Klein Verzet is the oldest student cycling association in the Netherlands. The association has an extensive history. This page looks back each year at who was active in KV and what happened that year. Much of this has been preserved in boxes. Many more events are in the memories and are in cupboards in the attics of former members. Do you know an interesting fact about KV yourself, do you have footage, old clothing, an old Verzetje or is there something wrong on this page, please contact us.
Klein Verzet has been around for quite some time. But from when exactly? The club was founded in October 1969, making it the oldest student cycling club in the Netherlands. In the past 40 years a lot of things have happened and been organized:
• Several different outfits
• Three “sleutelhokken” (the place where we are supposed to repair the bike but sometimes break them)
Thanks to our former member and honorary member Leo de Vin (now living in Sweden) a lot is also known about the early history of the club. His fascinating story can be found below: Klein Verzet was formally founded in September/October 1969. This makes Klein Verzet the oldest student cycling club in the Netherlands (Tandje Hoger in Groningen is slightly younger) and probably the oldest in the world. The three founders were Cas Albers, Koos Bosmann and Maarten vd Waal.
One of the biggest stunts was organizing a European student cycling championship in 1973. Maarten vd Waal is still known for this in the cycling world of Twente. This was extremely remarkable in terms of organisation, since the Russian team was allowed to land with Aeroflot at Twente Airport, in the final days of the cold war. It seems that the Russians had wanted to organize the next championship, but because the Italian Riva beat the Russian state amateurs the fun went away.
Initially, Klein Verzet was too small to join the KNWU on its own (too expensive), so licenses were applied for through the Tubanters in Hengelo. Only around 1980 Klein Verzet joined the KNWU (races) and a little earlier the NRTU (tours).
It was in 1970 or perhaps a little later that the club magazine, "Het Verzetje" (sometimes nicknamed "Het Servetje", The Napkin in English) saw the light of day. Patiently typed by hand, then stenciled. There was a lot of fiddling with half-defective stencil machines, tearing stencils and so on. In addition, hardly anything could be done on Mondays because the field hockey players felt like they had to distribute all the results and standings from the weekend because not all members could read newspapers. And if you were unlucky the sailors had just been busy, and then the stencil machine was usually in a poor state. Not infrequently a good week passed before Het Verzetje was ready, and then there was another small problem: distribution. For example, I remember one razia where we visited an editorial board member, but it was at 2 in the afternoon, so fortunately he was still asleep as usual. With a box full of 2-month-old undelivered Verzetjes and some more material that we thought we'd better keep in-house, we left again. Making a Verzetje was usually accompanied by disproportionate amounts of beer (not always good for the quality of the club magazine), especially after we acquired our own electric typewriter. Then you suddenly know that "return" stands for "carriage return," or the carriage goes from left to right at the end of the line, that is, to where you just put down your glass of beer (splash!).
There was huge panic around 1980, when during a race we organized, a motorist ignored some barriers and mowed down a couple of participants, one of whom was in bad shape. There had been problems with the permit and for a while there was the fear of a possible claim for damages. The motorist was later excused from driving for two years.
There was a time when a relatively large proportion of members were members to pay contribution, or as someone wrote "without the ability to pay contribution some members would not be members." That in itself was a problem for Klein Verzet, because anyone can hop on a bike and ride a bike for a bit, so we had to think carefully about what we could or wanted to offer our members as an extra. That began to come into play more and more in the 1980s with limits on study hours and stuff like that. Not only did members have to have clear benefits from their membership, we had to be able to offer that with limited time commitment from board, committee members and stuff like that.
The tour rides underwent a major change. At one time we had a number of free tours with route descriptions, but checking the routes, advertising and organization took too much time. We also had a big organized tour with leaders, followers and so on, the "Teutoburger Forest Tour". Our own tour activities were rather limited, so the tour was largely dependent on the willingness of license holders(competition) to act as front riders. When the tour got out of hand organizationally (i.e. in terms of time), OWC was fortunately willing to take it over. I have a few memories of that tour myself. First of all there was the time when the followcar broke down after 10 km. Fortunately, it was a rental van so the rental company was allowed to take care of it, although it was unfortunate that many people had dumped their food in the van and we didn't see it again until the second break. Another incident was also nice, you are driving with a group of 90 people (m/f) through Germany and a boy runs back into the house: "Papa! Papa! Kom guck mal!". According to other stories, it had also happened once that a front rider was found vomiting on the shoulder of the road.
The tour rides for members also changed. Joint touring had always been a weak point, until we started a weekly tour training on Mondays. We always made sure that competition riders and/or board members were present, and we recruited a lot of new members that way as well. However, it also meant that the levels were sometimes very different, and having a few experienced riders to calm down the group when a few people can't follow is helpful. Sometimes so many people came that we had to ride in two groups. We also participated more often in longer tours in the Netherlands or Belgium. I remember a tour where we did the first 70 kilometers in 1½ hours.
Regarding races, we organized a number of good events. First of all, there was the weekly round around WB on Wednesday evenings, a race practice that attracted many people from outside the club. It was sometimes quite a chore to set and guard the course, but we gained a lot of goodwill from the other cycling clubs because of it. In the 80's cyclocross was popular (mountain biking did not yet exist in cycling), and we had the pleasure of organizing one of the best attended regional cyclocross events. Every year we managed to create a new and varied course around the ponds. If someone unwillingly visited the pond, that was just part of the deal (a former chairman once complained that he had been at the wrong pond again with his camera ready). Even a normal training session sometimes ended in the pond, but only for the bike. You get funny reactions when you rinse your bike in the pond in front of the Vrijhof when a group of conference participants is on their way to the Bastille for lunch. When mountain biking became popular we scared the hell out of a lot of hikers, mostly unintentionally by the way. For example, I remember one time we were passed on a forest trail but the second rider fell through the ice on a frozen puddle, the rest couldn't react in time so the hikers were left behind in rather muddy condition. I also remember once finding a car on a narrow path (in itself a miracle that it got there) in which there were two people. Ten minutes later, it probably would have been more fun. He was asked if he knew of any more quiet places.......
