Since he got his first bicycle as a seven year old, Hans has been using bicycles as a means of transport to school, university and work. Not only does he find it an economical way to get around, he also finds it a very social way to move through the city.
Hans worked for more than a decade for the Netherlands embassy in Ottawa and is the former president of Bike Ottawa, an advocacy organization for improving cycling infrastructure in Ottawa. He is known for his laid back and engaging charm and his community involvement. For this engagement, Hans received the Sovereign Medal for Volunteering from the Governor General in Canada, the City Builder award from the Mayor’s Office in Ottawa, the Service to the City award and the Ontario Association of Landscape Architects award.
Hans spoke across Canada about the importance of the bicycle as a means of transportation. Hans is a great storyteller and photographer; he writes a popular blog on cycling in Ottawa. He speaks Dutch, English and German and has a keen interest in geography and history and issues such as mobility, waste and energy consumption. He visited many countries in Europe, and made it as far as India, Nepal, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore, Indonesia, Australia and New Zealand.