The Brussels Bike Hundred

100 portraits, stories and bicycles

We’re teaming up with Bike for Brussels to put together a 100-strong selection of local heroes shaping the city each in their own way. From designers and DJs to performers and publishers, these are the creatives riding Brussels forward.

Antoine Ghisoland

Antoine Ghisoland

Guitar player at Mont-Doré

Describe yourself, your background and what you do today.

I play music, tour manage a band across Europe a couple of months a year and I’m a photographer, often capturing the music industry. I come from a small town near the French border where I spent almost 20 years. That’s where I found my first second-hand road bike when I was 17; a beautiful vintage purple Peugeot. I’ve lived in Brussels for almost 10 years. I’m kind of a multitasking freelancer. I don’t like routine, which is why I’ve always enjoyed working in different fields, learning new ways and meeting different faces as much as possible. I work as a graphic designer for myself and for advertising agencies.

How has Brussels shaped you as an individual as well as your professional activities?

After my first year in Brussels, I started working for a bike messenger company called Hush Rush. I worked there for four years and it really showed me a new face of Brussels by giving me the opportunity to travel a lot with my bike and meet tons of people from here and around the world. There are so many opportunities in Brussels; it shaped me as an individual and made me who I am today.

I didn’t want to be stuck in a car; I needed my freedom

What do you like the most about Brussels?

  • Its diversity: no matter which neighbourhood you live in, you can always enjoy foreign influences in food, culture, style, faces…
  • Its proximity: you can see Brussels as a big town, or a small capital city. I like that it’s possible to cross the entire city with a bike in less then 50 minutes. That’s something you wouldn’t imagine in London, Paris or Berlin.

List three factors that converted you to bicycle use.

In my early days in Brussels, I met a few friends who were always hanging out in a bike shop called Fixerati (R.I.P). Needless to say everyone in the team had a bike, so I learned a lot just spending a few hours a week there. I didn’t own a car and I didn’t feel the need to acquire one in Brussels because of the congestion. I didn’t want to be stuck in a car, I needed my freedom. So it occurred to me that I should build a bike for this city, which I did on my own thanks to what I learned at the bike shop. I guess you could say the 3 factors that converted me to bicycle are friends, freedom and the DIY bicycle community.

List three favourite bike routes in Brussels and explain why.

  • Avenue Reine Marie-Henriette, next to Forest Park, because I like to speed up without being annoyed by cars.
  • From Flagey to Boitsfort /Bosvoorde through the ponds, Bois de la Cambre / Ter Kamerenbos and then through the Sonian Forest, because it feels pretty good to be surrounded by green and far from the city’s cars.
  • Leaving Schaerbeek by the fields behind NATO on the way to Zaventem, because if you take a few good turns you can end up getting lost in the middle of nowhere. I like being able to leave the city in a few minutes and forget about it very quickly.