ABCycling in Beirut: a guide to cycling in the city of organized chaos

Summary
ABCycling is a guide and kit to urban cycling in Beirut.
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Campaign successfully funded on: 08 Jul,2016

This project has been successfully funded with $3,670 (122%)

Feeling lost and don't know what all of this is about?

How it all started

It all started 4 years ago, back in my second year of university. Faced with the catastrophic traffic of Ras Beirut, my friend and I decided to dig out our rusty old bicycles in an attempt to get to class on time every morning. It was the best decision I had ever made, turning my life around, and I have been commuting by bicycle ever since. By the time I had to work on my graduation project, it was obvious it would revolve around the bicycle. After researching the cycling cultures of the world's cycling capitals, such as Copenhagen, Amsterdam or Portland, I turned to the Beirut scene and conducted surveys and interviewed cyclists in the city. I started by summarizing my findings and research into a paper about the emerging bicycle culture of Beirut. You can read it by clicking on the link below.

https://www.academia.edu/6756776/Beirut_Bicycle_Culture

The kit

My final result of my graduation project, and my personal contribution to getting more people onto bicycles in Beirut, was ABCycling, a printed guide and toolkit for urban cycling in Beirut. It offers a wide range of information and advice, from general info about equipment and the types of bikes to be found in Beirut to specific issues to be considered when embarking on a cycling journey in the city. There's also a strong personal element, with reflections on the pleasures and pains of cycling in Beirut from myself and other cyclists. For example, there is a section on 'gender-related' issues, which I have encountered and reflected on considerably in the past four years.

In essence, in creating this guide I wanted to answer all the questions anyone might have about how to start cycling in this city. 

The design

ABCycling in Beirut is my graphic design graduation project and consequently the result of a detailed design process as well as a real labour of love, with each design choice having to be justified to myself and to my professors! I absolutely don't regret the effort, though, because the end result is a true reflection of my passion for both design and cycling. It is filled with with my hand-drawn illustrations. The cover and the tote bag the guide comes in are both screen-printed, a mechanical, manual process that mirrors the mechanical action of pedalling.

Beirut is a city full of surprises. Every time I take my bicycle out for a spin, I notice new things, discover new things and interact with people differently. This is why I chose to fill the guide with surprises - foldout posters and booklets that pop out of the guide as you read through it, just as the city streets will spring a surprise on you when you're rolling through them peacefully on your bicycle.

Have a peak into the guide at this link:

https://www.behance.net/gallery/23516505/ABCycling-in-Beirut-a-guide-to-cycling-in-Beirut

The material

For the printing, I chose recycled paper that backs up the green message and reflects the environmentally-conscious behavior that the guide advocates for. The cover is screen-printed recycled chip-board. The binding is a Japanese-style artisanal handmade binding that adds to the uniqueness and beauty of the book.

I imagined how cyclists might want carry the guide around with them while cycling, trying to discover a new bike shop or going on a bike ride, so I designed a screen-printed tote bag that would house the guide and all its little goodies (stickers, posters, maps, etc.).

The bigger picture

The aim of this crowdfunding campaign is to cover the cost of a print run of at least 300 copies of the guide and make it available in selected bike shops and bookstores.

More importantly, the guide is one of a range of initiatives that encourage cycling as an alternative to the car, thus contributing to a greener Beirut, a Beirut with less car exhausts, more space on the streets, less frustration... Not only does encouraging Beirutis to cycle constitute an environmental message, I also see the social implications, empowering women and steering towards a more egalitarian society as well as a healthier lifestyle. Just imagine a concrete example to illustrate how this guide fits in to this agenda:

A friend gets you a copy of ABCycling for a friend > you buy a bicycle > you start commuting to work by bicycle > you save on gas, parking, and gym subscription > you starts arriving on time to work, making your life more efficient > your colleagues start cycling to work too > company installs a bike rack at the office.... 

Your contribution will fund the first print run of 300 copies of the guide and its goodies, the cost of producing the messenger bags and t-shirts, and delivering the lovely rewards to you, wherever you are in Beirut (if you're elsewhere I'll post it), with the fantastic Deghri Messengers.

