“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.”
Photographer’s notes: Even in Belgium, where the world thinks everyone has a love of bikes, there is a constant need to promote cycling. Maintaining a cycling community takes work, takes advocacy, and this was an event that worked for a dozen reasons.
The basics were there. A massive sale of second hand bikes where vintage was dominant and you could find any number of classic frames, all in working order. Then, Cyclo and VeloFix were there doing free repairs for students already with bikes, bury in need of a tune up, or larger repair.
GRACQ and Fietsersbond were there as the dominant Belgian cycling advocacy groups.
But you could also buy a decent bike lock for a ridiculous price. Support a bicycle advocacy group, have a look at an open-source cargo bike project; or sit and watch riders compete to be the slowest riders to ride 15 metres. You can imagine the competition became a show event for the city’s fixed gear bike messengers. Take, Eat, Easy seemed to be the powerhouse.