d.) The bamboo should be a light tan/yellow color when it is cured. (Sweeny, n.d.) The cost of this method only includes the cauldron in which the bamboo will sit in, and the salt used for the solution. Another way to cure bamboo is by heating it. A propane torch is usually used. The bamboo is treated while it is still green and the color change is observed immediately. The pole is treated by being heated with the torch until it is of a desired color. (Building a Bamboo Bike, 2010) This method is commonly used for bicycle frames, because it makes the poles significantly stronger than when they are untreated. (Building a Bamboo Bike, 2010) The cost of this method would be the cost of the torch, which can start at about $30.

Climate Growing bamboo outside in Calgary is possible as there are a lot of sunny days and the temperature is at a suitable level. Thus, using a greenhouse would only prolong the growing season. At the same time it would require more maintenance and resources.

Temperature Based on the weather data collected from the Weather Network (2010) and Government of Canada (2010), we can conclude that precipitation in 2009 was highest during the months of March, June, July and August. The average temperatures are shown in Table 1 and are out of the 9

negatives during the months of May, June, July, August and September. This would allow the possible outdoor bamboo growing season to be from the beginning of June to the end of August, giving a total of 3 months. However, based on the 2009 data temperatures during these three months can still drop to as low as -0.5o C (during the month of June). Based on the historical data from 1971 to 2000, on average there are 0.27 days in June with temperatures below freezing point, no days with temperatures below freezing point in July and 0.17 days in August. From this, growing bamboo in Calgary during the months of June, July and August does not present a potential risk, although such always exists. TABLE 1 Month January February March April May June July August September October November December Temperature data for Calgary for the year 2009 (WeatherNetwork, 2010) Average daily high (oC) 0.33 -1.2 0.07 9.3 16.4 19.8 22.9 22.1 23.4 5.7 8.1 -6.8 Average daily low (oC) -12.6 -12.6 -10.3 -2.6 2.8 6.7 10.9 9.7 6.6 -2.8 -4.6 -18.1 Maximum temperature (oC) 14.2 14.0 12.8 21.4 27.5 26.5 30.6 31.7 33.2 17.8 19.9 8.2 Minimum temperature (oC) -29.7 -23.5 -26.2 -8.5 -2.0 -0.5 5.1 5.7 1.1 -16.3 -10.6 -32.4

Source data for this table can be found in Appendix A of the report

Precipitation The rain does not fall on a regular basis in Calgary, with 60.0% of days in June, 38.7% of days in July, and 64.5% of days in August not receiving any precipitation in 2009. Historically from 1971 to 2000, 55.3% of days in June, 58.1% of the days in July and 35.5% of the days in August did not see precipitation. These irregularities would require use of artificial watering of the bamboo plants. Precipitation data for Calgary is presented in Table 2.

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TABLE 2
Month

Weather patterns data for Calgary (Environment Canada, 2010)
Average total precipitation (mm) 7.40 12.2 41.0 11.4 14.2 42.6 70.6 62.2 2.20 30.8 5.40 28.0 Bright sunshine hours* 117.4 141.4 177.6 218.8 253.7 280.3 314.9 281.9 207.7 180.5 123.9 107.4 Average number of days with temperatures below freezing* 30.3 26.9 29.2 21.1 5.60 0.27 0.00 0.17 4.70 19.3 28.4 29.9 Average wind speed* (km/h)

January February March April May June July August September October November December

14.8 14.6 15.0 16.5 16.6 15.6 14.0 13.2 14.1 14.6 13.7 14.9

*Data was not available for the year 2009 alone. Historical data from 1971-2000 was thus utilized to obtain these values.

Soil Bamboo plants thrive in slightly acidic (pH of about 6), loamy soil with an abundance of mulch. Mulch can be provided from a home-made compost pile, commercially available compost or simply grass. (Bamboo Garden, 2007) The soil in Calgary is generally alkaline (pH is greater than 7) (The Compost Gardener, 2009), thus lime will need to be applied to the soil to make it suitable for bamboo. Loamy soil can be purchased from a gardening center. Lawn fertilizer that is high in nitrogen can also be to promote faster growth. (Bamboo Garden, 2007)

Sunlight Most species of bamboo grow the fastest in direct sunlight (Beaulieu, (n.d.)). In Calgary in June an average of 280.3 hours of sunshine are available per month (about 9.34 hours per day); an average of 314.9 hours (10.16 hours per day) are available in July; an average of 281.9 hours (9.1 hours per day) of sunshine are available in August. The abundance of sunshine in Calgary will allow the bamboo plants to photosynthesize and grow more quickly.

