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3 December 2018

Alexandra Beijers moves up a gear

"We spend enough time indoors in winter."

Alexandra Beijers lives in Heerlen and works in the city centre of Maastricht. She has been cycling her commuting distance of 26 kilometres one-way for fifteen years. ‘You can come and go as you please when you travel by bicycle. Cycling in the morning is a great way to really wake up.’ 

‘It's never too cold or too hot to cycle in the Netherlands and it really doesn't rain as often as people think it does. The weather forecast will often predict rain, even though it actually only rains for about ten per cent of the time. Travelling by bicycle means I have a different, more positive experience of winter weather than my colleagues who drive. I enjoy the fresh air of the outdoors. After all, we spend enough time indoors in winter.’ 

Addicted to cycling

‘I always cycle to work. In the summer I take my racing bicycle, and in the winter I cycle on my more stable mountain bike with thicker tyres. I even continued to cycle during both my pregnancies. Cycling became an addiction without my even realizing it, and it all started when I went on a two-and-a-half year cycling trip around the world with my partner. After travelling around the world by bicycle, I was not looking forward to a job where I would spend all my time indoors. To keep it up, I made sure that I spent every day on the bicycle.’ 

Cycling around the world three-and-a-half times

‘The odometer for my commute already stands at about 140,000 kilometres. Without even noticing, I've already cycled around the world three-and-a-half times! You see a lot when you travel by bicycle. You are more aware of your surroundings and are much closer to nature. I've experienced unique, fun, and more serious things, from the personal stories that you hear from your travel companions on the bicycle to giving first aid to someone who has had a stroke while cycling.’ 

Travel costs

‘Cycling keeps me fit and saves me time and money. Parking in the city centre where I work is very expensive. I get my travel expenses reimbursed, and after all these years they already amount to 30,000 euros. If I had put that money aside, I would have become rich on the bicycle with my eyes closed!’

Exercising for fun

‘Cycling also saves me time. Because I cycle to work every day, I don't have to go to gym in the evenings anymore. If I do decide to go to gym after work, it's because I want to. I now only have to exercise for fun!’

Eco-friendly couriers

‘Couriers should also use bicycles to deliver their parcels. This will return a sense of peace and quiet to the neighbourhoods, as the noisy, speeding delivery vans will be replaced by silent bicycles!’