1/2 Kees cycles 100,000 kilometers in 5 years, but can the counter handle that?

    A special day for 88-year-old Kees Timmermans from Middelbeers. The odometer of his electric bicycle will hopefully hit the hundred thousand. Ever since he bought his bike in 2017, he has cycled more than 100 kilometers every day in the summer. ‘To stay healthy”, was the motivation. But it grew into a true passion.

    Profile photo of Ista van Galen

    On Monday morning, the odometer still reads 99.997.0 kilometers. Kees takes his bike full of enthusiasm, because this is the day he will reach 100,000. “That will work, only three kilometers. The rest is already done,” he says.

    Kees has always loved cycling. He used to do that on a normal bike, but five years ago it was time for a new one. He bought an electric bicycle, so to get enough exercise, he decided to pedal longer. “Well, they told me it’s healthy to keep moving, so I did that. I like cycling.”

    Every morning he gets on his bike and makes a round. Then he comes home, has something to eat and later in the day Kees usually makes a second trip. “I don’t cycle in the winter, but in the summer I drive about 120 kilometers a day. I think it takes me about six hours in total. Since I no longer work, I have enough time for that.”

    “How did I manage it?”

    This morning it is therefore time for a round in the outskirts of Middelbeers. Kees gets on his bike and he is gone. He is no longer as fast as he used to be, he admits while cycling. “I used to struggle a lot with it, but in the long run it gets more and more tiring.” He is very proud that he has already cycled this far. “I’m really glad it’s here.”

    After a few minutes, the moment is almost there. Kees keeps a close eye on the mileage: “One more kilometer. I’m proud of this bike. I’ve always taken it easy so I’ve never had any problems with it. I did wear a few tires and chains, of course, but the the rest is still good.”

    When Kees still has a hundred meters to go, the tension starts to rise. “We’re getting close!” he yells. “How did I manage it?”

    “For now I can still make good progress.”

    Beforehand, Kees had wondered what would happen after the 99,999.9 kilometers: does the odometer go to one hundred thousand, or does it jump back to zero? But after more than a hundred meters, the cyclist looks surprised at the screen. “Nothing happens. I don’t think he will go any further.”

    Keith starts to laugh. “I don’t think the bike can handle it. It should have been in the hundred thousand already. But it worked, hip hip!”

    Satisfied, he gets off. “I still feel good, I’m happy about it.” Kees is beaming next to his bicycle. He is far from tired. “Stop? I won’t. I’ll keep cycling until I can’t anymore. I don’t think it will be another hundred thousand, but for now I can still make good progress.” But first, he’s going to eat a well-deserved piece of pie to celebrate this victory.

    Cake for Kees Timmermans.
    Cake for Kees Timmermans.

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