Almost every Dutch person has at least one, a bicycle. They are now available in an increasing number of shapes, models and sizes. Just as the electric version of the car is on the rise, the development of bicycles has gained momentum. Most bicycles that are sold are now equipped with electric assistance.

My favourite bike - I have 5 of them myself - is the one that you still have to push all by yourself: my racing bike.

I bought my current racing bike, a Giant, in January 2016. It has a carbon frame, which makes it light and stiff and it reacts well to steering movements and accelerates quickly. Two of my brothers bought one of those at the same time and since then we have formed a cycling group. The bikes strengthen our family bond and inspire us to take on new challenges.

This makes the bike much more than a means of transport. Sometimes it has that function, as it did in the time before Covid-19. Every week, I would make sure that my bicycle was at the Bouwkunde office on Friday and then I would take the train to Delft. In the afternoon, at the end of the working week, I would change my outfit into my fast suit, put my normal clothes in a rucksack and, enjoying the green surroundings, cover the 52 kilometres home as fast as was responsibly possible.

Fortunately, cycling turned out to be an activity that was not influenced by the Covid-19 measures we have been facing . So in my spare time, the bicycle brings me to places where I otherwise could not go to or it enables me to experience the environment more vividly than if I visit that place by car, for example.

In the past 5 years, the bicycle has helped me to conquer many mountain cols in the Alps or Pyrenees and to explore and extend my own limits, but even more to deepen and strengthen the bonds of friendship with family and friends.