Cycling in Antwerp: what a ride!
This Is Antwerp invited 12 internationals to Discover Antwerp Through Experience, in short to go on a D.A.T.E. with Antwerp from the 3rd until the 8th of November. We’ll show them the best hidden secrets, jaunt the hottest places, survive workshops together, enjoy the finest meals and much more. But most important they will meet that one important thing that fuels Antwerp to be the dynamic city that it is today: creative people.
This Is Antwerp local Igor
We asked our locals to keep us upD.A.T.E.d (word plays, we know... but it's stronger then ourselves) of what our guest are doing to discover Antwerp. Yesterday we asked our local Igor to join our internationals for a bike ride through Antwerp hosted by Cyclant.
Cycling in Antwerp: what a ride!
Would you like to join a bicycle tour through Antwerp with 12 creative internationals, that’s what This Is Antwerp asked me. The word ‘bicycle’ was enough for me. I’m kind of addicted to cycling and I try do it everywhere: in forests with my mtb, sprinting along the canals with my race bike, on holiday and also in the city of Antwerp where I live. Simply because it’s the easiest way to get from one place to another. So yes, I said, of course I want to join this tour.
Jona from Cyclant was our guide and showed us the city from a local point of view. We started out at Kievitplein where we collected the bikes and listened to Jona’s short briefing. Then off we went. The pace was really calm and that bothered me a bit in the beginning. I’m used to rush from home to work or to appointments, overtaking cars whenever I can. But then I saw all of the internationals looking around with a huge smile on their face, taking pictures as we were cycling and asking me and Jona about everything they saw. Then I started to enjoy it too. I realized that biking slowly makes you focus on everything you see. And I don’t have to tell you that we saw a lot of beautiful things.
We stopped at Het Zuid, behind the Museum of Fine Arts where Jona told a story I never heard of before. Other stops included must-see spots like Grote Markt and MAS. But the highlight for me was the trip to Linkeroever through the pedestrian tunnel. All of the internationals were so delighted by the tunnel, the architecture and the view from the left bank on the skyline of Antwerp. James Greig of Cyclelove.net said that the wooden escalators of the tunnel were one of the most photogenic things he had ever seen. Another highlight was the area around Vrijdagmarkt and Kloosterstraat. It feels so good for your Antwerp heart when your hear Nicole Franzen saying that she absolutely adored the atmosphere of Kloosterstraat and that she really wants to go back as soon as she can to take some pictures for her extremely popular Instagram account.
After 2,5 hours we ended where we started, at Central Station. Ok, Antwerp has some cobblestones and annoying tramlines, sometimes making it a challenge for a cyclist. But what Jona of Cyclant showed us today is that a bicycle tour simply is the best way to get a first impression of what Antwerp has to offer. Have lunch and a tasty cappuccino afterwards and then head back to the area you liked best for a more thorough exploration. I can’t think of a better way to get to know a city.
You can join the Cyclant tours every Wednesday (2 PM), Saturday (10 AM) and Sunday (10 AM). No need to make a reservation, just show up at Astridplein and look for the Cyclant logo. How easy is that?
Don’t worry, you don’t have to miss a thing. We asked our This Is Antwerp locals to cover most of the workshops for you. So keep an eye out for our blog or follow us on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram!
text by Igor
pics by Igor and James Greig
Text by Igor Daems
Pics by Igor Daems