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What is the Cleverhood Fund?

  • by John Coulbourn

Like many good companies, we strive to be good global citizens here at Cleverhood. It’s not that we think companies are people, it’s just that all of us here at Cleverhood are people*. And since our inception ten years ago, we’ve become increasingly amazed to see the out-sized effects that sustainable transportation has on a place.

Your eyes can’t see what your mind doesn’t know, right?

We’ve been learning. It started at a Brooklyn bike jumble on a hot summer day with our fresh bike-ready prototypes and lots of conversations. That Fall we experienced our first Philly bike show, in the alley next to the Armory, with the infamous Halloween Nor'easter in 2011. Weather brought out the best people. 

Basketball City and the mind-blowing NYC Five Boro Bike Tour. Big, beautiful rides through every livable city we could get to (still working on that). We met all sorts of people with bikes.

But it was more than bikes. They were just the vehicles. It was the freedom and the personal expression and the energy that was getting everybody off. In an all-natural, family-approved way.

“Hold my bike while I kiss your girlfriend” was a vibe coming from Copenhagen, when we started out. In NYC a certain Bill Cunningham, the gentle man with a camera and a bike, became our patron saint. There were Brompton Championships, downtown BMX races, Street Kings, street art tours, VeloCity Europe, bike shop parties. It’s a diverse, global community with a common enthusiasm for style and expression.

We know there are serious rifts and injustices in our neighborhoods and cities. But we’re learning how bikes can be a vehicle for change (meet the lovely and talented team @TheWaronCars). Bikes are catalysts for inclusion and opportunity and fresh thinking.

Trees. Open spaces, safe streets. You notice how much that helps a place when you notice. Walking does wonders for a community, with friendly nods and conversations. Human mobility is good for business and good for your neighborhood.

There are problems with cars, equity and common sense that we've previously overlooked, but we're learning. It's quite eye-opening.

Here’s the Thing:

We’re humbled by the champions of open streets and spaces, bike lanes and mobility justice that we meet. We’re initiating the Cleverhood Fund to help illuminate individuals or organizations making a difference in the community.

Last August, we introduced the Rover Cape, in six flashy colors, with the promise that we would set aside 5% of every sale for advocates working on our behalf. Now the Cleverhood Fund includes 5% of every item that we sell. 

Our efforts are modest. But hopefully we can all work together to shed some bright light on the neighborhood scene.

Please Educate Us

If you know a worthy group or organization that deserves recognition please send them our way. We’re looking for local advocates who are making a difference anywhere in the whole wide world. 

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*There are a number of dogs who think they work here.

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