August 21, 2014
Roller Blade Parade!
We can’t resist a good rolling party, and it seems as if seven cities in Belgium can’t either.
For the last two years, the streets of Brussels, Nivelles, Leuven, Namen, Hasselt, Charleroi, and Tienen are transformed for a few days each during the four summer months to experience a rolling roller blade and bicycle event in one.
Called the T-Man Roller Bike Parades, the events are akin to the free car-free street events first experienced in Colombia called ciclovías. A key feature of ciclovías and the Belgian Roller Bike Parades is that they let citizens enjoy the city streets wittout needing to worry about car traffic.
T-Man Roller Bike Parades (so called because this year they are sponsored by the Belgian sugar company Raffinerie Tirlemontoises, whose mascot is a sugar-cube man called T-Man) have a very Belgian flavor. They combine lots of roller bladers moving fairly swiftly through the streets alongside small or sometimes larger clusters of bikers.
This year’s events also had the added pizzazz of dj music to keep the bladers’ and cyclists’ motivation high, and free sweet treats of rolled Belgian pancakes (not waffles) along the courses, which were generally between 15 and 25 kilometers.
The events are free, and if the photos are telling the tale, look like a lot of fun.
All photos courtesy and copyright Eric Danhier, photgrapher.