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13 August 2014

Sjef and Karin Dreessen about the bicycle

"While cycling you get distance from your work, both in the literal and the figurative sense."

We’re hearing from Jef and Karin Dreessen. They have been traveling together by bike from Margraten to their work at Maastricht Council for about 13 years; he’s located at Randwycksingel, and she arrives weekdays at Mosae Forum.

Not in a shiny suit on a racing bike. No, simply on a hybrid bicycle with panniers. Pop your work outfit in the panniers and take a shower at work. “The facitilites at Randwyck are fantastic” says Jef. “Strangely enough only five or six people use them.”

The most important reasons for the two local council officials getting to work by bike are their health and the environment. “I have stopped my gym membership”, Karin says. “You don't need it with 25km cycling per day”. These die-hard cyclists need only about 45 minutes one way. Jef: “We try to avoid the Rijksweg, because with all those cars that’s just not good for our health. We take the Rijksweg during the winter, because the cycle paths are gritted then.”

Jef and Karin don't see it as a big challenge to bridge their work / home distance by bike. “I don’t know it any other way”, says Jef. “When I’m in the car and I have to stop four times at one traffic light, I go bonkers. We always cycle, also in our holidays. We only use the car in the weekend to load our bikes onto.” “Going to work by car though, that's definitely not an option for me”, Karin adds. ”I would need to park far away and it’s expensive. The only benefit I can think of for taking the car is that I wouldn’t need to shower at work.”