Looking back at 2019, we have every reason to be thankful. This year saw us become more stable and grown up as a company, it provided memories behind the handlebars and a new product in our line-up – the Nighthawk cargobike. So here’s a quick look back at what 2019 delivered and what to expect from 2020.
Bike rides of 2019 provided thrills and a decent mileage. Having completed the Nighthawk cargobike prototype in late 2018, 2019 would become the year of proper testing. In 2019, I did 3300 electrified kilometers of commuting on the cargobike. Combined with 600 non-electric kilometers on a single speed bike, the total fell just under 4000 km. Hopefully 2020 will surpass this number 🙂
The product of 2019 was definitely the forementioned Nighthawk cargobike we recently launched. Not only has it been a thrill riding it at speeds reaching 70 km/h, but it has also changed cycling for me personally. EBikes definitely seem to be the future of commuting and I’m excited to see what the future will shape up to be on that front for us.
2020 and beyond seem bright for us. I still can’t say that we have made it, but the plans we have for 2020 with expanding the reseller list for the Bike Hanger and launching the cargobike feel a lot more mature than the plans of the past years. Hopefully the harvest of the seeds to be planted in 2020 will carry us into the bright future we are looking for.
Continuing where we left off, we will start with the more fun part of welding on the cargo bed area.
Welding the cargo bed.
Like mentioned before. The bike’s geometry is made from points, what comes between them is only aesthetical. So this part was quite fun as everything that mattered had been aligned and locked into position. Basically the only thing you really need to worry about here is that you have enough space for pedals and the front wheel.
New steerer, fork modifications.
After this step, you will notice the progress stopped. The frame was left unfinished for almost a year before having time to continue. As a next step all the excess was cut off, and the head tube [guide to frame tubes] shortened. Also the fork got modified to fit 20″ wheel as originally it was ment for 700c wheel, and disc brake mounts added. It’s important to check that you don’t make the fork too short or too long, so the cargo area will be parallel to the ground. Now I finally also cut away the extra parts of down tube and fitted a new steering tube. I went for A-head stem for this. This bike was an experiment and I didn’t want to spend time and money ordering specialized fancy tubing. So I found some precision tubing that fits the stem and the head set from Onninen. It is quite heavy with 2 mm walls, but as I knew I would make it an e-bike, the weight was not too big of an issue. Improvements for next time: Go for Chromoly steerer and head tube to save some weight. Order early in the process.
Outsourcing lasered parts. Now you could do this on your own, but I saved a lot of time and also made things look nice by ordering some of the parts lasercut like fork dropouts, steerer end, bearing holders for steering arm etc. You can find my DXF files here if you find them useful.
The finishing touches. At this stage I bolted on a bottom bracket, cranks, an old chain and went for a test ride. Everything felt nice, so the only thing left was to weld on last tubes, disc brake mounts (you can find mine under the above link), cable holders, kickstand and then it was time for the paint shop.
Assembly day! After everything arrived from powder coating, it was finally the time to assemble everything. All went smoothly and the bike was in one piece in no time.
HOUSTON, WE HAVE A PROBLEM! (and cure) Early testing revealed some flaws I had described in the last post about handling. After hitting 30 km/h the bike almost always got hit by speed wobble. With this problem, the bike would be rendered useless. Luckily I didn’t get discouraged as even the guys at Larry vs Harry also seem to have a problem with this, and the cure is to add a steering damper like the one used on motorcycles. I ordered one and attached it to the bike, and.. ..it actually solved the problem for a while before it broke down and leaked all the oil out after just 600 km on the bike. Then winter came along and I left the bike unused until this spring. After talking to some other frame builders I heared that this problem was common, many of them had also been fitting their bikes with steering dampers. The problem seems to be that the front end just gets too light as the problem is less evident with cargo on the bike. Anyway – I set to work early spring and made new damper fittings that would increase the working range of the damper. Having now done 500 km at speeds of 35 – 60 km/h without any steering wobble it seems that the bike is finally finished. Improvements for next time: a.) Design your bike with steering damper in mind from the beginning. b.) Keep shallow fork angle, short fork rake and thus a large amount trail. This may improve stability if you want to resist using a steering damper.
