Love knows no bounds, especially when it comes to the person you've shared your life with. Peter Burkhardt, a 90-year-old man from the Netherlands, is the embodiment of this idea. Every day, he travels 10.5 miles (17 kilometers) to see his wife of 63 years who now lives in a hospice in Apeldoorn. While on days the weather is very harsh he takes a cab or is driven then by his children, most times he gets on his bike and crosses the city on his own. It takes him an hour to get there and an hour to cycle back home, although it can take a little longer when the winds are too intense.
In the colder months, Burkhardt keeps himself warm with a blue ski suit with a body warmer on top and a white cap to keep his head cozy. “I've done skiing with pleasure. Cold doesn’t bother me and with rain, you can put on a rain jacket,” he told the Dutch outlet De Stentor. “So I’ll always get to my wife.” Burkhardt knows the route by heart, as he has been traveling to his wife's hospice for the past seven years. “I have to take the situation as it is. I just want to be with her every day. I just can't miss her. I did it by car for a while. But even then I alternated it with the bike.”
Even if he wanted to drive, Burkhardt's license wasn't approved and he hasn't had a car for some time. However, nothing stops this senior in love. While things have changed for him since when his wife was moved into the nursing home, riding his reliable tricycle still remains. “I walk a lot less now, but cycling is still going well.”
Burkhardt says that his wife doesn't know what it takes him to reach her every day. “It is completely outside her realm of experience. But when I'm back, I notice that she gives me a very nice hug every now and then.” Since he doesn't find the route dangerous–although he would appreciate some improvements in some parts of the bike path—his children have encouraged him to keep on visiting their mom every day. “I think they keep each other alive with this. I hope my father inspires other people with this,” said his son, Wouter.
Burkhardt's dedication has certainly moved others. But above all, he has done everything in his power to spend as much time as possible with the love of his life—no matter what it takes. “I want to see her, hear her voice. When I enter the nursing home I immediately know where she is. She is no longer the same as she was”, Burkhardt said. “But I'm still in love with her.”
Peter Burkhardt, a 90-year-old man from the Netherlands, 10.5 miles (17 kilometers) by tricycle every day to see his wife of 63 years, who now lives in a hospice.