Home Made Truck


Something made me think of these toys, one shown above and other examples here.

I have seen incredible examples made of bamboo or other wood-like substances, sometimes incorporating bits of a tin can or some other material. The more sophisticated ones (often made by adults rather than the kids) are made of bicycle spokes.

Bicycle spokes are an important commodity in Central and East Africa (and probably elsewhere). They can be used to make these toys, but they also have another use you may not be aware of. Have you ever seen a likembe?


This is also known as a thumb piano. I’m sure you’ve seen something like this. The ideal metal bars (that you pluck to make the notes) are pounded out of bicycle spokes.

Of course, bicycle spokes are also used in bicycles, as you might imagine.


  1. #1 Dan the Music Master
    December 12, 2008

    I’ve never seen a thumb piano. As a composer, I’ve always found this type of information fascinating. Thanks.