June 1, 2019 - by Paul Bosselaar

So next week is the “fietselfstedentocht”, roughly translated at “11 city cycling tour”. Originally an ice (speed) skating event of about 200km long. By bike this is about 235km which have to be completed in a day. For me, 235km is a thing. I hope I survive ;) The most I have done on my racingbike is 115km by myself. That took about 4.5 hours including some rest.

Why would I ride such a distance in a day you might ask? For 2 reasons actually. The first is that I was asked to join this event as parts of Simon’s peleton/platoon. A group of people trying to raise money for Support Casper. The group is named after my father who passed away about a year ago due to pancreas cancer. Casper van Eijk is doing new research because this type of cancer usually means you won’t survive. A cycling buddy of my father started this group, asked me to join, and eventually asked me to join the fietselfstedentocht.

The second reason is that I want to have some focus and to be able to clear my head. My dad died last year and just 2 months ago I lost my brother as well. I seem to be able to cope with this for now, but I do need a lot more rest and quiet at this time. Being on the bike (for hours) pushing the distance further then I went before gives me focus and a form of accomplishment. And I can achieve that while raising some money for a good cause.