Last weekend I went to FlevOnice in Biddinghuizen for Cycle Vision 2011. Two years ago I visited this event, but then it was all the way on the other side of The Netherlands (in Tilburg). This time I didn't compete because of a injury to my right wrist, so I made myself useful as a volunteer.

Driving to the event went pretty well. Until a car driver overtook me on the inside and threw his car in front of mine with less than a meter between his car and mine. A typical action that would do nicely in a TV-show.

On arrival I had a quick bit in the restaurant and then headed to the Test Center Lelystad. A concave track of 2850 meters long and a 60% slope in the corners. The cyclist won't get there with their (relatively low) speed, but the driver of the safety truck from the RDW who took us to the first corner (I was a marshal there) drove the car right up there. I had to give it all not to fall onto the person sitting next to me. A very scary feeling, a car that could tip over like that (which didn't happen). The two 1-hour races went relatively quick. Nothing special to report, well... it's just one hour of cycling in circles.

When I came back at Biddinghuizen I quickly put up my tent and after some chatting with everyone, I went to my warm bed. Since I arrived by car I could easily bring my 4-person tent, a thicker sleeping mat and a pillow. Lovely all that space and comfort, but it's a hell of a job to put it all up. On top of that I lost my hammer which someone borrowed.

Saturday morning there was a free breakfast for all volunteer (just like all the meals there). I watched the criterium and kick scooters. Especially the last one was quite spectacular. The had to team up three at a time and to a relay race over a 400 meter long track. And because it was busy and raining that produced some falls (see pictures at the bottom). After lunch I first went to the lecture of Paulus den B. about the (in)visibility of (recumbent) cyclist and what you can do about it. After that Anton L. and myself (aka. Pat & Mat) talked about maintaining and adjusting your bike. Then it was Maarten S.'s turn to talk about the bike planner of the Dutch cyclist organization. After that I visited the technical presentation of VeloX (the bike they plan to go 133 km/h with). After dinner Wim Schermer was going to tell something about making your velomobile more quiet, comfortable and faster. There he showed his new racehood. After that Anton and myself were talking about bikes again and I finished by talking about my trip to America. I did some advertising for sponsoring Villa Joep. Currently the counter stands at € 540,- but that has to go over € 1000,-.

Sunday morning it was time to get up early (7 AM) for breakfast and to sit behind the desk where the transponders would be handed out. A number of things went wrong, but eventually it all turned out great. In the afternoon Anton and I gave our third workshop and after that I watched the 3-hour race. The weather was great. No rain and plenty of sunshine. The track was all dried up (it rained the days before) but it also means more heat while cycling. You had to pay attention not to go offroad. And that's exactly what happened in the corner right in front of me. A yellow Milan entered the corner to fast, went onto two wheels and couldn't stay on the track. A collision with a stake on the outside of the corner made a big hole in the bike and turned it sideways. Luckily no other riders were directly behind him at that moment. The cyclist could get out of the bike on his own. He walked to the first aid on his own with a open elbow and a bruised shoulder. The marshals dragged the bike of the track. You could tell the other riders were slowing down a bit the next few rounds not to end up like this poor fellow. At the end of the day I packed my tent and went for a swim in the lake in the middle of the track (a idea of Kees van M.).

On my way home I encountered ANOTHER driver who the police would gladly pull over and have a chat with. I think the clip itself doesn't need any explanation.

It was another great weekend full of recumbent joy and (re)meetings with people I know from the forums or Twitter. For instance, I spoke with Pat Franz of TerraCycle about ROAM and visiting his factory (which is in Portland). So, all that's left now are the photo's. There are quite a number of them (a lot of competition photos). Other reports, photos et cetera can be found on the ligfiets.net site.