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Wind Strong winds will uproot bamboos and damage them (Wendt, n.d.). In Calgary, the wind speeds in June, July and August are around 14 km/h or 4 m/s (refer to Table 2). There are times when the wind gusts reach extreme speeds of 30 m/s or higher (Environment Canada, 2010), in which case the bamboo plants might get damaged. To prevent this from happening, mulch should be used not only as a fertilizer, but also as a stabilizer around the base of the plant. It might also be beneficial to grow the bamboo beside taller plants that can act as a wind shield, yet don’t block too much light out.

Cost Although the difference in price regarding growing or importing might be intimidating, it must be kept in mind that both options can easily be justified depending on the level of effort the user intends to input.

Importing Importing the bamboo is with no doubt the most convenient option. However, it is also required to estimate how much bamboo is required to avoid multiple orders which could easily cost the buyer twice or three times the original total. Although it is known that a bamboo bike requires around 6-7 poles, other possibilities should be considered. Poles for repairing a failed frame should also be considered; this could mean purchasing another 6-7 poles. If one decides to purchase 12 poles, an amount which is sufficient to build and maintain a bamboo bicycle, the total cost would be $180$240 depending on the type of bamboo ordered. It suddenly becomes clear that importing or growing the bamboo required might only depend on personal preference, and not the price of the product. Sample breakdown of costs is presented in Table 3 for both bamboo species.

TABLE 3

Costs for Importing Black and Tonkin Bamboo in Canada Price (per stick) Shipping Cost $20-$501 $20-$501 Total $25-$55 $30-$60

Tonkin Cane Black Bamboo
1–

$5 $10

Price will depend on how many poles are purchased and on handling costs. Please note that these numbers are gathered from Canadian distributors only.

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Planting outdoors Growing bamboo in general is quite simple; healthy soil, water, and an average amount of sunlight is all that is required to grow a healthy bamboo plant. However, the average Calgarian only has about 2.5-3 months to grow bamboo before the winter weather becomes too much for the plant. Although this amount of time is sufficient to grow the number of stalks with widths that are adequate for bike building, another factor that a consumer should take into consideration is the quality of growth. Bamboo does grow quite quickly, but along with only a 3 month growing period comes a potential for a much weaker product. (Young, n.d.) This could become an issue when comparing a homegrown bamboo cane with a professionally grown and harvested product. Caring and then treating the harvested bamboo also calls for labour intensive work which the average Calgarian might not desire. However, there are some who would prefer a method in which the bamboo is personally grown and cared for. TABLE 4 Costs for growing Black and Tonkin bamboo in Calgary Greenhouse Outdoors $1500$20001 Indoors
1 2

Heater $85-$1201

Humidifier $30-$1001 2

Soil $35-$50

Misc. ~$50

Total $85-$2300

N/A

N/A

N/A

$35-$50

~$50

$85-$100

– Only applicable if one decides to buy a greenhouse. – Only applicable based on grower’s preferences. Humidifier not necessarily required; however, it is recommended.

The choice of growing bamboo indoors or outdoors is completely dependent on a person’s preference. Growing Black or Tonkin bamboo outdoors does not necessarily mean a much more expensive venture. A greenhouse is not required to grow bamboo, although it is recommended because of the potential for erratic Calgary weather. If one chooses to grow the bamboo during the middle of summer, it is quite reasonable to neglect all unnecessary utilities. Indoor care is also a viable option because of shelter provided for the bamboo plant. However, one should also take into consideration that although only about 8 feet of bamboo is required, it should be grown much further to assure that the strength of the bamboo stalk being harvested is at its highest. The cost of water in Calgary is $1.30/m3. Assuming no reliance on natural precipitation, a bamboo plant that is watered twice a week – ½ a gallon each time – will cost the equivalent of $0.12 to water for a period of 12 weeks. 10 plants, therefore, will cost $1.20. For comparison, the costs are presented in Table 3. 13

