- Useful in many ways 5. А road test
- An unusual material 6. A cycling competition
- A real enthusiast 7. Excellent qualities
- Ambitious sales plans 8. The right kind of bamboo
A. Bamboo is one of the fastest-growing plants on Earth. Some people think bamboo is a tree, but it is not – bamboo is grass, though some species can grow over 30 meters! People use bamboo for different purposes: to build and decorate houses, to produce textiles and paper, to make food and drinks. Recently, a new practical application for bamboo has been suggested: in the bicycle industry.
B. More and more Londoners prefer to use bicycles to get to their offices in the city centre. The latest model of this popular form of transport was presented at the motor show in Birmingham. It was made from bamboo. The designers, from Oxford Brooks University, say they have invented a bamboo bike not only for ecological reasons. According to them, bamboo is as safe as metal.
C. The new bikes will be produced in Yorkshire. At the beginning the price of a bike might be rather high – about 1700 pounds. Nevertheless, the designers expect that the model will be successful on the market. Its growing popularity will finally bring down the price. By the year 2014, the company was planning to produce five hundred thousand bamboo bikes for the British.
D. One of the inventors of the new technology, James Bruton, teaches at the University. During one of his seminars, students were testing different materials and chose bamboo. They discovered that its characteristics were ideal for long journeys because it stopped vibration. The whole journey becomes more pleasant than on a metal bike and the cyclist will be less tired.
E. Not everyone, however, believed in the safety of bamboo. Skeptics doubted if it could stand long distances. They argued that a metal frame helped the wheels turn faster. As a result, engineers decided to test the bamboo in a real situation. They rode twenty kilometers in the hills. The experiment was successful in spite of the difficult conditions.
F. During the project, designers had to solve another problem: what sort of bamboo to use, as not all of them were suitable for making a bike. Finally, from more than a thousand varieties, the scientists chose only one. Another important detail is that the bamboo should be cut at a definite stage of growth.
G. The director of the Raw Bikes Company, Rachel Hammond, says she would support the idea of a bamboo farm. She has been interested in bamboo bikes for a long time. Once she rode the bike, she felt comfortable and happy. Now Rachel has an idea to make bamboo bikes for import. Although production takes several days, she is sure the model is attractive and will have a long life.