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.

Vanessa Aerts

Vanessa Aerts

Founder at VA Jewellery

Describe yourself, your background and what you do today.

I’m a jewellery designer-slash-maker. I launched VA Jewellery almost four years ago, where I sell my own designs, but also other designers’ creations.

How has Brussels shaped you as an individual?

I’m from a huge multicultural family; I’m a zinneke mother of three zinnekes!

I am the granddaughter of a track cycling world champion, so cycling was like a religion when I was younger.

What do you like the most about Brussels?

Brussels is a human scale capital city that almost feels like a small village. I live in the south, in the fields only 25 minutes by bike from the centre. I like this mix of landscapes and people. You’re never far from good bars and restaurant, small cinemas and cultural spaces.

What converted you to bicycle use?

I am the granddaughter of a track cycling world champion, so cycling was like a religion when I was younger. However, to be fair, it’s the number of cars, the city’s pollution and the fines that got me.

What are your favourite bike routes in Brussels.

Unfortunately, Brussels doesn’t have a lot of bike infrastructures. However, when I go to the centre, I like to ride along the canal from Ruisbroek to MIMA museum.

va-jewellery.com