90-Year-Old Man Rides His Bike 21 Miles Every Day – Just to See His Wife in a Nursing Home
“I just want to be with her every day. I just can’t miss her.”
*Featured image photo by RODNAE Productions
True love knows no bounds, and not even age nor distance can separate a man from the woman he loves.
Every day, 90-year-old Peter Burkhardt hops onto his tricycle and makes the 21-mile trek (34 km roundtrip) to see his wife of 63 years who lives in a nursing home.
It’s a journey the man from the Netherlands has made for seven years, ever since Clara was diagnosed with dementia.
It’s All in the Name of True Love
Burkhardt’s ride takes him about one hour each way. And in the last three years alone, he has logged nearly 24,000 miles (40,000 km). That’s the equivalent of running 916 marathons.
Neither rain nor cold nor raging winds can stop him. Neither does the fact that sometimes, heartbreakingly, Clara no longer recognizes the man she spent over 6 decades sharing life with.
All that matters, in the end, is that he loves her.
“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 told De Stentor. “But I’m still in love with her. Every time I go back home, I think it’s a sad moment.”
So, he rides. Every. Single. Day.
A 90-Year-Old Man’s 2-Hour Commute
In the beginning, Burkhardt used to alternate between driving his car and his regular bike, but he had to stop driving after his driver’s license was revoked. And while that may have grounded most octagenarians, Burkhardt isn’t like most other seniors.
He wasn’t about to let anything stand in the way of being with his one true love.
For four years he relied on his two-wheel bike to go back and forth between his home and the care facility, but after suffering a fall on his two-wheel bike, he converted it into a tricycle for more stability.
And now, three years later, the 90-year-old is still pedaling strong. Although he does admit that if the weather is really bad, he’ll take a taxi or one of his children will drive him.
As for whether or not Clara is aware of what her husband does just to be near her? Burkhardt says no, “It is completely outside her realm of experience.” But it’s okay because when he does see her, she’ll give him a “very nice hug every now and then,” and that’s enough for him.
True Love Really Does Exist
Love doesn’t get any truer than this. And it’s a love that really has lasted a lifetime.
Peter and Clara’s son, Wouter Burkhardt, believes it’s what’s kept them both going for so long. “I think they keep each other alive with this. I hope my father inspires other people with this,” he said.
An inspiration indeed.
True love transcends obstacles and endures forever, growing stronger with every passing day. Whether it’s a couple separated by miles between them, or one facing the challenges that come with old age, love remains a constant force that really can conquer all.