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26 March 2019

Liesbeth Besselink cycles the 26 km to work every day

"I see only the pros of cycling"

‘People sometimes tell me I'm crazy for cycling from my home in Sint Geertruid to my work at Zuyd University of Applied Sciences on Brusselseweg in Maastricht five days a week, all-year round. The trip is 13 kilometres there and 13 kilometres back. I've cycled my entire life, so for me it's normal to cycle to work.’

‘I see only the pros of cycling, as it keeps me fit and I feel happier when I cycle; it leaves me feeling energized all day long. I also really enjoy good food, so I have to balance that with exercise. And, of course, cycling is also better for the environment than driving.’

A win-win situation

‘I think that cycling is a win-win situation. That's why I call it the new way of thinking. Cycling means I don't have to spend as much money on other things like a gym membership. I also get a bicycle allowance from my employer for every kilometre I cycle, I don't spend money on parking, and I don't have to get stuck in traffic every day at the Kennedybrug bridge in Maastricht. If there's one thing I really can't stand, it's getting stuck in traffic.’ 

Avoiding the traffic lights

‘When I cycle to work, I start mentally preparing for work, while it also allows me to clear my head on the way home after a busy day working as a lecturer and policy officer. But that only works if I can complete the journey without too many stops at the traffic lights. I have made a game of it to avoid traffic lights and have already found the perfect fast-cycle route to work by taking Voerenweg at Gronsveld and Brusselseweg in Maastricht.’ 

Physical recovery

‘Now that I'm over the age of 50, I've noticed that my energy levels are dropping, so it seems like a good idea to take an e-bike to work for one or two days a week. My body can recover from the intensive bicycle ride from the previous day when I use the e-bike. I think it would be a good idea to soon try an e-bike for a week through Ontdek de e-bike of Maastricht Bereikbaar because I want to continue cycling to work!’