Grandpa Wim bids farewell to cycling to Efteling after seven accidents in three years

After seven cycling accidents in three years, ‘Grandpa’ Wim Wouters (94) no longer dares to cycle to Efteling. “On Sunday I cycled against a wall and I couldn’t get up myself. A day later I cycled to Efteling for the last time. I wandered across the road and I don’t dare anymore.”

Wim cannot say how many years he has been a fanatical visitor to Efteling. “It will be somewhere around thirty,” he says. “I have my own walker at the entrance. I visited the Pagoda and Carnival Festival on Monday, but I mainly came for the chat with the staff.” Almost all of them know ‘Grandpa Wim’, he visited almost every day.

“I cycled twenty kilometers every day to stay fit.”

The last time Efteling passed without too much fanfare. “I haven’t given it much publicity either. It makes me very emotional just talking about it,” he says, looking for a tissue for his tears. Wim lives alone and lives too close to qualify for special transport.

Grandpa Wim cycled about 20 kilometers on his electric bicycle every day. That was not only his ride from Dongen to Kaatsheuvel and back, but also through the area. You have to do something to keep fit,” he jokes.

“I don’t trust myself on the bike anymore.”

“The Efteling keeps Wim going.”

Another Efteling fan and acquaintance of Grandpa Wim, Conny Ots, heard about Wim’s painful decision. “I think it’s dramatic. The Efteling is his passion and keeps him alive. I have shared his farewell to the Efteling in a closed Efteling Facebook group. Initiatives arose there to start a club to take Grandpa Wim to the Efteling in turn. I hope this really gets off the ground.”


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2023-06-10 12:38:25

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