Making the commitment to a true fixie ride

©Barry Sandland/TIMB - Man with new fixed gear bike in Brussels

©Barry Sandland/TIMB – Far from a converted road bike, pure fixies offer a lighter, fast-moving ride

“It is from Germany and brand new. I was looking for a fixie. Initially I was had for a race bike that I transformed into a fixie.  and I rode like that for five years. And then I went looking for a real fixie.  A track bike, something that was developed for the track. They are different rides. This is far more manoeuvrable, light and fun to ride The race bike is nicer over a long distance. I go to work with this one every day. I have brakes on it today because it is brand new but next week the brake will be gone. The rear brake is already gone.” Continue reading

Bring a mechanic if you want new cyclists

©BArry Sandland/TIMB - Velofixer mechanics repaired biked for free at the Brik bike market event

©Barry Sandland/TIMB – On site repairs, for free, has to be a strong draw to getting under financed students back on their bikes.

Velofixer mechanics, alongside their Cyclo counterparts, were offering free and immediate repairs for students with malfunctioning rides who attended the Brik second-hand bike market. For under-financed students, the free service was a great opportunity to get their faulty bikes back on the road in a safe form.  Continue reading

If you want slow, try a bicycle messenger

©Barry Sandland/TIMB - Bikes messengers doing track stands at the Briuk bike market

©Barry Sandland/TIMB – Fixed gear messengers racing for their track stand time

At the Brik bicycle fair, there was the slow race. About 10 meters to be covered as slowly as possible. If you want slow, then invite a bicycle messenger crew. Nothing can go as slow as a fixed gear. And then, there were those track stand tricks. Take, Eat, Easy riders seem to be the slowest in the city.
Continue reading

Brik has another success getting students onto bikes

©Barry Sandland/TIMB - Project organiser for Marché Velo, Viona Rijsbosch and her bike

©Barry Sandland/TIMB – Brik student union project organiser for Marché Velo, Viona Rijsbosch and her bike amidst the second hand collection on sale.

“This is Marché Velo and this is the fifth time we have done this. I work for Brik which is an organisation for students in Brussels. One project we work on is to encourage cycling in Brussels and discover the city by bike. We also promote cycling because it is the easiest way to get around. We did a survey of students and found students do not cycle because they do not have a bike. So that is why we organised this event. To have a lot of second hand bicycles on sale. But they can also get their bikes repaired for free.

“We tried to collaborate with different organisations involved in cycling in Brussels, so we are there with Cyclo, where you can learn to repair your bike for free. But they are also here tonight repairing bikes for free.” Continue reading

The great, powerful – and essential – student bike sale

Barry Sandland/TIMB - Student walking past second hand bike market sign with his new bike

©Barry Sandland/TIMB – Steadily, over a few hours, about 100 bikes left the market to be with their new owners.

I came across a second-hand bike sale in the heart of Brussels this week. The student union organisation, Brik, that focuses on Flemish-speaking students, coordinated a massive bike market in an effort to get more students on bikes in Brussels. Over the next few days, we will feature the market and the surrounding events. Continue reading