Burkhardt stated, “She is no longer the same as she once was.” But I’m still smitten with her. Every time I return home, I consider it a difficult moment.’ Nothing can keep Peter Burkhardt, 90, from cycling all the way to meet the love of his life.
So, what’s his story?
Peter’s wife is in a hospice in Apeldoorn, 17 kilometers away. The cold is fine with me, and if it rains, I have a raincoat. If it’s really bad, I’ll take a cab, or one of my sons will pick me up. So, I’ll always be able to reach my wife “Burkhardt stated this in an interview posted by @u/kleutscher.
When asked why he was doing it, he simply said, “I want to see and be with my wife.” We’ve been married for 63 years, so you obviously want to be together.”
Challenges & Struggles
It takes him an hour to cycle to the hospice from his home in Diepenveen, and another hour to return. Burkhardt puts on his blue ski suit and a body warmer. He cycles the roundabout at Zwolseeweg in Deventer, looking left and right. According to De Stentor, he then crosses a railway bridge, climbs a steep slope, and finally takes a straight road to his destination. Burkhardt has been visiting Apeldoorn for seven years. “That’s the way it is, and I have to deal with it,” he said. Honestly, all I want to do is be with her constantly. I just can’t stop thinking about her. I did this by car for a while. But I still alternated with the bike.”
He packs his tricycle in his house’s shed every morning because he hasn’t had a car in a long time. Furthermore, his driver’s license was denied. He had his bike in the shed, so he rode it on the trip. Burkhardt completed his journey of more than 40,000 kilometers in more than three years in December of last year. He occasionally takes more than an hour to get to Apeldoorn. He said, “It takes me about an hour.” But only for a little more than an hour in the strong wind.”
He is not worried about his safety during the ride at any time of day or night. However, he believes that the cycle path on the Deventer railway bridge is too narrow. He wishes for them to take action. “It really is a disaster,” he said. With the two of you, you can barely get past each other.” Burkhardt is aware that he is getting older, and he admits that there were many things he could do 5-6 years ago that he can no longer do. “I hope I can continue,” he said. I walk much less now, but my cycling is still going strong.” He was asked if his wife is aware of what he does for her on a daily basis. He stated, “No, not at all. It is completely outside of her experience. But when I return, I notice that she occasionally gives me a very nice hug.”
90 year old man drives his bicycle 2 hours everyday to visit his wife in the hospice. from MadeMeSmile
What Keeps Him Moving?
His sole motivation for doing so is in Apeldoorn. Burkhardt stated, “I want to see her and hear her voice.” When I walk into the nursing home, I know exactly where she is. She’s changed a lot and isn’t the same person anymore. Even so, my feelings for her haven’t changed in the slightest. Every time I return home, I have a sad feeling.”
His children are proud of their father and encourage him to continue doing what he does every day. His son Wouter Burkhardt explained, ” It’s how they keep each other alive. I hope my father’s example inspires others.”