Mobility Week climaxes with a Sunday Without Cars

©Barry Sandland/TIMB - Entrance to Palais Justice and the celebration of 200 years of cycling

©Barry Sandland/TIMB – Celebrating 200 years of cycling at Palais Justice on Day Without Cars

Another truly brilliant Day Without Cars in Brussels and I am exhausted from the day. I go from being one of a threatened minority to becoming the privileged and dominant – even if for just a matter of hours. My day is always a longer ride early in the morning. A chance to ride the city streets with some speed and freedom before the masses arrive and saturate the roads.

©Barry Sandland/TIMB - Costumed rider standing next to his penny farthing

©Barry Sandland/TIMB – Penny farthing and the costumed riders that offer a shock to modern bikes

This is my only peeve. There are so many one-time-only riders that there roads can become dangerous. These once-off riders often forget basic road courtesy, like indicating when they want to turn left or right. Had one very hard braking, tire skidding exchange with a rider who just turned blindly across any path. But my paranoia level is just as high with cyclists on this day as it is with drivers on the other 364 days of the year. Paranoia keep you alive.

This year’s Day Without Cars seemed to have taken one a larger life. More sponsors, more public connection between cycling and corporations. It indicates some start of as sea change that we should all enjoy in the next couple of years. I am hopeful.

©Barry Sandland/TIMB - Pimp My Bike at Day Without Cars in Brussels

©Barry Sandland/TIMB – Graffiti for your bike or helmet. Been here constantly for four years and are an institution to the event.

This all first into Mobility Week in Brussels. From the Bike Brussels fair to cargo bike races and the Cyclo Bourse, there were too many events to visit. And then the individual contributions. Cyclists out to celebrate the day, penny farthings and costumed riders, and a range of bikes at Palais Justice from boneshaker to Eddy Merckx era track bike.

I spent the end of the day at the Bourse, sitting near Pimp My Ride having them emblazon All Ass, No Gas on my bike and helmet. They have become a regular feature of the day. They started about four years ago with two guys from Newcastle who pitched up w stencils and spray paint and put their graffiti on dozens of bikes. They have been coming back year after year. This time, the distance could not be covered by the mantle was taken on my one of the Belgian stalwarts. And then the The Future if Feminist promotion. Yes, I got the t-shirt .. and the hat.. and the stickers.

©Barry Sandland/TIMB - The Future Is Feminist stencils available on Day Without Cars

©Barry Sandland/TIMB – Free on the day, The Future Is Feminist t-shirts that were superb.

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