For Prime Vision employees, life is not just about work. As an employer, Prime Vision values and encourages overall wellbeing, finding the right balance between being a high performer and living a healthy and active lifestyle. The office in Delft offers a fully equipped gym under the supervision of a certified personal trainer which is available to all staff. Each year the enthusiastic Prime Vision running team takes part in the ‘Kopjes-company-run” and proves to be a top contender! Sometimes professional and sports ambitions go hand in hand.
Prime Vision Employee Frank van Moorsel is a passionate long-distance cyclist in his spare time. He enjoys a good challenge and over time he has completed multiple charity bike rides, some more than 500 km in distance. In 2018 he set himself a new personal goal: to visit all Dutch municipalities by bike. He calls his challenge ‘Long-term NL challenge’ and uses the app Strava – well-known to many cyclists – to log all his bike rides. Frank expects it will take some time though, to reach his goal, since there are no less than 355 places to visit on the list!
Frank van Moorsel’s dedication is also apparent in his work as a software engineer. In the past he worked on ‘A58 shockwave traffic jam” project for a former Prime Vision subsidiary. In this project he developed software that was able to process geographical data and the skills he acquired were used to replace the manual municipality checks using software, which meant Frank no longer had to track the progress of his ‘Long-term NL Challenge’ by hand. The software behind the site connects to Strava to incorporate his bike rides into the map of the Netherlands, initially in a small desktop application which was later replaced by a web application so Frank was able to share his accomplishments with other ‘Strava friends’.
On a Sunday morning late 2018, Frank noticed the number of visits to his website had increased exponentially. Suddenly hundreds of cyclists had signed up to synchronize their Strava rides with Frank’s ‘Long term NL challenge’ site (https://www.longtermnlchallenge.nl/). On Twitter, the site had been shared in the Dutch cycling community. The concept of Frank’s challenge seemed to appeal to many bike enthusiasts, all of them eager to follow their own progress in the Long-term NL challenge. Frank thought his site would likely be used by just a few fellow cyclists, but he discovered his site was suddenly popular among many others. It took the use of some tricks to keep the website up-and-running during the sudden wave of interest. Frank quickly redesigned the software supporting his website and added some extra computing power to make sure performance was in line with this sudden increased popularity.
Over the course of last year, the site kept on becoming more and more popular. New features were added and similar challenges were created by Frank for Belgium (https://www.longtermbechallenge.be/), Luxembourg and even South Korea. There are now over 11.000 ‘Long term challengers’ in the Netherlands and Belgium. Currently, there are 7 cyclists who have managed to complete the ‘Long term NL challenge’ and 9 cyclists who finished the ‘Long term BE challenge’. The success of the event that Frank created was also noticed by the NFTU, the Dutch cyclist federation. This association has more than 75.000 members and a collaboration with Frank has been set up to further develop initiatives like this one.
The ‘Long term NL challenge’ site has now become a rather well-known tool in the Dutch cycling community for exploring new routes. For his efforts, Cycling magazine Bicycling.nl honored Frank by nominating him ‘Fietser van het jaar 2019’ (Cyclist of the year). Receiving more than 24% of all votes, he won the title over other nominees. A part of the prize included coverage in the February issue of the NFTU magazine. This article was only one of the many articles written about the ‘Long term challenges’. Both national and local media, Podcasts, Dutch and Belgium cycling websites have covered Frank’s ‘Long term challenge phenomenon’. Just Google ‘Long term NL challenge’ and find out!
Frank has not finished his challenge yet, so far he has visited 320 out of 355 Dutch municipalities which is already a great achievement. Making sure the site runs smoothly and expanding it, required him to trade in some of his cycling time for software development time. Nonetheless, he plans to complete the challenge in 2020.