Last Saturday Brussels was enjoying an Indian summer. Today, it has rained non-stop – a cold, penetrating rain, almost sleet. Perfect conditions, therefore, to do a cycling course. I kid you not. This afternoon I accompanied N° 2 sprog, proud owner of a new bike, and one of his friends to a GRACQ course on how to cycle safely on the city’s streets. We had to give up after a couple of hours, but by then we had learnt the basics. Under Belgium’s traffic rules, the cyclist can be both a vehicle and, when dismounted, a pedestrian. As a vehicle, the highway code and traffic laws apply – and not just priority from the right and the fact that trams always have priority (though it’s useful for all cyclists to remember those two). More generally, the course is good for drumming in some general principles: the essential vulnerability of the cyclist, the avoidance at all times of collisions, maintaining visibility by taking your rightful place as a vehicle, anticipation and awareness and – a lovely one – if you encounter loonies in cars, get out of the way, fast, and become a pedestrian again!