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.

Timothée Génot

Timothée Génot, 1978

Graphic designer at Redkitten

Describe yourself, your background and what you do today.

I’m an independent graphic designer, art director and activist currently based in Brussels after a seven-year stint in Minneapolis, where I took up biking, building and fixing bikes. When I returned to Brussels, I took my bikes, tools and cycling advocacy with me. I’m currently working on various projects such as the innovation festival Hack Belgium, the progressive quarterly Lava and the bike café Marcel.

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

Amongst the many great things that Brussels has to offer are its laidback atmosphere and diversity. People are genuinely approachable because they don’t see one another solely as competition. I’ve been offered real opportunities, even when I had next to no experience because it’s easier to trust people here.

List three things you like the most about Brussels.

  • Brussels is a very organic city, with all that comes with it: it’s rich but it’s a mess.
  • Great fusion junk food – a tortilla durum with fries? Yes, please!
  • A vivid and growing bike scene exemplified by the monthly Critical Mass.

Brussels is a very organic city, with all that comes with it: it’s rich but it’s a mess.

List three deciding factors that converted you to bicycle use.

  • Biking is fun and challenging – every journey can turn into a little adventure. And it keeps you in shape without ever having to step into a gym.
  • Biking is fast: there’s no faster way to go from point A to B.
  • Biking is the future. It’s the most efficient means of transportation. And the sooner we ditch cars, the better.

What are your favourite bike routes in Brussels?

I enjoy itineraries with a little challenge, where skills are at play:

  • Maelbeek valley at night, from Flagey to Saint-Josse / Sint-Joost and back: great for speed and curves.
  • Going through the Pentagon, by Rue Haute / Hogestraat, the Boulevards l’Empereur / Keizerslaan, Pachecolaan and Saint-Lazare / Sint-Lazaruslaan.
  • Climbing straight up the Marolles, ignoring the lift and using the ramp at the Justice Palace instead.
  • Going downtown by Rue de Stassartstraat, Rue de Namur / Naamsestraat and down Coudenberg / Koudenberg – though I’ll go out of my way to avoid this on my way back.