Planting indoors

Bamboo can be grown inside a home. The dimensions of the Bamboo grower’s provide restraints for growing bamboo indoors because mature bamboo is quite tall. The favorable conditions for bamboo are about room temperature, but cannot survive in an environment with a temperature below -12 oC (Bamboo Sourcery, 2010). Room temperature is about 23 oC enabling bamboo to be grown indoors. Bamboo also needs an environment that is somewhat humid, so there must be a humidifier in the house. Thus, growing bamboo indoors is entirely possible, given that the owner would be willing to sacrifice space in their house for the plants. Approximate costs for an indoor setup are presented in Table 4.

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CONCLUSION It is evidently possible to grow bamboo outdoors and it will reach required height during the allotted time of three months. The growing season could be further expanded by the gardener into September if the weather presents the opportunity. Growing bamboo indoors might seem like an attractive alternative to the outdoors, because the plant can then grow year-round, but an average house has limited space. This would require pruning the top once it reaches 8 feet or so to prevent further vertical growth and aid maturation instead. Growing bamboo could be seen as a more desirable option if one wants to keep sustainability in mind. Being able to grow the bamboo required for building and maintaining a bicycle frame is much more environmentally friendly. It could also possibly be economically friendly because a constant import of poles would not be required. Growing your own bamboo might be the choice for an individual who has much more than just building a bicycle in mind. However, importing may be a better choice if a person requires a quick and easy method for building a bamboo bicycle. Using distributors within Canada minimizes the cost of shipping and handling while also reducing the amount work done by the individual. The bamboo ordered will have the strength required for building a bike, and will also be prepared for building as soon as it arrives. This option might be better for a Calgarian that simply wants to opt for a cheaper and greener bicycle. If growing is chosen, both Black bamboo (Phyllostachys nigra) and the Tonkin cane (Arundinaria amabilis) are attractive choices as they are hardy and grow quickly. If the weather pattern in a given year matches that of 2009 during the three growing months, it is possible to grow large bamboo poles of required radius in Calgary. Whichever way the bamboo is acquired, curing it should not pose any sort of problem – using a propane torch to heat it is not a significant financial impact to the builder. One of the other two methods – dry or wet – can also be used. Overall, we concluded that growing bamboo in Calgary is a possible feat that will not necessarily be a large financial investment. It will, on the other hand, provide a greener alternative to the common bicycle. It might also be a more popular choice amongst cyclists as the frame would be lighter, just as strong as commonly used metals, and simply more original. Promoting this idea could have positive impact on the general public, as building a bamboo bicycle frame will also enhance people’s understanding of renewable resources and allow them to seek opportunities to seek such resources in their daily lives. 15

RECOMMENDATIONS Due to the time constraints of this research project, certain issues were only investigated on the surface and no testing was done. Further research would need to be done with regards to growing bamboo outside for 3 months during the summer. While the poles might reach the necessary height, they might not be mature or strong enough for a bicycle frame. This could potentially have negative effects on the popularity of a bamboo bicycle frame. Secondly, more research and quite possibly testing should be done for the curing methods described. Both the wet and the dry method, while quite easy to carry out, might not result in a strong enough material. More species could be looked at to find one that could withstand cold better than the two species chosen for this study. This would result in possible prolongation of the growing season and perhaps better quality final product. Based on this research along, we recommend that the above points are addressed prior to promoting the growing of bamboo on one’s private property. However, general information about making a bamboo bicycle frame should be made available. This could potentially promote further research and testing that this research project was not able to complete during the allotted time period.

