Belgium in brief: the king of the road

Credit: Erfgoedbank Oudergem / Jette

Have you ever wondered what’s going on with Belgium and bicycles?

From businessmen getting on their folding bikes after a metro ride to cycle touring clubs preventing cars from passing on Sundays, it seems Belgium is still cycling, everywhere.

And apparently that’s not a recent trend either.

Brussels, in particular, saw the number of bicycles in the city increase tenfold between 1905 and 1935.

In 1940, there were five times as many bicycles in the former province of Brabant (which included Brussels) as there were cars in all of Belgium.

Long before we thought about the most ecological way to get around, children made soapboxes, adults played véloball (which is a real sport, with official rules, I was delighted to find out) and a guy nicknamed “Lange Jan” posed majestically.

Do you have old photos of special bikes in Belgium? Was your grandfather even dapper than Lange Jan?

If you have anything to add Iand @johnstonjules know. Or @maithechini, since she wrote it today.

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Belgium in brief is a free daily roundup of the best stories to get you through your lunch break conversations. To get it delivered straight to your inbox every day, sign up below:

1. Infected Belgians returning from Spain should not go home, but camp, expert says

Young people infected with Covid-19 who are currently returning to Belgium after a festive holiday in Spain should not be sent back to their parents, but to a kind of quarantine camp, according to family medicine professor Dirk Devroey. Read more.

2. In photos: Belgian bikes through the ages

Cycling has long been a sport closely linked to Belgium, and for good reason. From city dwellers to spandex weekends, Belgians – and those who live there – seem to develop a deep love for the bike. Read more.

3. “Ten times better”: Pfizer requests approval of booster dose of coronavirus vaccine

US pharmaceutical company Pfizer is seeking approval for a third “booster” dose of vaccine, which it says can offer up to ten times the protection. Read more.

4.Police: Promotion test results have been inflated to create more candidates

The federal police artificially inflated the scores of candidates for the post of chief commissioner, in order to provide enough candidates for the vacancies, revealed VTM News. Read more.

5. Suspect (41) before a jury for the murder of Julie Van Espen

A 41-year-old Antwerp resident, Steve Bakelmans, is to be tried in a city assize court, accused of the rape and murder of Julie Van Espen (23) in May 2019. Read more.

6. Vlaams Belang votes against EU resolution opposing Hungarian anti-LGBTIQ + law

On Thursday, the European Parliament adopted a resolution opposing Hungary’s anti-LGBTIQ + law, which MEPs called “a serious violation of European fundamental rights”. Read more.

7. Dutch government considers further restrictions as infections rise

In the Netherlands, the government is reportedly considering further restrictions, in particular closing nightclubs and banning events again, according to various Dutch media outlets, according to official sources. Read more.




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About Jeffrey Wurtsbach

Jeffrey Wurtsbach

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