| 3 min read
Cycling through Brussels is one of the quickest ways to navigate through Brussels. It’s also a fun activity where you’re working out while discovering beautiful places in and around the city. About that, did you already know about these beautiful bike trips and itineraries? Nevertheless, in a big city with lots of traffic, getting around by bike could also be experienced as stressful and dangerous. In that case it might be helpful to receive some guidance to overcome that fear and learn how to deal with urban traffic. And that is exactly one of the missions of Bike Experience. We attended one of their Afterwork sessions to see how that goes.
Who are they?
Bike Experience is part of Bike For Brussels, an initiative from Brussels Mobility. Their goal is to promote cycling in Brussels and enjoy a safer, greener and easier life in our city. Bike Experience is organized by Pro Velo with the help of Gracq, Fietsersbond, Cyclo & Les Ateliers de la Rue Voot. It is completely free to participate.
What do they do?
Bike Experience offers 4 different workshops:
- Afterworks: A brief recap of the traffic regulations, followed by a bike ride through the city and a drink shared with the coaches and participants.
- Beginner’s Training: You’ve just learnt how to cycle and need guidance during your first rides? Then this is something for you.
- Family / Cargo: Info session on cargo bikes for families. You can try out different types of family and cargo bikes.
- Electric Bike: a theoretical and practical training on electric cycling. You can try out different types of electric bikes.
Our Afterwork session with Bike Experience
First, we gathered at Theatre Marni close to Flagey for a general briefing. Where to drive on the road? Which road user has priority in which situation? How to tackle difficult traffic situations? Personally, as an experienced cyclist I wasn’t sure if I would learn much, but I did pick up a few things I didn’t know. And I was also happy to learn that some of the things I do because they’re faster or easier, are actually recommended as good practices. For example: I thought I was breaking the rules when overtaking on the left when cars are standing still in front of a red light, but I’m not. I think that generally, cyclists are not sufficiently aware of their rights on the road and assuming these rights would help them be more visible and safe.
Then we took our bikes for a short ride through the area during which the coach shared tricks on how to handle certain traffic situations. Each participant was given the opportunity to practice maneuvers like turning left or engaging in a roundabout.
Finally, we headed back to Theatre Marni for a bite and a drink. The opportunity to socialize with the fellow participants or get more information from the coaches. All in all, it was a very nice evening. I’m very happy initiatives like these exist to help and encourage people to cycle in Brussels.
Good to know:
- If you feel you could use some assistance on your daily itinerary, you can ask a coach to assist you on three round trips. These coaches are volunteers, experienced cyclists who like to see more bikes in town.
- Don’t have a bike ? You can use one for free during the workshop. Also after the workshop you can still borrow a bike for two weeks to practice.
- Invite a friend to one of the Bike Experience events and take part in their referral system. By doing so, the both of you could win a goodie bag for cyclists.
Do you have questions? Did you experience something similar? Did you notice a mistake? Please share!