Recently, the lovely Cassy nominated me for a Versatile Blog Award. I was really honoured to be remembered and included, especially since I’ve been more of a sporadic than a versatile blogger for the last year or so… There are some rules involved in the game, but I’m going to adapt them a bit and play in my own way. One of the rules is to tell seven things about yourself. Well, I’ll try to do this, in my own way: how about a versatile hodge-podge of things that have been keeping my heart, body and mind interested lately?
First, cycling. With the arrival of good weather, I’m not the only one who’s had cycling as a means of mobility on my mind lately. And I am proud to say that it’s been more than on my mind! Since 1 May, I’ve been on the public transportation (excluding trips outside the city) only a few times. Brussels has a wonderful city bike scheme, where you pay a small annual fee for which you can use city bikes, with stations interspersed around the central city districts, always for free for the first half an hour. And I have been using this scheme like a madwoman! I have been biking almost every day.
It’s not perfect. Brussels is very hilly. In theory, I knew this before. But only after I got on a bike did I really really understand it. But you know what? There is no better feeling than when you finally manage to get to the top of that one hill without thinking you are going to die. Except for the feeling when you do it again. And again. And the feeling when you realise that it’s no big deal anymore.
It is not perfect. The city bike scheme has its flaws, sometimes the bikes are not in the best shape, and at rush hour it can be difficult to find a bike (or find a place to drop one off when you reach your destination). But I don’t mind. If I don’t find a bike, I think “well that means lots of people are using them, and that’s great!” (And then I curse under my breath because I’m late for work, but let’s ignore that bit. ;) And sometimes my day is brightened by random acts of kindness, like a little note left on the bike saying “I don’t work well.”
It is not perfect. Brussels is not the most bike-friendly city in the world. Yet it is friendlier than many other places I’ve lived in. And getting on the bike has been the best decision I’ve made in a while.
This 19-minute film says some important things about Brussels, about cycling, and about traffic in general. It is also wonderfully made and shows this city and its various inhabitants in a loving, beautiful way. I absolutely adore it and have already seen it several times, I can’t stop myself. Whether you’re a cyclist or not, whether you live in Brussels or not, I think you will find it interesting. And please feel free to share your thoughts!