Cuban Bicycles

March 12, 2013 Hansonthebike 1

Reading Time: 3 minutes While most Canadians appear to have been to Cuba at least once in their life, my wife and I had never been. Somehow, the whole all you can eat all inclusive vacation among poor people didn’t really appeal to us. We both can’t sit on a beach for more than two hours anyway so we never gave Cuba much attention. But one gets older, one can handle only so much snow in one’s life and we too reached a point that we had enough of slipping and sliding and bundling up. So we read up on Cuba (hours on Tripadvisor, [Read more…]

Destination Prince Edward County, Ontario

August 14, 2012 Hansonthebike 6

Reading Time: 6 minutes In terms of cycling, Canada is a hidden gem. In terms of wine, even more so. Tell your relatives back in Holland that you toured Canadian wine country on a bicycle, and they think you are kidding them. Canada: that is polar bears, RV rental in the Rockies, hard working farmers and Dutch Reformed Christians. The folks in Europe don’t associate Canada with wine and cycling. Yet, just 250 km (for my US readers, that is 150 miles)  outside of Ottawa, the second coldest capital in the world, you’ll find a place called Prince Edward County, a place so unknown [Read more…]

Destination Kanata and the Greenbelt

July 30, 2012 Hansonthebike 2

Reading Time: 7 minutes Most of the cycling advocacy efforts are naturally focussed on the down town area. It is where the pressure of traffic is highest and where many people converge on their way to work. Besides commuter cycling, Ottawa’s down town offers great recreational cycling; there are lots of opportunities to bike around and this is an asset for Ottawa that has not been exploited very much. I am trying to convince Tourism Ottawa, but other than some polite exchanges, we haven’t really moved on that file. Judging by the name, you’d think they promote tourism, but the focus is really on [Read more…]

Visiting Charleston, South Carolina

Reading Time: 5 minutes April is not a great month in Ottawa, so my wife and I had planned a trip to South Carolina and Georgia’s low country along the coast. The coast line resembles very much the Dutch coast line of about a thousand years ago before the Dutch closed the gaps between the sand banks. That in it self doesn’t make it a holiday destination, unless you are a geography buff, but the lush green and warm weather definitely do. Ottawa’s ski season is over in April, the weather is usually not something to write home about, the trees are still bare [Read more…]

One Minute at The Hague Central Station

Reading Time: 3 minutes The last three posts probably gave you a peek into every day cycling in The Hague. If you are in the down town area, you always see cyclists, no matter what time of day. However, there is one spot where many seem to converse: Central Station. People cycle to and fro the station. Below are a few very random pictures that I took probably half a minute apart. There is a steady stream of cyclists coming and going to the station. (There is a large square, currently being redesigned). People leave their bike and take the train or arrive by [Read more…]

A Casual Stroll Through The Hague – Part 3: Urban Chickens

Reading Time: 2 minutes The locals are complaining about the failing summer already, they have had a lot of cloudy weather. The morning meetings were cancelled, so I walked down the Scheveningseweg to downtown The Hague and I passed this urban chickens. Very nice to see. It is right across the Peace Palace on the edge of a cemetery. Here is the link on Google. It is near the house in the centre with the red tiled roof. So far, the series of walks through Den Haag. A lovely city to walk, bike or entertain. Downtown is no less than about 5-6 km (4 miles) [Read more…]

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A Casual Stroll Through The Hague – Part 2: A Very Blue Bike

Reading Time: 2 minutes I randomly took a really great picture of a mother on a bakfiets (cargo bike) with three kids after asking permission. Unfortunately, she doesn’t want me to put it on the Internet, which I respect, so you have to come to one of my presentations some day. I did show the pic to a friend of mine, and the woman turns out to be one of her former colleagues; that’s how small Holland is. Here is part two of The Hague: Go to the next page in the series of strolls through The Hague: Part Three: Urban Chickens

A Casual Stroll Through The Hague – Part 1: Daddy Bike

Reading Time: 3 minutes I am in Holland in Den Haag (The Hague) for work this week. Locked up in meetings and presentations for most of the day for 5 days in a row, I was eager to go for a walk to visit a friend.  Tuesday afternoon I had a change to leave a wee early and walked from the Crowne Plaza (which has been renovated from kind of Modernist to a large I phone retro Modernist, with shag carpets, pink under the bar atmospheric lights and lots of white, a work counter/bar and a couple of Apple computers for Internet access). For [Read more…]

What if the Swedes Would Own Chaudière Island?

Reading Time: 6 minutes As you already read in the previous post: Of Post-It Notes and Tapestries, many of the Ottawa residents saw the Chaudière Island as one of the key elements in meeting the ideas and expectations that Canadians have for developing the Nation’s Capital into a world class capital. I have biked around the place and it is really a gorgeous spot, waiting to be developed, now the pulp paper industry is retreating. What about Chaudière Island? For those who don’t live in Ottawa: Chaudière Island has a collection of buildings, some as old as 100 years and built with natural stone, [Read more…]

Cycling to a Canadian War Cemetery in the Netherlands

Reading Time: 5 minutes My parents went through World War 2 in the Netherlands, but were too young to really remember. They were 6 and 9 when the war was over. My mom remembers planes dropping ‘Swedish whitebread” and my dad remembers they had to leave the house as the Germans were at one end and the Allied forces at the other end; my dad’s family was in the line of fire. Nowadays, our biggest worries are empty cell phone batteries and status updates on Twitter. Last summer, we visited the Netherlands. It may sound odd, but I haven’t seen much of the country, [Read more…]