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Cyclehack: 27 cities around the world come together to brainstorm this weekend

The second year of the mass brainstorming event has spread to Istanbul, New York, Chennai, and London

Cyclehack, the mass brainstorming event aimed at solving your everyday cycling problems, is back this year in 27 different cities across the globe.

Now in its second year, the event that brought you Penny in Yo Pants, will see cyclists from cities including London, Glasgow (where the movement was founded), Tokyo, Athens, Sydney and Amsterdam, get together to come up with cycling "hacks", to solve some of the barriers to cycling.

Hacks are a growing phenomenon in the tech world, and with an eye on sustainability the simultaneous events will focus on finding solutions to issues of all sizes, from data to clothing malfunctions. Work from all of the hack events is uploaded onto an open source catalogue so anyone can access the ideas. 

Cyclehack founder, Sarah Drummond, founded the event after becoming frustrated with the slow pace of change in cycling, and wanting to harness some of the creative expertise of the cycling community, something Manchester, for example, seems to be excelling at.

"One of the things we are trying to do is bring a cross section of disciplines and knowledge together, bringing together different people from different backgrounds: people who are cyclists, designers, engineers, makers, planners, 3D printers - this is one of the things [Manchester] have done particularly well, just pulling together that cross section."

"They just seem really on it in terms of knowing what they are doing, I think it is because they have got lots of creative industry people in, they have networked with different cycling agencies in Manchester, people who are running social enterprises, people who are running cycle shops," she said.

Last year hacks ranged from a messenger strap that attached to a woman's handbag to keep it in place while riding, to a new open source data site to be used as a lobbying tool.

She said: "Last year there was a really interesting concept [in Glasgow] where one of the teams of developers were getting frustrated not knowing how much money was being spend on infrastructure by the city council. They were trying to find out what the spend was so they could compare it with other local authorities  but it was just text based data, so how much is being spent in Glasgow per kilometre?

"They made that data accessible by making a website V3loscape, pulled in who your local MSP was and local councillors, so you could take their data and lobby them."

Surprisingly (or perhaps unsurprisingly) Amsterdam is set to be this year's biggest event, with 150 people signed up, and organisers having to turn others away. A major focus in Amsterdam is set to be the issue of bike parking for the city's legions of bicycles.

In other places the aim is rather more modest.

Sarah said: "We need these completely different conversations. In Beirut [last year] it was about how do we get people to know about cycling and that it is a thing?"

Last year events in Melbourne, Beirut and Glasgow, where the idea was hatched, attracted more than 150 people each.

This year's list is below. Amsterdam and London are at capacity.

New York
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