Cardboard bicycles to revolutionize transportation in developing countries

Last Updated: Sun, Dec 09, 2012 06:03 hrs

An Israeli inventor has created cardboard bicycles, which could improve transportation from congested cities to remote villages.

Izhar Gafni's two-wheeled creation, a 20-dollar bike made out of cardboard, could revolutionize bicycling, especially in the developing world, reported.

Gafni smiles and shakes his head in wonder when asked about the whirlwind of events that have taken place since news of his revolutionary cardboard bicycle first made international headlines a few weeks ago.

"It's all happened so fast, and we did not expect it at all," Gafni said.

Gafni, who has not had even a minute to consider how to properly market or promote his lightweight and extremely low-cost bicycle, has instead spent the best part of the past several weeks entertaining journalists and television crews, responding to throngs of cycling enthusiasts, and starting to develop potential business partners who have contacted him from around the globe.

Those who have visited Gafni's home and workshop in Moshav Ahituv, a settlement near Hadera on Israel's northern coast, and witnessed the colorful 20-pound bicycle in action agree that this two-wheel creation could revolutionize cycling in general and enhance methods of transportation in the developing world in particular.

"I know that on one side people are interested in having the fastest and latest technology, but I also think there is a real need and a craving for things like this that are simple and easy to use," Gafni said, likening his simplistic bicycle to a wristwatch.

"People don't really need watches anymore: They have clocks on their TVs, on their computers, and even on their phones, but everyone still wants one because it's useful and looks good," he said.

The large seat is spray-painted an inviting shade of cherry red, while the wheels and frame - a shiny pale blue - sparkle in the sun.

While it is clearly less high-tech than many of the bicycles on the market today, Gafni's design has most of the same practical features.

In addition, he says, the bike will soon have an environmentally friendly brake system and a pedaling mechanism that he is currently developing using a variety of recyclable materials. (ANI)

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