Mobility Hack: The Cycling Collective invites you to the BikeHack


The Cycling Collective will be joining the Mobility Indaba’s Mobility Hack where they will coordinate the Bike Hack. We asked the team to share their insights on The Cycling Collective, the Bike Hack and what moves them.

What is a hack? And more specifically, how does this differentiate from the Bike Hack at the Mobility Hack?

A hack means to alter, gain access to, or cope with successfully. A bike hack is an event in which multidisciplinary teams quickly come together to use design thinking to create solutions to the biggest cycling problems that keep people (in this case, Capetonians) from getting on bikes for transport, exercise and fun!

The Bike Hack at the Mobility Hack is best described as an iterative design process whereby barriers to cycling are reimagined to create innovative, inclusive solutions. Bike Hack is put on by the Cycling Collective and will be housed within the #cocreateSA Mobility Indaba to bring together designers, engineers, creatives, cyclists, community members and intellectuals to think and create collaboratively about how to eliminate barriers to bicycling in Cape Town as a form of transport, to create additional accessibility options, and to increase social interaction.logo

How did you begin?

As a team, members of the Cycling Collective have cycled in cities around the globe, and can see the potential for an uptake of cycling in a city like Cape Town. Cycling can increase health, reduce transportation costs, and give people easier access to other less familiar parts of our beautiful city. We believe solutions to transport challenges can come from within the community, and we’re excited to facilitate this process at the Mobility Indaba. As a Collective, the team we bring is already interdisciplinary, as we have come together through our Social Innovation Lab (SIL) course as graduate students at the University of Cape Town. This is our way of getting into and giving back to our community!

What is SIL?

UCT’s Graduate School of Business specialises in emerging market economies and is committed to social innovation.

The Social Innovation Lab was designed to make students see themselves as social innovators and places an emphasis on the real-world practical application of concepts and frameworks such as design thinking to create continued personal and societal change. As part of this commitment they have recently opened a satellite campus based in Philippi that is focussed on finding collaborative solutions to local problems as well as the Solution Space, a collaborative workspace based at the GSB from where start-ups can operate and receive assistance.

Meet the team:



Jen: “It has been a dream of mine to have a hack event for cycling in Cape Town since I arrived here in December 2015. One of the first things I purchased when I arrived was a bicycle, which I’ve used for transport and recreation, and has helped me better get to know my new city. I find that cycling is a great way to meet new people, get exercise, and find new hidden treasures within Cape Town. I also find that it gives me something in common with people I find riding on the street, it’s like we are part of a greater whole, which is why we are called the Cycling Collective. I’m thrilled to have been able to work with my classmates on this new project, and am excited to meet new people at the #BikeHack!”



Raymond: “I am a keen recreational cyclist but I have never considered cycling as a mode of transport. I realise the benefits of cycling and I would like to challenge myself in breaking down the barriers that are preventing me from using a bicycle on a daily basis. The Bike Hack is the perfect place to do this. The Bike Hack involves an enthusiastic team which consists of a wide range of skills and backgrounds who will work towards breaking.”



Inge: “I am an artist at heart, I studied fine arts at Stellenbosch University and have spent the past several years working in Advertising in Cape Town.  I learned to cycle when I was small, and my entire family did the Argus and several other races together. I used my bicycle throughout my undergraduate but stopped using my bike when I started working. My biggest barrier is safety, feeling safe on the road and the safety of my personal belongings particularly as a woman. I’m excited to participate in the Bike Hack as it will give me a chance to use my creativity to face my fears.”



Warren: “I am a medical doctor by training, and am excited in getting more people involved in cycling for their health and fitness. There are a number of reasons I became involved in Bike Hack. First, cycling has some rather nifty and exciting prospects in terms of innovation, design and entrepreneurship. Second, the design thinking process has huge personal appeal – its problem solving in a way which makes sense to me – and its fast paced, with tangible outcomes. Third, the passion for cycling, mobility, sustainability and social innovation the project team, led by Jen, has been contagious – virtually impossible to say no to being involved. Finally, I am motivated by the possibility of contributing meaningfully to our society and city – even if only through the discussions which might arise from the hack…even better if the ideas become something more. Look forward to meeting you there.”



Scott: “I live 2.8km from school and don’t ride because of the risk of getting hit on the road, and because it will be unprofessional to be sweaty, but at the same time I know it would be good for all stakeholders, for mother earth as much as myself, if I rode a bicycle instead of driving my diesel bakkie.”

Daniel: “I am a Mechatronics engineer from UCT and have been working as an automation engineer in the oil recycling industry. I am fairly new to cycling, having only picked it up in the last couple of years, and know first-hand the apprehensions that potential cyclists can have when deciding to commute on the road. However, it has been amazing journey with many health and environmental benefits, and I am hoping that this event will aid in alleviating the problems that deter many potential cyclists.”



Barney: “I like cycling because it’s good for one’s mind, body and wallet. On top of that it’s also good for the environment! I am involved with Bike Hack because I would like to live in a world where everyone cycles everywhere. In a world like that everyone would be happier, healthier and wealthier!”



Shubha: “I previously worked in a rural town as a dentist, and the one thing I learnt from my patients was the importance of transport. For most of the patients the cost of transport was more than their medical fee (R 20) as many lived far from town. They would only come to the hospital during certain times of the month (when they receive money/income) or early hours of the morning because taxis only came at certain hours of the day to their village. It was clear they were highly dependent on local taxis. I can only imagine if a cycle culture existed how much benefit it would be to the community.”

Do you have a great idea for a bicycle bell or a way to navigate with a map on your handlebars? What about a carrier that becomes a trailer or an app that eases the morning commute? Bring your ideas and join us at the Mobility Hack on Saturday and Sunday where we will move from ideation to prototyping on your ideas!

8 and 9 September 2016 | 09:30 – 16:30 | Kenilworth Racecourse

Click here to register to attend!

Photo Credits: Jen Katchmark | Photo of Jen by Inge Prins

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