To summarize, this project turned out a lot better than I had anticipated. Before setting to work, my mind was set at 50/50 chance that the bike would work as good as it does. The Bafang 750w electric unit works well, the geometry is working with the steering damper, there is plenty of cargo space and it goes as fast as you wish. The mileage speaks for itself – currently I’m averaging 150-200 km per week and only use the car for a short ride once a week to keep the brakes from sticking etc. So if you have some welding skills and you’re thinking about building yourself a cargo bike- GO FOR IT! Also as a side note, we are constructing a jig to weld some more frames, so you will soon be able to order a proper cargo bike frame from us 🙂
Firstly a disclaimer. As this bike was a personal experiment then I didn’t use the regular amount of planning and modelling. Many methods would not be used to make a proper product and currently I’m constructing a jig to hold everything in place when making this kind of bikes in the future.
With that cleared away, let’s dive into this DIY Cargo Bike project. It was actually started 2,5 years ago and I finished the bike roughly 8 months ago. I wanted a long john type cargo bike when we decided to move to Estonia, as there will not be a luxury of so many cycle paths. So already when still in Copenhagen I started the project.
Something that irritates me a little when people see my bike is they say – oh did you make a Bullitt replica. In part that is true. But also true is that long john type cargo bikes were used a hundred years ago, so you shouldn’t be afraid to make something similar. Of course most of the geomtery should be similar to an existing bike that has been tested and sold with success. So you can use a lot of the geometry here: http://larryvsharry.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/technical_wireframe_bg1.png Improvements for next time: a) Plan as much ahead as possible. If you have access to 3D CAD program then use it. Model everything, check that nothing collides when steering etc.
Chopping an old bike into pieces. Welding a new down tube.
I knew I wanted to do as little work as possible, so I found an old bike, dissembled everything and started cutting away. After cutting away the down tube I took a long 2 meter tube I wanted to use for the new down tube. Then I aligned it to the middle of the fork and welded to the bottom bracket. It is important to keep the fork on the bike at this point as I was not using a jig and needed some reference points. Keeping the new down tube long would also be giving me reference points for later alignment of the new fork. Before welding, I made sure the seat tube and new down tube were parallel by bolting both the welding table. PS! If tubing sizes are different then you need to use something for distance under the frame tubes if frame is of smaller tubes. Improvements for next time: a) I would consider building a jig even for 1 piece. b) If not then I would run another tube under the down tube to align the new down tube with the rear axle center. c) I would make the down tube from round tubing as it will have some rotational stress.
Welding on a new top tube. Now I cut off the steering tube and cut the old top tube shorter, using it as a guide for the new top-tube alignment. This way I could make sure the new steerer would end up in the middle of the bike. Had I used a men’s frame I would have probably kept the original top tube. Note: keep the guiding tubes on the frame as long as you can. They help against heat distortion from welding. Improvements for next time: a) Make this from round tubing for more resistance to rotational forces / torque.
Welding on the new head tube. Now this one was the biggest mistake and can also be for you, so pay attention and read improvements. Steerer postition will affect the whole handling. So what I did correct was to make sure the head tube is in position before welding the cargo bed. All the tubing in between the bottom braket and head tube can be misaligned without a problem – if the head tube, rear triangle and the bottom bracket are located correctly. So using the 2 meter long new down tube, I could be quite confident that the middle of the front hub would be in the correct position. But getting the fork exactly straight in relation to the frame is more tricky. I used an extra piece of tubing and welded it to the new down tube. The other end was bolted to the fork.
