Robert “prino” Prins
is a 62-year old Dutch hitchhiking grandfather of four.
His recorded hitchhiking career started on 16 June 1980 at 07:47 and
as of 17 September 2022 at 12:32
he has hitched 661,817.8 km in the following 33 countries:
Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, France, Austria, Yugoslavia, Greece,
Bulgaria, Turkey, Belgium, United Kingdom, Italy, Luxembourg, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia,
Estonia, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, Ireland, Japan, San Marino, Portugal, Spain, Czech
Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Slovenia and Andorra.
He has also been to the USA on two occasions, visiting Austin and New York, and a few
years ago, on his way to a wedding of friends in Spain, he spent a few hours in Monaco,
but he has not done any hitchhiking during those visits.
See details on hislog of hitching trips.
He’s fluent in Dutch and English, more than capable of speaking German and knows enough
French to survive when dropped in the middle of nowhere in France.
Some personal hitchhike records/statistics
Career distance: 661,817.8 km (as of 2022-09-17T12:32)
Best 24 hour: 2,318.4 km, from Southern Yugoslavia (1989-07-05T00:00) to just
before Raststätte Hamburg-Stillhorn (Germany) (1989-07-05T24:00). This record can be
found on page 179 of the 1991 UK edition of the Guinness Book of Records, the full
details of the four rides that gave Prino his
“15 minutes of fame” can be
Best calendar month: 9,936.4 km, July 1990 - 17 hitchhiking days, the De Bilt
to Athína part of trip 11.
Best calendar year:47,015.2 km, from 2015-01-04T08:30
to 2015-12-02T22:42 - 333 days (55 days on-the-road).
Best 365 days: 53,088.4 km, from 2014-09-16T09:47 to 2015-09-10T17:26 - 360 days
(65 days on-the-road).
Longest ride: 2,502.9 km, from Platamon (Greece) (1990-08-13T16:32) to Driebergen
(Netherlands) (1990-08-15T12:54), also in trip 11.
Fastest ride: 196.1 km/h (average speed!), from Raststätte Fränkische
Schweiz/Pegnitz (Germany) (2015-05-27T06:05) to Raststätte Fläming (2015-05-27T07:49) -
the ride included a refuelling/toilet stop from 6:58 to 7:09.
There have been a multitude of rides where the highest speed has exceeded this value, the
highest ever observed speed was in a Mercedes E63 AMG on 2016-07-25 between 19:59 and
21:22 during ride 7 of trip 176, from MOP Nowostawy to a petrol station after the exit
Poznań Komorniki, when the digital speedo showed a speed of 300 km per hour. An attempt
by the driver to go faster
failed due to the too high density of traffic.
Fastest trip: 623.5 km in 4:33 hours (actual driving time), from Vilnius
(2022-04-28T06:51) via Klaipėda back to Vilnius (2022-04-28T15:09).
Driving the driver: On more than a few occasions drivers asked Prino if he had a driving
licence. Confirming that he had, he was asked to drive the car. The most extraordinary, and longest,
of these drives, from 2018-09-04T13:41 to 2018-09-05T12:24, was a ride from the Deersels petrol
station, between Eindhoven and Venlo, to MOP Brwinów, just before Warszawa, an odometered distance
of 1,113.6 km, with an Indian driver, who was on his way from the UK to Ukraine. Prino drove
the entire distance, and the driver even paid for the motel at night.
During the longest ride mentioned earlier, Prino also took over the wheel for five periods. Based on the
driving time for those periods and the average speed, it’s not unlikely that he also drove for about
1,100 km during that ride.
Exceed one Light-second:
On 2011-02-02 at about 11:00 his recorded hitchhiking distance exceeded
299.792.5 km. It takes light one second to travel this distance, it took Prino, give
or take a few leap-seconds, 966,674,160 times longer.
A mere 275,207,100 seconds later, on 2019-10-23 at about 17:25, his recorded distance had
increased to two light-seconds.
Since creating this site, Prino has spent time and effort tracking down
hitchhiking related articles and publications.
Some of what’s presented was already around in one way or another, in those
cases he has provided a link to the original, but some of it is unique to this site. Prino
has sought permission to publish the material here, but where it was impossible to contact
the original author(s), he’s decided to go ahead anyway.
Besides the hitchhiking related material, Prino also has a small collection of more
technical resources. Most of what’s
presented here can also be found on Prino’s Google Drive, but a bit of redundancy
never does any harm…
In his daily life he is an analyst programmer using IBM’s z/OS with more than
37 years of experience in PL/I and somewhat less in Db2, CICS, REXX and IDMS. He is the author and maintainer of a
set of REXX execs that can be used to convert
legacy languages into HTML. He is also, since February 2003, the maintainer of the mini-FAQ for the
comp.lang.pascal.borland Usenet newsgroup.
He is currently “between contracts”. A CV is available on request.
The origins of “prino”?
The name “prino” was “given” to him in 1974 by his chemistry teacher, Eelco Hessling.
Eelco had apparently, as can be seen on the image to the right, incorrectly copied Robert’s
name and surname from a school provided list of pupils(?), and, when going through this list
for the first time, obviously called “Robert Prins” “Robert Prino”. The name was initially
taken over by one of his classmates,
Tom Bosma, but more
followed in due course, and four years later he was universally known as Prino, and that
name has stuck ever since.