SIDNEY, Neb.-- Doctor Gregory F. Maassen made a stop at Peddler’s Corner in Sidney on Tuesday during his E-Bike tour across America.

Maassen is E-Biking for the foundation for peripheral neuropathy. Peripheral neuropathy is a disease that causes weakness and numbing to areas of the body, mostly the hands and feet.

Peripheral Neuropathy affects over 30 million people in America a year, one of them being Maassen. 

There are over 100 different types of peripheral neuropathy, and Maassen has post-infectious small fiber neuropathy.

Maassen said this disease used to affect him so badly that he could hardly walk or talk. The message of his bike ride is that there is an opportunity to overcome the symptoms of peripheral neuropathy.

He thinks he contracted his form of peripheral neuropathy from accidentally walking through a nest of tick larvae in Pretoria, South Africa while he was hiking in 2018.

“The neurologist told me I need to exercise," Maassen said, "I said, ‘Are you out of your mind?’ I feel really bad and now you tell me I need to exercise. He said ‘Yes, your particular type of peripheral neuropathy is self-limiting. With exercise and luck you can get out of this difficult situation.’ I got the luck... “I know it might not appeal to everyone and it certainly did not appeal to me, but because of E-Biking, I got out of this difficult physical and mental situation.”

Maassen traveled 2,182 miles from Washington D.C. to Sidney Nebraska. He said the most difficult part has been the rain and the wind.

“They say actually you should bike from the west to east, I don’t know where this theory comes from,” Maassen said. “The wind was blowing from all directions, and yesterday I had a headwind of, I think, 24 miles and it was really hard work.”

Maassen hopes to E-Bike an average of 12 mph and reach the Bay Area within four months.

“It has been a phenomenal ride," Maassen said. "I am meeting so many interesting people I could not have had any better preparation for my citizenship test than this e-bike ride across America."

Last Saturday, Maassen just became an American citizen when he passed his citizenship test, said the oath and was sworn into the country as a citizen.

“I started as a Dutch person in Washington D.C. and I’m ending the tour as an American,” Maassen said.

For anyone who wants to travel, Maassen recommends E-Biking because you get to meet a lot of people along the way, and you support local businesses.

“It has been quite a treat to bike through all those smaller communities,” Maassen said. “People are just wonderful.”

Maassen said around 85 percent of all people he met either know someone with peripheral neuropathy or have it themselves.

“It’s a really debilitating disease,” Maassen said. “It’s very prevalent, but very few people know about it.”

With his E-Bike tour, Maassen said he wants to encourage exercise to prevent symptoms of peripheral neuropathy and to spread awareness of the disease.

“If you have symptoms that resemble peripheral neuropathy, if you have problems with your hands and feet or you have balance problems; if you start to slip [into a] depression because you don’t know what you have, reach out to the medical professionals try to figure out what you have,” Maassen said.

Maassen has no sponsoring and all the proceeds from his website go to the peripheral neuropathy foundation.

“As I like to say I’m biking solo, but I’m not biking alone I have a family of 30 million people that I care about,” Maassen said.

Visit for more information about peripheral neuropathy, the foundation, and more information about the E-Bike tour.