Now I didn’t double check the alignment properly here. I would strongly suggest using an inclinometer here. Or at least a spirit level to make sure the seat tube and head tube are aligned. Next comes the head tube angle. You need to make sure you have proper amount of trail in order to keep the steering stable. I didn’t pay enough attention to this and ended up with almose half the trail of a Bullitt (more about trail and steering here). Improvements for next time: a) After setting up the fork take a photo of the frame as best as you can from the side. On your computer open the photo with image editing programme and calculate the head tube angle or just compare it to this blue print of a Bullitt. b) I would buy an inclinometer from the web to check all angles. They are quite inexpeniseve , starting from 10€ on the web.
I mentioned a the steering will be where you can make the biggest mistake. What I ended up with is speed wobble when running over bumps at speeds over 30 km/h. Science is not exactly sure why it happens. In my case I think it is small trail combined with slightly misaligned front and back wheel and square tubing for top tube and down tube which make the frame flexible sideways. What I did to compensate is that I added a motorcycle steering damper. This worked, but I want to experiment further. This year I will cut the fork again and try to increase the trail. I will post an updated later this year whether this worked. I believe Bullitt actually also has trouble with high speed steering stability as they also now have a steering damper for as an extra option.
It’s been a long time since our last post. Despite this, it has been a joy to see a constant flow of new subscribers – sorry we’ve kept you waiting.
So what’s happen while we’ve been a little less active on the blog..
New product launch on Kickstarter – Bike Hanger Copenhagen series.
Most important stuff first – we’ve recently launched our latest Bike Hanger on Kickstarter! See and support it here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/820118192/the-bike-hanger-copenhagen-series/
It’s been in the works for a while, and we finally got the result we were aiming for. The change goes hand-in-hand with our switch in suppliers, and don’t worry, we’re still producing in Northern Europe 🙂 Now the quality is even higher and instead of chromed metal we use Aisi 304 grade tubing.
The new Bike Hanger is inspired by white-walled flats of Copenhagen with the light colour pallette, as is the shape ,to go with the taste of bike lovers who are more into modern looks than our original vintage looking Bike Hanger.
Some special work We’ve had a couple of cool projects where we’ve made some bike trailers and special sidecars. We can’t talk about the latter too much yet due to the status of the customer’s project. But the hint here is to look our for some green bikes and sidecars in Amsterdam. We’ll share some pictures on our instagram soon. The other custom project we just finished are bike trailer for bike rental company called Donkey Republic. Check them out if you haven’t already – they have an excellent platform for renting bikes when travelling, we’ve used them with my wife in different cities.
Extra project Another one you might be interested to hear about is a personal project where I cut up an old frame I had lying around. So I’m using the rear triangle from it and the fork. The fork has been shortened and disc break mounts have been added. The frame so far still lacks some tubes and disc brake mounts of its own, as paid jobs need to come first – but I’ll get there one day.
The bike will feature disc brakes, alfine 8-gear hub, 750W motor and 52V 14,6 Ah battey. So it will be fast and able to carry a lot..
Thanks for tuning in! Hopefully you won’t have to wait so long for the next one.
After last year’s Berlin bike show, we already signed up for 2017 in June. 2016 had been deeply positive, we got some good resellers, a lot of interest, a steady stream of sales throughout the year that followed and some genuine fans. Obviously we had some expectations going into 2017’s edition – and Berlin did not disappoint.
How was it for KP Cyclery?
As mentioned, 2017 was similarly positive, we had a ton of interest in the Sidecar and nice Bike Hanger sales. I must admit, I thought that since our Sidecar is so different from all other cargo bike variations, there would be some that would say ‘that doesn’t make any sense’. But the notoriously engineering-minded Berliners and Germans seemed really impressed by our ingenuity. The Sidecar turned heads at our booth and even more so when out for a test ride. The tilting function amazed people with a constant crowd of cameras pointed at it. Surely there ought to be a few of them riding around Berlin soon.
Our friendly neighbours
One might expect that all of the exhibitors at the fair would be competitors and thus not overly friendly towards each other. However in the bike industry, it is the complete opposite. We we’re lucky enough to be neighbours with other remarkable visionaires – Halbrad (half-bike in English) and Brix / Sandwich bikes.
