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1 July 2019

Rina and John Janssen help to reduce CO2 emissions

"We want everyone to enjoy the freedom of riding a bicycle"

This summer, Maastricht Bereikbaar rewarded travellers who help to promote a reduction in CO2 emissions with prize draw codes. Keen cyclists Rina and John Janssen lend a hand. In the mornings they stand ready with flyers and chat with travellers. ‘We were immediately excited about the campaign, as we also believe that more people should travel by bicycle or public transport. Fortunately, there are a lot of people who don't mind taking a minute to listen to that message.’

Doing everything by bicycle

During the time that John worked as a graphic designer in Maastricht, he cycled from Rijckholt to work every day. ‘Back then, cycling to and from work for half an hour was quite common.’ Now that they live in Scharn, John and Rina still do nearly everything by bicycle: they cycle to the shops, to the city centre of Maastricht, and to Aachen and Visé. ‘Almost no one cycles this route, even though it’s quite fast and really beautiful.’ They use the car so little, that they share it with one of their two sons.

Touring through Limburg

Every Wednesday, Rina and John get on their bicycles with a regular group of seven cyclists, the oldest of whom is nearly 80. All the cyclists are still fit and healthy – whether that's due to cycling is another matter. John does, however, choose the better bicycle paths when he sets out the route so that they can enjoy a pleasant 30 to 35-kilometre route through the beautiful Limburg landscape. If one of the cyclists experiences trouble with their bicycle along the way, John fixes it with his repair kit.

Rina and John also cycle on Sundays and often spend time on their bicycles when they are on holiday. ‘We really recommend the Pieterpad route. In fourteen days, this route took us along some of the most beautiful parts of the Netherlands. We prefer this to camping, as cycling gives you a sense of freedom, a moment where you can enjoy the wind in your hair.’ 

Socially involved

Rina and John have been retired for a few years already, but they both believe that it's important to stay involved. For example, the couple counted votes for the last three elections. ‘It's a lot of fun, and it keeps us on our toes. Of course, you don't want to be the one to make the mistake that means all the votes have to be recounted.’ So, when volunteers were called up to hand out prize draw codes to sustainable travellers, Rina and John did not hesitate for a moment. ‘But we wanted to do it together!’