Heartwarming Horseshoe, And HERObike

There are horseshoes, and there are horseshoes.  This one is at Project Horseshoe in Greensboro, Alabama, across and down the street from Pie Lab.

Project Horseshoe Farm, Greensboro AL

Project Horseshoe Farm, Greensboro AL

It’s more than a Pinterest-worthy pretty facade.  Pretty heartwarming.  From their site:
Located in the former Western Auto Building on Main Street, the Community Clubhouse serves as the hub of Project Horseshoe Farm and many of its activities. During the day, the Clubhouse provides a safe and welcoming place with programs and activities for elderly and mentally disabled members of our community. Clubhouse members, including ladies in the Horseshoe Farm supported housing program enjoy day programs, lunches, games, volunteer opportunities, and sometimes just stopping by to visit. Project Horseshoe Farm also provides outreach support to some of our Community Clubhouse members by providing transportation, home visits, and other support as needed. The Clubhouse programs are intended to help overcome the significant isolation and lack of purpose and meaning that often faces elderly and mentally disabled members of our community, to help support successful community living and avoid unnecessary hospital stays, and to provide a place where community members can come together to support one another in helping these members of our community.

Project Horseshoe Farm, Greensboro AL

In the afternoons, the Clubhouse shifts its focus to programs for children. Drawing inspiration from the 826 Valencia Project, the Clubhouse offers reading and enrichment programs to more than 50 children enrolled in Horseshoe Farm after school programs in order to provide mentorship, build character and confidence, and improve academic achievement.

Project Horseshoe Farm, Greensboro AL
…And down from that is HERObike, which is making bicycles out of bamboo.  And that’s probably a really smart idea because if you’re thinking of making a vehicle from renewable materials that grow with zero effort like crazy in Alabama, you can either braid yourself some kudzu together to make a frame, or you can find yourself a bamboo stand (ideas of wisteria and mimosa get points, too).  
I mean, bamboo is so plentiful here in Alabama, it was one of Shug’s first words (seriously).  And bamboo was even the roof to our sukkah last year.  It’s so plentiful you don’t even think about it, unless you have too much which is another thing altogether.
The bamboo that HERObike uses is bamboo that they *walk* to from the shop to harvest.  They cure it, dry it, build the frame. 
So here are lengths of bamboo getting ready for assembly.  This material works so great for bicycles because it’s strong, but flexible in that it gives enough to not have a jarring ride.  They’ve been testing it out with NYC bicycle messengers who apparently really like how smooth the ride is along with how light the bikes are.

Alabamboo, Greensboro AL

There’s a youth program that goes along with all this too, teaching kids job skills.
Alabamboo, Greensboro AL

They make different models, from coaster to 20-speeds, and you can even attend a workshop to have a hand in making your own. 
I’m fond of this one.

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