Steampunk to the highlands on a bike

©Barry Sandland/TIMB - Cyclists enjoys the Sunday Without Cars ride in a fancy dress outfit of steampunk and makeshift Scottish kilt

©Barry Sandland/TIMB – Fancy dress optional for Sunday Without Cars

“I am from Thailand, dressed as a Scot and living in Belgium. But it is the Sunday Without Cars ride and I thought it would be nice to dress up.”

Notes: Check the face mask. Pure cyberpunkJust one short week ago and it seems like a distant memory. Work does that. But the day was a huge success., Now the government has to figure out how to get more. One Sunday a month the entire year. Or every Sunday from May to November. But the success of the event, each and every year, is showing the direction. More bikes. Period.

Just consider your children as little more than cargo

©Barry Sandland/TIMB - Man w his cargo bike taking a rest in Place Flagey, Brussels

©Barry Sandland/TIMB – A cargo bike that started as a child carrier.

“This is an Amsterdam bike. A transport bike because you can load a lot of stuff on it. It is very robust. I got it in Holland when I lived there and I have had it for five years now. I bought it to bring my daughter to school. In Amsterdam, everybody Continue reading

Try your luck, take your chance

©Barry Sandland/TIMB - Finland actor w his Giant bike in London

Barry Sandland/TIMB – The wave of new faces to the capital, looking for their chance

“I came to London to try my luck. I have been here a little over two months. It has been a slow start but getting better. I am an actor and I do gig-based work. But in Finland, it is not such a big thing. But here there is much more. Let’s see. Anything I can get. If nothing good comes, then I go back to Finland. I have work, but it starts in March. I could go back until then, but there are chances here. But it is very expensive here and my bike is cheap.”

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The decision to do a bike tour was to act on a dream

©Barry Sandland/TIMB - Touring cyclist from China

©Barry Sandland/TIMB – Touring has always seemed a simple diversion for Europeans – not so easy for all.

“China is different to here. Parents are not open to travel. My mother was worried because I was travelling alone and had no food and nowhere to sleep and no money. When I was young I wanted to go and learn more things, meet more people, talk to more people and learn more about the world. I can get more experience and it is good for me. In China, most people only think about it they when they want to do something. But only a few people will do it. Many of my friends, when I post pictures on internet, they are very happy to see them.”

On a rainy day, a dry place to sleep is a lucky day

©Barry Sandland/TIMB - Touring cyclist from China and his bike complete with panniers

©Barry Sandland/TIMB – Weather is just another factor touring cyclists cannot control.

“I have been able to stay with people a few times, but I have a tent and can sleep anywhere. If I can get a place, like a home, to sleep I am very happy. It is my lucky day. I have slept in parking lots. On rainy days, I do not want to ride a bike and, some days, I cannot get out. I stay dry in these places.

“I slept in a parking lot one night in Holland and, in the morning, someone called the police and they came and asked some questions. I told them it was a rainy day and had nowhere to live. I was safe there and the bike was safe and I had a tent. They asked me when I would leave. I told them I would finish what I was doing and then leave. I rode to Rotterdam and that is a big city. It is hard to find a place in cities. I slept under the bridge there. It was also very rainy that night. Finding a place to sleep, that is my homework every day.” Continue reading

Taking advantage of your youth to explore the world

©Barry Sandland/TIMB - Touring cyclist from China resting in Brussels

©Barry Sandland/TIMB – Touring Europe before returning to China, all done on a shoestring.

“I am young, 27, and I think when young people should do something they like, if they can. I have always ridden a bike but I have never done a journey like this before. Now I have ten weeks in Europe and have been here for four weeks so far. I flew from Hangzhou, China, to Frankfurt and began the bike ride there. From Frankfurt to Berlin, then Hamburg, then Amsterdam and then here, Brussels. A good ride. More than 1,600 kilometres, so far, to here. This afternoon I will head to Paris. I would like to go to London, but I do not have a visa.”

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