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.

Eric Mbuyamba

Eric Mbuyamba, 1979

808 Bantou

Describe yourself, your background and what you do today.

I am a DJ-cum-beatmaker as well as radio host on Radio Panik under the name 808 Bantou, formerly known as Dr Kwest. I produce electronic, avant-garde music with African influences.

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

I’ve been riding bikes for nine years now. It started with the fixie community; we used to meet at the ING Square and some secret locations later on to play bike polo. Furthermore, I’ve known Hush Rush’s François OAB for years, and he introduced me to the bike courier community. I worked for Take Eat Easy, Ecopostale and Bubble Post for three years. This job influenced me a lot as I got really involved in the community. We even used to organise Alleycats, illegal biking races with checkpoints. Some of my highlights were Maxipoly, a kind of Monopoly but with bike races and contests to make some pognos, or fake money. Last summer, I travelled Montreal by bike for the Cycle Messenger World Championships to meet bike messengers from all around the world. I really enjoyed riding in the city, even if the roads weren’t in prime conditions.

I love to hear the sounds of the street and feel what’s going on around, and I love it even more when it’s rush hour.

List three things you like the most about Brussels, bike-related or not.

What I love in Brussels is that riding a bike is like meditating, you’re in the zone. I love to hear the sounds of the street and feel what’s going on around, and I love it even more when it’s rush hour.

List three deciding factors that converted you to bicycle use.

  • Great exercise
  • I was tired of the STIB / MIVB
  • It’s ecological

List three favourite bike routes in Brussels.

  • Avenue de la Couronne / Kroonlaan
  • Around the canal
  • Avenue Franklin Rooseveltlaan
drkwest.bandcamp.com