The warmer weather these last few days in Brussels has made me want to spend as much time as possible outdoors. Sitting in my car everyday on the way to and from work just seems like wasted hours that could have been enjoyed in the sun. I’m not trying to fool myself into thinking that Brussels is always warm and dry, but it does seem a pity not to take advantage of every minute of sunshine we get.
So I was intrigued to learn about the Brussels Bike Experience, a two-week program aimed at encouraging people to ride bikes instead of driving to work. In its third year, the event will run from 2 to 16 May and will provide a great opportunity to give cycling a try. And best of all, it’s free!
According to the website, the criteria to participate are pretty simple: know how to ride a bike and be willing to give up your car for commuting for two weeks. The information meeting on 28 or 29 April is also mandatory, but will provide hints and tips on cycling in Brussels, maps and other goodies. Each biker will also be matched with a coach, who will supervise the ride to and from work for the first three days of Bike Experience and help find the best route.
Registration closes on 6 April and space is somewhat limited, so better to sign up sooner than later if you’re interested. One restriction is that you have to participate for the full two weeks, but on the upside the organizers are offering free bikes for use during the program.
If you already ride your bike every day, you can alternatively register to be a coach and help train new cyclists on their commute. The Bike Experience people will even pay you a small stipend (€60) for your time! You can also encourage your colleagues to join you as a biker or coach.
To help all cyclists, the Bike Experience website has outlined 7 golden rules for bike riding in Brussels. I especially like the last one on the list – be sure to look ahead at all times. 🙂
If the Bike Experience isn’t motivation enough to get on your bike, there are lots of other encouraging signs for cyclists in Brussels of late, including new bike lanes and more rentals. I’ve also recently discovered Velo Fixer, a bike repair guy on two wheels.
And a new blog has even been set up to help combat the bike theft issue in Brussels. So now there really is no excuse to not give it a try. There’s of course no guarantee that we’ll still be enjoying this good weather in May, but if last year is anything to go by, it will be a great time to get a bike and start peddling.
Images via Bike Experience and Knack.