I am 59 years old. I am married with Helma and father of one 22 years old son, called Dries. Helma and I live in Bussum, a small village near Amsterdam.
I remember the day my father taught me how to fix a puncture on my bike. I was younger than six. I couldn’t get my head around the physics involved in riding a bike without falling over, especially with such skinny wheels. How is that possible I asked my father. It’s all the do with forward speed he told me. Those are the sorts of lessons a kid wants to learn from his father.
Some children are quite sure about what they want to become when older. I was one of them. I wished to become a bicycle maker. Although things went quite different my old ambition hasn’t faded completely and I still get a lot of pleasure out of repairing my bike.
To ride my bike across Africa as a member of the Old Legs team, with my old bike-mate Jaap van Staaveren, is a dream coming true. As judge I stand, or at least try to stand, every day for justice and equality for every human being. I feel deep respect for the African people in their seek for justice, equality and prosperity. If I can help to raise some money for ZANE to help ZANE to support Zimbabwe’s pensioners , pedaling to Mt Kilimanjaro will double the fun.
Charity and sports go hand in hand. Together with five bike-mates, we started a charity called Stichting Bergverzet. Every year we look for a good cause to support and then we ride to raise money. ZANE is a very good cause.