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.

Sébastien Ricou

Sébastien Ricou, 1984

Gallerist and curator

Describe yourself, your background and what you do today.

I’m a Parisian who’s been living in Brussels for a decade now. I came to Brussels to work as an intern at Almine Rech gallery after my art studies in Paris. Since then, I’ve had two different projects: Ricou Gallery, formerly next to Place du Jeu de Balle / Vossenplein and now in Ixelles, and today I run the art space ATTIC at Rue de la Régence / Regentschapsstraat. I also work as a curator and exhibition coordinator and have occasionally worked on external art projects such as the art fairs Poppositions and Nationa(a)l. I also recently started working as an ambassador for the Belgian start-up e-bike brand Cowboy, and this year I’m also part of the Belgian jury for the 2019 edition of Venice Biennale.

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

I established my career in Brussels, and its very dynamic art scene has allowed me to develop many of the different projects I’ve been wanting to explore, as opposed to just focussing on one activity. I think in comparison to many other cities, the openness of Brussels’ art scene is very beneficial for young artists and people looking to be part of this world.

I’ve always cycled, and when I moved to Brussels I was an early adopter of the fixed gear bicycle movement

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

  • The small scale of the city – compared to London, Paris or Berlin for example – really facilitates life and exchanges with others. You can be anywhere in the city in less than half an hour by bike.
  • The international side of the city serves as a hub for people of a great number of nationalities.
  • Travelling to anywhere is so easy, whether it’s by bike, train, plane or car.

List three deciding factors that converted you to bicycle use.

  • I’ve always cycled, and when I moved to Brussels I was an early adopter of the fixed gear bicycle movement as well as the organiser of the first Alleycat in Brussels. It wasn’t really a conversion to cycling; it’s always been a passion of mine.
  • I try to advocate cycling any way I can today, not only for the environment but also health and wellbeing benefits. Joining the Cowboy brand has been a great way to take this advocacy to the next level. I’ve also occasionally worked as a bike courier and I’ve had the opportunity to discuss with politicians (including Brussels-Capital Region’s Minister of Mobility and Public Works Pascal Smet) on how to improve cycling conditions in Brussels via this community.
  • It’s such a great way of getting around a city, especially one like Brussels where traffic is horrible and public transport can be tricky, depending on the destination.

List three favourite bike routes in Brussels.

  • The path around Bois de la Cambre / Ter Kamerenbos: a famous segment in the Strava app that’s popular amongst cyclists.
  • The canal towards Charleroi: there’s a great bike lane that goes for tens of kilometres along the waterway, which can (among other places) take you to Bois de Hallerbos or the Ronquières boat lift.
  • The road up from Bourse / Beurs to Porte de Namur / Naamsepoort via Mont des Arts / Kunstberg – it’s challenging but allows you to pass by many beautiful sites.