"I even go to my work appointments by bicycle; it's a waste to take a taxi"
Maastricht alderman Gert-Jan Krabbendam shares his experiences with the e-bike.
'I was recently appointed alderman and when I first started my new job, I ordered an e-bike – a speed pedelec to be exact. While waiting for it to be delivered, Maastricht Bereikbaar lent me an e-bike. I live in Itteren, which is 7.3 kilometres from the city centre of Maastricht. In my free time, I cycle roughly 4,000 kilometres a year on my racing bike. As an athletic 34-year-old man, I never needed electrical assistance; but now that I'm an alderman, it certainly comes in handy. In this representative role, it's not always possible to change clothes before work. Thanks to the e-bike, I don't show up for work all sweaty. I also use the e-bike to go to work appointments; for example, at the Gouvernement building or in Meerssen. It's much faster than going by car, plus I think it's a waste to take a taxi.
In the morning I hook up our bicycle trailer and take our son to the day-care centre. I leave the trailer there and cycle to work. My wife picks him up in the afternoon and takes the trailer home with her. It's perfect; we only need one car and we save time when we drop our son off in the morning.
I love going on long rides on the racing bike. Focusing on the route and on cycling itself keeps me in the present. After a few hundred kilometres, my body is tired and my head is clear. If people would like to join me sometime for a ride, I'd love to hear from them. It would be great to get to know them and discuss what's going on in Maastricht. If you're interested, send a message on Twitter @groenlinkser.'