At first sight, we thought Halbrad we’re exhibiting a type of a foldable bike. After close inspection, it turned out to be what I called an unfoldable foldable bike. Designed to be allowed on trains without bike ticket, this nifty little thing is quite fun indeed.
Across from our booth, were the Dutch geniuses from Brik and Sandwich bikes. Brix bikes stood out with their crankshaft technology and Sandwich is a bike, with a frame made from planar surfaces – you can have the fun of assembling the whole thing.
Our two favourites
Other than our own stuff turning heads, there were some real gems to look at. Our own personal favourites were the PonyJohn bike by Retrovelo’s founder Frank. The bike features hydraulic steering, electric motor, and electric gear. As the man himself said – ‘that’s the maximum you can get out of a bike.’ The hydraulic steering really blew my mind.
The 2nd favourite of the two was KleinLaster. This bike just stood out from the rest by the sheer passion that is seen in the craftman-ship. The whole frame is beautifully brazed and later filed down for an outstanding finish. What we loved is that the frame is kept without paint, only a clear coat goes on top of the raw frame, displaying the welds in their natural beauty. And of course the chain that connects the handlebars to the front fork is just cool to look at.
As said, 2017 edition of BFS was once again a hit. We will certainly be present again in 2018. Aside from that, the life in a small and young company is always a rollercoaster and turbulent. We are hoping to do at least a few more shows this year – let’s see how things play out in the near future. Keep following the blog, Instagram and Facebook and we will surely pass on a message of other shows where you can find us.
Talking as a physical product company – crowdfunding is an excellent tool from companies to present an idea and turn it into a product fast. It is a platform that puts smaller and larger companies on a relatively plane playing field – so that all of us can pitch an idea to a large crowd like Tim Cook on Apple’s annual iPhone release. Whilst there are countless niche platforms, some regional, some area specific, there are only 2 truly global names when it comes to reward based crowdfunding – Indiegogo and Kickstarter. As we have used both, we would like to share what we have learnt so that you can make the best choice with a shortest possible learning curve.
The volume – First of all, let’s look into some general, non-project specific, numbers and comparisons between the two platforms. Firstly you should know that whilst Indiegogo is available for creators around the globe, Kickstarter isn’t (supported countries can be found here). While this can be an issue, there are many creators opting to favor the latter platform, going the extra mile to register a company in one of the supported countries. Why so? Perhaps the most obvious reason in sheer traffic – according to SimilarWeb extension, Kickstarter gets 54,7 million visits every month vs Indiegogo’s 26,9 million. Further more, the success rate on Kickstarter globally is currently 34,5% versus 9,8% on Indiegogo (up to some debate as unsuccessful project often get deleted). You can check out all stats on Kickstarter yourself by using advanced search and excel.
Marketing budget – On the other hand if you have deep pockets, and know your way around using Google and Facebook ads, then you might look towards Indiegogo as they have implemented those tools directly into the platform. With a few steps, you can connect your project pages to tracking pixels and retarget visitors so that you have a larger chance of sealing the deal with your project visitors. On top of that, Indiegogo is moving towards being a marketplace for projects that have already been funded throught their In Demand section, which is essentially a marketplace where you can keep selling your project even after the project has ended.
Funding type and currency – Other basics we would like to mention here, but not in great detail are that Indiegogo allows you to create a project with both flexible funding and fixed funding. Flexible funding meaning that even if you don’t hit your goal, you still get the money you raised. Fixed funding means that you only get to use the funds once you exceeded the funding goal. All Kickstarter project run on fixed funding platform. Another factor is that Indiegogo lets you choose the currency for your project, Kickstarter will run on a currency of creator’s country. As we took part of an event for Kickstarter creators in Copenhagen, a crowdfunding agency showed us how badly the success rate of project had dropped once Kickstarter expanded to Denmark. Part of the reasoning being that it took so much commitment to register a foreign company to even launch a project, but one reason could simply be psychological. If you sell a product which cost 750 DKK or 99€ then it will be much easier for people to go for the 99€ price mark, it simply seems smaller, this applies especially for US based supporters, only used to dealing in one currency. This may well be a solid factor as 76,9% of all project are launched in US, thus creating a US based community of supporters.
