15 January 2018
Rick Pluijmaekers of the South Limburg Fire Brigade (Brandweer Zuid-Limburg) shares his experiences of the e-bike.
‘In October, one week after the autumn holidays, I participated in the ‘discover the e-bike’ programme(Ontdek de e-bike). Ever since I started working in Sittard, the travel distance between my home and work has gotten shorter. I intended to cycle to work more often, but I haven’t gotten round to it. The trial week was a convenient way to experience it. The distance between my home and work is sixteen kilometres, one way, with some big hills on the way.
I thought the e-bike would give more power and that you would barely have to do anything at all. I noticed I actually did have to cycle along with it, but it’s good to exercise. On straight stretches of road you can quite easily reach 25 km/hour, at which point the electrical support shuts down. If you want to go faster you have to supply the muscle power yourself. In exchange, when going uphill, you can reach that speed without having to peddle too hard.
The main advantage of the e-bike, in my view, is that I don’t arrive at work covered in sweat, and don’t arrive home from work exhausted. The e-bike makes it more attractive and easier to take the bicycle to work. On my regular bicycle it takes me far too long. This is due to the longer travel time and the extra time spent showering and changing my clothes. During spring I definitely want to take the bicycle regularly and I am considering buying an e-bike. Compared to the car it can really make a difference on expenses, if I take the e-bike sixteen kilometres twice a day.
My suggestion to others? Just give it a try. It's great fun to participate in a trial week. The rain in the Netherlands isn’t as bad as they say. When it rains, it’s often just drizzle. It only really pours it down once every two weeks, and even then you can still go by car. All the other days are just fine to take the e-bike.’