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Big plans for Cyclehack after Penny In Yo' Pants went viral

Big plans for Cyclehack after Penny In Yo' Pants went viral

It started off as 'funny' idea between friends over coffee, but Cyclehack has geared up to be far greater than anyone expected.

Founded by Glasgow entrepreneur Sarah Drummond and friends Johanna Holtan based in Edinburgh and Mathew Lowell, the concept first launched in June 2014.

In essence, it was a 48-hour event inviting anyone with an interest in cycling to share ideas on how to make cities more cycle-friendly.

Now less than five months down the line, the Cyclehack team have people in 35 cities across the world signed up to run their own versions of the event next summer.

People aren't just interested in the programme - Cyclehack has galvanised people around the world to submit suggestions on ways to improve the whole cycling experience.

Hacks include devices like cycle pulleys for tenements (which you can see in the video above) to getting celebrities involved like Ryan Gosling. The latter is perhaps wishful thinking rather than hacking, but it's participation nevertheless.

One idea that took the globe by storm was Penny In Yo' Pants - an ingenious way of making skirts more practical for cycling in:

Penny In Yo Pants from Johanna Holtan on Vimeo.

Plans are now in motion to sell a PIYP product, with a percentage of funds going towards buying new bicycles for the Afghan women's cycling team. You can keep an eye on the PIYP charity progress via the website.

We caught up with Sarah who told us the Indiegogo crowd-funding campaign for Penny In Yo' Pants is about to launch.

Sarah said: "I was having coffee with Jo who set Cyclehack up with me - we had a bit of a joke and said: 'Wouldn't it be funny if people latched onto this idea.'

"Cyclehack is now a business in its own right and I think for it's incredible for Scotland to have people around the world looking at us in a positive way.

"Penny In Your Pants is just a dream of a project - if we raise £5000 we can get the Afghan team new bikes, if we get more we can potentially set up a women's cycling club in Afghanistan which would be incredible."

So what should we expect from Cyclehack 2015?

Well it's already expanding across Scotland with hacks organised for Glasgow, Edinburgh and Dundee.

But the event will be represented in almost every continent with cities like Sydney, Mexico, Cape Town and Bangalore getting involved.

Sarah said: "We basically give each city a framework, tools and an agenda, but each one will focus on different aspects.

"Beirut for instance have much bigger issues with cycling infrastructure and Gijon are going to interface with their local schools.

"We learned a lot last year about what worked and what could be better, so we'll build on our skill sets this year. We worked a lot with designers and developers last year - this time we want to get planners, engineers, and councils involved more too. Melbourne and Sydney are already doing that."

Tickets go on sale very soon for Cyclehack 2015 running from June 19 - 21 - you can buy them via the website.

You can also expect to see an expanding platform for people to post ideas on how to make cities more cycle friendly.

Cyclehack already keep an online archive of suggestions but plans are in motion to develop this into a forum for public feedback and city planning designs - watch this space as the product is due for testing early next year in Glasgow and Edinburgh.

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