Marty Odlin and The Bamboo Bikes

February 25, 2011

Marty Odlin, class of 2000, presented his bamboo bikes to the sophomore class. He talked about why he decided to build bamboo bikes, why it is important, and why people want them.

Marty is an engineer, and explained that being an engineer means being a problem solver. He had a great opening to his presentation, he explained the plot behind the movie, The Ghost and the Darkness. If you are unfamiliar with this movie, here it is in a nutshell. An irishman who is an engineer moves to Africa to build a bridge across a river. This is the characters first problem that he has to solve. Another problem arises in the movie when his workers are being eaten by lions, yet another problem which must be solved. In the end, the bridge gets built. Finally, problem solved.

Great introduction!

Marty began his engineering career as a product designer for K2, a ski company. He eventually needed a change. Marty said, he was bored and decided to build a bike. He then set out to build the most affordable bike and make it worldwide.

The bamboo bike studio’s motto is :

“the best bike is the one that you build yourself”

This is motto, is being lived in Ghana, where Marty and his colleagues helped to build a factory where bamboo bikes are being built and sold for only $65.00. It appears that bamboo bikes are worldwide.

Marty told the sophomore class that if you have a goal that you want to solve  it means that you need to pay attention to the little things like, the blacksmithing poem you heard in your high school english class that inspired you. You should learn as much as you can now, and always be nice to your friends. Because your friends will be around to help you build your own company someday.

The sophomores had some great final questions for Marty. The process is intriguing and the students want to learn more.


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