International Kicksled and Scooter Association

Latest News

Published 4 July 2004

Thunder, lightning, raind... and wind

It takes charactered people to kick the IJsselmeerronde. It's a yearly scooter event of 245 km long open to everyone who wants to take part in it. Start 04.00 hours and it finishes somewere in the late afternoon or evening. Here a small report of the 2004 edition.

It's 02.30 hours in the night when I step in my car and drive over the former Seedyke called Kamperzeedijk to the city of Kampen in the 'kop van Overijssel' as the locals call it. This delta area of the river the IJssel is beautifull in daylight. But now in the middle of the night it is an intimidating place to be. Every few minutes lightning, thunder and rainshowers so extreem that vision is very bad, even with the wipers in highest mode...

At the Plantage square a few diehards and an organising team 10 people arrived. Everyone is sheltering in a portal from the rain and wind. The start is 100 meters from the new city bridge and is witnessed by the night 'pub'public on the way home (or on exhange route to another pub). 'What is going on?' most of them ask...
At 04.00 hours the offcial start should take place of the IJsselmeerronde but the organisation decides to delay for a while because the rainshowers are so extreme that people would be totaly wet in a second.

The clock ticks to 04.25 and people start to ask me what are we going to do? It's still raining and the lightning and thunder trumbles above city center (not to mention the strongs wind
s). At 04.30 hours - despite the heavy rain - we decide to start. The Dutch logic rules: the weather condition does not improve so there is no reason to delay. 04.30 start it is. In the rain a small group of 'die hards' line up for the start photo. After a fast start signal of they go into the dark morning for 245 km extreme and mean scooter kilometers.

Rain and thunder accompany us into the Noord-Oostpolder and the wind is so strong that video footage is impossible to make. Everything moves, the car moves, the traffic signs move, the bridges move... the hole world seems to shake. Only by putting the camera on the asfalt it's possible to shoot some video images and still the image is moving!

After 2 hours the showers stop but the wind keeps attacking our IJsselmeer footbikers. All morning head wind and tuff conditions. Ironicly it seems that the hardest part has yet to come; Afsluitdijk ! = 32 km of horror and mental and physical trauma. On this killing dyke after 120 km head winds our first member of our dreamteam has to give up, it's Hermien Koers. She is not able to continue. At the 155 km point we loose a second participant; 16 year old Roel vd Velde has to quit his first IJsselmeer-edition attemp. Next year new day, new chances.

Conditions are not getting better in the afternoon. The wind does not drop in force and thunder has not left the lowlands yet. A positive thing is that the 2004-organisation crew is well prepared in this edition. A local fruit store sponsored lots of fruit for the participants on route and a sportmassage team of two proffessionals joins the caravancrew on route.

After 110 km Gerrit-Jan Beldman developed holes and blisters in his feet (caused by the wet conditions from early start on). Kicking with wet socks and shoes for hours and hours can do crazy things to your feet. However quitting is not a word to found in Gerrit-Jan vocabulary. He has finished this IJsselmeertour 5 times and this 6d time is gone be a fact too. (He also kicked the 235 km scooter Elfstedentour 10 times). But in this extreme conditions everyone seem to suffer, even for the crew members who guide the participants have a hard time. It's a hard event.

I my self went back to Kampen at then of the morning to prepare the finishline zone
at the fullcolour music festival. Also there strong winds. We had to resque a guy who was trapped underneeth an infostand which came down by the wind. Our finishtent was ancered to 30 km of iron fences to prevent the liftof of our NAF info tent into the sky. The 4 meter high inflatable Amnesty candle was kept in the box. The thing would be blown immedeatly of the field.

In the evening luckely 4 hereous made it to finish line at 245 km in Kampen at the festival. Gerard van Oorschot, Marco Grevel, Martijn Dashorst and Gerrit-Jan Beldman in a total endtime of
16 hours 15 minutes 32 seconds. It's not a record but according to the conditions a suberb time. (The fastes times ever in IJsselmeerronde is 13:50;26 (2003 by Andre Visscher and Peet de Graaf) and the fastes ladies time is 15:58;00 (2002 by Hermien Koers).

After the finish the our 4 footbikers got on the podium and received the 2004 edition medal (which is coloured in gold). And a golden achievement it was. Then off to the massage room, which was moved to Gerben's living room, who lives couple of hundred meters from finish line. During the event special attention is asked for Amnesty International and money is razed for that humanright organisation.

All information in Dutch and English about the is great event can found at
the IJssemeer website. This website contains info and photos of earlier editions.

(news source Nederlandse Autoped Federatie)


Copyright: IKSA