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Hot Wheels

Make your own bicycle frame—from bamboo.

—Photo by Brittany Hopkins

Bike frames can be made from steel, titanium, or carbon fiber—or, as it turns out, bamboo. Container Collective, a bike shop and yoga studio in Lakewood, offers weekend workshops at which you can build your own frame out of bamboo stems. Builders choose their own stalks and then cut, shape, and weatherproof them; on day two of the workshop, participants fasten the pieces together with a carbon-fiber wrap.

“It’s amazing to witness people’s satisfaction when they transform simple stalks of bamboo into bicycles and fully functional pieces of art,” says Russ Hopkins, co-owner of Container Collective. After the frame is complete and decorated—designs can be burned into the bamboo—builders can pay for the rest of the bike parts (wheels, handlebars, and seat posts, for example) they’ll need to pedal a ride-ready cruiser, urban bike, or commuter out of the shop. And if you someday lock up your new bike close to the Denver Zoo, fear not. Its red panda, Hamlet, only munches on the bamboo shoots—not the stalks that make up your ride. $450 for two-day frame-building workshop and frame materials.

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Hot Wheels

Former classical guitar builder Chris Connor has an aptitude for fusing form and function—a skill he’s now applying to his decidedly Colorado passion: cycling. Connor’s mission is to construct two-wheelers that are as much fun to look at as they are to glide down a city block. The result is the handcrafted Woody Scorcher, which he characterizes as a “hot rod cruiser.”

To engineer a sturdy, smooth ride, Connor uses ash—a type of wood popular in baseball bats for its vibration-absorbing qualities—reinforced with strips of Kevlar. Starting at $4,500, the bikes are built to order in Connor’s southeast Denver basement and include options such as coaster or disc brakes and multiple gears. “The ride delivered by wood is unlike anything else out there,” he says. “It’s like floating down the road.”