Our “sleutelhok” was initially located under the steps of the Sports Center. We shared a room there with the motor sports group, fortunately separated by a particleboard wall. Indeed, the relationship was not always good. For example, we shared a telephone in that room, only the motor sports group refused to pay their share because they thought it should be there anyway for security reasons (in itself they were probably right, but it would have been more convenient if they had left us out of it). They also got a meter from us once in exchange for a compressed air connection, but we are still waiting for the latter. Also, in those days we didn't have that many facilities in the Sports Center, we had our roller dynamometer in the “sleutelhok” and then it's no fun when the neighbors think they need to test-drive a motorcycle. The motorsports group had a second room, under the steps of the Bastille. Eventually this turned into a forced exchange, which we were actually not happy about at the time. The new space was also an entrance/bicycle storage for staff and cleaners, and there was (thus) a proliferation of illegal keys, furthermore that space was open quite often. But having our own loft was also nice, and a lot of time was invested in it, for example, a lot of tools were made by ourselves on the lathes and milling machines of Mechanical Engineering.
Having a roller dynamometer in the key house may sound a little strange, but there were no other facilities back then. Training was, except for a short periods, entirely on our own. That is, we trained in groups of course, but without formal guidance. It wasn’t until the mid-80s that this changed when we got Mink Zeilstra as our winter indoor trainer. Later we also got a real cycling coach.
One more time we repeated organizing an international student tournament, but on a much smaller scale than in 1973, and as part of an NSWO tournament (NSWO is the Dutch student cycling organization). Unfortunately, the race commissioner turned out to be in bed a week before the tournament with a 39 degree fever and 2 months of organizational delays (I would also get a fever from this). Very exciting such a 2-day tournament when you have to catch up on all the work that has to be done. On the first day in the afternoon we did not yet know who was sleeping where. Next to this three Belgians showed up unannounced, next to the usual entry fee they also brought a crate of Palm beer which was very nice.
Klein Verzet has also organized the NSK a number of times, but I have never been involved myself. At that time my board, and cycling career was behind me. I did however ride along once in a neutral material vehicle. Another event was an inter-club race during the introduction. For this we had a course on Drienerlolaan and Calslaan. However, when we started talking about helping with barrier material we were told “we would never et a permit for that anyway”. But to everyone’s surprise, we already had that permit. The night before the race, a finish line was drawn across the Calslaan. The next morning there were about twenty finish lines. So we just picked a reasonably straight one. During the race there was a student flat that decided to play live Dixieland on the balcony, an initiative that was much appreciated and long remembered. Incidentally, we also worked together with A La Kart ( the carting association), who had a carting circuit around the same time because of the introduction period. Together we “leased” straw bales from a local livestock farmer, i.e. we paid a soft price for the undamaged bales, and a bit more for bales that were driven to pieces.
The rise of ATBing (All Terrain Bike) brought more with it than startling and inadvertent mudding of forest hikers. At first, the checkout girls at various gas stations liked it when a few muddy guys came asking for a coin for the pressure washer. But more and more often we were turned away because our mud was clogging the filters. We also started ATB weekends in southern Limburg. Here we were once happily surprised by the owner of a small family campground. We had booked a spot with electricity, but at the sight of our group he quickly explained that it had to be quiet with the music at 11 o’çlock at night. We explained that we had no music with us and liked to be asleep at 11 o’clock ourselves. The explanation that we only needed electricity for the coffee machine visibly reassured him.
In the early 1980s we were sponsored by Superia for 3 years. This cam in handy, because besides cash, which we desperately needed at the time, it also meant new clothing for the race riders. If we had not had that sponsor, we would have had to order the old clubclothing (which at the time did not fit very well). Sometimes we also sponsored ourselves sometimes, on a personal initiative. At the “Night of Hengelo”, the local professional cyclist, Jan Nijhof (better known as “Basje”) was missing from the start list. Good cyclocross rider, but road races were not his favourite. Yet is kind of a tradition for him to join this race. However, he was not offered a contract that time by the KNWU mediator. From the ranks of Klein Verzet a spontaneous money collection was started with the result that there was money for a starting contract for Basje. In itself not so special, were it not for the fact that two weeks in advance of the race the KNWU published rules that during pro-criteriums only cyclists with a KNWU contract were allowed to start.
As for the UT-championships, there are also some nice stories. There was a UT championship in which someone had ignored the traffic signs and entered the course on his civilian bike. In itself not so bad, we often allowed that with the request to keep an eye on riders coming up behind. This time, however, it was someone with a hot head, who also started swinging demonstratively. That’s not very smart when the head of the course is just passing by. Fortunately for him, the grass along the farm road was soft. Not that he took much notice of his fall, because he passed out when he hit the ground. At another UT championship, there was a rider at the start who was probably the strongest UT rider at the time, but he was riding for another club. That was not the problem, but rather his arrogance. At the start he already asked who was riding at what level (as if he didn’t already think he was the best rider), when someone said he was an amateur club rider he sneered that he would then “at leas have a little bit of opposition”. From that moment on the consensus in the peloton was, everyone can win except … breakaways were thus parried in turns, each time someone got in his wheel. Finally, after half the race, he handed half of his race number.