Exposure so far

2016 The guide was presented at Pecha Kucha Beirut Volume 24.

2014 The guide was exhibited at Beirut Design Week's Newcomer's Exhibition in 2014.

http://www.agendaculturel.com/Tendances_Une_brochette_prometteuse_de_jeunes_designers_a_Saifi

http://beirutdesignweek.org/page/59/item/711/Highlights-2014/Newcomers-Exhibition

http://www.pechakucha.org/users/siwar-kraytem

https://now.mmedia.me/lb/en/reportsfeatures/521271-lebanon-goes-for-a-ride

http://albertomucci.com/2014/06/12/thinking-back-on-the-kindergarten-collective/

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/lucy-knight/cycling-beirut_b_3980512.html






Sebastian Knecht
07 Jul,2016
$170

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04 Jun,2016
$10

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21 May,2016
$20

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16 May,2016
$100

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16 May,2016
$25

Kristyan
14 May,2016
$150

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07 May,2016
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07 May,2016
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Matthias Rast
07 May,2016
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Matthias Rast
07 May,2016
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23 Apr,2016
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21 Apr,2016
$150

PLars
21 Apr,2016
$30

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06 Apr,2016
$100

Azza Hajjar
03 Apr,2016
$10

Meredith
17 Mar,2016
$150

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17 Mar,2016
$15

Rayya
10 Mar,2016
$40

Alain Guillebeau
08 Mar,2016
$60

Hassan Nasser
07 Mar,2016
$30

Zeina Shaaban
02 Mar,2016
$150

Anonymous
15 Feb,2016
$100

Rita Mechedjian
13 Feb,2016
$60

Sabine Khattar
13 Feb,2016
$30

Rami El Zein
05 Feb,2016
$60

Rami Kanafani
04 Feb,2016
$80

Salim
03 Feb,2016
$10

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03 Feb,2016
$150

Anonymous
03 Feb,2016
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03 Feb,2016
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03 Feb,2016
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03 Feb,2016
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02 Feb,2016
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02 Feb,2016
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29 Jan,2016
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28 Jan,2016
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27 Jan,2016
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27 Jan,2016
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27 Jan,2016
$150

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26 Jan,2016
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26 Jan,2016
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26 Jan,2016
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Rami Zoya
26 Jan,2016
$100

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26 Jan,2016
$150

Sarah Habli
26 Jan,2016
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Karim Sokhn
26 Jan,2016
$60

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25 Jan,2016
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25 Jan,2016
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Anonymous
25 Jan,2016
$30

Omar Al Fil
25 Jan,2016
$10

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No Parnter Exist
Beirut, Lebanon
Verified User

My name is Siwar Kraytem and I am a 23 year old graphic designer from Beirut. I am passionate about illustration, design, cycling, and the outdoors. I have been pedaling through the streets of Beirut for 4 years now, it…

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  Rewards

$10 or more
→    ABCYCLING STICKER SHEET

144 Available

A A4 sheet full of stickable illustrations from the guide, for your bike, laptop, sister's forehead...
$15 or more
→    THE JUICY POSTCARD SERIES

99 Available

Three postcards with illustrations from the guide.
$15 or more
→    DOUBLE TROUBLE POSTER

97 Available

A double-sided 30x50 cm poster printed on wood-free recycled paper. On one side: "Why on earth ride a bike in this city anyway?"reminder of all the good reasons and excuses of why ride a bike in Beirut. On the other side, 'Take back the road' illustration. You can see the poster here: https://www.behance.net/gallery/23516505/ABCycling-in-Beirut-a-guide-to-cycling-in-Beirut
$30 or more
→    SCREEN-PRINTED ABCYCLING TOTE BAG

41 Available

A unique screen-printed tote bag with the signature ABCycling light bulb illustration.
$35 or more
→    SCREEN-PRINTED ABCYCLING T-SHIRT

23 Available

A t-shirt screen-printed by hand with the ABCycling light bulb illustration. Wear your support for cycling in Beirut on your chest!
$60 or more
→    THE GUIDE AND THE GUIDE ONLY

186 Available

The guide (with its sexy screen-printed cover) including: 2 posters, 2 inside stories, an Arabic glossary of terms, and bike profile leaflets.
$150 or more
→    THE REAL DEAL

39 Available

The guide and all its goodies (2 posters, 2 inside stories, an Arabic glossary of terms, bike profile leaflets) as well as stickers to pimp up your bike, 3 unique postcards, a screen-printed tote bag to put it all in while you're cruising around town, as well as a hand screen-printed t-shirt!
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