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.

Frederik Clarysse

Frederik Clarysse, 1982

creative director at Boondoggle

Describe yourself, your background and what you do today.

I’m an advertising copywriter and creative with more than a decade of experience in the sector. I mainly worked for agencies based in Brussels such as FamousGrey, Havas and BBDO. I try to come up with fresh approaches in advertising for existing platforms and to figure out new ways to engage with their audiences.

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

When I started my first job as a graduate, I was afraid of stepping out of my comfort zone. Meanwhile, I never felt this in Brussels – and that’s a good thing. Working in the capital city puts you in contact with people from all cultures and varying languages. This forces you to think of ideas that work internationally. It’s the best creative environment I can think of.

List three things you like the most about Brussels.

  • Creative people
  • Parks
  • Waffles

Sliding past dozens of halted cars is the best feeling ever.

List three deciding factors that converted you to bicycle use.

  • It’s more efficient: I come to the city from Waregem every morning. Getting off the E40 and driving past the National Basilica of the Sacred Heart to Molenbeek used to take longer than the actual 80km highway drive itself. Now, I take my car to Groot-Bijgaarden and switch to my folding bike from there. I arrive at BBDO in Molenbeek about 20 minutes faster.
  • It calms the soul: when I used to arrive at work after a two-hour drive, I was usually not in a good mood, to say the least. A 15-minute bike ride from Groot-Bijgaarden to work is much easier on the nerves.
  • I’m an avid cyclist so riding to work on a folding bike helps me get in better shape, even if it’s just marginal gain.

List three favourite bike routes in Brussels.

  • The Marais of Ganshoren give you the feeling that you’re on a field trip in the middle of nowhere. Tip: to be avoided on rainy days.
  • The area around the National Basilica of the Sacred Heart, because sliding past dozens of halted cars is the best feeling ever.
  • The cobblestone roads of Avenue du Port / Havenlaan – a mini Paris-Roubaix on my daily commute.