If there was a choice, it would be a cargo bike over a car

©Barry Sandland/TIMB - Cargo bike and rider in Molenbeek, Brussels

©Barry Sandland/TIMB – Some cargo bikes are built like very fast tanks.

“My boss saw this as a promotion on a website and bought it for me, almost as a gift. We were looking for something to transport stuff and I prefer the bike. I am not lying. Really. Sometimes I am obliged to use the van, but my preference, if possible, is the bike.”

Photographer’s notes: This shot was just at the borderline of Molenbeek. One of the easiest chats where I asked for a photo and was instantly accepted.

When the shot was over, a man who had been watching crossed over to start another conversation with me. What was I doing, that sort of stuff. But it was such a nice chat about the area, the people, and then that he knew me from a public garden I maintain in the area. That he liked the space.

This might seem a detour, but of late, there has been  nasty couple of pieces about Molenbeek being a closed, unwelcoming area. It is a far cry from what happens to me. I like living here and have been here for over a decade, now. OK, it is poor and there are frustrations and difficulties, but no more than would be found in any poor area. But for anyone to think the people here are unfriendly or closed, then they are missing out on living here.

But it never surprises me that the people who dislike Molenbeek the most are the people who do not live here… Or, never wanted to live here.

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