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Published June 4 2006

Dutch Elfstedentocht a yearly footbike joy

Matteo Luzzana is the 6d footbiker from outside the Netherlands who competed this year in the yearly Elfstedentocht during the Whitesun weekend 2006.. A 230 km scooter tour through Friesland (North Netherlands).

Before Matteo 2 Belgium guys and 3 guys from Finland (Alpo Kuusisto, Ville Vickholm and Ilkka Koppelomaki) kicked also the Scooter Elfsteden (some years ago).

The Elfsteden is for the Dutch: THE sport event of all times. And with that we mean ofcourse the scate version.
The route goes via the 11 cities of Friesland. It's a race which is organised rarely because of the warming climate. But if this scate event happens then the winner is a hero for life. 10 times the status of an Olympic winner. Of the 16 million Dutch, over 9 million watch the race either on TV or in person among the route. Cold and icy condions - it does not matter, the hole country is involved that day. It's something which is hard to describe. You just have to see it once in a life time.

Of the Elfstedenevent is also a footbike version (as dosens of other versions for other sports). These events don't have the same status as the real Scate Elfstedentocht. But if we have to pick a second as a favourite event, then for sure it is the footbike version.

Start 00.00 hours Elfstedentocht for scooters...

A couple of thousend people gather at start line at 00.00 hour in the night to wave out the footbikers on their 12,5 inch wheeled scooter. (unfortunately free wheelmeasure is not arrived yet in Frisia).
Only 100 footbikers can take part. Every 2 hours there is a stop in the night and from the 3rd stop at 06.00 hours people can ride their own tempo.

Specially during the night it is realy strange if you kick in a group of 100 through the Frysian flat lands. And even deep in the night people are chearing on the route to the participants. The group is followed by a lot of cars. There is even a special (so called) flat tyre bus. This car gives out scooters to people who get a flat tyre on the route. So the hole entourage does not have to stop for flat tyres.

Finish zone Footbike Elfstedentocht (230 km).

The tour is 230 km and after about 130 km there is an obligated stop. Everyone has to waite here till 10.30 hour to get a stamp and continue again. Same thing in the last 'stopvillage' Oudemirdum about 40 km for finish. During these stops there is sportmassage for the competitors. A lot of people who do not kick normaly in our sport take part in this event. They just kick to be able to finish this special event. Also at finishline there a public mass to welcome the riders. It's realy impressive.

Although this Elfsteden is officially not a race, the participants consider it one in the last 40 km. After the last stamp at 14.30 hours all get crazy and leave in hurry to speed up to finish in Bolsward (were hundreds if not thousend people awaite them).

Photo 2006 of Matteo arriving in finish zone. Halve km long it's packed with people.

This year Matteo Luzzana from Italy took part of the second time and came this time in as first male rider in Bolsward! He did a great job. Congratulations. The weather was good this year and a large procentage of the 100 starters made it to finish.
www.autoped.n/elfstedentocht (click at English)

IJsselmeer June 24 2006
Now it's taking a rest and preparing for the even harder IJsselmeerronde. This 245 km is different from Elfsteden. The route is a bit more extreme (flat and windy dykers on coastline) and there is no wheel ban. So every scooter can take part. Also there are no obligated stops. So from the start (which is in this event at 04.00 hours in the eary morning) the tempo is free. That also results in fast times at finish. The fastes time in IJsselmeerronde is 13.00 hours. (also in English).