Patricia Senden on her e-bike
"Look for a good cycle route and head off on your e-bike!"
Patricia Senden works at the Geleen branch of the South Limburg Regional Health Service (GGD Zuid Limburg) and took part in the ‘Ontdek de e-bike’ (discover the e-bike) campaign. She speaks about her experience.
‘My commute from Beek to Geleen is six kilometres. I travel by bicycle or car depending on my appointments at various municipalities, but usually I use my bicycle on three of the five days. The South Limburg Regional Health Service is moving to Heerlen at the end of 2017, which means that one leg of my journey will be 16 kilometres. Given that distance, travelling by e-bike was a more attractive option for me, so I took part in the e-bike campaign. I am 48 years old, and I don't think I need pedal assistance by any means. However, when my commute is a bit longer in autumn 2017, I'll definitely think about it.
My trial week began on 27 October 2016. It was still really nice weather then, but even when the weather turns for the worse, I still travel by bicycle. That week was my first time using an e-bike. It was a great experience, and one that I'm very enthusiastic about. However, I didn't really like the model I tried, so if I was purchasing an e-bike I would probably consider a different type. It took me a short while to get used to the e-bike. I have to say, the e-bike is not that much quicker than my usual bicycle, because I always pedal quite hard. However, it was great for travelling uphill and with headwinds, and I also noticed the difference when travelling downhill. Likewise, it’s fantastic for longer distances. You get to work feeling fresher, without the tiredness that comes with using a normal bicycle.
Having an e-bike means I’m more likely to travel by bicycle: I don't think twice anymore, and I can travel even more quickly. After all, cycling is good for the environment, saves money, and improves your health. If you're still unsure, my advice to you would be to just do it and experience what it's like. I'd also say that you should only try the e-bike for your commute, so that you can see the advantages during the rush hour and in everyday traffic. After all, the situation is different at weekends. Besides that, as a cyclist, you take different routes from cars on the motorway, giving you the chance to see beautiful places in Limburg. You’re probably unfamiliar with the cycle-path infrastructure if you're used to driving, so it's a good idea to have a look at the cycle paths before heading out on your e-bike.’