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REFERENCES Ayasbek. (2008, March 16). How to Build a Bamboo Bicycle. Retrieved from http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Build-a-Bamboo-Bicycle/ Bamboo Garden. (2007). Phyllostachys Nygra. Retrieved from http://www.bamboogarden.com/ Phyllostachys%20nigra.htm Bamboo Sourcery. (2010). Arundinaria. Retrieved from http://bamboosourcery.com/cat_frame.cf m?sec=2&row=1&part=2 Bamboo Wholesale. (2010). Bamboo Selection. Retrieved from http://www.bamboowholesale .com .au/html/selection.html BC Greenhouse Builders Limited. (2007). Greenhouses. Retrieved from http://www.bcgreenhouses.com/ Beaulieu, D. (n.d.). How to Grow Bamboo. Retrieved from http://landscaping.about.com/od/tropicalplants/f/how_grow_bamboo.htm Bike Bamboo. (2010). Bamboo Bike Frame Sizing. Retrieved from http://www.bikebamboo.com/bamboo_geometries.php Building a Bamboo Bike. (2010, March 17). Bamboo Info [Web log message]. Retrieved June 1, 2010, from http://bamboobike.wordpress.com/getting-started/ Complete Bamboo. (2008). Bamboo Maintenance. Retrieved from http://www.completebamboo.com/bamboo_maintenance.html Dave’s Garden. (2010). PlantFiles: Tonkin Cane. Retrieved from http://davesgarden.com/guides /pf/go/144786/ Environment Canada. (2010). Climate Summaries. Retrieved from http://climate.weatheroffice.gc.ca /prods_servs/cdn_climate_summary_e.html Environment Canada. (2010, March 18). Canadian Climate Normals 1971-2000. Retrieved from http://www.climate.weatheroffice.gc.ca/climate_normals/results_e.html?Province=ALTA&St ationName=&SearchType=&LocateBy=Province&Proximity=25&ProximityFrom=City&Statio nNumber=&IDType=MSC&CityName=&ParkName=&LatitudeDegrees=&LatitudeMinutes=&L ongitudeDegrees=&LongitudeMinutes=&NormalsClass=A&SelNormals=&StnId=2205& Gardening Site. (2007, October 26). Clump Bamboo in Gardening. Retrieved from http://www.gardeningsite.com/bamboo/clump-bamboo-in-gardening/ Lewis Bamboo. (n.d.). Bamboo Plants. Retrieved from http://www.lewisbamboo.com/bamboo.html Little Acre Farm. (2004). Bamboo Features. Retrieved from http://www.littleacrefarm.com/bam boo.htm LivinginCanada. (2010). The Climate and Weather of Calgary, Alberta. Retrieved from http://www.livingin-canada.com/climate-calgary.html MrBamboo. (2010). Black bamboo. Retrieved from http://mrbamboo.com.au/species/2-runningbamboo/9-black-bamboo Sweeny, S. (n.d.) How to Cure Bamboo. Retrieved from http://www.ehow.com/how_4812295_curebamboo.html The Compost Gardener. (2009). Soil pH. Retrieved from http://www.the-compostgardener.com/soil-ph.html The Weather Network. (2010). Historical Weather. Retrieved from http://www.theweather network .com /index .php?product=historical&placecode=caab0049 Wendt, M. (n.d.). How to Plant Cloned Bamboo. Retrieved from http://www.ehow.com/how 573 3085_plant-cloned-bamboo.html Wikipedia. (2010). Bamboo. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bamboo Young, G. (n.d.). Bamboo and Composites. Retrieved from http://www.bamboosurfboardshawaii .com/composites.html

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Appendix A: Temperature Data

18

Temperature values for January 2009
Daily high Daily low -6.4 -22.7 Max temp -21.7 -27.5 Min temp -7.9 -29.7 -4 -12.1 Average high 1.4 -9 Average low -0.4 -11.2 -8.1 -13 -11.6 -16 2.6 -17.6 4.2 -5.7 5.6 -5.9 7.7 -9.7 7.5 -9.7 -0.7 -12 8.3 -9.2 10.3 -2.5 11 -6.1 14.2 -1.2 11.7 -6.6 7 -7.3 7.4 -8.6 -1.7 -21.2 -20.5 -23.8 -20.2 -25.3 -9 -22.8 -7 -23.5 2.4 -12.7 2.4 -7.6 8.1 -7.2 10.2 5 7.3 -8.1 10.1 -390.5 14.2 -29.7 0.325806 -12.5968

