Manifesta 9

Today we’ve visited Manifesta 9 – The European Biennial of Contemporary Art on a mining site in Genk (Belgium). Not only were the old, unused and unrestored mining buildings very impressive by themselves, they were also beautifully used to house a nice art exhibition. As a bike enthusiast  I was distracted by other, less cultural things. Apparently pedal power was used for individual transport on the underground rail system.

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A (little) dream come true…

After abusing my MTB wheel-set for over 5 years, I finally ordered me new wheel-sets. Last week they eventually arrived and I could go and collect them! Now I have one wheel-set prepared for dryer conditions and another for muddy conditions. And for the first time I’ve installed 18 cm brake disks on the front wheels instead of the standard 16 cm ones. Boys and their toys. Always the same story…

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Low cost holiday – Summer 2011

A few few years ago we’ve renovated a small house in a small town and even in the following years all our money was invested in our family home. For the summer holiday we’ve searched for a cheap alternative. So we’ve loaded up the Bullitt with our luggage and hooked on a child carrier. We gave our -at the moment five year old- son the choice. Riding his own racing bike -for the connoisseurs, it’s a 1970’s 16 inch Flandria racing bike dedicated to the world champion Freddy Maertens– or take a seat in the child carrier. When necessary we attached the child bike tot the child carrier or strapped it onto the alubox. The first day we’ve covered a distance of 60 kilometer before arriving at a youth hotel. The second and third day we’ve explored the region and cycled approximately 40 kilometer each day. On the fourth day we’ve travelled the 60 kilometer trip back home. So 200 kilometers in total, traveling by bike with a 5 year old. It’s possible and huge fun!

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In the papers

There were some interesting figures in the newspapers of the last days…

De Standaard, 17 september 2012, page 12.

In 2008 during rush hours the average time to travel 50 kilometers by car was 1 hour and 19 minutes. In 2030 this will approximately – this is: when there is no chance in transport politics-  be 1 hour and 51 minutes.

De Standaard, 18 september 2012, page 12.

20% of all transport in Flanders is less then 1 kilometer. 1 out of 3 people use a car on this distance.

In most of the cases we hardly travel further then 5 kilometers. In 7 out of 10 occasions we use a car.

On a budget of 3,3 billion euro of government money, only 100 million euro is spend on cycle infrastructure.

With the right infrastructure, e.g. cycling highways, it should be possible for a lot of people to cope with distances up to 15 kilometers.

So politicians, have you ever calculated the average speed of a trained cyclist through traffic? And this is without good cycling infrastructure! What are you waiting for? Pay subsidy for human powered transport!

Cycling for charity

Every year the Belgian army organizes a charity cycling event, the 10 hours of Grobbendonk. Teams of up to five bikers are invited to cycle as much rounds possible within 10 hours by MTB on the military domain of Grobbendonk. The principle is the same as in a relay race, only is the stick a water bottle containing a sensor. The sponsors pay a certain amount of money for every completed round. The output of this charity event goes a sheltered workshop and rehabilitation center for kids. The video is a captation of the starting lap -a detour to give every biker the necessary off road space- and a first lap. I’m guessing they’re riding at an average speed of almost 29 km/u. This means I still have to practice, my average in my opening hour was 23,5 km/u! The comment on you tube is slang written by a guy riding a cross motor in front of the peloton on the first round. He could hardly stay in front of them on these narrow tracks! A big hurray for the ‘slow bike’!!!