ElliptiGO bikes are ridden all around the world, and, in every corner of the planet they touch, they change lives and create amazing communities. Here at ElliptiGO HQ, we rely on amazing partners around the globe to help us bring our bikes to more people. We wanted to take a moment to introduce you to one of our incredible international distributors and dealers who is making a difference in his community and the lives of children diagnosed with cancer.
Henny van Vliet first saw an ElliptiGO bike over a decade ago. He remembers seeing them on television while he was working at the fitness facility he owns and operates called Healthcenter My Move. They were juxtaposed to the stationary treadmills and ellipticals right there on the gym floor. Henny ordered a small fleet of ten bikes to start offering outdoor cardio classes to his members. They loved the bikes and had so much enthusiasm for riding that he saw an opportunity.
He met ElliptiGO CEO and co-founder Bryan Pate at the FIBO fitness convention in Germany the next year. Right then and there, he ordered 100 ElliptiGO 3Cs. “I think he was pretty surprised,” Henny said. That gave birth to ElliptiGO Benelux and Henny became one of our international partners. (FYI: Benelux refers to Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg!)
“We sold half of that first container to 5 fitness clubs before it was even delivered and, after we got it unloaded, our first consumer was on the doorstep to take a test ride. She stayed away for over 1 hour, so I was afraid it was stolen…but she returned and bought one.”
Henny and his partner Jeroen stayed persistent even when sales slowed. They continued to share the product with athletes and build a skilled network of dealers. Now, there are more ElliptiGO bikes on the road in the Netherlands and Belgium than in any other part of Europe.
“That makes me proud and thankful to everybody who also made this possible,” Henny said.
Henny recognizes ElliptiGO bikes as unique, innovative, and simple training tools, and shared that he gets a lot of satisfaction from selling a product that helps other people and also contributes to a healthier lifestyle.
Earlier this month, Henny and a group of 50 other ElliptiGO riders came together to raise money for an important cause – a cause very close to home for him and his family. Last year, his daughter was diagnosed with acute lymphatic leukemia. They found this out on the same day that, if not for COVID-19, there would have been an annual charity ride to help raise money for Villa Joep, a fundraising foundation focused on pediatric neuroblastoma. So, this year, Henny and his fellow charity riders decided to support both that organization and the hospital where his daughter is being treated, Prinses Maxima Center.
“Because of the scenario last year, it was so important to me that we organize the ride, even though we did not have much time because of the second lock-down regulations,” Henny said. “Thanks to the great help of the VES organization (100 stand-alone fitness clubs in the Netherlands) and ElliptiGO dealers, this 5th edition was a very beautiful, special, emotional, and successful edition.”
The 100-kilometer route began behind ElliptiGO dealer Run2GO’s location, went across a De Hoge Veluwe National Park, to the Prinses Maxima Center, and then back to the starting point.
Henny’s daughter Suze visited the last rest stop along the route, giving extra big cheers to her mom Annerieke, who rode the entire route with a friend after only two short training rides.
In total, the ride raised almost €25,000 – with donations coming in from all around the world. In the past 10 years, the VES fitness clubs have raised over € 2,000,000. This amazing fundraising effort has resulted in research and treatment that has doubled the survival rate from 1 to 2 out of five children to survive this rare type of cancer.
Henny wanted to include a special shoutout to best buddy and dog, Soof, who has been an incredible support for their family while dealing with daughter Suze’s diagnosis.
While the ride is now complete, you can still support this amazing cause and, in tandem, show support for Henny and his family during this time. Click here to learn more and to donate!
Henny, we can’t thank you enough for being a true champion for our products and our brand. Our bikes change lives every day, but it takes amazing partners like you to bring them to the world. We are so proud of all that you have accomplished and want you to know that we are rooting for you, for Suze, and your whole family.