Temperature values for February 2009
Daily high Daily low 1.4 -11.7 Max temp 8.6 -4.3 Min temp 8.8 -1.8 14 -1.5 Average high 13 -3 Average low -0.8 -6.1 7.7 -9.4 9.5 -3 4.8 -1.6 1.3 -13.3 -4.6 -16.6 -6.8 -14 -10.5 -15.2 -12.4 -15.2 -11.1 -19.9 10.3 -21.1 -1 -17.7 1.5 -9.4 0.1 -9.4 1.6 -13.7 2.6 -11.2 -2.3 -13.4 -7.6 -10.3 -10.2 -18.5 -18.5 -22.6 -19.5 -23.5 -3.6 -22.2 -9 -22.9 -32.7 -352.5 14 -23.5 -1.16786 -12.5893

Temperature values for March 2009
Daily high Daily low 2.3 -13.2 12.4 -9 5.5 -1.5 7.2 -5.5 2.2 -15.6 -4.4 -18.5 3.8 -8.7 -7.2 -20.7 -20.6 -25.7 -21.4 -26.2 -9.5 -26 6 -16.5 10.9 2 9.2 -2.1 6.8 -8.8 -3.9 -8.2 -1.8 -8.8 6.5 -12.6 12.4 -0.9 12.8 -1.6 10.5 -3 -2.5 -5 -0.9 -7.6 -1.9 -9.6 -5.1 -11.9 -0.8 -16.3 5.2 -7 0.5 -3.6 -0.8 -10.3 5 -12.5 5.8 -3.8 44.2 -318.7 Max temp Min temp Average high Average low 12.8 -26.2 0.074194 -10.2806

Temperature values for April 2009
Daily high Daily low 1.4 -4.9 2 -8.5 -0.6 -4.9 3.3 -5.5 9.6 -6.6 12.8 0.2 11.6 -1.8 11.5 -2.7 16.8 -1.4 14.8 3 15.5 0 14.2 0.5 11.3 -2.4 3 -0.7 7.2 -1.3 10.7 -3.5 15.7 -3.1 13.8 3.1 14.8 -2.1 20.4 4.9 21.4 3.3 11.6 -3.3 -0.7 -7.8 4.4 -7.1 6.6 -2.8 6 -3.9 2.2 -3.7 3.4 -5.6 5.6 -5.6 8.3 -3.9 278.6 -78.1 Max temp Min temp Average high Average low 21.4 -8.5 9.286667 -2.60333

Temperature values for May 2009
Daily high Daily low 14 -1.7 16.7 -1.8 19.5 1.8 16.4 6.3 16.5 2.9 16 2.5 9.5 3.7 11.6 2.7 14 2.9 16 0.4 17.7 1.7 10.6 0.3 11.1 -2 8 1.1 12.4 -0.3 20.4 3 24.7 8.4 2.6 -0.2 11.7 -0.4 7.5 0.9 14.1 -1.4 15.7 -0.6 21.5 0.9 21.8 5.4 20.4 8.9 21.7 5.4 20.7 3.7 22 6.2 27.5 6.2 25 12 21.6 7.6 508.9 86.5 Max temp Min temp Average high Average low 27.5 -2 16.41613 2.790323

Temperature values for June 2009
Daily high Daily low 12.9 5.5 18.9 0.1 23.1 3.9 21.5 7.7 10.6 1.1 8.1 0.2 11.1 0 12 -0.5 14.7 2.4 18.8 2 23 5.7 23.1 9.3 26.5 7.9 25.2 10.6 25.6 13.1 21.5 10.9 22.4 8.6 19.7 9.6 21.8 6.6 22.1 8.3 16.1 10.4 17.3 8.8 20.1 10.3 24.1 6.1 24.7 10.6 21.5 8.6 23.5 4.4 24.5 12.5 22.5 9.7 18.4 7.5 595.3 201.9 Max temp Min temp Average high Average low 26.5 -0.5 19.84333 6.73

Temperature values for July 2009
Daily high Daily low 19.4 5.1 20.5 6.4 20.3 8.9 25.2 11.4 21.5 11.3 18.3 11.4 19.7 9.2 18.1 5.5 16 8.9 22.6 9.3 20.3 11.5 25.2 9.8 17.9 12.4 14.5 9.6 20.5 9.9 26.6 10.5 26.5 12.1 29.8 13.3 21.1 11.9 22.5 11.5 25.8 9.8 30.6 12.7 26.8 14.9 29.5 15.7 29.6 12.3 24.2 16.4 25.8 11.7 20.5 12.9 21.4 11.7 26.1 9.2 23.9 11.3 710.7 338.5 Max temp Min temp Average high Average low 30.6 5.1 22.92581 10.91935

