#enjoythedistance, but how?


Hoofddorp - 15 maar 2019

In this guest blog, one of our Ambassadors talks about how he combines his International job with a busy family life and is still able to exercise a lot. In 2018 he cycled over 10,000 km. For 2019 he also has nice, sporty goals including participating in a triathlon. Meet Mathys, active on Instagram asDutch_Cycling_Friend. 

Since a young age I was interested in sports; swimming, fitness and running. I also enjoy windsurfing and winter sports. Six years ago I broke my foot in an unfortunate way and because I could not put too much strain on my ankle I was looking for an alternative to running. I wanted to do an outdoor sport and so I ended up with cycling. Like most, this started with a short run on a borrowed bike with borrowed clothes. Soon I realized that I really liked this sport and so I invested in my own bike with matching clothes. In the first year I cycled mainly on the weekends when the sun was shining and didn't go beyond 60-70 kilometers.

I enjoyed cycling so much and wanted to do it more often so I decided to investigate the possibility of cycling to work. I am lucky that at my work there are all the facilities, a locker, shower facilities and a place to store my bike. What started with one commute a week quickly turned into multiple rides a week. The distance to work is "only" 25 kilometers but if you cycle that several times a week, twice a day, it adds up nicely. Even in the winter months I cycle as long as possible.


A busy job, a family, it takes quite a lot of you and on top of that you also want to work out. How do I do that? I love to share it with you!

1. Explore the possibility of biking to work
This gives you two workouts a day and it's really great to start and end your workday with a bike ride. It really clears your head. Nowadays, many work locations have a shower facility. In addition, it is handy if you have somewhere to hang up your clothes and can park your bike in a safe place. Invest in a good bicycle backpack so you can take your clean clothes, a spare tire, mini tool and lights with you. I myself benefit greatly from a backpack equipped with an Airspeed system. This means that there is space between your backpack and your back. This prevents you from arriving at work with an extremely wet back.

2. Plan your sports activities per week
If you know Thursday is a busy, long day at work, start cycling earlier in the week. Set realistic goals and keep track of them with a sports app. In this app you can keep track of how many kilometers you have already cycled that week and that works very motivating. 
What also helps is to vary the route. Choose a slightly longer route, maybe that route has fewer traffic lights and you end up being just as fast.

3. Make clear agreements with you family
For example, agree that you will take a long drive on the weekend. Be flexible about what day and time you will make this drive. For example, sometimes it has to be between a soccer practice and a birthday. You can also get up extra early so that you are back before the family is up and running. Plot a route that you know you can cycle within two hours. This makes making time commitments clear.

4. Install a good weather app on your phone
If necessary, you can buy an upgrade so you can get just a little more information from the app. The weekly weather forecast helps you plan your rides. If on Wednesday you see that it will rain all day Saturday but Sunday is half cloudy then you can adjust your plans accordingly.

6. Share your sports goals with your family
Of course, it's also fun to exercise together. Go for a run while your kids ride their bikes or scooters next to you. Or do a recovery ride at a leisurely pace with the whole family. If it goes too slow, you can always do a few short sprints in between. The kids always like it too!

5. Cycle with friends
You probably have friends who also like to ride bikes. Throw them all into one WhatsApp group and plan a longer ride together for the weekend. Take the initiative and send a message on Wednesday already like: "It will be nice weather on Saturday, departure nine o'clock, ride of 80km. Who's coming?" With this you give everyone the opportunity to check with the home front and so there is a greater chance that you can start Saturday morning with a nice group.

7. Choose the right clothes
To fully enjoy each ride, choosing the right clothing is essential. I always choose a good base layer in the form of a sweat shirt. Depending on the temperature and weather forecast, I adjust the clothing. Because I often get on my bike early, I make sure everything is ready the night before. As soon as I wake up I check my weather app one more time and then decide what to wear. There are days when it is still chilly in the morning and the mercury can rise to pleasant temperatures in the afternoon.

I hope this blog has given you inspiration to get active again this year. Currently I am training for my first triathlon. How does that work? You can read more about that in my next blog!