Alright – time to talk about our specific experiences. By now, we have run 4 campaigns on Kickstarter, and we started 1 on Indiegogo. Here are the projects in chronological order –
The two projects we want to focus on are the two last ones. They are virtually the same project, launched on different platforms. Why did we launch on 2 different platforms at the same time? Well we didn’t. First we launched on Indiegogo. For the first time since launching our company, we had some funds, not much, but some funds for marketing of the campaign, and like mentioned above, Indiegogo has some things going for it that Kickstarter doesn’t. So based on our experience, we thought it would go at least as good as one of our project in the past. But this is where it all gets interesting.
Just like with other projects, we had prepared our media list, organized our contact etc. More tips on this here. We went ahead with the Indiegogo launch and got pretty decent traffic for the first couple of days. Only a few backers, but decent traffic, so we were not giving up. After the first days, the traffic slowed down, only generating between 30 and 6 visitors a day. We had set up our retargeting ads, so that gave us a little bit more visibility, but as a strong start is the most important part of a crowdfunding project, then is simply didn’t have any meaning continuing as we failed to get much funding and media coverage. Thus we wrote to Indiegogo explaining our situation and they luckily agreed to take down the project.
About a week after this, we launched the same project on Kickstarter. We had of course wasted some good leads as we couldn’t approach all of our contacts again, but even so, the internal traffic was about double that of Indiegogo within the first days and continued to be so throughout the project. More importantly, we got a steady stream of backers and went 5x over the initial funding goal.
Easy decision making – Although 50 000 DKK is not something you will read about on the cover of New York Times, it goes to show how different these platforms are. What’s really clear is that Kickstarter generates far more traffic for a ‘non-viral’ project – which most projects are. Beyond traffic, Kickstarter payments work differently – Indiegogo charges your card right at the time of your pledge, but Kickstarter only charges your card in the end of the campaign. This means you can decide whether you like the product or the idea today, and figure out the money part during the next 30 days (or whatever the amount of days left). And if you didn’t you’ll get a notice and 14 days to fix your payment. Now this will create a few ‘bad payments’, but it makes decision making much easier which translates into numbers.
Further more, the last graph goes to show jsut how powerful the internal community of Kickstarter is. With 16 on Indiegogo, we only received a couple of internal backers, on Kickstarter, 73% of the total of 82 backers were internal. An while we didn’t show up on any charts on Indiegogo, Kickstarter quickly upgraded us to a ‘project we love’ status directly further traffic our way.
So which one should you choose? Kickstarter or Indiegogo? If there would be only one answer, then there would probably only exist one platform. If you have a large marketing budget and a lot of online marketing experience or Kickstarter simply isn’t supported in your country, you might opt for Indiegogo. Plus one might argue that the truly viral projects get their millions on either of the platforms anyway. But for small companies just breaking into the world like us, Kickstarter simply makes far more sense. The size of the community they have built directly translates into numbers, both in internal traffic and in backers.
As an extra tip for creators – especially those hoping to start a full-time business through crowdfunding – crowdfunding alone will, in most cases, not finance your whole project. There will be all sorts of unexpected problems – for example the Coolest Cooler, which at one point was the most funded project on Kickstarter, raised 13 million USD, had to sell on Amazon to be able to ship Kickstarter products. Instead of only relying on crowdfunding, either work out a flexible deal at your current workplace or make a deal with someone who will back you financially. Crowdfunding can be seen as a platform where you prove a concept in real world. You might only raise funding for 20% of the cost of the initial setup for the production, but you prove that there are people willing to pay for this product. This gives you an option to say for example – we need 100 000€ this year, if we get 200 customers, and 40 000€ in sales from crowdfunding, will you come in with 60 000€ as a partner?
