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The calio bicycle was made in New Amsterdam, Savannah Park, during the Forbes Burnham government. That period is also the only time in Guyana’s independence history there has ever been a thriving manufacturing sector.
Guyanese felt proud to ride a bicycle made by Guyanese. Who won’t have? Those bikes were as good as the British Raleigh bicycle, affordable, and accessible to the small man at competitive price.
For most children this was their first bicycle, their first opportunity to develop cycling skills, show off hopping on and off with aplomb, riding daredevil with one or both hands free, racing with friends. It was also a first and/or cheapest mean of owning a vehicle for many.
These photos were submitted by Mr. Mark Benschop, host of the ‘Straight Up’ programme. If you have any photos of the period when Guyanese ingenuity was unleashed, share with the Village Voice Family
The Tapir which was built in Guyana by Ainlim during Burnham’s government and is still plying the Berbice roads. Some are used as public transportation.