Entries by Robert Jolly

Built: Make and Tell

In mid-January, “SXSW”:http://sxsw.com/node/6276 and “Bike Hugger announced Built”:http://bikehugger.com/2011/01/built-at-sxsw.html. Since then, we’ve been busy finalizing the core details with the SXSW folks. We have some updates for you, including a new logo and a Call for Speakers.


h2. Built at SXSW

Built at SXSW will feature numerous Ignite-style talks of five minutes in length where those who make and create get to share their ideas with the best and brightest in the Interactive and Film industry. Specifics are:

  • Location: Austin, Texas :: South By Southwest Trade Show’s Next Stage
  • Date and Time: Tuesday, March 15th 2011 at 12:00pm
  • Description: Built is our flavor of a maker, hacker, DIY, Ignite-style event, with the bike as a backdrop.

h3. Call for Speakers/Presenters

Do you have some cool ideas or concepts worth sharing? If so, kindly fill out our presenter form below and let us know what you’re making that incorporates technology and transportation; bonus points for bike-related ideas or robots. If you’re not going to SXSW, and have a good talk, send it in! Because we’ll announce more Built dates next week.

Today, I read a seemingly anti-helmet statement posted via Alex Bogusky’s (@bogusky) Twitter stream that read:

The culture of fear and why we shouldn’t bike with a helmet. If we were rational we would wear helmets in our CARS. http://t.co/g3iRyKZ

It links to a blog post by Bogusky on his FearLess Revolution blog with an embedded video of Mikael Colville-Andersen’s recent TEDx talk in Copenhagen. The video is 16 minutes long, and asserts, essentially, that the bicycle helmet industrial complex and their use of fear tactics to encourage sales is directly responsible for a decline in the growth of cycling, promotes unsafe cycling behavior, and claims that cycling with a helmet is less safe than riding without a helmet.

A real conspiracy or just sartorialist helmet hatin’?

Colville-Andersen is better known as @copenhagenize on Twitter and is responsible for the popular bike culture blogs Copenhagenize and Copenhagen Cycle Chic. In his video (link in Bogusky tweet above) and related blog post, Colville-Andersen’s reference to facts and statistics seem tenuous, at best. Maybe he’s totally right and there IS a direct correlation between helmet scare tactics and reduced cycling uptake. I’d like to see some real proof of that, though. My sense is that there’s more of an anti-industry, sartorialist underpinning here than empirical evidence. I totally dig the sartorialist coverage of cycling by Colville-Andersen and others, and I do feel that our consumerist society is out of control (more on that below).

BHSI’s Response to the video

The Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute (BHSI, a part of that evil bicycle helmet industrial complex) responded with a post on their site, offering rebuttals much of what Colville-Andersen claimed. They offer some compliments for the presentation’s entertainment value, but contend that the claims Colville-Andersen are inaccurate or without merit.

Is there a conspiracy?

Yes and no. I believe there is definitely a concerted effort by those within the automobile-centric ecosystem that would prefer to see the status quo maintained. This is evidenced by recent policy statements by AAA Mid Atlantic suggesting that Highway Transportation Funds be shifted away from alternative (non-motor vehicle) transportation projects. Huffington Post covered it well in this interview between Larry Cohen and Dick Jackson, M.D., M.P.H. But, I doubt very seriously there is any conspiracy between the automotive complex and the helmet industry.

Consumerism is rampant and planned obsolescence-along with lofty claims of performance and/or safety-is as prevalent in cycling as every other aspect of our “modern” consumerist societies. Who really needs a 3D TV, or an iPhone 6XLi? I doubt, though, that the marketing, from what I see in the U.S., is something that turns people off of cycling. If there’s hard evidence of that, I’d love to see it exposed more clearly so that we can legitimately rail against it.

Can we get more dialogue on this from both sides of the argument?

Helmet lovers and helmet haters who all care about bicycling should come together and discuss what the issues really are. What’s the evidence behind the claims being made? Is there a better way to promote safety for cycling that’s holistic, beyond the basics of using a helmet, lights, and brakes? Of course there is. So let’s get together and hug this shit out. If you’re not into hugging, talking/writing is OK, too.

@bogusky, @copenhagenize, and BHSI: (Why don’t you have a Twitter account, BHSI?) Can we have an open, civil dialogue/debate that covers these issues in a factual, helpful, possibly even mind/policy-changing way? I would personally sponsor a site to host the dialogue—virtual or in person.

To all cyclists: What are your thoughts about helmets and the fear factor mentioned by @bogusky and @copenhagenize? Are you a helmet hater? Any stories to tell to support either position?

Philadelphia ♥s Bikes

Yes, Philadelphia loves bikes, and it was apparent last night at the Moore College of Art and Design for the opening of their latest exhibition, “Bicycle: people + ideas in motion“:http://www.thegalleriesatmoore.org/site/exhibitions/bicycle. The opening brought out hundreds of people around the art and cycling community.

h2. Valet bike parking and more

A free bike valet parking service was offered by “Neighborhood Bike Works”:http://www.neighborhoodbikeworks.org/, a Philly non-profit that promotes youth development by offering educational, recreational, and career-building opportunities through bicycling. It also promotes cycling as a healthy, environment-friendly form of transportation.