Write or call if you have any further questions or comments.
The first month of 2017 has passed. Many of you probably have set some personal goals for the new year. How are you keeping up so far? If you’re not satisfied – here are some additional motivation boosters:
2017 – let’s ride.
As you already read in one of our earlier blog posts cycling keeps that heart of yours healthy and happy. It has proven to be the perfect cure for depression, obesity, stress and ailments in health. It is the best way to start your week, gearing you up to battle the days with renewed energy and vigor.
However, despite the numerous benefits, cycling isn’t always fun. Below are a few tips and tricks to help you retain motivation and keep paddling!
You may begin to ask yourself why you should even bother getting on your bike. To avoid such an event, it is recommended to set challenging but realistic goals to follow, like setting up deadlines to complete set distances or having a sportive race.
Everything is better with friends! Some people prefer alone-time but others seem to be happier with company. If you’re one of the latter, you’ll be better motivated if you arrange to meet up or cycle with friends.
Sharing the joy!
Follow a preset plan
Believe it or not, sometimes monotonous routines can be good for you! Sit down and plan a cycling routine. Go out for a ride on the same day and time every week, so that you get accustomed to cycling on that particular day and time and soon enough, cycling will be an unavoidable part of your day.
Buy a new bike
Maybe your old bike just isn’t doing the trick for you. Sometimes all you need is a shiny new one to reign in your heart and get you excited to break it in.
Stressed out? Feeling overwhelmed? Time to head over to the KP Cyclery in Copenhagen, Denmark and pick out your new cycle or stop by in our Online Shop 🙂
Get a new bike?
Join a cycling club
If you don’t have friends that share your interest in cycling, join a cycling club! You will make new friends, learn new tricks, have better confidence and have a consistent social circle.
Go on different tracks
You are less likely to get bored if you deviate from your usual track – take a wrong turn once in a while and explore new terrains.
Go on different tracks!
Tell your friends, family, co-workers and anyone else you know about your cycling plans. Once you have spread the word, it will be hard to back out. Constant inquiries about your cycling plans will force you to keep consistent; after all, no one likes a quitter.
Whether it’s to get to a friend’s house or school in the morning opting to go on a bicycle could perhaps be the best decision you make all day. Apart from the perk of having a good looking bicycle, riding on it can help you in ways that you didn’t think possible; especially in terms of your health.
When you ride a bicycle you’ll be surprised to know that your body is actually hard to work, and cycling involves a lot of muscle movement both in your arms and legs. Cycling regularly can increase the strength and flexibility of these muscles. With a constant stimulus your muscles not only grow in size but also strengthen up. After only a few months of cycling you’ll find extra strength in your legs that you didn’t have before. This can help you in sports other than cycling as well, for example soccer.
Cycling is also very good for your heart, not only does it strengthen your heart rather it keeps it young and healthy. The heart is the most vital organ in the human body responsible for pushing blood to each and every single muscle in the body. When you ride a bicycle, your heart rate increases and your muscles demand more blood. In this way the heart receives its daily exercise that is incumbent for a long and healthy life.
People who want to lose weight and want to do it fast can also opt for cycling for it is one of the surest ways in which you can lose weight within days. The amount of exercise the body goes through during cycling helps your body break down fats which automatically results in low fat levels in your body. It also helps maintain those of us who want to maintain our bodies and works as a perfect tool for fitness as it increases you stamina.
Cycling is also optimal if you want to increase your brain power. It lightens up your grey matter and helps build new brain cells in the hippocampus (the region responsible for memory). It also boosts blood flow and oxygen to the brain which fires and regenerates receptors which adds to the basic health of your brain.
