The Cycling Friends

The English explanation of our initiative to draw attention to the tick-bite disease TBE during our bike ride from Swifterbant to Stockholm.

According to the estimates of the Dutch Tick Bite Disease Foundation, only in The Netherlands 1 million people are bitten by a tick every year*. You can get sick of that. The most common tick-borne disease in the Netherlands is Lyme. About 2 to 3% of people who are bitten by a tick contract this disease. What much less known about is TBE, also known as the tick-borne encephalitis virus. This tick virus can cause meningitis. If you have contracted a TBE infection, there is no treatment for this yet. Our brother and fifth friend Jaap lost the battle against this virus in 2017. Because this should not happen to anyone else, we will pay attention to the tick bite disease TBE and how you can prevent this.

TBE is still rare, but is advancing in the Netherlands and the rest of Europe. This tick-bite disease is hardly known to the general public. That has to change. We want to ensure sufficient attention for TBE. That is why we cycle from Swifterbant, the village where we grew up, to Stockholm, the city so beloved by our brother and fifth friend. The city where he made a living, started a family and eventually lost his life from the bite of a TBE-infected tick. Our journey starts on August 21, 2022. On September 6, 2022, the day on which Jaap would have turned 48, we will arrive in Stockholm and we will visit his grave. During our trip, but also during the preparation for this, we, The Cycling Friends (In Dutch “De Fietsende Vrienden”), will pay as much attention as possible to the tick bite disease TBE. By spreading knowledge about this. We do this in an objective, well-founded and honest manner.

We like to welcome you as a fan of The Cycling Friends. The only thing you have to do is to fill in our Contact Form. And ff your Dutch isn’t that good, we of course help you with the translation of the questions in the contact form:

  • Ik word graag fan! Mijn naam is = I would like to become a fan! My name is:
  • Je mag mij benaderen via dit e-mailadres = You can contact me at this email address:
  • Hoe wil jij De Fietsende Vrienden als fan steunen? = How would you like to support The Cycling Friends as a fan?
  • Heb je een vraag over tekenbeetziekten? = Do you have a question about tick-bite diseases?

* Source: Stichting Tekenbeetziekten:

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