Van Raam produces uniquely special needs bicycles and specializes in tricycles, 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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My Easy Sport tricycle and I are like Cinderella and her glass slipper, it is a perfect match! It took a while before we got to know each other, but it was worth it. Because I have a balance problem from birth, I was never able to cycle on a normal bike with two wheels. Driving and running is fine but cycling on a bike with two wheels did not work.
When I was around 8 or 9 years old, my mother did research to see if a tricycle could be an option for me. My mother had contact with the municipality. Through the municipality I got the opportunity to use a Huka tricycle. Unfortunately, I was not allowed to choose a tricycle myself. I cycled on Huka tricycles for over 15 years, until I liked the tricycles less and less. I really missed some back support. Because I have scoliosis, I found this backrest support important.
There was also the 'problem' that my mother and I lived in an apartment and we were not allowed to charge batteries in the shed (my tricycle had electric pedal assistance). Because the battery of my previous tricycle could not be removed from the bike, I could not keep my modified bike in the shed and I could not charge the battery either.
Because I had more and more problems with my back and could not cycle far due to my muscular strength, I started Googling another alternative. I soon came to Van Raam. After I looked at the website for a while, I already knew it: I want an Easy Sport recumbent trike. Because I needed to apply for my special needs bike through the municipality, I first contacted them to ask if I could get this tricycle reimbursed. Because my previous tricycle also came through the municipality and ultimately did not like it, the municipality said that I had to try the bike first. That is what I did.
After the municipality told me that I had to try out the bicycle before it was purchased, I immediately planned an appointment at Van Raam in Varsseveld. I got this tip from bicycle shop Luc & Ella in Abcoude. During the appointment at Van Raam I could ask everything, and everything was possible. I have cycled both on the Easy Rider and the Easy Sport and both tricycles were good. Personally, the cool look of the Easy Sport tricycle appeals to me the most and I knew for sure that this bike was good.
At the end of the appointment with Van Raam you will receive an offer with the ideal bike for you, including all options. With this offer I went to the municipality, so that the municipality could approve the offer. After this had happened and I received my patient fundholding, I submitted the offer to bicycle store Luc & Ella in Abcoude and ordered the Easy Sport recumbent trike. Every 7 to 8 years I can apply again to ensure that I can keep cycling on a good bike.
Meanwhile I have my Easy Sport tricycle for almost 4 years and I really like it! I would not want another bike. The big advantage of the Easy Sport tricycle is that you don’t have to lift your arms. Because the steering wheel is below. In addition, you have a good backrest support, you can keep a good overview and the bike is agile. Because your center of gravity is lower, the bike feels very stable. Finally, it is also nice that you can easily remove the battery from the bike and take it with you to recharge. With a full battery I can cycle about 60/70 kilometers.
Some knowledge and time is required for the maintenance of a special needs bike. In the beginning I brought my bike to bicycle shop Luc & Ella if something had to be adjusted. This bike shop was in front of my house and they always helped me well. When Luc & Ella got bigger, they unfortunately had less and less time for my bike. I started looking for another bicycle shop and then came to Smit Fietsen in Wilnis. A boy who knows exactly how the bikes from Van Raam are built, works at this bicycle shop. He did an internship at another Van Raam dealer. If I have something with my bike, I go to Smit Fietsen and most of the time I can take my bike with me the same day.
Because of my studies, I lived in Dronten for a year. Of course, I took my bike with me, because I wanted to do my shopping and did not want to depend on the public transport there. At one point I wanted to take my bike, for example during the holiday, back to Vinkeveen without anyone having to pick me up with the car and a trailer. Then I contacted the Dutch Railways, because my bike is a long bike of more than 2 meters. After consultation with the Dutch Railways, I could take my bike on the train, if I could ensure that he could get on the train. Now most modern trains are fortunately the same as the platform, so that was no problem at all. And if there is sometimes an older train with a high entry, there are always fellow travelers or a conductor who will gladly help me to get the bike on the train. People are even amazed at how light he is. Also, for the gates at the stations you do not have to be afraid, the width of the bike fits well through it. I often put my front wheel in between the gates, check in and then I can continue without any problems!
I use my Easy Sport tricycle mainly for recreational use. I cycle an average of 30/40 kilometers per week, it depends on the weather and my planning. I live in Vinkenveen, a place from which you can go in all directions. I can easily go to Utrecht, but I also like to cycle at the heather in Hilversum. For example, I recently met a man there with a Van Raam Easy Rider tricycle. That was fun! We first took a picture and then cycled a bit together. Along the way you will encounter all kinds of surfaces, including asphalt, sand and shell paths. While cycling I do not experience any problems, although a good asphalt road still drives the best. But that is the same for a normal bike with two wheels.
Sometimes I amaze myself and I cycle on roads of what I thought I could not get there with my bike. For example, I was in Dronten and I was driving in a street where cars were parked on both sides. The only way to drive through this street was to slalom. Pedestrians saw me coming and were watching to see if I could get past the cars. Luckily, they did not have to worry, and I cycled past the cars without any problems.
Cindy van Bemmelen - Vinkeveen (the Netherlands)
Model: Easy Sport
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