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Mobility is learned as early as nursery school

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180622 Eliott 24

Journeys are too short for Eliott

Eliott looks proud on his brand new black bicycle. With his backpack, you can feel him ready to roam the streets of the capital, with a mix of curiosity and desire. Watching and listening to him, two-wheels seems more than ever the logical and simple choice to travel, like a child’s dream that never ends.

“I simply find it great”, he exclaims. If Eliott today travels exclusively by bike – to school, to his climbing or swimming courses, his scout association activities – things started progressively.

“Before, I saw cycling as a punishment or a mere mean of transportation”, he recalls. But cycling holidays with his uncle changed everything. That was the trigger. “I now am a little in love with cycling”, admits Eliott. “It is faster than other means of transport. I love riding fast, taking nice turns… It’s also a touch mediating to ride a bike. You think of nothing else. And I feel in great shape”, he asserts.

He began travelling by bike to his activities at age 8. “I have a younger brother and a younger sister. My parents could not drive me everywhere”, he notes. “Progressively, bicycle has become a habit”, he goes on.

Aged 10, he even journeyed alone from Watermael-Boitsfort, where he lives, to Schaerbeek, home of his grandma. “My parents had shown me the way on a map as well as the spots where to be careful”, says Eliott.

He now just completed his 3rd secondary grade at school and for the past few years he has been daily travelling to school by bike. “The journey is about 6 kilometers long, going up and down”, he specifies. This takes him about 20 minutes whereas, with public transport, the same journey would last just under an hour. Calculation is quickly done. “I now find these journeys too short”, smiles Eliott.

A bike always in order

According to Eliott, the key to success is the support of his parents who always made sure that his bike was in order : tires pumped up… “This is really important, otherwise one gets discouraged”, he outlines. It has to be said that his father, an anaesthetist in a Brussels’ clinic, also makes his travels by bike.

This summer, Eliott leaves on holidays for a few days with some friends. They will take the train to Namur, then go along the waterways up to Liege… with their bikes, of course ! At the time of this interview, he still had to take a chemistry test. In the meantime, he demonstrated us by A + B the advantages of riding a bike in a city.

An article from Violaine Jadoul

Photos by Gilles Bolland