Moments of contact that can ease the day

©Barry Sandland/TIMB - GRACQ and Fietsersbond advocates meet on a street in Brussels

©Barry Sandland/TIMB – This is what mass of cycling advocates look like when gathering spontaneously.

“We should be having more and more meetings outside.”

Photographer’s notes: This was one large coincidence. A gathering of GRACQ and Fietsersbond riders, two main cycling advocacy groups  here in Belgium, who just happened to be in the same place at the same time. It was the day of the bombings in Brussels. The two targets are relatively distant from here – four kilometres to the closer. People were already quite calm, understanding the situation and getting on with the necessaries.

As usual, bikes are the faster mode in the city, but it was luck that created the small group on the corner. I did not even recognise them when I rode up. I only saw a small mass of cyclists gathered on the days and thought it would be a good image.

As we were there chatting, one of the CYCLO riders swept in quickly to say hello. But he was immediately on his way to the CYCLO shops as they had decided to close for the day and he was helping with the final stages.

It is two days later, now. In some ways, with the events so bizarre to our lives, the bombings seem almost distant memories. Today, I will be back on the bike again. Same as yesterday. Same as they day before. And the streets will be filled with people who are simply trying to get back into their lives again.


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