Van Raam produces uniquely special needs bicycles and specializes in tricycles, transport bikes, scooterbikes, wheelchair bikes, tandem bikes, double rider bikes, and low step trough bikes (also known as comfortbikes). Each model is also available as an electric bike (Pedelec).
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Hi, my name is Mieke Klinkenberg and I am the mother of Tessel Klinkenberg (22), she is my youngest daughter. Because of her downsyndrome Tessel can't cycle independently. She has never learned this and never really wanted to learn. Since childhood we have been cycling on a tandem and Tessel loves that very much!
We have had a tandem twice before, but Tessel is getting older so it was time for a new one. Getting on and of caused problems as Tessel just stays on the bike when we come to a stand, I had to make extra efforts with a normal tandem to make sure we didn't fall over. The traffic also got busier and with those reasons the pleasure of cycling went a bit off. Not cycling is not an option for us either, Tessel needs movement. For example, we live close to the beach and the shops, where we can easily go by bike. So it is important that we have a nice bike.
An employee of Welzorg (organisation which does the bicycle maintenance for us) pointed me to Van Raam. I then looked at the website and first came across the Fun2Go duo bike, where you sit next to each other with two people, but then to my surprise I saw the tricycle tandems and I thought: this is the solution to our problem. I then submitted an application to the WMO via Velsen municipality and to my great joy my application was approved. That means I get the bike on loan and don't have to pay for it.
A month after the application was approved, a Van Raam employee came to our home for a test ride. For the children's model (the Kivo Plus tandem) Tessel was too big and with the adult model (the Twinny Plus tandem) she initially did not fit on it so the bike had to be adapted, but that was no problem for Van Raam. Besides that I had a special wish myself: I didn't want Tessel to sit on the back, but on the front so that she would get the feeling that she really cycles; that she steers the bike. That way I can also communicate better with her when she sits in front of me. Van Raam was also able to fulfil this wish for us.
In the end, everything took six months, starting from the application to the municipality. In July 2019 Van Raam came to try it out (the test ride at home) and the bike was delivered in November. Van Raam had also indicated in advance that it would take a little longer because the frame had to be adjusted, so that wasn't a problem for me. We've had the bike for a month now and I'm really happy with it!
The Twinny Plus tricycle is a real mature tandem, and our first three-wheeled tandem. It's very different from a two-wheeler, that takes a bit of getting used to, but with three wheels it's also very nice that you can just keep sitting. With this bike we don't have that problem with getting on and off, it's much safer and that's super important to me.
The bike is electrically supported, it just rides fantastic! And the nice thing is that there is a starting aid on it, so if you're already on it with the two of you and you press the starting aid, you can zoom away like that, that's very easy.
Besides that, we also decorated the bike itself with a beautiful golden bell, a flower garland and on the back a big pink baker's basket. My daughter loves pink very much and this way the bike looks very cheerful.
There was also a demand from the town hall of Velsen that I have to park the bike inside. Because of the size of the tricycle tandem I don't have room for it at home, so I approached bike shop Rein Veenendaal to make a cover for the bike. They made a nice custom made canvas cover for us. I had to have the sizes of the Twinny Plus, I could find these on the Van Raam website and I sent the measurements to Rein Veenendaal. The bike is now in the front yard, chained. Fortunately, the municipality of Velsen thought that was okay.
My daughter really enjoys cycling. Along the way people say the bike looks nice, she gets compliments and remarks about it and there is always a very positive reaction. People often say: "Look, a long bike!" or "Wow, two bikes attached to each other!" I feel like going cycling a lot this summer.
Tessel en Mieke Klinkenberg – Santpoort-Noord
Type: Twinny Plus
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