The Semester Bicycle, a Kickstarter project in the “Black Belt” of Alabama, is creating a fresh future for the small community of Greensboro. Spear-headed by Professor Lance Rake and community organizer Pam Dorr, the Semester Bicycle project has been helping this Southern community out of growing economic struggle. The bamboo they use grows a mere three blocks away from their bike lab, so you’ll regularly see men and women walking down main street carrying shafts of bamboo on their backs. Talk about independence. It’s hard work, but they’re slowly and surely creating a self-sustaining, local business. Thus, this project is on our cool-cats list, because they’re taking the love of building and repairing bikes to a whole new level. And actually building up their community—one bamboo bike at time.