Subscribe via RSS Feed

Footbike World Championships

October 21, 2008 3 Comments

World Champs – Kampen in the Netherlands
by Bruce Cook

We didn’t know what to expect… 

Here we were in a small country town, over an hour north of Amsterdam, and the first three people we had spoken to knew very little English.

We were hoping to find accommodation and then compete at the World Champs for Footbike Racing. To be on the safe side we arrived early at the event… but maybe we were a little too early. Apart from six people setting up the finish area there was no-one else around. 

When we eventually found the Event Organizers (who are amazing people) we were made to feel at home right from the start. They booked our accommodation with one phone call, and suggested we check in and come back in an hour. 

After following their suggestion, we arrived back to a flurry of activity, there were Scooters everywhere. The most Kickbikers we had seen together in any event was 14 at an organized Bike ride in Brisbane! People were walking around in uniforms, national flags draped over their sholders.

The atmosphere was warm and welcoming. It was like a big family reunion where everyone seemed to know each other, even though most had only just met. We were welcomed with open arms and appreciation, because of the kilometres we had travelled to be there.

The Opening Ceremony began with a glass of Bubbly for everyone, a welcome speech from the overall organizer and then we were in to the first event…

Six laps of a town circuit totalling 13.8km.

First the 25 women and cadets, then the 52 men, all lined up with the desire to be crowned the 2008 Scooter Racing World Champ. The competition was intense but the comradery amongst the riders was genuine. The prize ceremony was in typical Olympic style with the winners mounting a podium and their National Anthem being played for the town to hear.

It was then time to tuck into a Pasta Meal that evening, where a lot of exaggerated stories were shared and re-shared.

Day 2 dawned with breakfast supplied, and the chance to share your stories again, or to check out the competition for the day, and fit in a complimentary sports massage before the sprint qualifications at 10am. Held in time trial format, this race was your chance to beat the clock, and qualify for the finals in the afternoon.

At 12pm about 70 kids had their fun race. Then parents and supporters had their chance at a fun race, and the qualified juniors held their NAFCup Race.

The quarters, semis and finals were then raced over the next hour, resulting in a mens and womens World Champs, plus winners in the Vet, Open, Junior, Cadet and Pupil Cadet Classifications.

We then moved straight to the World Champ National Teams Relay, a race for 30 minutes and then 1 lap, involving 3 team members, but only 1 Scooter. Imagine the chaos of jumping off your Kickbike or Footbike at full speed, sprinting beside it until another sprinting team member has grabbed hold of the handlebars to take control, and jumped onto the plate when you let go. It was certainly entertaining for the crowd and a lot of fun for the participants.

Day 2 finished with the Prize Ceremonies and plenty of interesting stories over another Pasta Meal.

Day 3 started with breakfast and another Sports Massage, but the rest of the morning is all about the kids.

Races for ages 4 through to 9 kept over 100 kids busy – and tired them out a little. Then the Pupils (10 to 12y.o.) raced their long distance National NAF Cup Race over 9.8km, and Cadets (13 to 15y.o.) over 14.7km. Then in the afternoon the Juniors (16-17y.o.), Open and Vet (45+) Categories raced over 42.195km – a full Marathon.

Lining up at the start of the Marathon, and being surrounded by over 100 other Scooter riders was incredibly humbling. All I could think was, “just wait till we have events this size in Australia”. Some very impressive displays of supreme fitness and some amazing average speeds were achieved. The marathon was 9 laps of a country circuit, and was almost entirely flat… no chance to rest on the downhills. It was great for spectators who watched tactics unfold and lent some awesome support to the competitors.

After the prize giving it was then back into town for the huge World Champ “End Party”, where the 11 National Teams and all the World Champions were presented to the public on the stage. It was then time for a huge fireworks display and then the band began to play.

Breakfast the next morning was provided, but not as well attended as the previous mornings!

I have competed and partied at a number of Multisport and running events before but the atmosphere here was by far the best I have seen. The organisers certainly put on an awesome event and it was well enjoyed by all those attending.

We understand that the next World Champs are being held in Italy in August 2010, and we’ll be there again. So get kicking, as it would be awesome to have an Australian Team win the relay, as well as a few individual World Champs of our own!

About the Author:

Comments (3)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Deb says:

    I’m practising my Italian already!


    Deb 🙂

  2. Jeffo says:

    Hey Guys—-
    It was brilliant to meet up with you and share our first experience as a team at the WC’s!! I am not sure if we can get all of the photos we took onto the website, we still talk about it everyday.

    We have been lucky enough to get rolling with putting together our own international invitational. A few more phone calls and we will be inviting all of you to Holland, Michigan in July of 2009. Yea, yea we know we have to knock it out early so everyone at the IKSA and Europe can plan to get over here—–of course that includes all of you Aussies too!

    Thanks for the support and the sunscreen too (Bruce and Lyn were the only folks in all of Holland that had suncreen in their bag of goodies!)

    Keep Kicking!
    Gary, Jeff, Mike and Jill of Team FootbikeUSA!!

  3. Hey FootbikeUSA

    Great to hear from you. We still haven’t come down from the hype of the event. Like you we still need to get video and pictures to you, we have an awesome one of Jill finishing her marathon, which I am sure you’ll all enjoy. She nearly took out the camera woman. We have booked, and will be advertising shortly, a World Champ video evening, to show off the fun we had.

    We thoroughly enjoyed the rest of our trip back home and look forward to catching up again soon, If not in Holland, then definately in Italy 2010. Have fun and look forward to the details of your event.

Leave a Reply