September 20, 2012, Updated October 8, 2015

Izhar Gafni is crazy about bikes – he makes them, fixes them and rides them. But three engineer friends thought the chain had really slipped from the gears when Gafni suggested crafting a cheap and environmentally friendly bicycle out of cardboard.

He had been inspired while working in California on a pomegranate project, and one day saw a car outside a bicycle shop sporting a wood-frame boat with a cardboard cover.

Gafni started testing and building, refusing to accept the engineers’ opinion that the project would never work. Israelis, he reminded them, “did impossible things with agriculture, with military, with high-tech and science. I thought, if they can do it, I can do it.”

Gafni has built six prototypes of 100 percent recyclable materials, 95% percent of it strong cardboard. He sees it as a possible urban environmental project or perhaps as a mode of transportation for schoolchildren in Africa. He is hoping the worldwide publicity for his project will win his cardboard bikes corporate or governmental sponsors.

Music by Kevin MacLeod

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Jason Harris

Jason Harris

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