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?
To ride, or not to ride
I attended the Beer and BBQ party last year and hung out to talk about bikes and the whole Internet thing, but I didn’t ride (no bike). Even though I wasn’t riding, I enjoyed eating the food, drinking a beverage of my choosing, and discussing Web Accessibility with colleagues from three countries.
This year, I planned ahead and booked a rental bike from a local shop. Now I can fully enjoy the “43% more bike culture” I keep hearing about, get some triathlon training in with some friends I don’t often see, and also enjoy a considerable amount of additional mobility in and around Austin. I’m putting together loose plans for training rides with a few other cyclists and triathletes attending the interactive conference, so “contact me via Twitter”:http://twitter.com/iamjolly (or some other method).
Musique non stop, techno pop
SXSW attendees generally possess a strong creative or technical bent–quite often a combination of the two. Similarly, bikes exist with both function and form. Cycling culture celebrates the extreme technical detail that squeezes every last drop of performance from bikes on one hand, and the aesthetic beauty, simplicity, and art forms that these machines can exhibit on the other.
The theme for the Mobile Social event combines bikes, technology, and art. Interesting things are bound to emerge from the mix of minds and matter that SXSW and the Mobile Social will bring together. Fun will ensue, if nothing else, which is just fine by me. The DJs of the Sun, aka Sycons, will be providing music during and after the ride, and there are some damn fine people involved in the event as sponsors and participants, so it’s guaranteed to be a blast. And, as I wrote this post way past a self-imposed deadline, “DL Byron”:http://twitter.com/bikehugger has the Urban Ride will have a parade permit, police escort, and road closures –a bike parade on Congress Street in Austin!
Come out and play
So, with only about a month left before SXSWi and the Mobile Social event, it will be here before you know it. If you want to ride and need some wheels, there are rental bikes available from “Bicycle Sport Shop”:http://bicyclesportshop.com/ in Austin. You could also bring your sweet old banana seat bike back to SXSW this year (see photo above) or even find one used from someone in the area. Some of those Craigslist bikes could, with a little creativity, make for some sweet art bikes to ride in the Mobile Social.
If you can’t make it for the ride, definitely join in on the post-ride soirÃ©e at the barbeque in Brush Square Park, sponsored by “An Event Apart”:http://aneventapart.com/ and a whole host of other great companies. “Jeffrey Zeldman”:http://zeldman.com/ will be there, so you can ask him or myself for a $100 off coupon for registration at any 2009 AEA conference.
And, there’s an after party at “Mellow Johnny’s”:http://mellowjohnnys.com/, sponsored in part by “97 Bottles”:http://97bottles.com/, along with some other “very hip SXSW events”:http://cogaoke.com to round out your Saturday night. Hope to see y’all there.