This morning, I have left Antwerp by train. The beautiful weather from yesterday is gone, replaced by the one that I would have expected for this region and this time of the year: A rainy grey, but at least not freezing.
It was good to get on the train, to put some distance to the port and the city. And the landscape changed slowly, from the urban to the industrial, from the commercial to the suburban, then fields and forest, creeks and towns. I feel better in these more rural settings. Although Antwerp did not strike me as extremely loud in term of ubiquitous advertising and commercial overstimulation, I was able to feel that hollowness of the commercialized city life.
Have you ever been frustrated by your bicycle commuting, especially in winter when the conveniently usable road surface starts to decrease due to accumulation of snow ploughed to the side of the road where two-wheeled commuters usually drive in absence of a designated bike trail system or bike lanes? Here is a tip that made an enormous difference for me:
Two winters ago, Australian penny farthing champion Bell Chamberlain visited Whitehorse and the Yukon Territory. She inspired us to build a tall bike from old bicycle parts that were lying around in the back yard. Merci beaucoup, Philippe! No it was not pretty, but it quickly became a head turner in Whitehorse.