See the slideshow below or “check out the full Flickr set”:http://www.flickr.com/photos/carboloader/sets/72157620616974222/ of the photos from the opening.

Old bikes, new bikes, BMX, racing, track, fixies, tandems, wooden, steel, cargo, folding, art, and toilet trikes–something for everyone–were on display at The Galleries at Moore. Local bike builder Stephen Bilenky of “Bilenky Cycle Works”:http://bilenky.com/ was on hand to display his shop’s handiwork and talk shop with those in attendance. They had several bikes on display that can frequently be seen on Philly streets showing just how beautiful and artistic these functional machines are.


h2. Bicycle Film Festival

poster_front-philly web.jpg

Last night was also the opening of the “Bicycle Film Festival”:http://www.bicyclefilmfestival.com/ in Philadelphia, with film screenings all day today (Saturday June 27, 2009) from 2:00pm to 8:00pm with an “after party”:http://bicyclefilmfestival.com/?p=philadelphia at the Kyber. The festival is sponsored by 42BELOW Vodka with stops in 39 cities worldwide.

“Check out the BFF trailer on YouTube”:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QS19BJuXoEk and be sure to attend when it comes to your neighborhood!

Robert Jolly wrote this post. He is the Client Relations Director at Happy Cog Studios and is an avid cyclist and triathlete.

With An Event Apart (AEA) Seattle over and my temporary captivity on a flight back to Philadelphia, I thought it would be good to recap the Mobile Social (MoSo) ride and event that happened this past Sundayr. This was my third Mobile Social event and my first time to ride a bike in Seattle. Byron was kind enough to allow me to borrow the Brompton folding bike to use before, during, and after the MoSo.

h2. Hello, Sunshine!

Philly has had it’s usual mix of schizophrenic Spring weather to really make a trip out to Seattle appealing–with or without all the rain. I awoke on Sunday morning early–body still operating on Eastern Time–and put in a solid, 9-10 mile run. This happened while the rest of Seattle attended early morning religious services to thank their respective higher powers for the AMAZINGLY BEAUTIFUL SUNNY MORNING. I say this only because it seemed like there was a distinct lack of people outside enjoying the day.


After burning up my legs on the hills around the Queen Ann neighborhood, I hooked up with the Huggas at Hugga HQ to pick up the Brompton. I got a quick demo of how to fold and unfold the bike before taking it out for a spin.

Note: Robert Jolly wrote this post for us. Robert is Happy Cog’s Client Relations Director based out of their Philadelphia office. He will be riding in the SXSW Mobile Social this year, and may very well be found singing off-key at OK! Happy Cog’aoke after the event and party at Mellow Johnny’s.

image of my list for SXSW

For those of us who’ve been to South By Southwest before, we all know the atmosphere of the conference by day, parties by night. It’s been termed “Geek Spring Break,” and that won’t change for the most folks, even though the economic climate is a veritable shitstorm. This year, I’ll be attending panels and conference programming to get my fill of inspiration and collaborative thinking on the professional side, but my personal focus will be to improve my fitness and social well-being through training with like-minded SXSW attendees and athletes. It’s both strategic and tactical that I move ahead of where I am now–on many different levels.

Bike Hugger Invades Austin

Note: “Robert Jolly”:http://twitter.com/iamjolly wrote this post for us. Robert is “Happy Cog’s”:http://happycog.com/ Client Relations Director based out of their Philadelphia office. He will be riding in the SXSW Mobile Social this year, and may very well be found singing off-key at “OK! Happy Cog’aoke”:http://cogaoke.com/ after the event.

h2. 43% More Bike Culture

Attention cyclists and South By Southwest attendees, the Bike Hugger Mobile Social SXSW on March 14th just keeps getting better and better. This is quickly becoming one of the premier official SXSW events, with the amount bike culture (awesomeness) multiplying as the event grows near.

One Month to Go (SXSW)

Note: “Robert Jolly”:http://twitter.com/iamjolly wrote this post for us. Robert is “Happy Cog’s”:http://happycog.com/ Client Relations Director based out of their Philadelphia office. He can frequently be found cycling, doing triathlons, and hugging bikes during his spare time.


“South By Southwest Interactive”:http://sxsw.com/interactive is a little over a month away, and I’m filled with the giddiness my daughter gets around the release of a High School Musical movie. This year’s Bike Hugger Mobile Social and BBQ is one of the events I’m most looking forward to. It’s on Saturday, March 14 (in case you haven’t sharpied that into your iBerry, yet) from 2-4pm for the ride, 4-6pm for the BBQ. It’s an official SXSW party, and that means it’s programmed right into the event schedule. How cool is that?

Advertise here

About Bike Hugger