HansontheBike lives in the National Capital Region of Canada. From 2010 to 2015, HansontheBike was president of Bike Ottawa, Ottawa’s not for profit, volunteer based safe cycling advocacy group, founded in 1984.
Hans worked for the Netherlands embassy in Ottawa for 13 years as an senior economic officer. He gradually was sucked into cycling advocacy after the NCC approached the embassy for advice on cycling infrastructure and former MP Paul Dewar announced him at a public meeting. Hans realised he had to get involved after her received an applause for just being there.
Popular cycling and city building blog
He maintains a blog about cycling since 2011 with over 300 posts with over 4500 (!) images and works seasonally for Escape Bicycle Tours & Rentals on Sparks St in Ottawa as a bicycle tour guide. He also works with the Escape team on product development for the region. Hans’ blog is mostly about cycling in the region: experiences, cycling infrastructure improvements and events. His latest hobby is creating maps, obviously of the cycling kind as he feels there is a lack of proper cycling maps in the region. He thinks he is getting better at it now he knows how to draw a curved line in Inkscape.
‘Laid back and engaging charm’
Known for his passion and his ‘laid back and engaging charm’ Hans has spoken numerous times and across Canada about cycling and all it takes to get to a cycling culture. Hans talked to such diverse institutions as the Heart & Stroke foundation, the CAA, Canada Post, several city councils, universities, the Kiwanis and cycling advocacy groups.
Governor General medal
He is known for his engagement in the community and received a number of awards for his volunteer work. His most recent recognition was the Canadian Governor General’s Sovereign Medal for Volunteers (a real medal no less). Earlier he received the City Builder Award from the Mayor of Ottawa and several other awards. Ottawa’s former mayor Jim Watson once tweeted that “Hans is better known than me, he is everywhere“ and “Hans is a legend in the cycling community“.
Our 2 hour bike tour with Hans was one of the highlights of our 6 day trip. Hans was an excellent tour guide. He was extremely friendly and very knowledgeable, giving us lots of interesting information about Ottawa and Canadian history.
You can follow Hans on the Bike on
Has has given so many interviews that he lost track, especially in the early years when Bike Ottawa was pushing for a cycle track through downtown Ottawa and everyone and their grand mother thought the world would stop turning. Nowadays, the interviews are more of the fun type. Such as this one on CBC Ottawa Morning with Stu Mills about my subway style bike map.
Bike Tales – Stories from the cycling community
In July 2022 Hans was a guest of Clare Mansell in her Podcast “Bike Tales”. She is highlighting cycling in Ottawa and interviewed him about cycling safety and why he create maps. Listen to his 13 minutes of fame here: Hans On The Bike – Ottawa’s cyling Dutchman | Bike Tales – Stories from the cycling community (podbean.com)
You can contact Hans below: