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.

Eddie Bonesire

Eddie Bonesire, 1956

Author, translator and photographer

Describe yourself, your background and what you do today.

I’m a Belgian photographer, author and translator now living between Brussels and Berlin. I’m currently a postgraduate photography student at Berlin’s Ostkreuzschule für Fotografie. I regularly host exhibitions in private and public galleries, in Brussels, Berlin and other places.

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

As a child, I was overwhelmed by the concentration of history in the city and by the buildings of Expo 58. I still am.

As a student, I enjoyed sharing accommodation with other students from all over the country, but also from Africa and Latin America.

As a translator, which I was for 35 years, Brussels was my city of choice, due to its role in national and European decision-making.

As an artist, my experience is that there’s quite a positive spirit of exchanging ideas among artists from different practices.

Sustainability: bicycles produce no pollution, use very little space and last for ages.

List three things you like the most about Brussels.

  • It’s a city of possibilities – there certainly is room for much improvement, but chaos is a good setting for creativity.
  • It has a very active art scene, be it visual arts, music or literature.
  • I like the diversity of people, cultures and languages. Diversity, mutual tolerance and open-mindedness are our future.

List three deciding factors that converted you to bicycle use.

  • Short rides: most of my journeys in Brussels are no more than 6 to 7 km – too far to walk, but not worth taking the car either. Should it rain – which is not often the case in Brussels – there’s still public transport.
  • Reliability and flexibility: using a bicycle, you’re never late for an appointment because you know exactly how long it’ll take you to ride from A to B, you won’t get stuck in traffic jams and you don’t have the hassle of having to look (and pay) for a parking space.
  • Sustainability: bicycles produce no pollution, use very little space and last for ages.

List three favourite bike routes in Brussels.

The routes I prefer are obviously those that are clearly marked, in good condition and well separated from car traffic, such as:

  • The new route on Avenue Rooseveltlaan (city-inwards) – unfortunately, the connecting route between Place Wienerplein and Hippodrome is in terrible condition.
  • The route on Boulevard du Souverain/Vorstlaan, because it’s flat.
  • The route along Parc du Cinquantenaire/Jubelpark, where you can get some fresh air before (or after) diving into busy Rue de la Loi/Wetstraat.

I also enjoy cycling in quiet backstreets, watching the mix of urban life and architecture.