You can also expect to live a lot longer if you decide to take up cycling as a habit. King’s College London compared over 2,400 identical twins and found those who did just three 45-minute rides a week were nine years “biologically younger” than their counter parts. What we take from this is the fact that those who exercise regularly are less likely to suffer from a cardiovascular disease, type two diabetes, all types of cancer and obesity.
With cycling, you can do no wrong and there is absolutely no reason for you not to take up this habit for it can lead to a better and healthy life that ensures a bright future for you and your kids when you grow up.
So much has been going on during the last week or two that our ambition of writing an update has fallen flat on its ass, sitting in the back of our minds. Luckily, last day of this week happens to be a bit more relaxed to take a few minutes to give a quick update on what’s been going on.
New product photos & new frame colours – Last week was largely spent on something that had been long over-due, product photos of all our bikes. So we took a couple of days, built all the different combinations of bikes and took nice clean photos of them. You can see the results when looking at the product page of our bikes and designing your bike. PS! Life as a KP Cyclist just got a lot more colourful – many new frame colours! Check it out HERE.
We have some bikes for sale for a bargain – Over the years we’ve accumulated some frames with small scratches or defects by the paint shop. We took some time to look through them and uploaded them to our website as a separate product. It is a full spec bicycle, with very small paint defects, but a huge discount of 200€. Check it out, you might score a bargain! KP Cyclery Bicycle – Scratched Frame Sale This Laguna Blue frame in any components configuration is one of the bicycles available.
Moving a head with prototypes – All the buzz around our Kickstarter (more on that coming below) has not been able to keep our hand off our prototype products, we’ve meen making steady progress with both the Sidecar Bike, which is now also available for purchasing separately from a bicycle and our front rack.
The biggest news last – our KICKSTARTER IS BLASTING THROUGH THE ROOF – After launching the Bike Hanger 2.0 firstly on Indiegogo where it really didn’t pick up, we were feeling a bit beaten down, especially given the past experience with Kickstarter. We took a few deep breaths, and decided to try again on the latter platform. We’re really glad to say it has taken off like no other project we’ve launched in the past. With the first 5 days, it’s already over 300% funded with more than 50 backers! We couldn’t be more thankful for all our backers, it’s a nice ray of sunshine during the years of hard labour, labour of love, but none the less a lot of it. Here’s the Kickstarter video if you haven’t already seen it:
Thank you all for keeping an eye on us, and wishing you a fabulous weekend!
Some of you might have already heard about “Critical Mass” events. However, for those not in the know, they are an excellent way to join in with the cycling community in your town or city, and take back the roads from the backlog of cars that often prevents people from getting on their bikes more often.
Held on the last Friday of each month, Critical Mass now takes place in hundreds of cities all over the world. However, the event has humble beginnings- it started off in San Francisco in 1992, when a small group of cyclists sought to take back the streets from cars. Just a few dozen people showed up to what was then called “Commute Clot”, as it was intended to make a stand by reclaiming rush hour roads. Afterwards, they all retired to a local bike shop, where a documentary about how Chinese road users worked together, queueing up at intersections until one side had reached “critical mass”, when they would then move forward. From this inspiration, a whole new movement was born.
Just how big each Critical Mass event is depends on where it is held, and who turns up. Sometimes there isn’t really any organizational structure to things and it is more of a spontaneous event, and whoever takes part simply goes with the flow. But in other cases there are highly dedicated people who put a lot of work into organizing it. Some groups choose to plan a route beforehand, and pass out flyers to show riders where to go while others even put up a live GPS to track the current position of the mass. These more regular rides tend to be a lot smaller, with a dedicated group who frequently get together, but in major cities like Berlin (June 2016: 2800 riders) or London (May 2016: 1000+ riders) they are massive. In some places, such as Budapest, Hungary, there are just two Critical Masses per year- on Earth Day and International Car Free Day (April 22 and September 22 respectively) tens of thousands of people join in, making for quite a spectacle. These are great opportunities for people to join together, make new friends, and show the world just how powerful the cycling community can be.