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6 December 2018

Charles Claessens, Chairman of the Mobility and Sustainability Executive Committee of the Municipality of Heerlen, moves up a gear

"I look forward to getting on my bicycle this winter"

Chairman of the Mobility and Sustainability Executive Committee of the Municipality of Heerlen Charles Claessens lives six kilometres from his work at the town hall of Heerlen. ‘Because I have meetings all day long, I can't arrive at work covered in sweat. With the #HeelHeerlenFietst winter cycling campaign, I get the opportunity to cycle to work.’

Getting fitter

‘In January, I'm going to try the free two-week e-bike trial offered by Maastricht Bereikbaar. Even though the trial period is in the winter, I look forward to getting on my bicycle, as the exercise gives you a sense of fulfilment and makes you fitter. Travelling less by car is also good for the environment, so there are no downsides to not getting on your bicycle!’ 

Extreme weather

‘It's just a matter of turning a switch in your head. It's about taking on the challenge and scheduling cycling in my calendar. I also want to continue cycling in extreme weather. I still need buy a good raincoat, a hat, and a good pair of gloves, and then I'll be ready for anything.’ 

Making a change

‘At the moment I always take the car, because I'm used to it. But before I had my driver's license I would always cycle everywhere. While I was studying, I even did cycle racing. I hope that this trial campaign will encourage me to travel by bicycle instead of by car more often, and maybe I can even get my colleagues to make a change. I'll be a happy man when all municipal council chairs and council members start cycling. No one could set a better example for our city!’