Temperature values for August 2009
Daily high Daily low 31.7 12.4 28.1 16.2 18.6 8.2 11.9 9.4 12.3 9.1 16 10.2 19.3 6.3 22.9 7.7 24.2 12.3 25.2 11.3 19.7 12.7 22.2 7.2 13.4 8.5 11.4 8.3 13.8 7.3 17.8 9.1 24.1 9 25 14 21.7 12 22.9 11.4 30.9 11 23.1 12.6 23.4 10 22.2 5.7 27 6.6 22.1 11.5 25 8.7 27.8 7.9 26.7 8.3 26.3 7.7 29.4 8.2 686.1 300.8 Max temp Min temp Average high Average low 31.7 5.7 22.13226 9.703226

Temperature values for September 2009
Daily high Daily low 28.6 11.8 29.6 11.5 30.2 9.5 24.1 8.8 23.2 6.6 22 6.6 18.1 3.9 19.3 6.2 21.8 6.4 19.1 8.6 23.8 2.7 26.6 5.8 23.5 5.2 22.7 4 26.5 7.5 30.7 9.2 20.7 7.9 24 6.2 28.1 9.2 15.8 5.9 21.8 1.8 28.8 9.4 33.2 11.2 30.4 9.8 23.8 4 22.4 6.4 13.1 3 16.2 2.3 21.6 4.9 10.8 1.1 700.5 197.4 Max temp Min temp Average high Average low 33.2 1.1 23.35 6.58

Temperature values for October 2009
Daily high Daily low 13.1 -4.7 12.4 -3 4.7 0.3 2.2 0 6.4 0.1 17.8 1 3.2 -1.8 1.9 -10 -6.1 -11.6 -5 -8.7 -5.8 -12.9 -5.1 -16.3 -3.6 -7.7 -0.3 -4.3 7.1 -3.3 11.1 -4.4 15.6 1.1 7.2 1 4.4 3.2 5.7 2.1 8.8 0.7 12.2 1.5 12 0.1 6.4 -1.6 7.3 -4.3 6.2 2.4 3 -0.3 3.8 -1.8 6.7 -5 8.3 0.4 14.1 1.3 175.7 -86.5 Max temp Min temp Average high Average low 17.8 -16.3 5.667742 -2.79032

Temperature values for November 2009
Daily high Daily low 7.7 -1.5 11.8 -3.5 9.3 -1.5 3 -6 19.9 -3.6 11 1.8 8.5 -3.4 6.9 -4.2 3.8 -6 9.2 -1.8 8.6 -7.7 3.5 -9.6 5.9 -7 1.9 -6.5 10.5 -3.4 15.3 -2.8 12.2 -0.9 6.6 -6.5 11 -5.2 12 -5.2 5.5 -3.8 3.6 -6.6 7.6 -7.1 6.9 -3.4 14.9 -5.8 12.9 0.6 1.6 -8 3.4 -10.6 9.2 -1.4 -1 -6.3 243.2 -136.9 Max temp Min temp Average high Average low 19.9 -10.6 8.106667 -4.56333

Temperature values for December 2009
Daily high Daily low -3.9 -14 -6.5 -15.7 -4.8 -18.3 1.1 -7 -5.8 -14.2 -14.1 -21.1 -17.7 -27.6 -14.1 -26.4 -8.9 -16.3 -8.8 -13.6 -6.6 -14.9 -13.9 -30.1 -26.3 -30.2 -20 -32.4 -1.1 -29.4 5.8 -11.6 6.5 -6.5 8.2 -13.2 4.5 -11.5 -4.7 -12.3 -11.6 -13 -13 -17.1 -13.4 -22 -4.5 -22.8 -4 -17.6 -0.1 -16.5 -0.4 -12.5 -2.2 -14.8 -2.2 -16.5 -11.9 -18 -17.9 -24.1 -212.3 -561.2 Max temp Min temp Average high Average low 8.2 -32.4 -6.84839 -18.1032

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