Dutch King cycles on Van Raam side-by-side tandem Fun2Go
On Thursday 28 November 2019, King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands visited the foundation ‘Fietsmaatjes’ in Warmond, the Netherlands. During this surprise visit, the King met the volunteers and guests of Fietsmaatjes and he took a ride on a Van Raam side-by-side tandem Fun2Go.
Surprise visit at Fietsmaatjes Warmond
The Fietsmaatjes foundation (translated as bike buddies) is for people who like to go out by bike but because of a disability they are no longer able to go independently. The Fietsmaatjes foundation is part of a social programme from the Oranjefonds, a fund that is there for anyone who wants to do something for someone else. King Willem-Alexander is patron of this fund.
It was a big surprise for the Fietsmaatjes foundation in Warmond that the King came on a working visit. Jan Burgmeijer, initiator of the Fietsmaatjes foundation, picked up King Willem-Alexander in Warmond in the province of Zuid-Holland and drove with him on the side-by-side tandem to the location, a brasserie. At the location, the King talked to the founders, the volunteers and participants of the foundation. Here, they talked about the meaning of the foundation and the future dreams, among other things.
The director of the Oranjefonds, Peter Douwes, was also present. The Oranjefonds supports the Fietsmaatjes foundation because it is an accessible and sympathic way to combine two things: exercise for your health but also exercise to be active and involved.
Video: King visit Fietsmaatjes in Warmond
This video by Blauw Bloed contains a summary of King Willem-Alexander's visit to the Fietsmaatjes foundation in Warmond.
King cycles with 95 year old bike buddy on a side-by-side tandem
At the end of the working visit, the King braved the rain to go for a ride on a side-by-side tandem together with a bike buddy. The blue Fietsmaatjes side-by-side tandem from Van Raam was brought out and the King and 95 year old Johan Waanders made a short ide on the three-wheel tandem.
Johan Waanders has been using the Fietsmaatjes foundation for some time now. Until he was 90 years old he still cycled independently, but then became nervous in the busy traffic. The Fietsmaatjes was the solution for him, because he could still continue to cycle.
As a guest, he and a volunteer occasionally cycle on the side-by-side tandem, for example for a shopping trip or a bike ride. He has even cycled 65 kilometres with the side-by-side tandem, his longest ride so far.
It’s delightful, you’re out for a while. I can recommend it to everyone. You also stay fit and you feel completely free.Johan Waanders
Photo report: Dutch King on the side-by-side tandem
In the photo report of Fietsmaatjes on Facebook King, Willem-Alexander cycles with Jan Burgmeijer (initiator of the Fietsmaatjes foundation) and with Johan Waanders (95 years old Fietsmaatje).
King on the side-by-side tandem in the news
In the national news of the Netherlands, a lot of attention has been paid to the King’s visit to Fietsmaatjes in Warmond (articles in Dutch).
Algemeen Dagblad: Koning trapt rondje mee bij Fietsmaatjes project
Reformatorisch Dagblad: Koning Willem-Alexander ruilt auto in voor duofiets
De Gelderlander en de Stentor: Koning trapt stevig rondje mee tijdens bezoek aan project Fietsmaatjes
Leidsch Dagblad: Koning Willem-Alexander is in Warmond even een Fietsmaatje
Blauw Bloed: Koning trotseert regen voor fietstocht
The Fietsmaatjes foundation
Fietsmaatjes started in 2012 under the leadership of the couple Tekla Zwinkels and Jan Burgmeijer. In Warmond, the first side-by-side tandem was brought into use. During her work as a nurse, Zwinkels saw the growing need for exercise and social contacts. Jan Burgmeijer: “People with a disability can’t get any further with a rollator than the shop on the corner. On their bicycles they see their city and the nature again and they tell fantastic stories.”
With the Fietsmaatjes foundation a volunteer and a guest cycle on the side-by-side tandem. This guest often has a disability, so that independent cycling is no longer possible. The volunteer can steer and brake the side-by-side tandem and the guest can pedal along. Together they make cycling trips and they enjoy the exercise and being in the nature. They also have a very nice social contact in this way.
The Fietsmaatjes are now active in eighteen municipalities and there are 888 guests with 678 volunteers. The goal is to be active with Fietsmaatjes at 60 locations by the end of 2022.
Read more about this foundation in the article: 'Fietsmaatjes on side by side tandem'
The Van Raam side-by-side tandem Fun2Go
The duo bike of the photos and movie is a Van Raam Fun2Go side-by-side tandem. With this three-wheel tandem, the users sit next to each other. This allows the users to communicate well and there is a perfect view on and attention for the co-driver. The main driver can steer and brake, the co-driver can pedal along. The side-by-side tandem has no step in, is easy to handle and very stable.
The side-by-side tandem Fun2Go can be expanded with various options. With the electric pedal assistance system it is possible to cycle in three different assistance levels. The simple control makes it possible for everyone to cycle on the duo bike. It is also possible to add other options to the bike, such as a rotatable seat, stick holder and footplate.
Do you want to read more about the side-by-side tandem? Take a look at the Fun2Go product page.
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