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#ikreisslim: Lieke van Balen on the e-bike

Lieke van Balen works at Maastricht University Medical Centre+ and uses the speed e-bike for her daily commute. Here, she shares her experiences.

'I like to move on my daily commute'

'I recently moved to Limburg for my new job at the Maastricht University Medical Centre+ (MUMC+) and now have a 19-kilometre commute. For the first two weeks, I attempted the commute on a regular bicycle, but it took me an hour to get to work, which is way too long. My new speed e-bike gets me there in 33-45 minutes, depending on visibility and traffic. I love cycling to work. 

To me, the biggest advantage of an e-bike compared to a regular bicycle is time: it saves me 50 minutes every day, which is great on long workdays. More importantly, it's good for me. If I cycle fast enough, I'll get enough exercise in during the day that I don't have to hit the gym at night. The only downside of an e-bike is that you're dependent on electricity. You need to charge the battery every two rides in order to reach maximum speed. And the e-bike I have is hard to ride on an empty battery. It only happened once due to a power outage in the bicycle parking at work. Fortunately, there are usually plenty of charging points around.

I couldn't be happier with my e-bike; it was really liberating that first week. I plan on cycling to work year-round, even in winter. After all, cycling is a great way to stay warm.'

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